Kan fortress

Kudayar Khan Fortress

The ruins of an 18th century military Khan Fortress called Kudayar Khan Fortress are located 64 km south of Batken, in the mountains of the Turkestan Ridge, not far from the border to TajikistanThe ruins of the fortress are surrounded by high rocky mountains and they are located above the village of Kan which has most likely preserved its name from the time when the fortress was still alive. The Kan fortress is still not known by many and it is a site for the ones who seek to explore the non beaten path. The location can be freely roamed without any restrictions or payments.

Khudayar Khan fortress in Batken
kan fortress ruins on top of the mountain

Kokand Khanate fortress

Kan fortress appeared during the reign of Kudayar Khan. It was an excellent defensive hill, not a single enemy could get by the valley below without being seen or could attack the fortress unnoticed. Such a powerful defensive structure was in need for the rulers of the Kokand Khanate, one of the youngest states in Central Asia, which appeared in the Fergana Valley in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

The Kokand people attempted to expand their territories and used for it both the Tajik highlanders and the nomadic tribes and among them, were even the Chinese Kipchaks that stood out with particular militancy. In a very short time, the khanate managed to seize a lot of areas of the valley of the Syr Darya river and even established its outposts in the Kyrgyz nomad camps as far as the Pamirs.

Khan Fortress Structure

The fortress stretches for almost half a kilometer on the slopes of the Turkestan ridge and is few hundred meters wide. The Khan fortress is divided into two parts: east and west. The east side was more focused on the economic purposes and traces of buildings can also be seen here. While the west part exposes all the power of the Kokand Khanate. The fortress was practically inaccessible to enemies and served primarily for defensive purposes.

After the Kokand Khanate fell, the building lost its purpose and its former appearance as during the Soviet Union era, an apricot farm was planted inside it it. The fortress has nevertheless still kept at least a part of its value as a unique historical monument. According to the residents of neighboring villages, the spirit of Kudayar Khan, the ruler of the Kokandians, still wanders among these ruins. Despite the old age of the fortress, its walls are almost perfectly preserved to this day. You can see numerous holes, rooms, shelters, etc., built of sandstone and mud bricks. 

To get to Khan fortress you need to ride on the dirt road for a long time, pass several villages and may even cross the Uzbek enclave of Sokh village. You will see the fortress when entering the Kan village in front of you. From afar it is a long string of fortress walls on top of a flat  mountain top.

kan military fortress ruins
military fortress khan

More about Khudayar Khan and Kokand Khanate

Sights near Khan Fortress

Page updated 29.6.2021

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