Baksan Gorge 🌟 Nature of Kabardino-Balkaria

History of origin and description of Baksan gorge

The beginning of Baksan gorge is near the village of Zayukovo. The width of the gorge begins to decrease after the village of Byloye. The color of the mountains also changes: they are lighter in the Zayukovo area and darker near Byly. The dark shade of the mountain range is given by crystalline rocks. On sunny days, the contrast becomes particularly noticeable. Throughout the gorge there is an asphalt road, which is considered the highest in the Caucasus.

Baksan gorge belongs to the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. The entrance to the highway, which passes through the gorge, is guarded by the “Grieving Highlander” monument. It was founded in honor of the people of the republic who died during World War II. There are several settlements on the sides of the highway. One of them, the city of Tyrnyauz, is the center of the Elbrus region.

Behind this settlement, the gorge is covered by pine forest. They continue to the Azau glade, which is at an altitude of over 2000 meters. This is where the Baksan Gorge ends and the road to Elbrus and other peaks of the Caucasus Mountains begins. On the south and northwest side, the gorge is covered with snow, which serves as a base for the formation of glaciers. This is an ancient site, the history of which dates back to the fifteenth century. In ancient times, the area was home to the Balkans, then the Karachays and settlers from neighboring communities.

The village of Ano Baskan, one of the historic sites, was owned by the significant Urusbiyev royal family. Izmail Urusbiev gained great popularity as he was a very educated, noble prince who spoke many languages. He introduced other nations to the traditions and spiritual values ​​of his ancestors. Meeting Russian artists, Izmail Urusbiev told them stories and legends about Baksan.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Baksan Society became part of the Kabardino-Balkaria Autonomous Region. During World War II, the right bank of the Buchanan became the site of the Red Army. The Nazi division was stationed on the left bank. Even now, when the war is over, the weapons and remains of Soviet soldiers are still here. They are buried with honors next to the monument that has been erected in honor of the heroes of the Elbrus area. The monument is located in the village of Terskol.

All the famous sights of the Caucasus are surrounded by legends and legends. Baksan Gorge is no exception. According to legend, it was formed by the blows of the Devil’s tail. He was not just having fun or showing aggression. The devil began to break after being touched by a local saint. As the tail blows were repetitive and chaotic, not only the Baksanskoye but also many other branch gorges were formed.

Another legend is associated with the Kyzburun rock, otherwise known as “Maiden Rock”. According to the locals, in antiquity traitorous women and revolutionaries were thrown out of it. Because of this, the mountain got its name. It is located near the village of Kyzburun. The mountain consists of rocks that have a red color. The nearby hills sometimes glow. Thanks to this phenomenon, pilgrims flock here, considering the hills as a burial ground for Muslim preachers.

How to get to Baksan Gorge

There are several ways to get to Baksan Gorge. It is best to use air travel. They fly to Mineralnye Vody or Nalchik, then take a bus to Baksan. You can also reach Nalchik and Mineralnye Vody by taxi. Once you have decided to drive your own car, you will have to drive along the A-158 “Prokhladny – Baksan – Elbrus” motorway. When the ski season starts, travel companies can arrange a shuttle service to the Elbrus area.

When is the best time to visit Baksan Gorge?

It is best to visit this area for the first time in the summer. From mid-summer to early autumn, the weather is sunny here, rains are extremely rare. The air temperature is not very high, the thermometer rises to +26 degrees. For tourists, there are developed ecological trails, but you can chart your own route. In spring, it is also wonderful here – the flowering vegetation exudes an incredible aroma, everything around is buried in the green.

The ski season in Elbrus is winter or autumn. Already in the middle of autumn, an established snow cover appears. The plateaus are covered with snow until May, but in some places it never melts. It is better to set up a camp in the low mountains: there are no strong gusts of wind in the valleys and it is quite warm. The northern part of the gorge is colder and drier than the southern part.

What a tourist should know when visiting Baksan Gorge

Usually, when organizing a tour, the route includes not only Baksan Gorge, but also the nearby mountains along with other gorges. For example, Mount Ullu-Tau, which is considered mystical. It is said that sometimes “does not accept” tourists. This is manifested in the constant obstacles faced by tourists.

On the way to the gorge, you will have to cross three border stations. There you will need to present your passport, without it the border guards will not let you cross. You should also have a grocery supply with you for the whole day, as there are no shops or cafes along the way. It can drink water from the stream, as it is clean, of glacial origin.

The weather in the area is difficult: at first it can be hot and then in the clear sky clouds appear, which turn into black clouds and a storm begins. There is also mud and rock falls, so you have to be careful and keep up with the tour team. Of course, you should not forget a hat and take warm clothes with you just in case.

What else to see in the Baksan Gorge area

As a rule, the tourist route along the Baksan gorge includes other attractions. It starts from the city of Baksan. Then follow the path to the village of Islamey or Kyzburun 2. Near the local school there is a mass grave of soldiers who died during World War II. Nearby are the Kurzbun Kyzburun, a pre-Mongol settlement. They consist of red rocks and are highlighted at a specific time.

Having crossed Islami, you will see the Baksan hydroelectric power station on the right bank of the river. It was built in 1936 and became the first major construction project in Kabardino-Balkaria. Opposite the settlement is the location of the fortress of the defense of the Soviet soldiers. Its name is “Height 910”. When there was a defense, the hydroelectric station was blown up. It was restored a few years later. In 2010, fighters attacked the station. It is now being rebuilt.

The outskirts of Zayukovo village are also of great interest. According to locals, here is the longest road in Russia, the length of which is fifteen kilometers. Archaeologists have discovered in the area of ​​the settlement the ruins of an ancient Cimmerian necropolis. There are the cells of the monastery and the oldest observatory. The building was built a thousand years ago and was destroyed by Tamerlane soldiers.

Near Zayukovo, the famous Narzans valley. A whole kilometer is occupied by the springs of the thermal mineral water. There are twenty of them in total. Heading from Zayukovo to the Narzanov valley, you can admire the Tyzyl gorge, which is distinguished for its indescribable beauty. Near the village of Kendelen stands the famous “Grieving Highlander” monument, built in honor of Kabardino-Balkaria residents who died during World War II.

Also near the village of Zayukovo is a mysterious cave, the depth of which is about seventy meters. According to some, it has an artificial origin. The walls of the cave are covered with stone bricks belonging to the Neolithic and Eneolithic. Someone painted a swastika at the entrance, so there are suggestions that the base of the Edelweiss Nazi division was here. The cave is equipped with many chambers and a large hall. According to some experts, the cave is part of an underground city.

On the left side of Bylym village there is a large burial site dating from the 4th-8th century. The crypt, located underground, is available for tourists to visit. Passing Bylym via the Aktopraksky Pass, you will find the Chegem Gorge, through which supplies and weapons for Soviet soldiers were supplied. Another interesting place in this area is Lake Gizhgit, which has a beautiful sky color. There is a version that the water acquired such a hue due to the waste poured into it by the production Tyrnyauz.

Baksan Gorge is the pearl of the Elbrus region. It is interesting not only for its picturesque landscapes, but also for its rich history. Here you can find traces of military events, ruins of ancient settlements. The wonderful nature, the fresh mountain air and the nearby springs with thermal water will be useful to anyone who wants to improve their health and enjoy aesthetic pleasure.

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