Small Group Tour in Central Asia 2024-2025

Gumbez of Manas, Kyrgyzstan

This mausoleum is most ancient of those similar structures which survived on the territory of Kyrgyzstan. It is located in the foothill of Manastyn Chokusu rocky hill near the city of Talas. This unique monument of history is another landmark of the Silk Road epoch.

Gumbez of Manas is a rare kind of structure made from burnt bricks and carved terracotta. The architecture of the mausoleum is of portal type.

The square building is covered with a hipped dome. The portal of the main facade is entirely covered with ornate tiles from carved terracotta. The ornament includes calligraphical inscriptions; under the bright light they create surprisingly complex and subtle combination of light and shade. In cloudy weather they acquire tonal softness and beauty.

The scientists have found that the Gumbez of Manas was erected in 1334. It was built above the tomb of the daughter of Emir Abuki Kianizek-khatun. However, the national memory has preserved it as the mausoleum of the legendary Manas, the warrior. The legend runs that that Kanykei, the faithful wife of Manas, built the mausoleum above his tomb. To save the tomb from being robbed Kanykei ordered to make the inscription saying his bride was buried there. The national memory preserved it as the mausoleum of the legendary warrior Manas.