Situated at a height of 3,200 meters, Tash Rabat is a protected fifteenth century stone caravanserai in the At-Bashy territory, Naryn Province, Kyrgyzstan
Caravanserais were a broad system of explorer's hotels along old convoy streets, either situated at urban areas en route or as stations of development in disengaged locales, giving protection from the antagonistic natural environment and from goons and bandits.
Tash Rabat is found fairly east of the prime north-south interstate. Toward the south is Lake Chatyr-Kul and Torugart Pass. Toward the north is KoshoyKorgon, a destroyed fortification of questionable date. The zone is an inside for climbing and horse trekking. The guardians of Tash Rabat offer lodges, comprising of 5 or 6 yurts.
Driving along, I see the grass plains stretch out with the only movement herds of grazing horses grazing or long grass bending from the wind.
Towns are far between and sometimes they’re so small that you only realise you’re in them as you’re leaving.
Mountains often provide either a backdrop or a foreground – beautiful but foreboding. Especially when you think about how many people have passed through this region throughout history.
For quite a long time, these terrains connecting China, the Middle East and Europe, through nations like Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, were the superhighway of national and international exchange. caravans of products went every way, conveying products to be exchanged. Necessities or extravagances, they made a moving business sector that whole economies depended on.
Tash Rabat is known as a 'caravanserai', the name given to a kind of roadside motel where explorers could stop for the night or a couple of days to rest. They catered for both the humans and the animals that were travelling along the Silk Road and, as well as having accommodation and food facilities, often provided some opportunities for trade and religious rituals.
What’s left is a single structure that looks like a blend between a castle and a temple. Built of hefty stone, it stands out against the mountainous backdrop and vast nothingness.
It’s bright outside with the sun in full force but step inside and suddenly everything is dark. And cool. And quiet. There are no other tourists here and the rooms inside are all empty. Doorways in different directions beckon me.
During the peak of the Silk Road era, it’s easy to imagine people gathering here to eat, drink and trade. In the centre of the caravanserai is a large domed room – clearly the most important part of the building. If this was once a religious haven then this would have been where the ceremonies would have taken place – possibly by candlelight in the middle of nowhere.
from Central China to the Mediterranean Coast, Silk Road caravanserais can still be found all along the former Silk Road. Tash Rabat's isolated location in a meditative landscape, which gives a good sense of how difficult and dangerous travel along the remote parts of the Silk Road must have been.
Vehicles have to take a gravel road along the valley of the Tash Rabat river, leaving the asphalt road. Tussock grass covers the slopes that give the impression of corduroy and you see flocks of sheep and goats, herds of horses and yaks and even the occasional camel grazing on the hillsides.
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