Discovery Kyrgyzstan
Discovery Kyrgyzstan travel guide #10/2008

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Djety Orguz

Djety OrguzAbout 25 km South West of Karakol is a lush valley with some striking red sandstone rock formations (the "seven Bulls" from which the valley takes its name).

There is a legend about the rock formation. A Kyrgyz khan stole the wife of another, who sought advice from a "wise man" about how he could reap his revenge. The wise man was reluctant to give advice but in the end relenting, telling the khan that he should kill his wife and give the body to his rival - "Let him own a dead wife, not a living one". The Kahn made his plans and at a funeral feast arranged to sit next to his stolen wife and as the last of the nine bulls were being slaughtered as part of the ritual, he took out his knife and stabbed her. From her heart gushed blood and other fluids, which carried away the bulls down the valley and where they came to rest they became these cliffs. As you approach the valley, you pass another rock formation, which resembles a "broken heart" and legend says that this is the heart of a beautiful woman who died of a broken heart after two suitors killed each other fighting over her. These two rock formations have almost become symbols of the Issyk Kul region and are favourite images for photographs and paintings.

Djety OrguzIn the village there are an ancient cemetery and some barrows (burial mounds) dating from from the 7th to the 5th centuries BC - they are currently between 16 and 28 m in diameter and 1.7 and 3 m high, but once they were even larger.

Not far up the valley is the Djety Orguz sanatoria, built in 1932 - and the sight of the first meeting between Presidents Akaev and Yeltsin in 1991 after the abortive coup in Moscow.

About 5 km south of the Jety Orguz sanatoria, is Dolina Svetov (Valley of the flowers) a valley opens out which is ablaze with colour from May - when there are multitudes of poppies - throughout early summer. Apparently there are reputed to be petroglyphs here - but no-one seems to know exactly where. There are often yurts here, which can offer accommodation.

In 2003, a new Guest House opened in the village. In the valley is the Djety Orguz State Zoological reserve. Nearby is the village of Jele Debe - where Eagle hunting demonstrations can be organized. Trekking permits are necessary for the valley.

Discovery Kyrgyzstan #6

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