This impressive ancient minaret still survives today as one of the key historical sites in Kyrgyzstan. Protected as a Unesco World Heritage site, Burana is one of the most famous minarets in Central Asia and beyond.

Built between the 10th and 11th centuries, the Burana tower with its 45 m (148 ft) height overlooked the ancient city of Balasagun, constructed by the Karakhanids in the 9th century. In the ancient Arabic language, Burana translates as « minaret ».


The site is made of 36 ha (89 acres) and includes mausoleum ruins, petroglyphs from the 2nd century B.C. and many « Balbals », funerary from the Turkiс era (6th century).


The minaret itself exposes the skills of Karakhanid craftsmen. At its base, the minaret is 9.3 meters (29.5 ft) wide, but it finishes with a width of only 6 m (20 ft) at its top. Photos of the minaret before its restoration are shown in the museum. Fallen construction material was taken by local population to build their own houses. Today, two staircases, one on the outside and one in the inside, allow visitors to climb to the top of the 25 m (82 ft) high tower. From there, you’ll have a splendid view on the Chuy valley, the city of Tokmok and the Ala-Too mountain range.