Jety-Oguz - The Seven Bulls
“Jety-Oguz” in the Kyrgyz language means “Seven Bulls”. The name derives from its majestic yellow-red sandstone and gravel stone rocks, which bear a strong resemblance to bulls’ heads. These remarkable rocks, set against the background of bright blue sky, dazzling white snow-capped summits and slopes adorned by coniferous woodlands leave an unforgettable impression.
Jety-Oguz village is situated about 28 kms southwest of Karakol town. The wide valley of the Jety-Oguz river starts just behind the village. Gradually, the valley becomes narrow and 15 kms to the south of the village, it turns into a mountain canyon. From both sides the river is framed by sheer walls of red sandstone. The rock “Broken Heart”, which dominates the left bank of the river, is exceptionally stunning.
|Broken Heart rock, image: Lilya Kas'yanova|
This evil deed led to confrontations and wars between the clans. The khan, whose wife had been kidnapped, demanded her return. The cruel khan’s advisers proposed that: “You can fulfill your foe’s condition. But you shall kill the beauty first and pass her dead body to your opponent. The requirement will be met, and you will be greatly pleased, as your enemy will never be able to reign over the heart of his beloved.”
This advice greatly appealed to the cruel khan. He decided to hold a grand gala and invited many people from different clans. As befitted a gala, the khan ordered seven bulls be slaughtered. When the last bull was slaughtered, he plunged a dagger into the heart of the beauty. Blood spurted from her heart and sprinkled the rocks (that is why the rocks of the locality are red). At that very moment streams of boiling water flooded the valley where the scene took place. The cruel khan and his entourage were drowned in the boiling water. The streams carried aside the seven slaughtered bulls and they turned into seven blood-red rocks. Thenceforth, the locality has been called Jety-Oguz (Seven Bulls).
|View of Seven Bulls, image: Lilya Kas'yanova|
The area offers great opportunities for exploring. Visitors can hike to the Ak-Sai area. To reach Ak-Sai, walk through the ravine that starts immediately behind the sanatorium. Closer to its end, the ravine gives way to the pretty valley of Kok Jayik (Valley of the Flowers), which is splashed with motley flowers in spring. Holidaymakers also call this place Kumys Valley, named after the Kyrgyz national drink made from fermented mare’s milk.
The valley also holds an attraction for mushroom gatherers: here are glades of edible fungus. The opposite bank of the river is bordered with woodlands that nestle on the sides of the slopes, above which the snow-capped giants of the Terskey Range tower. In the middle of the valley, a majestic mountain can be observed; it is called Oguz Bashi (Bull’s Head). This mountain has two summits, the highest point of which is 5170 metres. In its upper part, an impregnable rock wall blocks the valley.
Jety-Oguz Health Resort
The sanatorium (health resort) is located at the northern slope of the Terskey Ala-Too range 2200 meters above sea level.
Small hollows around “holy” springs are evidence of the therapeutic usage of hot, mineral waters for bathing from time immemorial. Russians conducted the first surveys of the hot springs in 1910. The same year, at the initiative of the Red Cross, wooden bathtubs and a simple wood-framed hygienic centre were built there. Mostly military officials and local men of high standing used these rustic facilities.
|Valley of the Flowers, image: Natasha von Geldern|
Jety-Oguz' mountain location, dominated by conifer forests, makes it very special. The area is relatively windless with insignificant fluctuations in temperatures and air humidity. The forest also has a positive effect on the body’s nervous system.
The resort was famous in Soviet times and continues to attract guests from Russia, Central Asia and beyond. In 1991, an important meeting between Boris Yeltsin and Kyrgyzstan’s first president Askar Akayev took place in Jety-Oguz resort.
Jety-Oguz offers a variety of alternatives not only for ardent admirers of nature, but also for hikers and mountaineers. On an Uzbek Journeys tour to Kyrgyzstan you visit Jetz-Oguz, enjoy a picnic lunch and a chance for hiking in the Valley of the Flowers.
Contact Lilya on: lolya.87(at) mail (dot) ru
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