The culture of nomads cannot be imagined without rock art. Petrogryphs are drawings on stones. There are many places in the Kyrgyz Republic where you can meet them.



Petroglyphs of Saimaluu-Tash is the largest collectionof petroglyphs in Central Asia, carved on basalt blocks. There are about 90,000of them in the Saimaluu-Tash tract. The complex is located in Jalal-Abad regionof Kyrgyzstan at an altitude of 3,000 meters above the sea level.

There are many single petroglyphs and multi-figured compositions in Saimaluu-Tash. The oldest petroglyphs in the tract saw the Bronze Age. They date back to the first millennium BC. More recent date back tothe 8th century AD.


The Saimaluu-Tash petroglyphs are very different, both in terms of the date and the style ofimages.

Ancient carved pictures on stones show the animal world: there are images of leopards, wolves, goats, red deer, and even elephants and lions. There are also images of domestic animals: horses, bulls and yaks.


The compositionson basalt blocks depict scenes of hunting, domestication of wild animals,ritual dances, gods in chariots and wagons, as well as demonic humanoid creatures.

Rock garden of petroglyphs in Cholpon-Ata

The rock garden is one of the main attractions of Cholpon-Ata city. There are more than a thousand stones covered with rock carvings in the open-air museum on an area of ​​42hectares. Wild and domestic animals, scenes of hunting of ancient people andother scenes from their everyday life are depicted on the stones. Hunting with snow leopards, which has no analogues, is depicted on the central stone.

Rock garden of petroglyphs in Cholpon-Ata

Masonries, which,as scientists suggest, were used by ancient astronomers to observe the movementof celestial bodies are located around large stones.

Scientists believethat rock carvings in these places appeared in the period from the 2ndmillennium BC to the 8th century AD.

Petroglyphsof Ak-Chunkur cave on southern shore of Issyk-Kul Lake

Cave petroglyphs in this place were obviously drawn with fingers usingred ocher. Ak-Chunkur cave is located near the Kyrgyz-Chinese border on Sary-Jaz ridge.


Petroglyphs of Barskoon

The petroglyphs of Barskoon are schematic figures of goats dating back tothe end of the 1st millennium BC. You can see them on the left bankof Barskoon River, 3 kilometers from Issyk-Kul Lake.


Kalmyk stone

There is a stone with an ancient Tibetan inscription ॐ मणि पद्मे हूँ - "Om mani padmehum" at Juuku River. This is a Buddhist mantra that bestows prosperity andabundance to those who accept it with an open heart.

Petroglyphsof Son-Kul Lake

In the mountains around Son-Kul Lake, you can also find ancient rock drawings, as well as images carved on stones. Basically, these are images of animals and hunters dating back to the 6th -3rd centuries BC. There are also tombs of Saka times near Son-Kul.


Petroglyphs of Gavyan Gorge in Batken region

Petroglyphs in this area can be dated to the Bronze Age. There are two groups of ancient rock carvings located close to each other. These are images of ancient hunters-archers, as well as the animals they hunted: goats andbulls. Scientists claim that the petroglyphs in this place belong to differenthistorical periods.

Rock garden of petroglyphs in Cholpon-Ata

Petroglyphsof Kara-Kulzha (Osh region)

About 800 petroglyphs were found in the mountain tracts of Kara-Kulzha district of Osh region at an altitude of more than 3,000 meters above sea level in 2005. They differ from the others by a variety of repertoire and techniques. Petroglyphs in these places belong to different historical periods. Remoteness from civilization and in accessibility of the rock carvings preserved the imagesin good condition.

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