Manas Ordo

Manas Ordo Complex in Talas

The national, cultural and historical complex “Manas Ordo” is located 10 km east from Talas over a bridge, at the north side of the the Talas river. All the buildings in the area are related to the legends about the Batyr (khan tribal leader) called Manas. Manas Ordo was built in 1995 to celebrate the 1000 year anniversary of the Manas epic.

The Manas complex celebrates the life and death of the epoch about a great Kyrgyz leader. Inside the complex there is a museum, mausoleum as well as few yurts selling souvenirs, cold drinks and fresh kymyz and a nicely done Manas path with Kyrgyz manaschi battles played along it.

The site also includes a food preparation and a dining area accompanied with the facilities and services to sacrifice the animals that are to be cooked in a proper way. 

Manas Ordo is worth the visit as you can see the Karakhanid-era mausoleum and walk up to the hill behind the museum for the great view of the complex and the whole valley together with some Soviet style mixed with the emerging Kyrgyz monument and art style. Manas Ordo is the number one sight of Talas, also for the locals.

Manas statue surrounded by his companions in Manas Ordo
Manas companions surrounding his statue in Manas Ordo in Talas

Manas Gumbez

The Manas Gumbez is a cemetery with a mausoleum, located a few minutes walk from the car parking area next to the cozy pathway lined with flowers, bushes and trees. There are benches shaded by the trees where pilgrims normally gather. The Gumbez was found in 1898 and has been dated to have been originally built in 1334. 

According to legend, Gumbez was built by Semetei, the son of Manas who carried his body here. The more commonly accepted version is that his wife Kanykey and his friend and counsellor Bakai were the ones responsible for building it. To avoid desecration by his enemies they wrote an inscription over the door that declares that it is the mausoleum of a young girl. Experts also say that the mausoleum was built in 1334 for the burial of the daughter of Emir Abuki but there is no decisive proof until today of the origin of the mausoleum.

When the gumbez was being researched by archaelogists, several layers of graves were found and the top one was of a girl but a lot deeper there was an older grave found that belongs to a man from the same era as the gumbez was first built. The museum staff is happy to tell more about the gumbez as well if you just ask them (only in Russian or Kyrgyz though).

mausoleum of Manas
Manas Gumbez in Talas

Manas Museum

Located at the foot of the hill there is a museum dedicated to the life of Manas. Inside you can find dioramas of scenes from the Manas epic and images of the accouterments of Kyrgyz chivalric and nomadic tradition: Saddles, leather goods, weaponry and a large suit of armor that is declared to have been the type that Manas wore. Most of the suit of armor is quite clearly later reproduction but as elsewhere in the complex, the vague musky empire exists between historical facts and legends, the same blur exists here between actual historical artifact and replica. 

There are large dreamlike paintings on the walls and photographs showing the Gumbez before reconstruction together with images and carvings of horsemen fighting and mythological scenes with dragons, snakes and eagles. In addition, you can find some black and white photographs of the most well-known manaschi (the  poets who sing the Manas legends). 

Travel to Manas ordo

Manas-Ordo complex is located 10 km east from Talas, next to the Tash-Aryk village, somewhat north across the Talas river. There is a good asphalt path to leading to the complex. Taxis and marshrutka’s go from Talas to Manas Orodo frequently, especially in the summer period. You can find them at the Talas bus station which is in the west part of the city center in Chyngyz Aitmatov street.

Sights near Manas Ordo

Page updated 27.7.2022

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