Myths and Legends

Myths and legends of Kyrgyzstan

Lake of girl’s tears

A long time ago there was a desert on the site of Issyk-Kul, and a white castle in it. And the beautiful “Peri” lived there. Once after a hunt, a boy on a horse go over this desert. He saw the beauty and went down to her. She looked at the horse and fell in love with him. In parting, he said to her: “If you want to be with me always, wait for me forty days and nights without sleep.”

Thirty-nine days and nights awaited his peri, and on the fortieth night fell asleep. And at this time a boy came in, looked at the sleeping beauty, and she woke up. “You did not manage to wait for me,” said the hunter to his beloved. “I will not return to you anymore.” Goodbye!” – And went away.

The girl cried a lot. Day and night, every day. And finally due to this an ice-free lake formed. Pure as girl’s love, and salty as tears. The beauty dried up from grief and tears, and, petrified, still stands under the mountains of Tastar-Ata.


Legend of Burana tower

One day, Khan Baytyk decided to capture Tokmok. Not far from the city, in the gorge, he left his daughter with his retinue, and he went with the army to the city. The khan brutally cracked down on the townspeople: he did not spare the old people, nor women, nor children — he ordered everyone to be killed. And only one old woman managed to escape.

She came to the khan and said: “You killed everyone, you killed my sons. But remember: your only daughter, whom you love very much, will die here from a bite of a spider.”

The angry khan ordered the old woman to be killed and the tower to be built immediately. At the very top of her, he settled his daughter with two maids, who take food for her through a door high above the ground. Just standing on the saddle of a horse, you could reach that door.

Once the servants handed the grape’s dish to the Khan’s daughter. And no one noticed that a spider hid in a bunch. She reached out for grapes, cried out, and soon died. Since then, there has been an empty tower near Tokmak.