The Fairy Tale Canyon, Skazka Valley
The so-called Fairy Tale Canyon, aka Skazka valley, has not stolen its name: the sandstone formations appeal to the imagination. Skazka means “fairy tale” in Russian and, with a little imagination, is a place full of mystery. You can for example, look for dragons, a rhino, a sleeping giant or the Great Wall of China. And don’t forget your camera: the rocks are in an infinite variety of red and orange colours. Besides that, they are quite photogenic. The valley reminds us of Cappadocia in Turkey, but then without the hot air balloons. We think that’s a good thing: only little can match that infinitely empty and blue Kyrgyz sky.
Just like Jeti Oguz, the fairytale valley has its legends. This legend is about the time when the Issyk Kul lake was not a lake. According to serveral other and this legendes, several towns are said to lie at the bottom of this great lake. There is the possibility that a part of these legends are true as remains have been found from several cities, found on the bottom of the lake.
Long time ago, in one of the towns metioned above, lived a very beautiful girl. The girl fell in love with a seven-headed dragon, who then pursuited her to marry him. Unfortunately (for him), the girl said she was in love with someone else and refused to marry him. The dragon was banished to a well in the Skazka Valley and said that in revenge, at full moon, he would drown the whole city. Then, out of anger, he fell into a deep sleep.
The residents of the city came up with rather creative solution. At full moon, they would put a cover made out of gold over the well. Everything went smooth until it was the girl’s turn to put the lid on the well. She had “forgotten” it and the water exploded from the well. Startled, the dragon awoke from his own strength and watched an gigantic lake being formed, the Issyk Kul lake. Standing in Skazka Valley, he was in shock and turned into stone.
Nowadays, the dragon, as well as other petrified bodies and figures, should be seen in the Fairy Tale Valley. These figures would have been formed by the scene told above. In the valley it is not clear where the dragon’s head begins and the beast’s tail ends. So search well!
Fun and practical facts about the Fairy Tale Canyon
- Enterance to the valley costs 50 som. You can pay this at the barrier.
- If you go with your own transport, a car with off-road capabilities is recommended.
- The rocks are so photogenic that local residents from surrounding villages go there early in the morning to take pictures for their wedding.
- It is best to sleep in a guesthouse in the surrounding villages. Of course you can also pitch your own tent in the parking lot of the valley. However, I can assure you that the ground of the parking lot does not sleep too well.
- From the barrier it is a 2 kilometre walk or drive to the valley.