Merki - Sanctuary of the ancient turkic tribes
The material and spiritual culture of the Turks is expressed and embodied in the burial and ritual complexes of their sanctuaries. They can be found all over the steppe zones of Eurasia. At the present most of them are severely damaged by the impact of natural and anthropogenic destructive forces.
Only the sanctuary of Merke, located at 3000 m. above the sea level, because of its difficult accessibility, is well preserved. It is represented by small "temples" consisting of barrows, empty funeral fences and anthropomorphic steles (balbal): totally more than 170 monuments have been found until now, distributed on an area of 250 sq km of mountain plateaux, defining a space for burials, worship and ritual ceremonies. Kurgans - funeral constructions, together with ritual temples with statues of ancestors are located in the most beautiful mountain places of a merke’s landscape.Also in mountain’s gorges Merke remained Petroglyphs on rocks and stone sculptures. The majority of them have a woman's face. It is an exceptional case in Turkic art.
Merke’s mountains served in the ancient time as the summer residence of the khans,who were escaping in cool mountains from a summer exhausting heat and at the same time treated in curative sources. The sanctuary represent all the stages of the history of the Turks, from the origin to the classic forms of the epoch of the Turk Khaganate.
The first mention of the village Merke located at the foot of the Kyrgyz Alatau was found in the writings of Arab geographers in the IX - X century. At that time it was called .Mirki", well fortified, iteven had a citadel.Mirki was considered to be a medium-sized city. According to modern scholars, the city was formed in the VII century, in Farsi its name is translated as "center".
Highland alpine meadows, large plateaux abundant of water and green pastures, flocks and herds, yurtae and shepherds, petroglyphs on rock surfaces, barrows, sacred fences and anthropomorphic steles: the complex makes all the material elements transmuted into harmonic and ecstatic messengers of the unity of the supreme sky.
3 days with everything: accomodation, food, ride and guide to the sanctuary from Merki
As well as the progamme is quite flexible you can write us and we can discuss it what you would like to do exactly - sleeping in tent or in a house or in a yurt, how long trip do you want to take and what sight are you interested in.