Ayaz-kala fortress (from Turkic – frosty, cold) is located in the north-west of Elikkalin district of the Republic of Karakalpakstan in 30 kilometers from Buston settlement and in 30 kilometers from Khiva and it is the most showy one among other fortresses of ancient Khoresm. In real, there is no one fortress, there is a complex of three fortresses, grouped around a hill in the eastern part of Sultan Uizdak ridge..more...
There is a legend about this fortress, in ancient time Khoresm king ordered to build a fortress for protection of the northern borders of his state from raids of desert nomads. He told that person who could build such fortress, would get married with king’s beautiful daughter. The shepherd Ayaz, lived on the border of Khoresm, started to build a fortress, but then found out, that the king had broken his words and married off his daughter to another man. The shepherd stopped the building of fortress immediately, having heard about it, and it was left unfinished. It is interesting, that archeologists exploration showed, that it was really unfinished.
From the fortress there is a fascinating view of surrounding area, reaching to the West far, where you can see other chain links of border defensive buildings – fortresses Mali and Big Kyrk-kyz-kala, a quite big brine lake and, unfortunately, shoaling lake Ayazkala. There is a picturesque yurt camp Ayaz-kala at the foot of the fortress from the western side, where tourists can have rest, have lunch and ride Arabian camels.
The fortress Ayaz-kala II is a small nearly oval fortress, connected by a steep passage with open settlement on level ground to the West of the fortress. You can come inside through the gates from the south-western side, or climb on steep passage, or along the path, enveloping walls from the northern side.
The fortress dates to medieval period. Probably, it was founded during Afrigids epoch, about in the end of VII and the beginning of VIII century AD. Walls were built from clay press bricks and raised on the base from a mixture of clay and gravel, and upper part of walls was protected by castellation with gun slots. The inner construction is remained well, and inner cover is a roof of buildings. You can see the remains of the arched floor in those parts, where the erosion was. The float, coming down, once connected gates of the fortress with entrance to a big luxurious palace at the foot of the hill. That palace was described as the most beautiful building during medieval period in whole Central Asia. There were big halls with colons, an elegant bench, a ceremonial ground, a tablature and the temple of fire. The coins of Khoresmian kings of Afrigid dynasty, specifically coins of king Bravik, were found here. The palace was built in about IV century AD and then was destroyed by two fires followed each other. During the short time it was populated again and was used as housing in VI–VII centuries AD.
Ayaz-kala III is a reinforced building in the shape of parallelogram, located on the open valley lower fortresses Ayaz-kala I and Ayaz-kala II. This fortress is a settlement, which has a double wall, protected by rectangular towers into the perimeter, and gates of more complex construction in the middle part of the western wall. The fortress embraces an area of about 5 hectares. Outside walls were built during Kushan kingdom (I-II centuries AD). A lot of buildings were opened in the settlement, two huge estates, composed of more 40 rooms, are notable among them. The remains of many farmsteads with dwelling-houses, households, walls and vineyards were found around walls of the fortress.