Mysteries Hidden in Central Asia`s Mountains
By Alexey Schetnikov
| Kyrgyzstan, April 16,
2001 BISHKEK. (TCA) -- Traveling in the mountains of southern Kyrgyzstan,
you will be surely told stories about the yeti living here. Do not rush
to say that these stories are simply beautiful fairy-tales aimed to lure
credulous tourists. Maybe the yeti really exist in the most remote corners
of Kyrgyz mountains - the realm of eternal snow and mountain spirits?
Local shepherds and hunters describe the yeti as a tall humanoid more than two meters high, his entire body and face are covered with dense dark hairs, and he walks very fast and half-bent. The yeti has a poor sight but very good hearing and a fine sense of smell. He eats mostly wild goats and rodents, but sometimes, when hungry, he can kill a wolf. However, the yeti and wolves generally respect each other and are not rivals.
The fact that nobody
has ever found bones of a dead yeti is explained very simply by locals:
like extinct mammoths, the yeti have a secret cemetery high in the mountains
where they go to die when they feel the coming of death. According to
local aksakals (elderly men), in the early 20th century a shepherd found
in a deep canyon a cave with large human bones. Fearing the
Many local hunters claim they know places where you can meet the yeti. Such places are located high in the mountains. You have to ascend there by horse, taking a whole day, and then wait in ambush for 1-2 days to see the yeti. These places are usually very ominous (mostly deep canyons with a mountain river rolling with a terrible noise, which makes you feel that somebody is murmuring behind your back).
But even if you have dared to get there, it does not give you a 100-percent guarantee that you will meet the yeti. Only a few hunters who will be your guides on this trip would claim they have seen the yeti with their own eyes. They will take you to the most picturesque mountain places and, in case of failure, they will simply say that you were not lucky.
But you should not be upset because you can easily see and take photo pictures of the yeti depicted on rocks. There are a lot of rock drawings of the yeti in the local mountains because he was a totem animal of ancient Kyrgyz tribes.
Most legends associate the yeti with the village of Choo at the mountain lake of Mazarkol. This lake is very peculiar - it has a shape of two adjacent funnels with a diameter of about 30 meters each. Local residents believe these funnels are bottomless. The water in the lake is black and contains hydrogen sulphide. The lake does not freeze even in the coldest winters when the air temperature reaches -40 degrees Celsius. The locals believe this lake is sacred and do not come close to the water. It is even more dangerous to approach the shore on horse - the horse will suddenly stop and you will be thrown ahead on rocks. If you approach the shore on foot, at the place where the horse stopped, you will feel that the lake, like a strong magnet, repulses you back.
Another strange place is Kargash. Here, on the abrupt riverbank, stands a sandstone column with a height of nearly 70 meters and a basement diameter of 20 meters. The column narrows towards its top on which lays a square granite plate, each side of which is some 10 meters. Nobody knows the origin of this wonder of nature. Probably it has been formed by the wind polishing fragile sandstone for many centuries.
This place is also considered sacred and its defilement is severely punished. A couple of years ago two soldiers from a nearby border guard checkpoint and shot at the column, trying to bring it down. In a week both soldiers died. The local doctor made a diagnosis: poisoning. But aksakals said they punished by Allah.
Uzbekistan, which is famous mostly for its ancient cities and architecture also has some mysterious and picturesque mountain areas. One of them is located in the Karatau mountains, in a famous place called Dzhinnoty in southern Uzbekistan which means "the Valley of Spirits."
For centuries local residents have considered the valley a holy place, the home of both good and evil spirits. In ancient times pagan tribes used the place for worshipping their gods. Archaeologists have found many pagan altars here. Later when Islam came to Central Asia this place also served as a holy place, this time for Muslims. A great variety of ancient tribes and people replaced each other for many centuries, but all of them asked for the protection of the Spirits of the Valley. The spirits helped the strong and good and punished base and cowardly people.
In the time of Soviet atheism, people stopped fearing the spirits and begin to destroy natural monuments and use its pieces for building houses. But, fortunately, this destruction was stopped after the establishment in Dzhinnoty of a national park.
Some figures here are so expressive and beautiful that you cannot believe they been created without human hands. But all these beauties have been created by the never-ending work of the best architects, wind and water, which have been working hard to change the look of the mountains for many centuries. Many times this hard work was ruined by earthquakes, which have left many gigantic rock pieces scattered here and there.
On the top of a huge rock there is a large stone figure resembling a bear. This stone bear looks down on the Zaravshan Valley, as though protecting it from unwanted guests. As you go farther, you will see a gallery of stone figures created by the greatest of sculptors - Nature.
Here you can see two large lizards, and not far from them - according to a legend - the head of a dragon cut off by the ancient warrior Ahmed. The dragon's mouth can accommodate several people! Tourists like to take pictures in this mouth, but never write on the dragon's head something like "I was here" because the dragon can awake and close its stone mouth.
A huge figure of an old man stands and looks at the strange creature with the head of a horse, running to him. At sunset, the eyes of the old man seem to sparkle with light. Scholars explain this phenomenon by shining crystals of minerals contained in the rock, but local people believe that's because the old man was a wizard.
There are so many bizarre figures all around (including the character who wrote this article): a huge witch looking as though she has just stepped out of a fairy-tale, a large dog the size of a house and a great variety of hybrids looking like mixtures of lizards, bats, and a snake together. Looking at this fantastic stone world, one can understand why ancient people who lived here thousands years ago believed in spirits, mountain ghosts, demons, and other supernatural forces.
Times of Central Asia Online
the Mountains of Naryn region, found traces of unknown creature, reports
AiF-Novosti. The scholars made a photo and a trace of its foot. The length
of the foot is 45 cm and width is 35 cm. Experts believe that the hominid
(if it was a hominid) could come to the Kyrgyz mountains from the neighboring
Pamir, where it was frightened by Tajik militants.
AKI press Kyrgyzstan
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