Reserve continues to amaze with its incredible beauty. Sometimes it creates the most beautiful corners on the planet, and such a corner is the Surkhan reserve, located in the southwestern spurs of the Gissar ridge of the Pamir-Alai mountain system.
Surkhan Nature Reserve is a protected natural area. Its area is over 24 thousand hectares, rare and endangered species of flora and fauna live here. Among the representatives of the fauna there are animals that are on the verge of complete extinction: the horned goat and the Bukhara sheep. Among the Red Book listed in the reserve there are such venerable cats as a leopard and Turkestan lynx, as well as striped hyenas, gazelles, white and black storks, black vultures, bearded, snake-eaters and other animals.
Among the representatives of the flora, over twenty different species are listed in the Red Book of Uzbekistan: pistachio, karnas, juniper, ferula. Some plant species are very rare and grow only in the mountains of southern Uzbekistan.
On the territory of the reserve you can see the most important archaeological sites, the discovery of which has become a great historical event. Among them are unique cave paintings of the Meso-Neolithic period, showing scenes of ancient people hunting a bull and a wild goat in Zaraut-Kamara cave. Surprisingly, the images did not lose their brightness, and their paint did not fade. For scientists, the composition of the paint is a big mystery to this day.
But the most important discovery was the remains of a Neanderthal teenager in the Teshik-Tash cave. The discovery was made in 1938 by archaeologist A.P. Okladnikov; he discovered the burial of a child surrounded by horns of mountain goats dug into the ground. Such a burial testifies to the existence of logical thinking and the existence of cultural cults among Neanderthals.
In addition to important archaeological sites, the reserve has a unique Aral-Paygambar island located on the Amu Darya River. The island is a holy place for pilgrims, as one of the 25 Muslim Zul-Kifl prophets is buried here. A mausoleum was built over his grave, and the place is sacred.