Tamga gorge

Revelations inscribed on the stones


On the southern shore of the majestic Lake Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan, two kilometers south of the village of Tamga, the gorge of the same name is located. The name of the landmark comes from the Turkic word “tamga”, which means “seal”, “brand”.  The famous Tamga-tash stones with carved Tibetan inscriptions make this area famous throughout the world. The inscriptions are Buddhist prayers dating from the VIII-IX centuries AD. They can be seen when traveling along the river. Three of them - two on the left bank and one on the right - supposed to be the main ones.

On two stones, you can read the famous Buddhist inscription “Oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ”, which means, “Oh, you treasure on the lotus” or “May the sacred lotus flower abide!” This is the most common Buddhist mantra, symbolizing awakening and enlightenment. Stones prayers’ patterns differ in the application method: one is a bas-relief (a convex pattern), and the second - a hollow relief (drowned in a stone). On the third stone, you can see a combination of "om" sounds.

There is a legend that the famous folklore Batyr hero split the first Tamga-tash with a saber and inscribed the number of trophies obtained. However, scientists believe that this is the legacy of the Tibetans who lived here in the early Middle Ages.

Buddhists around the world consider this stones sacred, so the Tamga gorge is a place of pilgrimage and is very popular among tourists. Guests also enjoy fascinating horse rides through the gorge.

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