Journey to the Petroglyphs in Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan

Journey to the Petroglyphs in Cholpon-Ata

Petroglyphs in Cholpon-Ata are one of the most significant sites in Central Asia. It is the most mysterious and mystical place of Kyrgyzstan, an open-air museum and Stone Garden. And Minzifa Travel invites you on a fascinating and informative tour to explore the most ancient petroglyphs!

What to see in Cholpon-Ata?

Petroglyphs are rock paintings left by people of different cultures and in different eras. The first petroglyphs appeared here more than four thousand years ago. The attraction is located near Lake Issyk-Kul, but you should not combine trips: it will take a lot of time to see the petroglyphs.

The Stone Garden is situated on a 42-hectare field: it stretches from the mountains towards the shore of the lake. At first sight it may seem that the stones with petroglyphs are scattered around the field in a chaotic order. But it is not so. There are also stone circles, burial grounds, and sacrificial dedications in the area.

Why such a huge number of stones are located here is not clear, but there are different versions. Some scientists believe that previously there was a temple here, where people prayed to the celestial luminaries and performed religious rituals. The petroglyphs are then either a prayer carved in stone, or some other important message. Circular stone walls have been recognized as family shrines.

There are other theories as well. Scientists have every reason to believe that the stone circles were part of an Observatory for observing celestial bodies. At the same time, the researchers note that all the stones face south: this arrangement is most likely related to the sun cult.

Most of the rock images are of hunting. Of particular interest are leopards ready to pounce on their prey, the only such image in all of Asia.

The paintings vary, but they all have the same subject matter – animals, scenes of predators attacking, and people. Images of goats, bulls and camel riders predominate. There is almost no stone with just one drawing, usually two or three, or even twenty. There are also palimestones – three-layered drawings from different epochs.

Researchers are still surprised that the drawings were created by people with good artistic skills: the image is realistic, and the figures of people and animals are carefully worked out. The uniqueness of rock drawings is also in the technique of application: there are also relief images.

The images were drawn with stone or metal tools and then painted. Because of the scorching sun, under which the drawings have been kept for centuries, they have turned brown and black. Attempts have been made to restore the images to their original hues, but opinions have been conflicting: chemicals can ruin such ancient artifacts.

Weather in Cholpon-Ata

Cholpon Ata has a moderate maritime climate: cool summers and warm winters. The average air temperature in summer is +20 ° C: during this period, there are often thunderstorms and wind. The snow cover lies from late November to early March, but it is quite unstable. In the fall and spring, it is warm but rainy.

When is the best time to go to Cholpon-Ata?

You can come to see the petroglyphs at any time of the year, but it is better to do it late in the evening or early in the morning. During these hours, the outlines of the rock paintings are more clearly visible, and the atmosphere is filled with the sounds of evening and morning prayers.

The spread of Islam on the territory of Kyrgyzstan put a ban on the creation of petroglyphs, but tourists still have the opportunity to see the unique works of our ancestors. If you are interested in the petroglyphs in Cholpon-Ata, we will be happy to show and tell you everything: Minzifa Travel is waiting for you in e-mail, WhatsApp!

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