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Arslambob: The largest walnut tree in the world.

Last week we started a series of the most emblematic places in Kyrgyzstan. Those that do not belong to the usual circuit, those that the locals have to tell you. You won’t find them in travel guides or on any Youtube channel. The first place on the list, for us, is the magical Sary Chelek Nature Reserve. Second is:

Arslambob: The largest walnut tree in the world.

Yes, as you read it.

In ancient times, walnuts from this area were transported along the Great Silk Road, reaching many corners of the world. These walnut trees can live up to three thousand years and reach 30 meters. The walnut trees grow on mountain slopes and along river banks at an altitude ranging from 1000 to 1800 meters. Arslanbob itself is at 1700 meters. In addition to walnuts, walnut wood is a valuable raw material and is used to make furniture and handicrafts.

The walnut trees of Arslambob cover an area of 600,000 hectares. Around 1500 tons of walnuts are harvested each year, in addition to more than 5,000 tons of apples, pistachios and cherries. To protect these bountiful gifts of nature, the Arslanbob area is now a state-protected forest zone.

There are many legends about the forest and its existence; one of them tells that Alexander the Great once brought his troops to this place and decided to take some of the nuts home with him on his return to Greece. This is how the nuts went from the mountain of Kyrgyzstan all the way to the shores of Greece and from there to the rest of the world (and would also explain why the nuts are known as Greek nuts in many places).

Arlsanbob (“king of the forests”) is said to come from an 11th century man who met his death shortly after betraying his wife. Legend has it that his footprints, palm print and blood are still visible. If you find it, don’t tell anyone… or you will suffer the same fate!

If you enjoyed this post, we invite you to check out some of our tours to join us in these adventures:

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