Issyk-Köl Oblast

Rumoured to cure everything from upset stomach to infertility, the many springs that dot the Manjyly-Ata site have been the site of pilgrimage since at least the regions' animist Tengrism tradition but were eventually subsumed into Islam as it grew in popularity in the region. This is still an active religious site, so tread with respect.

A visit is particularly nice at sunrise, when early morning light brings out the colour in the otherwise dull rocky hillsides of the site. Look for the signed turn-off around 10km east of Bokonbaevo onto a dirt road that dead ends at the entrance.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Issyk-Köl Oblast attractions

1. Shatyly Viewpoint

4.02 MILES

At the beginning of the attractive Boz-Salkyn Valley an easy 1¾-km walk leads to a viewpoint with extraordinary views over Issyk-Kül, especially at…

2. Shygaev Museum of Modern Art

4.89 MILES

Built into the hometown studio of Kyrgyzstan's national artist, Yuristanbek Shygaev, this delightful space is one of the most engaging museums in the…

3. Skazka Valley

13.78 MILES

The Skazka Valley is an area of bare red earth eroded into photogenic corridors, paws and spires of rosy rock. It's hardly Bryce Canyon but it makes a…

4. Ak-Sai Petroglyphs

16.86 MILES

A small collection of Tibetan-script petroglyphs and accompanying Soviet-era graffiti make for a nice 3km walk (one-way) from the nearby highway, but the…

5. Ak Örgö Yurt Workshop

26.64 MILES

This workshop became famous after one of its products won the 'most beautiful yurt' competition at the 1997 'Manas 1000' festival and had its work…

6. Barskoön Waterfall

28.5 MILES

Locals pack picnics and head 20km up the huge Barskoön Valley to the Barskoön Waterfall, where kymys is sold from summertime yurts near a defaced…