Aisha-Bibi

Once lived a batyr* named Karakhan. He fell in love with a girl named Aisha-Bibi, the daughter of his sworn enemy.

One day, hopeless about getting the blessing of the girl's father, Karakhan broke into the village, grabbed his beloved and rushed away. The girl's father sent his guards after them and ordered them to kill both. The lovers ran for a long time, saying themselves from their pursuers.

Tired after several days of galloping, the girl decided to take a bath in the Assа river, by which they were stopping to take some rest. But the father's guards were waiting for them there. They put a small steppe viper inside the girl's saukele*.

After having a good bath, she went back on the riverbank to get dressed and threw on her saukele. The hidden snake bit her at this moment. Aisha-Bibi fainted and it was clear that she was dying.

Karakhan, seeing this, lifted her in his arms and brought her to a mullah in a nearby village to get his blessing. Their family happiness only lasted for these few minutes: Aisha-Bibi passed away in the batyr's arms soon. Karakhan, in this moment, swore to himself that he'd love her forever.

A mausoleum was built on the place of Aisha Bibi's death. Karakhan built himself another mausoleum not very far from it, so that even in death, he'd be close to his beloved. Until the end of his life Karakhan, dressed in white, lived close to the grave of his beloved Aisha-Bibi, guarding it, praying to God and asking him for forgiveness.

His piety and holiness got the people to consider him a saint, and now this place is called Aulie-Ata, "Holy Father".



*batyr: historical honorific title in Mongolian and Turkic cultures, meaning "brave warrior" or "hero".
*saukele: tall headdress of Kazakh brides.

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