Karlyuk Caves


Useful Information

Location: Near Karlyuk or Carluke settlement, Kugitang-Tau Ridge. Köýtendag Nature Reserve, formerly Kugitang Nature Reserve.
Open: After appointment, with special permit.
[2009]
Fee:
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: lamps provided.
Dimension:
Guided tours:
Photography:
Accessibility:
Bibliography:
Address: Karlyuk Caves, Koytendag Nature Reserve, Tel: +993-65-235423.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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History

1986 Kugitang Nature Reserve established.

Description

Karlyuk Caves is actually a group of caves at the western slope of the Kugitang-Tau ridge. There are numerous picturesque gorges with up to 200m high cliffs. The area also has 60 registered caves, between a few hundred to several kilometers long, in total about 60km of caves. This makes it the most extensive network of caves in central Asia. A small part is open to the public and guided by nature reserve guides. Besides the calcite speleothems, the caves also show gypsum and aragonite speleothems. The underground lakes are home to the endemic cave loach.

Gulshirin Cave is open and guided by locals. Hashimeyuk or Hoshmoyuk cave is 3.5km long and is noted for its speleothems. It is also an archaeological site. Kop-Kotan or Kapkutan is the most famous cave (see extra page) and is closed for the public and for cavers. Gayng Kan (Flea Mine) is infested with blood sucking insects, hence the name.

At Hojakarawul hamlet is a small museum about the geology of the area. Beneath fossils and the gypsum cast of a dinosaur footprint, there is also an artificial cave with stalactites and stalagmites.

Numerous websites state, that the caves are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Actually they are on the tentative list since 2009.