Besh-Tash Valley means “Five Stones” in Kyrgyz and the name originates from five tall standing stones that were found in the upper part of this national park. Besh-Tash park was founded in the Talas district to preserve the unique natural forests and highland meadows there. Besh Tash can be reached easily from Talas as it starts just 13 km south of it. At the entrance of the park, there is a gate where you need to pay the entrance fee.
The reserve lies at an altitude between 1100 – 3600 m above sea level and the total area of the national park is 13 701 hectares. It is surrounded by mountain ranges from three sides by mountains that are part of the Talas Ala-Too system. Part of the area is reserved for recreational purposes and other, mores strictly protected areas are not allowed for tourists.
The rocks in the valley are impressively tall, multi-colored and the mountains are very steep. According to foresters, some rocks have their own name. For instance, the rock on that has mountain goats living on top of it, is called “Life”.
The Besh Tash park was founded in 1996 and includes more than 800 plant species and animals such as brown bears, snow leopards, Turkestan lynx, falcons and eagles.
The Besh-Tash river flows through the territory of the park with rainbow trout living in it. At an altitude of 2997 m there is a small oval-shaped lake named Beshtash as well, with a depth of 28 m that covers an area of about 0,5 km2. The lake is turquoise in color during the summertime.
Besh-Tash stone legends
The most popular legend tells about a family and five sons. A man had five sons, but they all did not obey their parents and when they grew up, they fled from their father’s house, leaving their elderly parents alone. For a very long time, parents searched for their children. At that time, a rumor grew in the village that robbers have nested in the nearby mountains robbing categorily everyone. One day people came to the father and said that it could be his sons, which they of course refused to believe. Nevertheless, they decided to confirm if the rumors are true.
They walked for a long time along the steep cliffs and suddenly, on a small path, a man attacked the old man. He wanted to hit the old man but the mother recognized her son in the robber by the birthmark on his ear. She yelled out: “Mendibek! Do not touch your father, damn you!”, The robber was confused for a minute and rushed away. Following him, the old man cried out in despair: “You, my own son, raised your hand to me. I curse you and your brothers!” As soon as these words were said, the brothers scattered to different directions but did not have time to jump on their horses, when they froze and were turned into stones. Since then, this gorge has been called Besh Tash.
Thanks for the pictures @j1becca
Sights near Besh-Tash
Page updated 12.11.2021