The Legend of Burana Tower

The name of the tower Burana comes from an Arabic word meaning minaret. And minaret is a high tower, part of a mosque used for the call for prayer. This site represents the last remaining part of the ancient city Balasagun, which was built by the Karakhanids at the end of the 9th century.

The legend connected with the construction of the tower is about the beautiful daughter of the local khan (king). When his daughter was born he invited all the fortune-tellers and wise men of the land to celebrate. Most of them foretold that the girl will have a long and happy life except for one. One old man predicted that the girl would die when she would turn sixteen. Panic-stricken the khan constructed a tower to keep his daughter there safe in isolation.

The girl grew up in the tower with the utmost protection of the servants. They brought her food climbing the ladder placed against the walls of the tower. On the day of her sixteenth birthday the khan relaxed, happy in the knowledge that the prediction didn’t come true. He rushed to the tower to celebrate it with his daughter. He brought her a basket of fresh fruits. In his rush, he failed to notice a poisonous spider hiding in the basket. When his daughter reached for the fruit, she was fatally bitten.

Because of the grief, the khan sobbed so loudly that the tower shook and fell apart leaving it in ruins.

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