Batken is situated in the extreme Southwest of the Republic, and consists of four mountainous regions, with altitudes ranging from 400 to 5,621m. The province was created in 1999 after incursions by armed militants of the Islamic Movement for Uzbekistan seeking to cross Kyrgyz territory between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Its administrative center is the town of Batken.
The oblast includes a number of enclaves belonging to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, created when the borders of the republics were settled by a commission of the Soviet Union in the time of Joseph Stalin. There are seven enclaves altogether - some very small, not much more than the size of a farm. The largest is the Sokh enclave which belongs to Uzbekistan.
The region is not very well known - there is not much information available, even in the Republic itself - most tourists tend to come from within Kyrgyzstan itself or the surrounding republics - and there are a number of tour bases around the oblast, (notably the "Pyramida-dolina" in the Batken region, Ak-Suu, and Ozgorush in the Laylak region, and Dugaba in the Kadamjaiski region) which have been host to a number of international mountaineering expeditions. There have also been attempts to develop skiing and caving in the region. There are also a number of ancient sites scattered throughout the region.
Batken: The Ak-Suu tour camp is located at 5,335m, some 80 km from the regional center near the Kara Suu river, and has hosted a number of mountaineering expeditions.
Batken: Near the village, archaelogists have discovered evidence of mine workings dating from between the 5th and 9th centuries - known as the Kan-ee-Gut mine.
Batken: Near the Hodka Bakirgan river, a number of burial sites and remains of ancient settlements have been discovered nearby that have yet to be dated. Also, 1.5 km away, the remains of the ancient settlement of Tortkul were discovered.
Batken: In the center of the village, archaeologists have found evidence of an ancient settlement.
Batken: On the outskirts of the village is Hodja Gor, a mound which dates from the Paeleoloical era.
Batken: To the West of the village are the remains of a 19th century fortress.
Batken: The Dugaba mountaineering base in the Parmir Altai mountains lies at an altuitude of 2,100m on the slopes of the Alai ridge, 31 km from the center of the Kadamjai region, in the gorge of the Dugaba river, surrounded by deciduous and pine woods (including large numbers of of archa spruce trees). Beyond the base there are extensive mountain meadows which extend to the snowline.
Batken: a remote mountain pass in the Parmir Alai.
Batken: To the West of the village lie several graves dating from between the 1st and 5th centuries. Nearby, ancient relics have been discovered.
This town in the extreme Southwest of the country is the site of an ancient settlement dating from between the 14th and 15th centuries.
Batken: In the mountains south of the Uzbek Sokh enclave, near the Tajik border.
Batken: To the south of Batken, near the village of Kishtut, are the remains of the 19th century fortress of Kan.
Batken: (Gorge, mountain valley in Kyrgyz.) Between the villages of Frunze and Kyzyl Kiya, in the foothills, is a "camp of ancient man" - dating from about 25-20 thousand years BC.
Batken: On the left bank of the Hodka Bakirgan river, a grave holding 8 bodies has been discovered, which has yet to be dated. Kara Bel
Batken: Eight kilometers Northwest of the village of Kara Bulak, in the village of the Jety Tepe, is a burial site dating from the 1st century. Kara Bulak
Batken: Not far from Batken is the burial site of Kara Bulak - in which were discovered silk clothes which date from the 4th to the 2nd centuries BC. Abdilas Maldbaev, (1906-1978) one of the first Kyrgyz composers, whose portrait is featured on the 1 som banknote - was born here.
Katran Batken: A number of burial sites have been discovered nearby that have yet to be dated, as well as cave paintings dating to the 10th, 12th, 15th and 16th centuries.
Batken: In the mountains near the border with Tajikistan are a number of petroglyphs
Batken: Near the confluence of the rivers Katta Sai and Kur Sai, archaeologists have found the remains of an ancient settlement dating from the 10th to the 12th centuries.
Batken: A mountain lake in the Dugaba valley, which can be reached in a trek from the Dugaba mountaineering base.
Batken: some 6-7 km to the west of the village in the Sokh river basin, are the remains of a bronze age settlement.
Batken: Ancient stone implements have been found in the village.
Batken: Near the village, in the basin of the river Isfana Sai, relics dating from the Paleolithic age have been discovered.
Batken: At an altitude of 5,510m near Gerevshin lies a camp which has been host to several international climbing expeditions.
Sol Unkur Caves
Batken: To the East of the Sokh enclave, including some memorials dating from the Mesolithic era.
Batken: Some 1.5 km to the East of the reservoir is a burial site dating from between the 1st-5th centuries.
Batken: a remote mountain pass in the Parmir Alai.
Batken: At the southern end of the village of Bujum lies a burial site which dates from between the 2nd century BC and the 3rd century AD.
Batken: Glaciers, spectacular scenery eroded by wind and ice and tremendous temperature changes have created peaks such as Asan (4200m) and Iskander (5120m) which look like a row of sharks' teeth, surrounded by lush pastures, with a wide range of plant and animal life.