Sulaiman-Too: The Heart of Osh

The second largest a city in Kyrgyzstan, Osh, sits right in the middle of two massive mountain ranges. And right in the middle of Osh sits a huge rock that defines the city. Sulaiman-too is very significant to the history and being of Osh. It is one of the countries only recognized World Heritage sites and is a very holy place for the people.

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The mountain was referred to as the stone tower during ancient times and marked the halfway point for Silk Road traders traveling from Europe across Asia. The mountain also has a lot of religious significance for the Muslims. One of the prophets Solomon is said to be buried on the mountain and a mosque was constructed on the top by Babur in 1510. Legend holds the mountain as a significant fertility site. Women hike the mountain barefoot and slide down its rocks to bear healthy children. One of the rocks is polished to a shine from the years of women sliding down its face.

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However, to the average tourist, the mountain simply serves as an incredible platform to observe the lively city below and the miles of beautiful mountains that surround the Fergana valley. Hiking to the main viewing platform only takes 15 minutes but some of the other peaks require a little bit more time as you have to make your own way, scrambling over boulders. The view is incredible and a great place to watch the sun rise or set over the valley that occupies both Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Entrance to the park only costs 20 som (30 cents) so there is no excuse not to climb it!

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