Find your ideal ski holiday
or summer break - ski accommodation and ski chalets for great winter sports
breaks, and summer holidays in the Chimgan Mountains. Accommodation in the
Chimgan-Beldersay area of Uzbekistan for ski and summer holidays. Find chalets
and ski hotels including Beldersay Oromgohi, Snow Leopard, Sky Village and Edem.
Book at guaranteed rate.
Tourism in Brichmulla-Nanai area
The overall objective of the EU-funded West Tien Shan Biodiversity
Conservation Project is reduction of dependency on natural resources and threats
to biodiversity through socio-economic development and improved self-governance
within the West Tien Shan mountain regions of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and
Uzbekistan. The project has six components.
One of these aims at the development of sustainable livelihoods, and
particularly attempts to create alternative income means from eco-tourism in ten
selected areas in West Tien Shan. And one of the 10 areas is Brichmulla-Nanai
Location and geography. The Brichmulla-Nanai area incorporates villages
situated in the south-east of the Charvak water reservoir at 960 m a.s.l. of
western extremity of the Koksu ridge (West Tien Shan). The centre of tourism is
village Brichmulla that occupies an area of 15,000 ha and has a population of
4,100 people. Populations of other villages in the area are as follows: Yakkatut
- 3,100 people, Yanghikurgan - 700 people, Yusufhona - 500, Yubileiniy - 1,200, Baladala
- 1,800, Bogus-tan - 2,000, and Nanai - 3,800 people. A great majority
of population are ethnic tajiks.
The Brichmulla-Nanai area is a conventional tourism development area. The area
is located in the Bostanlyk district (an administrative-territorial unit) of the
Historical information. In middle Ages, mountain routes leading from
Semerechie, Ferghana, Koksu valley, and Chatkal to Chach (Tashkent) converged on
Brichmulla. The archaeologists say Brichmulla of that time was regarded as town
(having a different name though) protected from three sides by the rivers. The
steep banks served as a natural and reliable fortification line. Archaeologist
and historian Server Ashirov noticed: "In the east the town was protected by
defense wall remainer of which is 550 m long and up to 2.5 m high. A total area
of the ancient settlement is about 16 ha".1
Located near Brichmulla, a ferry across the Chatkal river was functioning until
20th century. A narrow barely perceptible path leading to the river bank was
noticed in south-eastern part of the ancient settlement. A passage tunneled by
local people through the rock allowed them to descend to water in order to
replenish water-supplies during the siege. The houses of citizens were made of
paskhy (mixture of clay and hay) added to stones. The walls were up to half
meter thick. The walls of fortification buildings were up to 1.5 thick. The
village dates back to 6th century A.D. that is a period of the might of Turkic
Khaganate (kingdom) in which the settlements and fortified castles began to
appear in the foothills and mountainous area of Chirchik. Having been
established as fortress to defend roads leading to the mountain area rich in
various metals, Brichmulla play an important role. In 9th - 10th centuries the
settlement turned into a town encompassed by the wall. A special manned
fortification building was located in northern part of the town.
A majority of citizens was engaged in mining and metal processing. Craftsmen
smelted and processed iron and copper. In the mountain areas of Koksu and
Chatkal archaeologists and geologists found ancient courses associated with
poly-metal ore mining. Arsenic, mineral paints and silver-lead ores were
intensively mined out. Pebble enriched with hematite that was taken from the
river-bed was used for mining out the iron. Furnaces with forced air supply
bellows that were used for smelting iron were discovered, too.
Some archaeologists wonder what town was situated on the spot of current
Brichmulla? There is a version that it was Ardlankent, the only mentioned town
in the Chatkal valley of 10th century. However basic archaeological material
found in the ancient settlement dates back to 11th - 12th centuries. This
version has its opponents stating that Ardlankent is now Kulbeskan - a town
located at mouth of the Aksu river and occupying an area of eight ha.
Being deserted by the 12th century, this town rose again at the end of the 14th
- 16th centuries and from time to time decayed and thrived before the 18th
century. Later it was eventually abandoned and after a while a new settlement - Brichmulla (Burch
- a tower or a corner - probably because of a building located
between the mountains) - was established on a little higher elevation. Later
some residents of the settlement resettled to the village Yakkatut located on
the right bank of Koksu river. The gold was mined out in the vicinity of
Brichmulla in the 18th - 19th centuries. The process was very simple: they
stretched a woolen carpet and put gold ore onto it. After that they streamed the
ore to wash off the sand, while small pieces of gold remained in the pile of the
carpet. Four men could make 10 - 30 zolotniks (4.96 g) or 42.7 to 128.1 g per
Population and economy. At present, Brichmulla has a population of 4,100
people, 750 families and 710 homesteads. There are 1,950 men and 2,150 - women.
2,500 people are 17 - 65 years old; 400 people are over 65 years old. More than
50% of the population is involved in public works, particularly khashar (a
voluntary collective event). Last year, migration was noticed to have positive
Economic situation is predefined by the difficulties of transition period and
cutting-down area-specific productions. Some people worked at the rare-earth
metal mining plant (this industry was regarded as ecologically dangerous) and
diamond processing factory, others were involved in rendering services to
visitors of the recreation zone and the others were engaged in farming.
From a total of 745 families 95 have good accommodation, 620 have poor
accommodation, and 30 families live in temporary dwellings, and five families do
not own houses. According to the calculations, 100 able-bodied citizens account
for 92 disabled and 30 unemployed people. 40% of families earn less than three
US dollars per each member of family per month. 49.3% make three to seven
dollars per month, 10.7% - over seven dollars. Therefore a great majority of
local people live under the poverty line.
The people live at the expense of natural economy that helps them survive the
difficulties of transition period. The property makes certain amount of money.
70 families owns cars, five - tracks, 25 - motorcycles, and five families own
agricultural machinery. The villagers also have 500 cows, 25 horses, 40 donkeys,
200 sheep, and 600 goats. At the same time 25% of population make their
livelihood by service rendering (tourism, trading, transportation, education).
Most of the people are involved in horticulture (with 40% involved) and
cattle-breeding (35%). In 2004, 235 additional jobs were created, 150 of them
were created by entrepreneurs, 60 - by small and medium
businesses, 15 - by people's employment promotion fund, and 10 - by
international projects. A functioning infrastructure makes jobs too (two
smithies, mechanical shops, garages, banyan hospitals, and veterinary
drug-stores). Mills, grain threshing floors, gasoline station, and food-mixing
buildings are planned to be built.
Local population is involved in agrarian production, cattle breeding and fruit
collection. A chemically dangerous rare-earth metals mining plant was located in
the area of Brichmulla, but this has stopped now. The plant was re-profiled for
producing diamonds coming from Jakutia, but at the meantime the enterprise does
Geological training grounds belonging to various technical higher-schools of
Tashkent, a tourist centre (which status is not yet clear for the reason of
privatization) and several private guesthouses are also located here. It is hard
to undertake any tourist activity here as the area is very close to the state
frontier. A frontier guards' station and militia check points on the roads
regulate movement of visitors. This fact does not always contribute to the
effectiveness of service sector.
The local economy is based on the following six components:
• Natural economy - agricultural production to meet domestic needs, i.e. plant
cultivation and daily farming (cows);
• Jobs in the tourist centre "Samorodok";
• Commerce based on rendering tourist services such as accommodation, food
catering, flowers, medicinal plants and honey supply;
• Employment with public organizations (school, forestry, transportation, local
• Employment with private sector (construction works, transportation);
• Employment with the recent reopened diamond processing plant.
While some products (oil, flour, meat) are imported in the village, the others
are made locally.
Production infrastructure. Roads leading to the villages are paved with
asphalt. Electricity lines are installed. Telephone communication is available.
The most effective is the cellular communication. The systems of forestry’s,
border and militia services use radio transmitters. The water is supplied
through off take from mountain streams which does not require purification. Gas
and internet is not provided.
Social infrastructure. Social infrastructure of Brichmulla provides local
population with principle municipal utilities and includes a water supply system
that was built in 1964 and provides potable water to 75% and irrigation water to
95% of people; an irrigation system to allow discharging excessive water and
watering homestead lands is available. There are two medical stations and two
drug-stores that provide local community with certain medical and pharmaceutical
Also there are two clubs, libraries, kindergartens, and a temporarily closed day
nursery. There is also a public school, where children receive the primary (1-4
forms), incomplete secondary (5-9 forms) and full secondary (10-11 forms)
education. The education meets the requirements of Uzbekistan. Graduates of the
school may enter higher or secondary professional schools throughout the
Climate and seasons. A favorable climate of Brichmulla is created by
surrounding foothills and the Charvak water reservoir, which moistures and cools
down the air in summer (+ 30 C). However the cold weather is more perceptible in
winter (up to -25 C). The rain mainly falls in spring and autumn.
The best season for the beachfront tourism is July-August, for horse-riding and
hiking - late April and early October. Winter is the best season for lovers of
peace and quiet of rural way of life and those who look for snow adventures.
Special winter trails are available, too.
Protected areas. The headquarters of forestry (leskhoz) that controls
flora and fauna conditions is located in Brichmulla. Both the militia
(check-points on two bridges) and the military (frontier guards' garrison) also
contribute to protection of natural resources within their respective
Cultural attractions. The village has well kept traditions and customs of
mountain tajiks. Acts folklore group "Mohi Tabon". The dish "Hashkak", the honey
with nuts and "Urosh", the yogurt with spices can be called as distinctive
feature of cookery.
TOURIST INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES Access. Brichmulla is located 120 km from Tashkent. The roads are paved
with asphalt and suitable for buses. There are two ways of reaching the
village from the town of GazaIkent located 57 km from the capital city of
• Via the dam of the Charvak water reservoir;
• Via pass Melovoy and the Chimgan recreation area.
• A Militia checkpoint is before the village, some areas being controlled by
frontier guards and rangers. Brichmulla is reachable from Gazalkent by public
bus in 90 min (public bus goes three times a day). Private cars and taxis are
also available. The nearest airport, having international and local importance,
is located in Tashkent 125 km (2.5 hour drive) away. The nearest railway station
is in the village of Khodjikent.
Tourist conditions and services. The nature conditions of Brichmulla are
especially attractive for lovers of landscape and ecological tourism. Canyon
Kolasya, peak of Aukashka-Ohotnichiy (3099m) are located here. The Koksu river
flows through picturesque gorge with waterfalls. The main sightseeing is the
Charvak water reservoir.
In Brichmulla, tourism industry is mainly represented by private sector. There
are five guest „houses, 50 houses and open-air accommodations (trestle-bed), and
100 other types of accommodation for groups of tourists. All of the facilities
receive unorganized tourists. The existing resting point (pension) "Oltyn
Embi-Samorodok" renders services to visitors sent by tour firms. This also
receives other tourists, if places are available. Yurts are not considered to be
traditional form of living for Tajiks, therefore there are no yurts in
Citizens of the capital make up 80% of 'unorganized' tourists, the rest being
from the Tashkent region and other regions of the country. The share of foreign
citizens within a total number of tourists is negligible.
The main services of CBT are provision of accommodation/food, and swimming
tools. Tourists make tours of nature sights on their own. However, there is a
problem of border regime that restricts the entrance to some areas.
As the water reservoir of Brichmulla-Nanai and its beach are important tourism
attractions, swimming tools are represented by one powerboat, boats and
catamarans that are privately owned. Pleasure yachts, hydro cycles, windsurfing
are not available, however some businessmen are planning to acquire them upon
completion of construction of their guest houses, if free money is still
There are human resources available at the villages that are capable of
rendering services to tourists. Translators of English and German languages
among schoolteachers are available. Chaihona is the popular public catering
point located by the water. Toilets do not meet the European standards. There is
no sewerage system. Water is supplied through off take from mountain streams
which does not require purification.
Visitors are recommended to see local handy-craftsmen who sell various
implements for everyday life. The Brichmulla khashtak, containing specific type
of mountain almond (including the bitterest one), may be of special interest.
Honey with the flavor of mountain meadows and an orchard is added to the meal,
too. Milk products such as airan and curdled milk, and sour-sweet compote are
used for drinking.
Private guest houses. Being part of the local households, guest houses
are made of local building materials in traditional way. Tap water is available.
Sewerage system is not provided.
International (western) tourist services. The Brichmul-la-Nanai area is not an
object of mass tourism for foreigners. But a number of Uzbek tour operators
offer tourist services of Brichmulla to western customers. Brichmulla is visited
by tourists from the US, France, Germany, and sometimes - Switzerland, Belgium,
and Holland. Number of tourists arriving from Asian countries (Japan, South
Korea, China) is minor. The villages are visited by tourists from the CIS
countries such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Russia, and Ukraine.
Foreigners working at various international and diplomatic representatives and
joint ventures in Tashkent visit the area, too. Members of delegations involved
in private business or cultural exchange are taken here as guests.
The tourist competition with Khumsan and Chimgan makes it more difficult to
promote tourist product based on the sights of Brichmulla.
Community-based tourism services. The backbone of community-based tourism
is Brichmulla. Four families are involved in CBT there. But they have limited
influence because of a number of difficulties (frontier zone, financial
problems, complicated process of legalization, etc.).
Community-based tourism of the Brichmulla-Nanai area can offer the following
• Accommodation in private houses and on trestle-beds:
• Rent of boats, catamarans, etc.;
• Food services;
• Excursions. Guide services;
• Rent of horses (limited), donkeys;
• Folklore and handicrafts sale;
Government investments. The Brichmulla-Nanai area has become a centre of
recreation in Uzbekistan. This is secured by Government decisions. In
particular, the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of
Uzbekistan #88 dated March 10, 2000 "About measures on conservation of natural
resources and provision of complex and systematic approach to the development of
the Chimgan-Charvak zone" says that this zone, due to its natural conditions, is
considered as specially protected area having resort and recreational
importance. For this reason a major restructuring of infrastructure is now
carried out in order to reduce ecologic threats posed by enterprises that
pollute the environment and to define economic potential of local tourism.
It is planned not only to make an inventory of all objects and facilities
located in the area but to commission non-waste and environment friendly methods
of production. Thus, treatment facilities will be expanded. Reconstruction of
the sewage header will begin. Engineering facilities, water main for service and
drinking water, pump stations, water inlet facilities and gas supply network
will be built. This document states that incomplete constructions in the area,
if any, shall be commissioned or otherwise removed 2001 through 2005. All
previous decisions concerning the implementation of civil works in the
Chimgan-Charvak area are being reconsidered. A matter of dislocation is being
considered too. The matter concerns not only relocation of some facilities and
liquidation of unauthorized buildings, like those erected on the shore of the
Chavak water reservoir and polluting the environment and water. Contraction of
any industrial, agricultural and other enterprises that would effect wildlife is
MARKETS AND MARKETING From the middle of 1990-s, the interest in the Brichmulla-Nanai area had
increased and so did the visitation rate. However, number of tourists dropped
drastically after the encounters with terrorist groups at Bostanlyk and the
neighboring districts of Kyrgyzstan in 1999 - 2000. The situation became even
more aggravated after a special regime was established in village Brichmulla
(frontier zone). This impedes local tourism development.
Since 2003, number of tourists has begun to slowly grow as population of the
country could not afford to travel abroad. Though Brichmulla-Nanai is of demand,
the area occupies the last place after Chimgan and Khumsan in terms of
opportunities and current use.
About 30-50 thousand tourists come to the village, the total number of tourists
during the season being 100-150 thousand people including those from nearby
areas. The main problem is border regime frightening off the visitors and they
go for other recreation areas. Tourism in Brichmulla bears clear seasonal
character: from the end of May till the beginning of September. In other months
it is too cool in foothills for swimming and sunbathing.
If the border barriers are solved, and tour products are effectively promoted
and improved quality of service not less than 350 thousand persons can be
expected in a year. Gross revenue of local economy (direct and indirect costs to
serve tourists) from "tourism" budget line will exceed $5-7 million. Meanwhile,
there are local tour-operators having interest to Brichmulla-Nanai tourist zone.
In particular these firms are Asia Raft, Ecosan tour, Elena-tour, AST and Ark-Osiyo.
The management of the hotel "Mountains of Chatkal" is interested to include in
the recreation program of visitors proposal of Brichmulla CBT, in particular
related to excursion around the village.
Potential market. According to the 2004 sociological survey, 48% of
visitors to Brichmulla are from the capital of Uzbekistan, 16% - from other
districts of the Tashkent region, 25% - from other regions of the country, and
11% are visitors from foreign countries. Therefore, main efforts should be
focused on the market of Tashkent and Tashkent region. At the same time, the Brichmulla-Nanai area can become an integral part of tourist packages for those
who travel over several countries or regions of Uzbekistan at a time. And this
is a challenge for tourist firms operating under the brand "Great Silk Road".
25% of visitors to Brichmulla stayed in private houses, 19% rented trestle-beds,
7% came to visit their relatives, 20% stayed at the tourist centre "Samorodok",
25% - at the hotel "Gory Chatkala" or private guest houses, and five% lived in
own tents. Therefore, demand for community-based tourism (CBT) accommodations
would encourage local community to broaden a range of services provided and
improve quality of services. Moreover this will create competition.
Prices for accommodation service per day vary and are as follows (in US$):
• Trestle-bed - from one dollar per person for place to five dollars for the
whole trestle-bed. Discount is provided if family stays longer. Tourists are
received in an unorganized manner:
• Private house - from three USD per person to 30 USD per family or group of
people (depending on the level of comfort and additional services). Tourists are
received in an unorganized manner:
• Private guest house - from 30 to 100 USD - depending on the level of comfort
and services provided. Discounts are available, especially in dead season.
Tourists are received in an organized (by agreement with tourist firms, trade
unions and companies i and unorganized way;
• The hotel “Gory Chatkal” – 100 to 400 USD (for six-bed cottage), discount are
also available. Tourists are received in an organized manner through a tourist
firm or private company,
• Tourist centre "Samorodok" - 5 to 10 USD depending on room conditions.
Tourists are received in an organized (by agreement with tourist firms, trade
unions and companies and unorganized way.
Main consumers of tourist services of the Brichmulla-Nanai area are people aged
20 to 39 (54%) coming with their families or in company of other people (95%).
They prefer the combination of active (mountain hikes, sailing) and passive
(sun-baths, bathing) rest. 24% hike in the Ugam-Chatkal national park, 30% ride
on horse-back, 24% study wildlife, 26% go for an outing, and 9% make picnics.