Kyrgyzstan: Kozhomkul Batyr Museum
The village of Kozhomkul sits in a remote mountain valley in central Kyrgyzstan, quite separated from civilization, but it’s home to the legend (and seemingly the truth) about the guy named Kozhomkul Batyr or Kozhomkul Warrior (basically, the Kyrgyz version of Dwayne The Rock Johnson). He is a often viewed as a national symbol and here of the country, and the real guy lived here in the late 19th-early 20th centuries (born in 1888 and died in 1955). He was a massive guy, 2.30 m high (that’s nearly 8 feet tall) and weighed 203 kg (nearly 450lb). Various legends have him carry his horse during a snow storm across the mountain pass and bringing massive boulders home. The museum (we got lucky a distant relative – grand niece – opened it up for us) has a collection of real photographs and clothing of the Batyr, as well as a lot of other period memorabilia. Also nearby is his tomb and another monument holding an imprint of his massive hand. Kozhomkul Batyr was actually a collective farm chairman in the 1920s, persecuted in 1937 by Stalin and spent a year in the colony, before returning back to his village.