Arslanbob Forest (also Arstanbap) is a large walnut forest located at an altitude of 1700 meters in the mountains of the Fergana and Chatkal Ranges, in the Jalal-Abad Region. This is the largest walnut forest (700 000 hectares) in the world and one of the most amazing places in Kyrgyzstan. Scientists claim that the age of the forest exceed 50 million years. In this vast territory grow numerous walnut trees, pistachios, almonds, cherry plums, pears and many others. The total number of plant species growing here exceeds 130. The age of some walnut trees exceeds 1000 years and each one can bring from 150 to 400 kilograms of nuts every year.
Besides the forest, the area around it is very interesting. The slopes of the Ferghana and Chatkal Ranges in this place are composed of dolomite and therefore very different from other Tien Shan Mountains by their unusual color and relief. Mighty white cliffs here adjoin to the boundless green expanses of the Arslanbob Forest, making this place absolutely stunning. Such a large forest requires a lot of water and therefore this region is rich in numerous streams and rivers. There are several lakes and waterfalls, the most famous are Bolshoy Arslanbobsky (80 meters) and Small Arslanbobsky (35 meters).
On the territory of the reserve, there is the villageof Arslanbob and it has 21000 inhabitants. The population is mostly Uzbek. These people have lived here for a long time and therefore the traditional way of Uzbek life is well preserved. This is an ideal place to get acquainted with the culture of southern Kyrgyzstan and see the Oriental life .
The village there is a resort zone, with numerous recreation centers. An interesting attraction of the village of Arslanbob is the old Soviet cars. Despite their age, they are still used to transport tourists around the area.
In the village of Arslanbob it is possible to see Arslanbob Mazar, dating from the 16th century. It is believed that there is buried a Muslim saint, who is considered to be the “gardener” of this place.
There is also a well-known legend that the nuts of this grove were taken back by Alexander the Great to Greece, where it spread all over the world. It is not known for certain whether this is true or not, but the legend sounds very plausible since Alexander the Great really visited the Fergana Valley and even founded the city of Khujand.
How to get to Arslanbob?
Arslanbob is located on a vast territory in the mountains of the Fergana and Chatkal Ranges. The easiest way is to turn north in the village of Abdraimov in Bazar-Korgon district on the Bishkek-Osh Road.
Arslanbob on the map
The mobile network is available
There are guest houses, groceries and cafes in the villages of Arslanbob
It is not recommended to drink water from rivers. On the territory of the reserve there are springs, as well as streams
Not many places for camping. Sleeping under the walnut tree is not recommended, as the leaves secrete essential oils and cause a headache