The Pulatkhan plateau in Uzbekistan is a mesa in the north-western spurs of the Chatkal range, of the western part of the Middle Tien-Shan.
Pulatkhan plateau facts
The Pulatkhan plateau close to Tashkent is situated 11 kilometers to the south-east from the top of the Big Chimgan. From here this small flat area of the irregular triangular shape is stretching from the southeast to the northwest for a distance of about 5 kilometers. The total area of the plateau is about 8 square kilometers.
North-east and south-east sides of the Pulatkhan mountains are steep discharge to the rivers Terekli and Kara-Archa. The third side of this conditional triangle can be divided into two parts, and then the south-eastern half of the plateau will be steep and precipitous, and the south-western half will descend to the Azalsay.
The maximum height of the Pulatkhan mountain is 2823 meters, the minimum one is about 2600 meters. Though from the top of the Big Chimgan the exterior of the plateau seems surprisingly smooth, it is not so. The Pulatkhan plateau has an overall slope in a northwestern direction; moreover, different parts have also different inclinations in ratio of each other.
Having a rather small area, the Pulatkhan mountain is literally detached from the surrounding mountain world by steep and almost inaccessible rocky cliffs. The whimsical relief of the Pulatkhan plateau, its little-known geological past and isolated from foreign influence flora and fauna attract mountain tourists and investigators. Mstislav Nikolaevich Korelov was the first research worker, who in 1948 visited the plateau. It was the only expedition, which carried out serious faunal study of the area, covered with rumors and myths.
The most noted, the most profound and the most complex cave of the plateau Pulatkhan is certainly the cave of Alexander Zaidman. Although the entry to the cave was found in the early 80-s of the last century, it was formally opened in 1988, during the expedition led by Novosibirsk speleological club under the leadership of S.Safonov. From 1988 to 1991, the cave was being explored by 6 expeditions.
Pulatkhan plateau history
The origin of the name of the historic plateau Pulatkhan, according to folk etymology, has two versions. The first version tells that the name arises from the shepherd’s name Pulat, who was hiding from the evil bai on the Pulatkhan mountain with his bride named Oyim.
The second version originated from the name that was got by the leader of the rebels - Iskhak Mullah. At the beginning of 1873 in the Kokand Khanate the insurrection against the yoke of the ruler Khudoyar - Khan broke out. The uprising was led by Iskhak Mullah Khasan oglu, who operated under the assigned name Pulat-bek. After a series of battles and betrayals Pulat-bek was proclaimed Khan, but soon he was forced to flee to the Chatkal mountains to collect forces. By the time the uprising acquired not only anti-feudal traits but anti-Russian ones. In December 1875 Pulatkhan with 80 thousand army set out against Russian troops. At night from 27 on 28 of January, 1876 between Andijan and Namangan his army was utterly defeated by troops under the command of General Skobelev; and Pulatkhan was hanged in March of the same year.
Situated among the mountain ranges the mysterious Pulatkhan plateau is a unique natural object, which is covered with legends.
One of the closest to the historical realities is a narrative about the Turkic Khan Pulat, who, during the invasion of Genghis Khan brought to the plateau all his men and stood the siege of the Mongols there for a few years. The enigmatic Pulatkhan plateau is a natural fortress, the path to which leads along the open ridge. In that case, people who approached the plateau were a good target for bowmen.
25 centuries ago the great commander and statesman Alexander the Great began his march through the countries of Central Asia. But freedom-loving peoples of Bactria and Sogdiana were unwilling to submit to the conqueror, and revolted. According to one legend, in the cave of one of the conquered alpine fortresses Alexander hid his treasures. His beloved concubine, fell in love with Alexander’s companion. Alexander allowed them both to stay and live in one of the caves. And to this day it is believed that the souls of two young men roam about the highland plateau Pulatkhan, named after the cruel, but just ruler.
Another legend about the Pulatkhan plateauis associated with countless riches supposedly hidden by Pulatkhan in the cave. The Plateau is really of karstic origin and it has many craters, and within the walls there are small depressions - grottos. But for the time being only one entrance to the cave has been found. It recedes with vertical wells into a depth of over 500 meters.
Animal world of the Pulatkhan plateau
In the Pulatkhan mountains one can often hear a sharp and shrill whistle. It is the marmot of Menzbir - endemic of the Western Tien-Shan. The marmot lives in the highlands, it prefers places near the large snowfields, where often there is a thick layer of soil and moisture-loving vegetation. Marmots are listed in the International and National Red Book and are in need of strict protection.
On the stony rocky cliffs of the Pulatkhan plateau one can find a full inhabitant of rocky highlands - mountain or Siberian goats. This remarkable animal luxurious with horns dwells in inaccessible rocky areas at altitudes from 1500 to 3500 meters. Mountain goats confidently move to the mountains where no any animal can pass. In case of danger goats always look for shelter in the rocks, where they have a rest during the heat of summer.
During a travel to the Pulatkhan plateau from the mountain Karangur or Pulatkhan one can almost without binoculars see Himalayan griffon - a large highland bird of prey living near the borders of the eternal snows. With unusual speed and ease it hovers over the mountain tops, soaring higher and higher. On the Pulatkhan mountain 49 varieties of birds were marked. Among them the most interesting are slender-billed lark, Indian chiffchaff, wallcreeper, brambling, juniper lentil, alpine jackdaw.
On all sides the edges of the Pulatkhan plateau drop off in the canyon with the ledges of more than 1 kilometer height. It is possible to get to the plateau only through a narrow path sufficient for passage of one person. This place is called "Pulathandarvoza" (Pulatkhan gates). The panorama of Pulatkhan plateau is incredibly beautiful. It opens to the surrounding mountains and rivers
In the middle of the Pulatkhan plateau a small stream with no flow runs. Water seeps into the bowels and pulls out of the walls by lots of waterfalls. The stones on the plateau under the influence of water, sun, frost and wind acquired a bizarre shape. In the rocks there are many grottos and, apparently, there is an extensive system of karstic caves. Once in the caves ascetics settled.
So far, the rare groups of speleologists who dared to trek to the Pulatkhan plateau, could not satisfy their curiosity or sufficiently explore its mysterious wells and corridors, partly filled with icy water of mountain rivers.
Several hiking trails lead to the plateau Pulatkhan. These Pulatkhan plateau trekking trails are not only overgrown, but updated with new enthusiasts and romantics who are beckoned with Pulatkhan riddles.Peopletravel Company will professionally compose unique trekking tours to the Pulatkhan plateau. Our employees will support the guides during your walk to the plateau Pulatkhan.