In labyrinths of the underground kingdom. The Osh Hills caves.

Program from Unknown Kyrgyzstan series 

It is not a secret that the Asia Mountains Company has speleological background.  We hided that fact for quite so long but the time came to open our cards and show the underground beauty of Kyrgyzstan to all who wants.

Our eight-day program includes the preserved caves as well as rarely visited and forgotten. 

In Kyrgyzstan there are not so many caves like in Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan but all of them are located in the amazingly beautiful destinations. For example, in the area between the Aravan and Ak-Buura rivers the unusually beautiful Chil-Ustun "country" outspreads.  There the karst outliers standing in several rows  effectively contrast with a green background of the foothill valleys spill which enter the oasis of the Ferghana Valley over the western border. 

Caves! What do we know about them? 

Cave is a real underground temple. It has everything: clean lakes and giant stalactites, carved stone columns merging into the fancy pagodas and small thin stalactite pipes looking like the frozen stone rain. 
All this beauty you can see during our eight-day program. But not only the world of caves waits for us but also the fantastic landscapes which are hard to be described shortly in the program. We want to quote the words from the book "Unknown Kyrgyzstan": «…The landscapes are hard to be described: totally different world! The world of Jurassic period.  Mountains are not mountains. Rather frozen bubbles painted in lilac, red, yellow, blue and orange. And what the forms! Sculptures, towers, fences, пилястры, pilasters, waterfalls….» 
Join us and you will be impressed by the beauty and uniqueness of the country you live in! 

Destination: south of Kyrgyzstan
Duration: 8 days
Best period: April-May, September-October
Number of pax in the group: from 4
Expert guide: Alexei Dudashvili, Candidate of  Geological and Mineralogical Sciences, co-author of Caves of the Osh Hills book

Date:    to be announced later

Price: 25 000 soms per person

Day 1 Transfer Bishkek - Osh - Aravan village. Tent camp -/-/D
Day 2  Visiting of the Chil-Ustun Mount caves. Transfer to the Tuya-Muyun. Tent camp B/L/D 
Day 3  Visiting of Tuya-Muyun Mount caves. Tent camp B/L/D  
Day 4  Transfer Tuya-Muyun - Abshir-Ata.  Tent camp B/L/D  
Day 5

Transfer Abshir-Ata - Uluu-Too Cave - Kadamzhai settlement.

Tent camp B/L/D  
Day 6  Transfer Kadamzhai - Madygen. Tent camp B/L/D  
Day 7  Transfer Madygen - Osh. Tent camp B/-/D
Day 8  Transfer to Bishkek. End of program.   B/-/-

Destination: south of Kyrgyzstan

Duration: 8 days

Best period: April-May, September-October

Number of pax in the group: from 4

Expert guide: Alexei Dudashvili, Candidate of  Geological and Mineralogical Sciences, co-author of Caves of the Osh Hills book

Date:    to be announced later

Price: 25 000 soms per person 

Day 1. Transfer Bishkek - Osh - Aravan village.

This day we start very early about 5 a.m.  The road will take not less than 10 hours. On the way we will have lunch on the shore of the Toktogul Reservoir. We will stop for taking pictures of the landscapes, different land formations and natural monuments. Upon arrival to Aravan we will set up the base camp and cook a light dinner. Overnight. 

Day 2. Visiting of caves.

After breakfast visit to the Duvakhon-Unkur Cave (Pass-through Cave) located in the eastern end of Chil-Ustun Mount.  The cave is attractive from the historical point of view.  The most important that it is one of the centers of the large bats colonies including the Red Book of Kyrgyzstan ones.  The cave is also famous for the two entrances, one of which used to be closed by the slab of limestone lining nearby. One of the entrances faces the plateau with a splendid view onto the Aravan Valley. Cave’s length – about 110 m. The Pass-through Cave was used by bandits (basmachi)  who fought against the Soviet power in the 20-30s as the shelter.  Some artifacts of that period as well as more ancient ones such as clay lamps and fragments of ceramic pottery were found there.  

Further, transfer to the Cherbak Grove and attendance of the Ashkhon Cave near the Chil-Ustun Cave formed during karstation processes. It is presumed that the Ashkhon Cave has a limestone conjunction of 33 meters with the Chil-Ustun Cave. According to stories it served as the place for the Muslim celebrations thus it has such a name translated as "dining room".  Here you can see the marble onyx painted in red and black. It is famous for the archeological findings.  Length - 123 m.

After visiting of the Chil-Ustun Massif caves  we attend the Sculpture Cave in the Keklik-Too Massif. The cave is easy to visit. There are various calcite formations. The entrance has a wonderful view of the valley full of puzzled conglomerates. 

After we are transferred to the Tuya-Muyun Massif.  Setting up the base camp in the picturesque Barberry Gorge. Dinner. Bonfire. Overnight. 

Day 3. Visiting of caves.

After breakfast an excursion to the Tuya-Muyun Plateau to Fersman Cave-mine which is the deepest in Kyrgyzstan (240 m). Geological and historical conditions of  hydro thermo karst  caves origination and the history of the development of precious mineral deposits in the cave.  The fans of mineralogy can find different minerals in the mine dump.  

After the tense traverse on the plateau visiting of the Azhyadar-Unkur Cave (Dragon's mouth). The cave is famous for the bats. The length is about 80 m. Here the archeological excavation of the ancient man's camp took place. The cave is fanned by legends and has its own history. One of them speaks about Azhyadar Dragon who lives there and secures jewelry hidded in the cave.  

The excursion to the Large Barite Cave (length – 120 m) found by the academic Fersman.  The cave is famous for the rare barite deposit which crystals used to cover almost all walls. Vertical descent into the cave through the natural 20 meters deep input well. Excursion inside and exit via the hundred-meter tunnel.

After lunch we will have the excursion along the picturesque Dangi Gorge to the Surprise Cave of 150 m length (total tunnels' length – 350 m). The route to the cave lies along the gorge for about 1000 m. The belay will be arranged over the raging Aravan-Sai River at some hard parts.

After the light extreme you will be rewarded by the cave where you will see the large calcite crystals, needles, corallites and other formations created by thermal underground water. The exciting excursion ends by the tunnel forming a waterfall where one can take a refreshing shower.

Return to the camp. Dinner. Bonfire. Overnight.

Day 4. Excursion to the Bel-Uruk Plateau.  Transfer to the Abshir-Ata Gorge.

After breakfast camp packing.  Excursion along the Barberry Gorge to the Bel-Uruk Plateau from where you can have a view onto the Naukat Valley.  There are several small deposits of the different minerals such as rock crystal, morion, agat, marble onyx and other. Descent to Osh - Kyzyl-Kiya Road.  The vehicle will be waiting for us at the foot of the slope and take to the Abshir-Sai Gorge with the same name waterfall.

The waterfall is the unique vaucluse of 30 m height. It is formed due to drained underground water from the whole karst massif.  The waterfall's drained canal is reprsented  by the underground watered cave.   That place is a shrine where the locals plunge into the stone baths formed by the waterfall to be cleaned of sins.  Near the waterfall there is a large grotto arranged for prayers.

We will install the camp above the waterfall in the picturesque place. Dinner. Overnight.

Day 5. Abshir-Ata – Uluu-Too Massif.

In the morning transfer to the Uluu-Too Cave. Visit to the religious cave. Once the cave was the unique sculptural gallery of the cave formations.  In the 90s it was barbarically robbed.  But nowadays still it is of interest to the photographers and explores of bats. The cave possesses various calcite formations. It accumulates the wide range of stone forms and formations of aragonites, stalactites, stalagmates and stalagnates. The ceiling and walls are in red and grey colored stains, concentric patterns of lines and sagging onyx. Length - 145 m.

Then we move to Kadamzhai settlement to the recreation zone of the Kadamzhai mercury-antimony plant. There are the bath ponds filled with thermal mineral water draining the karst massif. Setting up the camp. Recreation, bathing. Dinner. Overnight .

Day 6. Kadamzhai - Madygen.

After breakfast transfer to the Madygen Gorge. The road will run through the stone deserts and fertile oasises. We will pass Batken town, Samarkandyk settlement and the Tort-Kul Reservoir.

Near Ak-Turpak village we will visit the same name religious cave formed in gypsum rocks. The cave is also well-known for the gypsum-selenite deposit. The bats colonies populate the cave. Cave's length - 120 m. It is located in the picturesque area on the right shore of the Sokh River.

Lunch in Batken. Transfer to the Madygen Gorge via the "rainbow" hills looking like the Martian landscape. On the way the mineralogy and paleontology fans can collect different minerals and fossils of the ancient inhabitants of the Sarmat paleolithic sea for their collections.  

Powerful clay stratas that form multi-colored hills became the basis for the great "sculptors of the Earth" which created the fantastic forms there. Setting up the camp. Dinner. Overnight .

Day 7. Madygen - Osh.

After breakfast our journey will continue back. We will attend the place with the ancient melting furnaces of the VII a.c. where the ore was melted using old technologies. Different metals like silver and lead mined in the Kan-i-Gut Cave and delivered by horses were separated from each other in those fernaces. Why there? The reason is that near the furnaces the coal mining sites are located.  The coal was used as the main solid fuel for the fernaces heating and ore melting.  

Then we will visit the famous Kan-i-Gut Cave-mine (the largest underground cavity in Kyrgyzstan).  The silver and lead ores had been mined there during  almost 1500 years. The excursion to the hall with the stone "camel".

Cave's length – more than 6 кm.  

Transfer to Osh city. Visiting of the sacred Suleiman-Too Mount and other religious sites in Osh. Dinner at a cafe in the evening. Testing of the local dishes. Overnight in the hotel.

Day 8. Osh - Bishkek.

After breakfast we start to Bishkek. Visiting of the ancient city of Uzgen and the archaeological complex of the IX-XI centuries which was built during Karakhanids era.

Short-term visit to the hydrosulfide source resort  in Dzhalal-Abad town. 

Arrival in Bishkek.

1. Transport according to the program:

- 4 pax (Mitsubishi Delica 4x4)
- over 4 pax (MB Sprinter)
2. Expert guide who will not only guide but also tell a lot of interesting stories about caves, geology and the country.
3. Camp equipment: dining tent, double tents, dinnerware, tables and chairs, caremates.
4. Food for cooking in camps.
Cooking to be done by travellers. That will allow to experience the real expedition conditions.                                                                                        

5. Accommodation in Osh.                                                                                                                                           

6. Excursions according to the program 

Price does not include: 

1. Meals on the way in cafes according to the program.
2. Single supplement in a tent  (you can rent the tent for 2500 soms for the whole trip).
3. Personal gear rent (sleeping bag and etc).
4. Personal expenses.
5. Cook (travellers cook themselves).

Pleasant bonuses: 

1) Corporate style bandana

2) Diploma from the World Encyclopedia of Travels