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Nature of Koitendag.

Tours to mountains Kugitang in Turkmenistan.

«Aimlessly forces on the wind throws, 
an accomplished good - let water wilderness, 
accumulated in the dust neither shalt thou bury - 
Give me the benefit of his people»

Trip from settlement of Koytyn to Hojapil.

South-east of Turkmenistan is rich in unique natural landscapes and wonderful monuments of nature and history that go deep into the Middle Ages, not only but also antiquity. This region in the scientific sense is underexplored and has attracted researchers from around the world. 
What is so remarkable these places, the mountains and foothills Kugitangtau? First of all - a unique, highly dissected mountain relief, built of limestone, gypsum, sandstone and other rocks. The word "Kugitang" (Kuhitang) can be translated to the Tajik language as a "mountain with narrow gorges" ( "kuh" - "mountain", "Tango" - "narrow, cramped"), and the end of the "tau", present in the endings of many local name means "mountain", but in translation from Turkic languages. 
In Turkmenistan, the mountains already are called Koytendag (mountains deep canyons). Dara-Dere in particular stands out, and it is so called "Gorge gorges", starting almost at the very top Kugitang, at an altitude of 3000 meters, the gorge gradually descends into the valley, forming several waterfalls and rapids on its way. 
Kugitang River (Koytendarya) flowing through the fertile valley of north-east to south-west, gathers all the scarce water of the canyons - the left bank of its components. Right-bank tributaries of the river Kugitang less significant. 
Mountains west of Kugitangtau - Low-raising elevation, are also a continuation of the Gissar-Alai mountain province. In the north - mountains Dzhougashty Uhtargy and the west - the mountain Kyzylhora, Balakhani, Gaurdak, Tagar and Shriram, in the south - the mountains and Karachagat Karabil. 
In the extreme south-west of the same, very close to the series, the bed of the Amu Darya river, one after the other, This was the southern ridge, reported more than a hundred years ago, the Russian general, scientist-orientalist Dmitri Logofet (1865 - 1922). 
In his travel essays "On the borders of Central Asia," he wrote: "Along the river, in the distance from the coast no more than two or three kilometers, stretches a ridge Kundalyan-tau; the treeless mountains and deserts. 
In some places they made stone quarrying, is fused to the skiff in Kerki and lower Amu Darya ". In XX century Kundalyang-tau was interesting except that paleontologists, in view of the significant development of marine sediments Cretaceous age, and explorers, tapping commercial production prospects. 
All of this mountainous region, from Gaurdak (Govurdaksky dome Tagarinsky dome mountain Balakhani) in the west to the east ridge Kugitangtau. Mountain Kugitangtau gained great popularity not only because of the canyons, but in the first place and because of the unique cave complex. 
Some caves Kugitang - like a concrete jungle, among which there are the gallery halls, topped with bizarre stalactites and stalagmites, gypsum and celestine sinters like porcelain, "cave pearls", "stone trees" frozen "stone flower" - antodity and gelektity - various decoration calcite, marble onyx and aragonite. 
Especially a lot of caves, on the western slopes Kugitang (the territory of Turkmenistan), these are cave like Cap Kotan (Kap-Kutan, Kapkutan), Hashim Oyik (Khashm-Oyik, Hoshm-Oyyk, Hoshimoyuk, Hoshmoyuk, Hashimeyuk, Hashimuyuk, Hashymoyun) , Gulshirin (Gulshirin) Tashyurek (Tashyurak, Dash Yurek, Dashyurak), a newly discovered cave Taza-Charva. 
The most famous of them are the so-called system Karlyuk caves (30 caves). It is noteworthy that these caves mentioned in his historical collections «Bibliotheca Historia» (Historical Library) Greek historian, Myth and traveler Diodorus of Sicily (c. 90 - 30 BC.).
What is interesting is that in 1979, the famous explorer Kugitang - caver and geologist VA Maltsev, was found in one of the karst failures Kugitangtau in Turkmenistan blind fish. Later, in 1981, the expedition of VJ Dolzhanskogo was caught several of these fish, and delivered to Moscow. 
In 1983, NV Parin has given the name of this type of fish - Noemacheilus (Troglocobitis) starostini - char or Starostin Kugitang blind loach, after IV Starostin - Ichthyology and Hydrobiology, who worked in the middle of the XX century in Turkmenistan and has made an outstanding contribution to the study of local ihtifauny. 
Golec Starostin, as a local endemic species listed in the Red Data Book of Turkmenistan and IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). In the world known for more than 80 species of blind fish living in caves, but in the territory of the former USSR, Kugitang char Starostin - the only representative. In the territory of Turkmen part Kugitangtau except Karlyuk caves, known as the cult grotto and canyon Kirk-Maiden (forty girls), attracts many pilgrims.
In several issues of the newspaper "Trud" for 1984, as well as in the "Around the World" for 1985 (No 2-3, the article "Echo Kugitang") notes the magazine came out, in which a group of cavers from Krasnoyarsk reported the discovery in a cave called "Curiosities", sets of remains - mummies and bones of humans and animals. While this finding has spawned a lot of speculation and legends, sometimes the most improbable. 
Putting aside the most mystical and improbable theory, I would like to say about more than real. Many began to believe that the cave was a well-trap for animals and shepherds, who inadvertently going deep into it, sinking into a mine. Animals, by the way, can also come here and mumiom, Which is located here on the cave walls. 
There is a version that this cave a certain time robbers used to hide them forever in their victims, all the more so in the cave were found the charred sticks, which served as a torch. Dating of the finds in this cave, according to scientists, are different. 
Some of them carry them to the XVIII-XIX centuries, and some to the XX century. Anyway, remember the words of the famous Hungarian orientalist Arminius Vamberi (1832 - 1913), traveled to Central Asia in the XIX century in the guise of a dervish. 
One Vamberi route segments, held from Karshi to Kerki (modern. Atamyrat). This leg of the journey, according to Vamberi was dangerous for the merchants, the neighborhood is full of daring robbers, which will not return the captives.
The most important paleontological objects of world importance in the Western Kugitang is well-known plateau of dinosaurs with imprints of the ancient giants, the age of about 160 million. Years. This little inclined plateau, measuring about 500 by 200 meters located in Hodzhipilskom goszakaznike at an altitude of 1400 m, near the village of Hodzhapil-ata. Dimensions traces there are different -. 18 to 71 cm biggest footprint megalosaur could belong. There were revealed more than 2,500 tracks on sledonosnyh such areas as Central Hodzhapilskaya area, Kirk-Maiden, Sarygat, Sarah Gaya, Niyaz, Ak-Tapiz (Sagat) and others, with a total length of about 10 km. In general, traces of bipedal dinosaurs belong to a subclass of the archosaurs. But also identified three types of tracks belonging to a new genus - Turkmenozavrus, Hodzhapilozavrus,

The word "Hodzhapil" (Hozhapil) can be translated as "elephant St" or "boss elephant". Although one of the legends of the first person who discovered these traces, Hodge was called. Among the local population are prevalent beliefs and legends about elephants that were here with a wandering pilgrim from India, or about the elephants of Alexander the Great, left their traces here, during his campaign. 
However, some paleontologists believe that 60-80 thousand. Years ago, there really was inhabited by elephants and rhinoceroses. Especially because in Turkmenistan have found bones of ancient elephants: in 1943 and 1952 near the village of Dag Khuday fossil remains of an elephant; in 1989 in the area of ​​Zeid (modern.
"Name the 15 th anniversary of independence of Turkmenistan") reservoir paleoloksodontnogo elephant bones belonging to the Quaternary (anthropogenic) period. Another place with traces of dinosaurs have been found in 2002 in the north-eastern slope of Mount Gaurdak (Gaurdak ridge Govurdaksky Dome) next to the sulfur pit. The age of these fossil three-toed footprints, according to scientists -. 140-145 million years, the total number - 114 marks. 
There are also here has not yet been identified by scientists, deep, perfectly round tracks. Interesting and very mysterious discovery was made in 1983 by the Turkmen scientists KN Amanniyazova that among dinosaur tracks on the plateau Hodzhapil discovered six tracks of human feet 43rd size, one after the other. 
Dating, produced by Professor H. Hudaykulievym prints gave an unexpected result - 150-200 million years (Jurassic). This was written some publications, television news came out at that time. Unfortunately, the popularization of these discoveries is not always a positive effect on the preservation of monuments. 
Following the publication of increased flow of tourists as a result of one of the tracks was spoiled, apparently someone from the short-sighted tourists occurred to split off the most well-preserved print and bring it with you ... 
In 2000, Dr. Dennis Swift from the Institute of Dinosaurs first foreigner examined the footprints, after whom they were named "Footprints Sfivta". Another mystery - on the same plateau were found traces of hooves markhors, exactly the same, that live in the mountains Kugitangtau (Koytandag). 
As a result - there is the destruction of the timeline and the conflict with Darwin's theory of evolution in favor of creationism. disputes ongoing between scientists. In this context, interesting images Contacts dragons in folklore and found artifacts related to dinosaurs. 
There are many legends associated with dragons. In fairy tales of Central Asia often appear dragons. Not the fact, for example, that the dinosaur footprints people have never seen before. Our ancestors could have long to find such traces, and possibly part of the skeletons. 
All this could be transmitted orally from generation to generation, thus create various legends and stories. This is not just speculation. In that same Turkmenistan, known ruins of a mosque Seyit Jamal ad-Din of the XV century in the village of Anau, destroyed in 1948 by a strong earthquake. 
The portal of the mosque there was a mosaic with dragon - the only one on the similar structures in the Muslim world. In 1904, an archaeological expedition led by American geologist and traveler RV Pampelli (1837-1923), as well known archeologist Hubert Schmidt (1864-1933), He made a number of important discoveries in Anau. 
It was examined as a mosque Seyit Jamal ad-Din. According to some reports (SM Demidov "Dragons mythology in the Turkmen"), the expedition managed to take from Turkestan valuable archaeological material, including cut from the portal of the mosque mosaic decorations with images of dragons, though, in agreement with the Russian side, all found values.
They were to remain in Russia. Academician VV Barthold (1869-1930) critical of the methods of work of the expedition, I make many mistakes, including such as a large number of unrecorded material. It is not surprising that almost a century later, in 2001, then resumed studies, and in 2002 the Americans have allocated a grant for reconstruction of lost images. 
But still, it is worth mentioning that in the vicinity of the excavation Anau started yet Raphael Pumpelly, We gave a very interesting result. It turned out that there was a focus of one of the earliest civilizations of the East, dating back to the V millennium BC., Entered the scientific literature as "Anauskaya culture". 
In turbulent in 1918 - 1920. vandalism against the mosque Anau was continued. Soviet "protege" DI Nechkin directed those years in Turkestan, as head of the commission for the protection of historical monuments of Turkestan, cited information that the British Museum in the days of the Provisional Government with the Transcaspian mosque lining was partially filmed in Anau. 
The kidnappers motivated by the fact that "the barbarous Russian government" would not be able to save these monuments (SM Gorshenin, Ethnographic Review, number 1, 2013, C. 52-68). that there was a focus of one of the earliest civilizations of the East, dating back to the V millennium BC., entered the scientific literature as "Anauskaya culture". 
In turbulent in 1918-1920. vandalism against the mosque Anau was continued. Soviet "protege" DI Nechkin directed those years in Turkestan, as head of the commission for the protection of historical monuments of Turkestan, cited information that the British Museum in the days of the Provisional Government with the Transcaspian mosque lining was partially filmed in Anau. 
The kidnappers motivated by the fact that "the barbarous Russian government" would not be able to save these monuments (SM Gorshenin, Ethnographic Review, number 1, 2013, C. 52-68). that there was a focus of one of the earliest civilizations of the East, dating back to the V millennium BC., entered the scientific literature as "Anauskaya culture". 
In turbulent in 1918 - 1920. vandalism against the mosque Anau was continued. Soviet "protege" DI Nechkin directed those years in Turkestan, as head of the commission for the protection of historical monuments of Turkestan, cited information that the British Museum in the days of the Provisional Government with the Transcaspian mosque lining was partially filmed in Anau. 
The kidnappers motivated by the fact that "the barbarous Russian government" would not be able to save these monuments (SM Gorshenin, Ethnographic Review, number 1, 2013, C. 52 - 68). vandalism against the mosque Anau was continued. 
Soviet "protege" DI Nechkin directed those years in Turkestan, as head of the commission for the protection of historical monuments of Turkestan, cited information that the British Museum in the days of the Provisional Government with the Transcaspian mosque lining was partially filmed in Anau. 
The kidnappers motivated by the fact that "the barbarous Russian government" would not be able to save these monuments (SM Gorshenin, Ethnographic Review, number 1, 2013, C. 52-68). vandalism against the mosque Anau was continued. 
Returning to the mosque Seyit Jamal ad-Din, I want to bring the legend recorded archaeologist art critic GA Pugachenkova (1915-2007), tells the story of the appearance of the mosque. It says that once the fortress walls of the city on a tree was hung a bell, which could take advantage of people in distress. 
Citizens, hear the sound of the bell, hurry to the aid of someone who published this ringing. Then one day he heard the sound of bells, the people rushed to the tree and saw that he had called a huge writhing dragon. He began to point to the two men in the crowd - master carpenter with ax and saw, as well as in the mountains. 
Jamal - the queen of the state (according to another version of the ruler was Seyit Jamal) told me to follow these masters of this dragon. Soon, they saw another dragon that swallowed a mountain goat, experienced strong flour in the throat by his horns. 
Not afraid to go into the throat of the dragon masters were able to saw the horns and goat carcass cut it into pieces. As a reward for this, the first dragon led these artists to the cave where they could collect treasures - gold and precious stones. 
Residents of the city the next day woke up again ringing the bell. Two dragon brought to its ridges gold and precious stones at the feet of the queen, and then retired to the mountains. A queen Jemal, after all that has happened, ordered these jewels to build a mosque with pictures of dragons. 
"House of Beauty" - so it was named the mosque, guarded by two dragon image which could be seen on the portal. Here's how one legend intertwined dinosaur footprints, Markhor, human and even caves. masters were able to saw the horns and goat carcass cut it into pieces. 
As a reward for this, the first dragon led these artists to the cave where they could collect treasures - gold and precious stones. Residents of the city the next day woke up again ringing the bell. Two dragon brought to its ridges gold and precious stones at the feet of the queen, and then retired to the mountains. 
A queen Jemal, after all that has happened, ordered these jewels to build a mosque with pictures of dragons. "House of Beauty" - so it was named the mosque, guarded by two dragon image which could be seen on the portal. 
Here's how one legend intertwined dinosaur footprints, Markhor, human and even caves. masters were able to saw the horns and goat carcass cut it into pieces. As a reward for this, the first dragon led these artists to the cave where they could collect treasures - gold and precious stones. 
Residents of the city the next day woke up again ringing the bell. Two dragon brought to its ridges gold and precious stones at the feet of the queen, and then retired to the mountains. A queen Jemal, after all that has happened, ordered these jewels to build a mosque with pictures of dragons.
As regards human activities, one of the earliest artifacts found in Koytendag (area of ​​mountain rivers and Hashymoyun Bulak-Dere), are the tools of the Mesolithic (XII - VIII century BC.). Among the plurality of cores, flakes, plates and scraper particular interest caused machined silicon object shaped like a frog. 
Scientists tend to assume that the object has been used as a tool for making tools and hunting. 
Mesolithic remains date back to the single-chamber structure, built of cut stone in the source Hodzhashyullyk area (east of Mount Balakhani), which have also been found, and a variety of other findings. Traces of ancient times (the Kushan and Sasanian times) are layers on the remains of ancient fortresses (feces) and settlements (Depe) as Kelif Shore-Depe Depe Monzhuk and others. 
Throughout the right bank of the Amu Darya, by Kelif to Kerkichi, including at the foot of the mountains Koytendag, there are dozens of little-known remains of settlements of ancient and medieval times. 
Strategically important crossing over the Amu Darya near Kelif is inextricably linked with the names of great conquerors. 
According to written sources, in 329 BC Alexander the Great forces, after passage through Baktrian severe desert crossed Oaks (Amudaria) using leather tents of which were made and filled with straw floats interconnected into a unique floating bridge.
Kelif crossing has always been used by merchants in the system of trade routes of the "Great Silk Road", which runs through one of the transmission lines. In the Middle Ages, the territory of Turkmenistan and in particular mountain areas Koytendag, entered the territory of South Khorezm. After the Arab conquest of Maurya, Kelif becomes important not only as a ferry, but as a trading city. 
In the Arab geographers, travelers find mention of Kelif. Al-Maqdisi (Mukkadasi, 946 - 947 - ca. 1000) tells about the city Caliph, only on Ceyhun (Amu Darya), which was built on both sides through the crossing: discount Dhu-l-Karneyn (Zulkarnain) on the left bank to the bank of the cathedral mosque and discount Zul-Kifl (Zul Kifl) on the right bank.
Sa`ad Abu al-Samani (1113 - 1167) describes the Caliph fortress (Kelif) on the banks of Jeyhun, calling it "impregnable fortress like town", spaced at 18 farsakhs from Balkh. In 1220 in Kelif he holed Khwarizmshah Mohammed, but learning about the approaching troops of Genghis Khan, crossed the Ceyhun (Amu Darya) escaped with small military force in Iran.
Iranian historian-geographer hamdallah mustawfi (circa 1281/1282 -. 1344 or 1350) in his book "Selected History" describes Kelif like a small town circle the ramparts in 3000 on the banks of Jeyhun steps, the width of which at this point is also 3000 steps.
Logofet at the beginning of the XX century, describes bek castle: Kala (fortress) built on top of a cliff, which is gradually going down, down to the banks of the Amu Darya. High weathered walls of old buildings surround it and closed the gate, located near the river. 
Among the ancient masonry walls could be seen in the insertion of mud brick, indicating that relatively recently renovate the walls. At this time, the Amu Darya border between the Russian Empire and Afghanistan, and this fortress served as a customs point through which a significant flow of goods.
Modern Kelif and railway station located immediately at the foot of hills Karadzhadag (Southwest Kelif-Sherabad ridge). Remains of the ancient and medieval settlement Kelif, located 1 km from the railway station. 
Still further to the south-west, where y old crossing Amudaria, river maximally narrowed at high rock was citadel fortress Kelif, is a currently remnants of ancient and medieval town cultural layer which sometimes includes material dating ancient and early medieval time.
Among avlie and mazars, Koytendag revered in such places as Ak Ata Baba Tagay Halpy Baba, Hodge Chilgaz woman. Among the hydrological natural monuments West Kugitang can be noted small lakes, including karst: Hordzhun-kol (Hurzhumkul, Horzhunkel) Aygyr-kol and the deepest lake in Turkmenistan Kete-kol (Kattakul, Kattakol, Kattakel); waterfalls Umbar (height 27 m), Summul, falls in the valley DARA dere; hydrosulfide thermal source Keynar Baba (Baba Gaynar) at a constant 22 °, hydrosulfide source Aksu, as well as many other sources sacral Read local population.
Rich mountain Koytendag and surroundings botanical monuments of nature. Known: in place Chilon-ata (settlement Koiten) jujube tree grove (Chinese date, jujube) with an area of ​​0.75 hectares inclined in one direction trees, some of which exceed the 200-hundred years of age.
Pistachio grove 1500 hectare age in years 200 - 250 (thickness trees about 1 m) in the tract Hodzhaburdzhibelend, pistachio Karadepe; plane trees (sycamore) 350-1000 years age in the village Koyten and sycamore "Uchdogan", in the hollow of which several people can be accommodated. 
In the gorge Khoja Sentry-Dere (Hodzhagaravul, Hodzhakaraul, Toutle-Dere) is known for 700 - 800-year-old mulberry tree called "Kyzyl-here-baba" (Gyzyltut woman), which means "Red grandfather - mulberry." According to some unconfirmed sources, in the mountains there are millennial trees of juniper.
In 1986, the reserve was established in the mountains Kugitangtau. On the part of Turkmenistan, on the western slopes Kugitangtau organized Koytendag (formerly Kugitang) reserve (over 27 thousand. Ha), the eastern border of which runs along the border (the ridge) with Uzbekistan and logically connected to Surkhan reserve, which in turn was established in that same year, and is already located in Uzbekistan - on the western slopes of the ridge Kugitangtau. 
Surkhan Reserve in 1986 was established on the site of a pre-existing Kugitang goszakaznika (since 1970) and merged with Aral-Paygambar reserve (established in 1971) into a coherent whole - in Surkhan State Reserve. 
It is true in the future island Aral-Paygambar was transferred to the Border Guard Service. Area Kugitang Surkhan reserve portion is more than 24 thousand. Ha. This joint position preserves the two neighboring countries has a positive effect in the protection of both animal and plant life, as well as many monuments of nature of the geological, botanical and historical and cultural character. 
The territory of the reserve covers both medium and high belt of mountains. The highest point of hot Kugitangtau - Ayrybaba peak (3137 meters above sea level), Turkmenistan is called "Beyik Turkmenbasy". To the west of the ridge slopes Kugitangtau mostly flat, dissected by a variety of long and narrow canyons, thick layers of stacked, among which there is an extensive network of caves, of which the above mentioned. 
To the east - vertical rock cliffs, in some places up to 500 meters - they can be clearly seen from the Pashhurtskoy basin, is perceived as a grand bastion walls or the vast fortress. To the foot of the steep ridge close fit midlands, gradually passing into the low mountains. 
The flora of the reserve is original. The total area of ​​juniper forests is about 14 thousand. Hectares.

Источник:
joeandex 2016 http://orient-tracking.com