Do You Suleiman Too?

Suleiman Too, Osh, Kyrgyzstan, on Friday, October 17, 2014.

Sacred Suleiman Too.

From the eastern gate, it takes a lot of stairs and walkways to get to the top of Suleiman Too.

It actually doesn’t take too long to get to the top of the first peak of Suleiman Too. Up there, I see Dom Babura, a historic prayer room, and the Kyrgyzstan flag, which is proudly waving in the wind. I look to the other side of the peak and see that the path continues to traverse the entire crag. Nearby, women are sliding down a smooth rock. I giggle and contemplate joining in on the fun, but later realize it may have been part of a superstitous ritual in hopes to become fertile.

Continuing on the path, I see a mosque and a Muslim cemetery. To show scale, I wait for these three guys to come into frame. When I walk passed them, they ask me in a language I can’t understand, to take a photo. I think they want me to take a photo of the three of them with one of their Samsung phones, but the guy is actually asking me to pose with the other two, as if they recognize me or mistake me for someone else important. (I’m guessing the latter.)

Suleiman Too isn’t just a geological tourist attraction; it’s been a sacred place for Muslim pilgrims for centuries as it’s believed to be a site where the Prophet Mohammed once prayed.

An old, frail Kyrgyz man wearing a traditional ak kalpak hat, prays on the sacred ground of Suleiman Too.

Suleiman Too is not only sacred, it’s also desecrated. Walking down the path, I notice three people atop one of the peaks inaccessible from the main path. I wonder how those people got there, and wondered what path I need to find to get there, until I hear the hissing of spray paint. They’re tagging the top of the second peak. (It’s kind of hard to see in this picture because they’re so tiny.)

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Next entry: Osh Bazaar

Previous entry: Intro to Osh

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This dispatch is one of over 70 travel dispatches from the trip grouped and titled, "The Global Trip: 'Stan By Me." It's an archived compilation of Instagram and Facebook posts which chronicled a trip through three countries in Central Asia: Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.

Next entry:
Osh Bazaar

Previous entry:
Intro to Osh


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