Baksan Gorge: description and its history

The Baksan gorge is one of the most picturesque and famous in the Central Caucasus, which leads to the foot of Mount Elbrus. It is located in Kabardino-Balkaria and enjoys great popularity among skiers and climbers not only because of its proximity to Elbrus, but also for its beauty and unusualness. It is the oldest resort in Russia, attracting lovers of mountains and extreme since the 19th century, and as an all-Union and all-Russian resort is popular since the second half of the 20th century. Below is the description of the Baksan Gorge, its history and sights, tells how it is most convenient to get to these beautiful mountain places.

The way to the gorge

The Baksan gorge originates near the village of Lashkuta in a rare woodland near Pasture and Rocky ridges. Hence the nature of nature completely changes: on one side pale yellow steep walls of limestone are piled up, on the other - a cliff down to the Baksan River. The gorge is at first quite wide, then (after passing through the village of Past) the walls are sharply narrowed and extend to the top.

The mountains begin to change their shade and become angular and darker due to the presence of the crystalline rocks inherent in the Lateral Caucasian Range.

Through the whole gorge, a civilized asphalt road is laid, which reaches almost to Elbrus. This road is considered the most high-lying in the mountains of the Caucasus.

On the sides are numerous side gorges (Adyl-Su, Irik, etc.), through which you can reach, for example, an incredibly beautiful lake. If you turn into the Itkol gorge, then in clear weather you can look at the gray-haired Elbrus.

On the page you can see what the Baksan gorge is: a photo of mountain landscapes truly fascinates.

If you move further, passing the town of Tyrnyus, the view of the tourist will open completely different pictures - before him appear very picturesque majestic coniferous forests that reach the Azau glade (altitude of 2300 km) and the town of Terskol. Here begins the road, the ultimate goal of which is Elbrus.

Elbrus region

Elbrus region is a large ski region, which includes two skiing areas (Elbrus and Cheget) and many small settlements: Cheget and Azau glades, Baidaevo, Tegenekli and Elbrus towns.

Sights of the Elbrus region (Baksan Gorge, Chegem and others, mountains, waterfalls, museums) can be listed for a long time, we will stop on the most interesting and impressive:

  • Picturesque mountain landscapes do not leave anyone indifferent. There really is something to see, local beauties are worthy to come here at least once.
  • In the village. Tegenekli is located the Climbing and Hunting Museum named after V.Vysotsky (various hunting trophies, photographs of Elbrus fans, photos from the filming of the film "Vertical").
  • In Terskol there is a Museum of Defense of the Elbrus region.
  • Chegem gorge and waterfalls - especially effectively look in the winter and resemble the kingdom of the Snow Queen.
  • Terskol gorge and glacier.
  • Baksan gorge, where there are three main mountaineering fields: Cheget, Azau and Polyana Narzanov, and 9 lateral gorges.

Baksan River

The name of the gorge was obtained from the river of the same name, originating in the Elbrus glaciers and then flowing into the Terek tributary - the Malku River (length 173 km). Baksan quickly flows through the whole gorge, carrying its white water and turning the stones with a noise. For descents and rafting it is not suitable.

The river has its own legend telling that its name is given in honor of Prince Baksan, whose entire family and himself after the treacherous murder were buried near the pond.

On the banks of the river there are 5 settlements (quite modern ones) and one of the oldest hydroelectric stations in Russia is the Baksanskaya hydroelectric power station.

In 1986 the national park "Prielbrusye" was formed, the purpose of which is to preserve the unique nature of this region, to assist climbers and tourists in the construction of interesting routes.

The river itself and its tributaries are places of permanent camps for climbers.

Local legends

Like any mysterious and beautiful place on Earth, the Baksan Gorge has its own legend, according to which the gorge itself and others nearby were formed from the beatings of the Host of the Underworld. This happened when he was in terrible agony after touching the hands of one of the Saints. Satan tried to free himself from these touches, strongly at the same time beating his tail, which led to the emergence of many gorges in the mountains of the Elbrus region.

In one place above the road hangs the rock Kyzburun ("Maiden Rock"), which has its own legend, according to which, in ancient times, people cast off the disobedient girls-mongrels and unfaithful wives. The mountain is clearly visible from the village of Kyzburun-2. Although by other sources, the rock is translated from Turkic as "Red Nose", most likely because of its shape and red color of rocks.

There is another mysterious place here - the Kizburun hills, which have recently attracted pilgrims who believed that Muslim preachers were buried in the hills, and archaeologists (they are looking for Scythian burials). According to local people, the hills sometimes shine with "unearthly" fire.

Historical facts

This region has a long history, the first mention of it dates back to the 15-16 centuries. Balkars lived there for a long time, then Karachais, immigrants from the Balkarian and Chegem societies, Svaneti and Kabarda came.

One of the historical places is the village of Verkhny Baskan (old name Urusbievo), which before the revolution was owned by the influential local family of princes Urusbievs. The most famous of them was Izmail Urusbiev - a noble prince who knew many languages in the 19th century and who did a lot to familiarize other peoples with the traditions and spiritual values of Karachais and Balkars. He met with musicians and cultural figures of Russia, told them legends and legends of these places.

In 1922, Baksan society became part of the Kabardino-Balkarian Autonomous Region, at that time there were 28 settlements, but by the beginning of the 21st century there were already 11 settlements.

During the Great Patriotic War, along the right bank of Baksan, the line of defense of the Red Army (it was later called the "Far beyond the clouds") passed along the left, the Hitlerite division Edelweiss was located. All the years that have passed since the war, locals periodically find details of weapons, the remains of Soviet soldiers. They are buried with honor near the monument to the heroes of the Elbrus region in the village of Terskol. Traces of military events can be seen now.

Baksan Gorge: sightseeing

The most important attraction is the natural beauty of the gorge. But also there are other interesting places:

  • In Baksan there is a monument to the classic of Kabardian literature - poet Ali Shogentsukov, who died at the beginning of the Second World War.
  • In 1913, this village served as a hotbed of the Zola uprising. In the center of the settlement there was a mound, standing on which the rebels gave an oath of loyalty to each other and promised to win.
  • In with. Kyzburun-1 is the most notable - the Baksanskaya HPP.
  • Around with. Terskol at an altitude of 3150 m is the International Astronomical Observatory, founded in 1980.
  • In Gundelen there is a monument to the Sorrowful Mountaineer, set in honor of the inhabitants of this settlement, who gave their lives in times of revolution and the Great Patriotic War.
  • Not far from the town of Bylym there is a monument of 4-8 centuries AD. E. - the burial ground, although plundered, and along the riverbank there are traces of primitive people and medieval monuments.
  • A useful tourist attraction is a large number of mineral springs located along the entire route, which have been used for many years to treat various diseases.

Mysterious Cave

A few years ago in the vicinity of the Baksan Gorge (near the village of Zayukovo) local enthusiasts Kotlyarova discovered an unusual mine that leads to a huge cave at a depth of 70 m. The walls of the mine are lined with megaliths, obviously processed by human hands. At the entrance (at an altitude of 1 km) a swastika is depicted, suggesting that this cave is connected with the Hitlerite division "Edelweiss" present in these parts during the war.

The mysterious cave in the Baksan Gorge consists of several rooms and chambers, the walls and ceiling of the largest 36-meter underground hall are lined with huge slabs resembling blocks in the Egyptian pyramids. According to the conclusion of geologists, the mine and the cave are clearly of an artificial origin, although no traces of human presence have been found here.

The age of the cave is supposedly 5 thousand years. Some researchers consider it technical, used sometime as a wave transmitter or energy converter. Other specialists suggest the presence of a whole underground city in the Baksan gorge. Legends about such cities in the North Caucasus are often passed on to the next generations.

How to get to Baksan Gorge

There are several ways to get to the Elbrus:

  1. By plane (the fastest way) to Nalchik or Mineral waters, from there by taxi, minibus or "ski" buses.
  2. By train to the station of Prokhladny, Nalchik, Mineralny Vody or Pyatigorsk, then also a taxi or a bus to the village. Terskol (the beginning of the Baksansky gorge).
  3. By bus. The routes are organized by travel agencies during the ski season - they are usually delivered directly to the slopes of the Elbrus region (17 hours from Moscow).
  4. How to get to the Baksan Gorge by car? Traveler's testimonies indicate that the Don (M-4) is quite comfortable, and there is a quite asphalt road in the gorge itself. From the capital you need to go through Rostov-on-Don, Mineral Waters, Baksan.

Where to stay

Polyana Azau is the highest base of the Elbrus region, located at the end of the road through the Baksan Gorge. There are mountaineering hotels, camp sites and cafes.

Glade Cheget is located at the foot of Cheget mountain and forms a resort settlement for climbers and tourists.

The mountain climbing camp of Gian-Tugan in the Baksan Gorge consists of two parts:

  • The lower camp is 6 km from the beginning of the gorge (old houses), but it has a chic view of the Kashka-Tash glacier and mountain peaks.
  • The upper camp, which was founded in the 90s of the 20th century and therefore more comfortable (there is a swimming pool, hot water, sewage, etc.). Unfortunately, the camp works only in the ski season.

In all the alpine camps there are ski rental points, in local travel agencies offer many excursions to any part of the Elbrus region.

"Only mountains can be better than mountains ..."

Finish the story of these places can be a quote from the famous song of Vladimir Vysotsky, who sang the beauty of these mountains. The Baksan gorge and the Elbrus region were the favorite places of rest for the poet, where he did not cease to admire the mountain views and write poetry. Having arrived here, no one can remain indifferent to the vast natural expanses and surrounding landscapes.

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