Traveling to Kyrgyzstan Asia the Silk Road, we slowly climb the famous summer mountain pastures of this country – Jailoo, getting closer to the sky. We reach a group of yurts that differ only in size. It seems that nothing has changed here over the centuries, there is no electricity and household amenities, no furniture, no internet. Modern shepherds probably have mobile phones, but there is no coverage here. The surrounding landscapes are like a painting by an artist – rich green meadows, blue sky. The blue sky turned dark one fine day.
We realized that a great storm was coming. As it really happened in Russia. It rained between rain and snow and a hurricane-force wind blew. We were forced to change the route. Good thing we had a satellite phone connection. On the way to Song Kol Lake we passed through the ridge of one of the ridges of the Tien Shan Mountains. This is the highest point about 3500 meters, which we reached during the walk. The culture and way of life of modern Kyrgyz are still strongly influenced by their nomadic past. For many centuries, they moved from place to place due to the specifics of their livelihood – cattle breeding. That is why the Kyrgyz yurt is a folding, rather light construction, characterized by simplicity and functionality.
Stoves are used for heating and cooking in the yurt, and the fuel is specially treated animal manure. In my opinion, the nomads had a good knowledge of mathematics and physics, because they realized that the round shape has a greater capacity and is more resistant to winds. The traditional Kyrgyz yurt was built without a single nail, only with materials that the nomads had on hand. As night falls, life in the yurt camp dies down.
The natural light is the moon. I didn’t expect it, I just had to get up. As spring comes and the mountains turn green, the villagers gather everything they need and move on horseback to wild pastures that usually do not belong to anyone and can be used by everyone. In general, the season starts in early May and lasts until mid-September. We sleep on thin mattresses on the ground, wrapped in thick quilts, we eat sitting on the ground at low tables, there is no running water, the toilets are outside.
What we see in Kyrgyzstan Asia
- Tian Shan Mountain
- lake Issyk Kul
- Dungan Mosque in Karakol
- Jeti-Oguz Canyon
- Ala-Archa National Nature Park
The last night of the transition was at a yurt camp. It, unlike the others we were in, is specially built for tourists. Lake Son Kul (3016 m) is the second largest and first natural reservoir in the country in terms of fresh water reserves. The water of Son Kul Lake is unusually clear and sky blue. It is said to change color to black on a cloudy day. The surrounding landscape are spacious meadows and virtually no trees. Eagle hunting is a traditional pastime of wealthy Kyrgyz. The golden eagle prepares in advance and does not eat for several days.
The golden eagle can see even the smallest prey at a distance of 4 kilometers. This eagle hunts rabbits, foxes, marmots and even wolves and deer. Especially for the demonstration, the local drags jackal skin, and the eagle descends from a nearby hill to catch it. Skazka Canyon is a small gorge on the southern shore of Lake Issyk Kul. Over the millennia of erosion, red sandstone has acquired shapes resembling the outlines of fairytale monsters and ancient castles from ancient legends.The mountain range in the canyon is called the Great Wall of China because of its resemblance to a real Chinese site. Due to the different rocks, which are based on incredible color shades, the rock statues not only have unusual shapes, but also magical color. The main color predominant around is red.
I feel like I’m on another planet. Burana Tower is an important historical monument of Kyrgyzstan, built in the 10-11th century, of which only the minaret remains intact. The tower rises to a height of almost 22 meters, although the original height was about 40 meters. Red brick was used to build the building, some of which has survived to the present day. The Burana Tower was used as a template for the construction of other minarets. The town of Karakol, translated as “Black Lake” is located on the eastern shore of Lake Issyk Kul . The city originated on one of the branches of the Great Silk Road. Karakol’s previous name was Prezhevalsk in honor of the great Russian traveler Przewalski, who died at this place and wished his dust to be scattered in the lake.
The city has been renamed, but some of the streets remain with their previous names from socialist times. The Holy Trinity Church in Karakol was built in the 19th century. The walls of the building are wooden, there are 5 golden domes on the roof. There are many icons inside, including a copy of Andrei Rublev’s Holy Trinity. The Dungan Mosque in Karakol is made of wood in the Chinese architectural style. Not a single nail was used in the construction of the temple. Dragons’ heads are depicted on the corners of the roof of the building. Under the roof there is a multi-storey cornice with carved patterns. The roof of the mosque is supported by golden columns. The mosque is the religious center of Muslims of Chinese descent. About 25 km west of Karakol, at the mouth of the Jeti-Oguz canyon, there is an unusual formation of red sand rocks, which has become a kind of trademark for Lake Issyk Kul .
Jeti-Oguz rocks are a protected geological zone in order to preserve a unique geological formation – vertical rocks composed of red conglomerates. The name derives from the resemblance of the rock formation with seven bulls. The capital Bishkek is characterized by its many parks, gardens and green streets. Osh Market. It sells everything from fresh and dried fruits and vegetables, clothes, souvenirs to items from socialist times. Ala-Archa is a national nature park of Kyrgyzstan, located on the northern slopes of the Kyrgyz ridge in a steep picturesque gorge. It got its name from the river of the same name, which flows through the park.
Since 1951, Ala Archa has been developing active tourism – mountaineering, hiking, climbing and walking. The reserve has dozens of routes through picturesque places, year-round bases with training camps for climbers. The park is home to snow leopards and vultures, which are included in the Red Book. I did not see a snow leopard, but I met this brown squirrel, which is almost the same.