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Photo tours in mountains of Kyrgyzstan.

 Tours on lake Song-Kul.

“may came home with a smooth round stone as small as a world and as large as alone” 

E.E. Cummings.

The brief description of a route of tour from Southern Kyrgyzstan through lake Song-Kul on pass Torugart:

Fergana - town of Osh - Jean-Aryk settlement - town of Uzgen - settlement Dzhar-Kyshtak - settlement Yrys - settlement Kochkor-Ata-settlement Chek - settlement Uuru-Dzhar - settlement Shamaldy-Sai - settlement Tendik - gorge Chichkan - Susamyr a valley - settlement Kenoi - settlement Chaek - settlement Kairma - settlement Bashkugandy - lake Song-Kul - settlement Baetovo -  caravanserai Tash-Rabat - pass Torugart.

Distance of the route: 1188 km.
Season: from July, 10th till September, 1st.
The Best time for travel: July - August.
Duration of the tour: 7 days, 6 nights.

The detailed program of tour day after day in mountains of Kyrgyzstan to caravan-serai Tash-Rabat:

Tour from Kashgar to Bishkek.

Day 1. Fergana - town of Osh (125 km).
Arrival on check point «Dustlik» (Uzbek-Kyrgyz border). Meeting on border. Passage of formalities of the Uzbek and Kyrgyz customs and boundary service. Transfer to town of Osh (4 km).  Arrival  in  Osh. Transfer to hotel, accommodation. The oldest town in Kyrgyzstan (V century B.C.) and so called Southern capital. Sightseeing tour of Osh, visiting famous and huge oriental Osh market, Solomon’s Throne (Kyrgyz Suleiman-Too).
Excursion on the town of Osh, visiting: unique natural-historical the sight of Kyrgyzstan, which survey includes mountains Suleiman-Too: Osh settlement of an epoch of bronze, to this settlement about 3 thousand years, about it archeological finds testify. Visiting of cave complex. Expositions of cave complex are devoted to religious traditions since ancient times: buddhism, shamanism, christianity and an islam. Visiting of archeological-cultural monuments in vicinities of mountain Sulaiman-Too, at first top Sulaiman-Too is unique single-chamber mosque of the Fergana architecturally-building school XVI - XVII c.с., the mosque of prophet Suleimana (Solomon), mosque is located at height more than 150 meters on a sea level. Visiting of historical museum «Great Silk way», premise of museum shares on two halls. In the first hall an exposition, devoted to flora and fauna of Kyrgyzstan.
In the second hall the exposition is devoted to history of Kyrgyzstan, since the most ancient times till now. Visiting of mausoleum Asaf Ibn Burkhiay of XVIII century which is in historical city centre Osh, near to the museum complex Sulaiman-Too located at mountain Sulaiman-Too. Lunch in local the eating house. Visiting madrasah Alymbeka Paravanchi Datka, madrasah Mukhamedboi Turki Hal Muratbaeva these madrasah are unique samples of the Fergana architecturally-building school.
After lunch continuation of excursion on town, visiting of mosque Sadykbay, mosques Shakhid-Tepa, mosque Ravvat Abdullakhana of XVIII century, medieval bath. Visiting located in the central square of town, unique monument in the town of Osh - Russian orthodox architecture of the beginning of XX century - Mikhail-Arkhangelsk church. Visiting of the Osh market. Sightseeing tour on city. Returning in hotel, overnight.
Day 2. Town of Osh - town of Uzgen - settlement Tash-Kumyr - town Karakul (284 km).    
Breakfast. After Zhana-Aryk settlement following historical sight - town of Uzgen, one of the oldest towns of the south of Kyrgyzstan numbering more than two thousand-year history. After settlement Tash-Kumyr our way lays on the east lengthways Kurpsai water basins on which is under construction Kurpsai Hydroelectric Power Station, we pass the big settlement powermans Tash-Kumyr on the south from which the road on pearl of the south of Kyrgyzstan lake Sary-Chelek lays. Arrival in town Karakul, the name of town means «Black lake», transfer to hotel, accommodation, overnight.
Day 3. Karakul - settlement Kek-Bel - river Naryn - settlement Kyzyldzhazy - settlement Torkent - settlement Kara-Tekir - Toktogul water basin - settlement Toktogul - gorge Chichkan - Susamyr valley (213 km).
Breakfast. Transfer: Karakul - Toktogul water basin - gorge Chichkan (153 km). After town Karakul our way lays along the most beautiful Toktogul water basins in which there are stocks of fresh water and power resources of the south of Kyrgyzstan. Further through settlement Toktogul we arrive to fantastic gorge Chichkan, here in one of picturesque places stop at the river Chichkan, walk on vicinities.
The further transfer: Gorge Chichka - Susamyr valley (60 km). Our way goes in Susamyr valley which is extended in latitudinal zone direction from the West on the east and there is between northern spurs of ridge Kirghiz Ala-Too and southern spurs of ridge Talas Ala-Tau. Sasamyr the valley also is good place for years pasture meadow cattle which is driven on high-mountainous jailoo by local shepherds. These are hundreds hectares of the Alpine meadows with various vegetation and juicy pastures.
The main employment of local residents leading nomadic way of life in years months in Susamyr to valley - preparation from horses milk: Koumiss, kurt (the firm, dried cottage cheese) and airan (kefir). Arrival in Susamyr valley, walks in vicinities, acquaintance to a life of the Kirghiz shepherds-nomads. Accommodation in yurts camp or hotel, overnight.
Day 4. Susamyr valley - settlement Kenoi - settlement Chaek - settlement Kairma - settlement Bashkugandy - pass Kara-Kiche - lake Song-Kul (186 km).
Breakfast. On way stop in picturesque valley of the river the Kara-Kiche, walk in vicinities, photographing. On way to pass the Kara-Kiche from road the coal cut in which coal is well visible is extracted. Stop on pass the Kara-KicheÑ, walk in vicinities and photographing. The further transfer to lake Song-Kul, arrival on lake, accommodation in yurt and overnight.
Day 5. Lake Song-Kul.
Breakfast. High-mountainous jailoo in vicinities of lake Song-Kul for the Kirghiz shepherd the best. Here for the summer drive the herds of horses, herds cattle and flocks of sheeps many shepherds Naryn of area. Foot walk on coast of high-mountainous lake, trip to stones Manas (Tash-Tulgasy), visiting yurts the Kirghiz shepherds, acquaintance to nomadic life of the Kirghiz shepherds. In second half of day horses riding on slopes of ridge It Baur-Ala-Bas up to height 3500 - 3600 meters above sea level, the majestic panorama of lake with yurts shepherds around of it both grazed herds of sheeps and herds of horses whence opens.
In second half of day walk on horses in vicinity of mountains towering above lake Song-Kul, photographing of panorama on lake. Returning in yurts camp, overnight in yurts.  
Day 6. Lake Song-Kul - pass Moldo-Ashuu - settlement Baetovo - caravanserai Tash-Rabat (270 km). 
Breakfast. The road to pass Moldo-Ashuu leaves on a streamer, descent from pass steep. From pass the fine kind on gorges, high mountains with glaciers, slopes, enormous fur-trees opens. Here often there is a fog, dense as milk, not always it is possible to see all around. On a way visiting of mausoleum Tailyk-batyr which is behind settlement Dzhangi-Talap.
A caravanserai Tahs-Rabat (260 km) (XV century) - a monument of ancient architecture on the Great Silk Way from Kyrgyzstan to China, here dealers stopped, waited bad weather, had a rest, restored forces and continued the further hard way. Arrival in natural boundary Tash-Rabat, accommodation in yurt camp, overnight.
Day 7. Tash-Rabat - pass Ak-Beiit of 3282 meters above sea level - lake Chatyr-Kel of 3530 meters above sea level - pass Torugart of 3752 meters above sea level (110 km).
Breakfast. Our way lays through valley Ak-Sai named “North Pole the Central Asia” or the coldest place of Kyrgyzstan, during winter time the temperature here can reach 56.6 degrees. Arrival on a check point «Torugart», going through formalities of boundary and customs service of Kyrgyzstan and China. Transfer to Kashgar.

Photos by
Alexander Petrov.