We finally made it to Navekat/Navikat a last week. Navekat was one of the capitals of the Western Turkic Khanagate in the early 600s and was inhabited for centuries after the end of the Khanagate and was a Silk Road town.
I'd like to go back here again to poke around more. There are many more
mounds here, and it's a pleasant area. There is some information
online about Navekat, although it would be best to go there with someone
who knew about the excavations. They found some interesting things
here, including a nearly 40-foot reclining Buddha which is at the Hermitage (of course).
This youtube video is an aerial view of the Navekat. This shows a lot more than what I've written about here.
Try searching for навекат to learn more from Russian websites. Most of what you can google in English is tourist stuff that may or may not be reliable, but there are some more scholarly sites in Russian you can poke around.
The Buddhist sites are from the town's later centuries; Zoroastrianism was more common earlier and there are apparently remains of fire temples, although we didn't see any. There is also a necropolis. Like I said, I'd love to go back with someone who knows what they're talking about because there's a lot here and very little guidance. I'm not sure I'd trust a tour guide either, but maybe we could get lucky.
A friend of ours from Tokmok went with us so we'd know where to go which
was nice. But since you might not have a friend from Tokmok to take
you, here's how to get there if you're in Kyrgyzstan.
We went a little different way than the guidebooks tell you. Usually they have you go into Krasnaya Rechka itself, but I think our way is a little easier. It's not possible to access the site from the high road between Bishkek and Tokmok, although you get a better view of the site. If possible, I think it's worth seeing Navekat from the high road at least once.
So, the turnoff is at marker 36 between Krasnaya Rechka and Ivanovka, a little closer to Krasnaya Rechka. The marker is the same whether you're coming from the east or the west.
View Larger Map Clicking on this link will take you to the map with the latitude and longitude that could could put into your GPSr.
Turn north on the dirt road there. It's not too bad of a dirt road, although that will depend on the person who's driving. There are a couple of places to turn right at the beginning next to the highway, but you just keep going north. If someone is nervous about the car, you can just park and walk down the road. It's neither a long walk nor a busy one. After a bit you'll see this structure in the middle of the fields east of the dirt road.
You won't be going here yet though. Please don't walk through the fields. There are paths and roads to all the places you want to go here.
Continue on past that structure to the line of trees on the east side of the road. There will be a path/road after that line of trees where you can walk east after parking if you're still in your car. You'll see a mound of dirt to your left/north and you can climb up on top of it. It's identified as the citadel.
Keep following that road/path past the citadel and it'll turn toward the right/south and take you around to the structure you could see from the road. It's identified as the temple. There is a little more information on the signs, but not much, no matter how many languages you know.
The temple is where you can see the most excavation. A lot of what you see there is recent and in place to try to protect the ruins underneath.