Kyrgyz legend about tragic love and Issyk-Kul Lake
Once upon a time, so long ago that people have forgotten when, there was a city by Lake Issyk-Kul. A fortress of a powerful khan dominated the city. The terrible governor learned that one poor nomad had a daughter of incomparable beauty. The khan sent his jigits to bring the girl to him. However, the girl had a beloved young man, who, before leaving for distant lands, put his ring on the beloved’s finger and asked her not to remove it until he came back. "It will protect you from any misfortune!" the young man said. The khan’s envoys brought generous gifts to the girl’s parents, but she rejected the gifts stating: "I love another and cannot become a wife of the khan!" When the khan’s jigits grew more insistent, the girl escaped to the mountains in an attempt to hide herself from them. All of a sudden, with horror she found out that the ring on her finger had disappeared. The girl came back to the village in the hope of recovering the lost ring, but the servants of the khan seized her and took her to his camp. The khan imprisoned the intractable girl in the fortress and tried various means of persuasion to woo her for himself. His efforts were all in vain. "I love another and I shall never be yours!" This was the beauty’s answer. Having failed to enjoy the girl’s favor by gifts, the khan decided to possess her by force. Like a beast, he charged towards the girl intending to overpower her. But she rushed to the open window and threw herself out. Suddenly the unassailable walls shook, the earth split and water gushed out of a crevice washing away the fortress and the whole city, continuing to pour out until the whole valley disappeared under the lake.