Weeping Сave in Mashat Gorge
Mashat Gorge is known for its caves, with the Weeping Cave being the most famous and fascinating.
Many landforms with an unusual structure and appearance are shrouded in legend. The Weeping Cave, located in Turkistan Province, is no exception. For many centuries it has been associated with the legend of the young beauty Mashat. When she was a child, Mashat was promised to an elderly rich man. However, when she came of age, she fell in love with a poor horseman. Mashat could not bear the idea of marrying the old man, so she threw herself off a mountain and turned into a river. Her beloved man turned into a rock by the river near the Weeping Cave.
Useful tips for 2020-2021
How to get there
You can visit the cave with a tour that you can book in a travel agency in Shymkent. If you intend to go on a trip on your own, then drive along the Shymkent-Tyulkubas highway until you reach the village of Kershetas located 30 km (19 mi) away from Shymkent. Enter the village and drive to the first T-shaped intersection. Then turn right and drive along the paved road to the canyon. In the Mashat gorge, there are several tourist camps – former Soviet Young Pioneer camps that have been remade into places you can stay. Be advised that the Weeping Cave is located on the territory of a recreation area, so you will have to pay to enter.
Food and accommodation
You can stay in one of the tourist camps, or you can go to Shymkent for a more comfortable stay.
Photos by Alexander Petrov