Sightseeing in Osh
If you don’t climb this mountain while sightseeing in Osh, consider your visit to be incomplete!
Sulaiman-Too is the heart of Osh both geographically and metaphorically. According to the local beliefs and traditions, the mountain has been a sacred place for thousands of years. As the city of Osh was literally built around Sulaiman-Too, this natural stone monument has played a central role in city’s historical, cultural and economic development.
The first thing you will notice while climbing to the top are the astonishing panoramic views of the city and beyond. You will be able to gaze out and see the magnificent Pamir Mountains to the south and the Tien-Shan Mountains to the North that surround the Fergana valley.
You will encounter several caves along the way. The first and biggest among them contains a remarkable and intriguing cave museum. This museum demonstrates the spiritual history, archaeological artefacts and flora of the region. The other caves are much smaller and will require some extra effort to climb, but they are worth it as they will reveal even more astonishing views. The mountain is full of shrines and locals regularly visit them and perform the healing rituals. Travelers are always welcome to join them and take part in these rituals.
The mountain is considered to be of moderate difficulty to climb making it a great exercise for your body and soul. On average the exploration of Sulaiman-Too takes about 1.5 – 2 hours.
If you are interested in knowing more about this natural and cultural monument, go ahead and check out my ‘Sulaiman Too Tour’, as well as, the unconventional ‘Sunset on the Mountain Tour’. These tours guarantee even more interesting facts, entertainment and cultural experiences.
Jayma bazaar has existed in Osh for the last 2000 years. Jayma Bazar’s authentic ‘eastern’ cultural attributes are the main reason why tourists desire to visit it. However, long before becoming a major tourist attraction, this bazaar played a crucial role in the region. It served as the primary mechanism driving the political and socio-economic development of the city and it continues to do so in the present day.
Today, Jayama bazaar stretches (if you know how long in meters or km put that here) from north to south along the banks of Ak-Buura River. Goods of all kinds, such as, souvenirs, clothing (national and imported), dried fruits, nuts, spices, electronics, carpentry and forging products and many other products are found here. You will notice that the organizational order of the bazaar is very structured but also chaotic. There are sections which are dedicated to only one category of product, while others contain a little bit of everything. Considering the availability of all types of products, Jayma bazaar is not just a tourist sight, but an excellent spot to purchase souvenirs for a reasonable price and purchase fresh food.
Central Square (Where 'Big Brother' is Watching you)
The location of central square is perfect for the comprehensive sightseeing, as it combines several major sights. First of all you will notice the tallest remaining statue of Lenin in Central Asia. This giant monument of the leader of Socialist revolution is standing tall in the middle of the square and pointing to the North with his iconic palm gesture. But, please, don’t follow this direction! At least for now, because you need to explore a small park on the south-western side of Central square. This cozy and green park is named after Zadneprovskiy and hosts several memorials and the city’s only Russian orthodox church. Only after that you can follow the direction suggested by Lenin and wander along the avenue named after him.
The surviving Soviet architecture is one of the signature elements of city’s architectural design. Indeed, an epoch of 70 years under communist rule has left its visible footprint. Some of the more interesting aspects of this footprint are the soviet murals found around the city.
These murals depicted on the sides of buildings. It is believed that these murals were initiated by local artists, sculptures and intellectuals. The main goal was to modify the appearance of typical Soviet constructions which boomed during the 70’s and 80’s. In most cases, these murals depicted Soviet ideologies, Kyrgyz cultural symbolism, and sometimes even reflect the purpose of the building. You can easily spot most of these murals within the central locations of the city and a few more can be found outside the city center. The map of Soviet murals’ locations will be embedded under this post soon. Go ahead and check them out on your own.
Wait, what?! Paris?!
Osh actually has two places related to Paris! Both places are easy to spot because they have structures resembling the Eifel Tower. The first Eifel Tower is located in the Park of Love, which is found just behind the Lenin’s statue. And the second tower, the one we are recommending the most to visit, hardly resembles Eifel’s masterpiece but the scenic views found with it do. The tower is located on the hilltop of “On Adyr”, a remote Uzbek neighborhood on the south-eastern side of Osh. This location provides another astonishing panoramic view, second only to the one on Sulaiman-Too. Currently it is an undiscovered sight for most tourists, yet, a very popular place for the locals. There are several small cozy cafes, with ice-cream and refreshing drinks. A beautiful view of the sunset adds an air love to infuse the evening with some romance. So while it is not the Paris you are most familiar with it is considered by the locals to be the “Paris of Osh”, because it provides you with a beautiful view of the city and a relaxing romantic evening.
Photos will be uploaded soon . . .