According to the archaeologists, the city of Osh exists for already 3000 years. It saw Khuns, Karahanids, Mongols, was a part of different dynasties and kingdoms. We know this because the archeologists found the relics from these periods on the Sulayman mountain. What else the city experienced, might stay a mystery forever. One thing we can say for sure is that the city has a rich history, and Sulayman Mountain, also known as the throne of Solomon, was always in the heart of the vital events. It is located right in the center of the city and can be admired from different distant parts of Osh. Nowadays, it is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site on the territory of Kyrgyzstan. It is considered the sacred mountain by Muslim pilgrims from all over the world. But Sulayman Too also has a historical museum, a 15th-century house built by Babur (Tamerlane's descendant and the founder of the Mughal Empire), a mosque with a cemetery and a viewpoint of the city.
Built in the Soviet times, Sulayman Too is one of the largest museums in Kyrgyzstan with 30 000 exhibits, some of which were found on the mountain during the archeological excavations. It is carved right inside the mountain and lid by the light coming from a glass structure. You can enter the museum by paying a symbolic price of 150 Soms (2 Euros). But you can climb other territories of the mountain for free. Besides archeological artefacts, you can see many artworks of Central Asian culture.
For a couple of millennia, the mountain was worshipped by local people of different religions. There are petroglyphs (ancient cave paintings) from the Bronze Era that depict religious rituals. Some state that during the Zoroastrian period, the mountain was also a place of fire rituals. But the main legend has it that the prophet Solomon came here all the way from Jerusalem to pray on the top of the mountain. There is a new mosque with an exquisite design at the foot of the mountain and a cemetery on the skirt of the Sulayman Too. All these legends of ancient times and religious sites prove that people have always had a special connection with the mountain. Even nowadays, on top of the mountain, you can see shamans engaging in their rituals (or watch the film "Sulayman Mountain") or women rubbing certain rocks in order to get pregnant.
Did I mention that it is the highest point of the Osh city as well? Compared to the rest of Kyrgyzstan, 1110 meters of altitude is not that high, but it does open a view to all the city. You have to climb the mountain by the stairs for about half an hour, and on the top, besides seeing the original house built by Emperor Babur, you can also have a splendid view of the city. Caution, be respectful, as it is a place where people pray, so don't make noise or take photos of people. In addition to the panoramic view of the city, the mountain is a great place to observe the change of the seasons. My favourite season to observe is spring. The pinkish-whitish cherry trees blossom in April, and the red poppy flowers in May are the blessings of nature to be seen on the Sulayman Too.
Sulayman Too is a unique cultural, religious and historical site that can't be missed by anyone who ever visits the city of Osh. Raising in the center of the otherwise completely flat city landscape, it is a majestic landmark, not less fascinating than Fujiyama or Ararat. Likewise, Sulayman Too: the throne of Solomon, also inspires worshiping, admiration and hope.
Cover Photo © credits to Zafer Dincer
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