Petroglyphs in Cholpon-Ata

The petroglyphs are located just outside Cholpon-Ata at the skirts of the Tian Shan Mountains in northeastern Kyrgyzstan. There are more than 5,000 stones, many of them up are to 3,000 years old.

There are also stone circles, the remains of a boundary stone wall, balbals (images cut from stone) and tombs dating from 2,000 BC to the 6th century AD.

It is believed that the site was once a huge open-air temple, where ancient people worshipped and performed religious rituals.

The stones vary in size from about 30 cm to 3 meters. Most of them face southwest and southeast, which is thought to be connected to sun worship. It is also thought that the stone circles were used as astronomical instruments.