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OBRUK

aob4East of Konya, 4km north of the road to Aksaray, there's a fairly simple caravanserai that is still well worth the effort of getting to because it sits immediately above a huge circular crater (which is what obruk means in Turkish) filled by a lake (some suggest that it is actually a sinkhole). In spring the water is a pea-green, the same sort of colour you see in carpets that have been dyed using a walnut-based colourant although the custodian assured me that it becomes turquoise blue in the height of summer. 

The caravanserai itself is assumed from its architecture to be a 13th-century Selçuk structure although its kitabe (dedication stone), if it ever had one, has been lost. In 2014 the building was under restoration and the interior was inaccessible. A stroll round the outside is very revealing though since it's obvious that many of the stones used to build them started life as Christian gravestones or as other presumably Byzantine structures.aob2

It's possible to walk right around the crater behind the caravanserai provided you're able to climb over the rusty pipes that once carried water for irrigation out to the fields. Be a bit careful as the scree can be slippery in places. Lots of birds nest in the walls of the crater. Most are pigeons but I also saw a pair of eagles here as well as a hoopoe and many wheatears. 

The caravanserai was one of a chain of uch places lining the Silk Road trading route to provide overnight accommodation for traders and their animals. 

In 2015 restoration work had stopped. A custodian would unlock the gate to visitors for a small fee but as the courtyard is a building site there's not much to be gained by going inside. 

Sleeping

The village of Obruk is only inhabited in summer, most of the small farming community moving into Konya in the winter. You could put up for the night in Sultanhanı or Aksaray, although Konya has the best choice of hotels in the area.

aob3Transport info

This is a visit best made with a car. If you haven't got one you should take a bus from Konya heading for Aksaray and ask to be let off in Kızören. It's then just a flat 4km walk to the ruins with a fair chance that someone will offer you a lift. 

Alternatively you can try and find a "taxi" from Sultanhanı.

 

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