Tash Rabat

Click on picture to enlarge.

Tash Rabat  is a caravanserai (resting facility for caravans) up in the mountains, Tian Shan, close to the present day Chinese border. It lies approx 3300 meter above sea level partly dug into the ground so the exterior  is special.                    Tash Rabat2Tash Rabat1                                                              Kigizistan is sparsely populated, but I think this is the most remote site we visited. The closest village is said to be 60 km away. During summer there are a few herds grazing and some yurts, some for families following their herds and a few for the caretaker of Tash Rabat. They are not sure how long there has been a stopping point for travellers but we were told they had archeological finds that indicate 1000-1200 years ago. The present building is probably from the 1400s. It was said to be the most complete and authentic building on the Silk Road.

It is completely build with rocks, no wonder as it was very far to the closest tree. It is a big dome and there are small openings for light.                                                                                                                                                                                      Tash Rabat4_scf0735                                                                     It was a corridor from the entrance to the central room with the dom and on each side small rooms, more than 30.         Tash Rabat3_scf0736This is the “toilet”

I have problems seeing how people could live and sleep and stay in these rooms. Of course they had blankets but rock is hard. But it was better than staying out in the mountains.

It was an  experience I will remember. The isolated location and the stunningly beautiful surroundings in addition to the sense of ancient history made the visit  special. Then came the barren hills and the peaceful grazing sheep and yak. One visitor said it was a meditative environment .


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