Rukh Ordo Museum in Kyrgyzstan, photo and description

Cultural Center “Rukh Ordo”.

Cultural Center Rukh Ordo

Every day from 09:00 to 17:00, without days off. Tour schedule: 10:00 – 11:30; 12:30 – 14:00; 15:00 – 16:30; 17:00 – 18:30.

The cultural center “Rukh Ordo” is territorially located on the northern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul, which means “hot lake” in Kyrgyz. The initiative to open the Rukh Ordo complex in Cholpon-Ata was taken by Tashkul Kereksizov, a well-known entrepreneur in Kyrgyzstan. He wanted to unite the history and culture of different peoples in one place.

The cultural center appeared back in 2002, but only some Kyrgyz people and a number of famous people could enter its territory. In 2007, the policy of the Chingiz Aitmatov Cultural Center was revised. In 2007, the policy of the Chingiz Aitmatov Cultural Center was revised and the entrance to the complex was made open to all comers.

Cultural Center Rukh Ordo

“Rukh Ordo” occupies a significant area – about 4.5 hectares. Its name in Russian means “Blessed Grad” or “Spiritual Center”.

At the time of opening, the complex was named “Ruh Ordo Tashkul Ata”, but in 2008 it was renamed after the famous writer, diplomat and academician Chingiz Aitmatov.

Location of the cultural complex named after Chingiz Aitmatov

“Rukh Ordo” is located on the shore of the largest lake of Kyrgyzstan – Issyk-Kul. Location of the complex is well chosen – on the one hand the city of Cholpon-Ata, which is famous for its beaches, on the other – the “warm lake” of Issyk-Kul. The lake is located between the ridges of the Northern Tien Shan. The combination of marine and mountain climate attracts many tourists.

Cultural Center Rukh Ordo

Google maps panoramas of the Cultural Center “Rukh Ordo


Chingiz Aitmatov Cultural Center can be called an open-air cultural heritage site. The complex consists of 10 museums. In addition, on the territory of “Rukh Ordo” there is the house-museum of Ch. Aitmatov, the Hall of Kyrgyz art and culture, picture and photo gallery, Sayakbai Karalaev gazebo, Treasury of knowledge.

Within the boundaries of the cultural complex “Rukh Ordo” are erected five chapels, which are located at an equal distance from each other. The sanctuaries are identical in design. The only difference between these buildings is the symbols of world religions which decorate the tops of the buildings: Islam, Orthodox Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism and Buddhism. Each of the sanctuaries inside is filled with the attributes of the corresponding confession.

Jewish Museum of Tolerance in Moscow

Cultural Center Rukh Ordo

The chapels also have their own legend. In the dome of each sanctuary you can see a black hole. The belief goes that if you stand over it, all the negative energy will go away.

On the territory of the “Rukh Ordo” there are many unique expositions, paintings, sculptures, monuments belonging to different cultures and nationalities. Every year the complex is replenished with new exhibits.

Among the most popular monuments are Chingiz Aitmatov, Bulat Okudzhava, Victor Hugo and Karl Marx.

The Tree of Life is one of the famous sculptures of the cultural center. Not far from it is the famous pier “Rukh Ordo”, with structural elements symbolizing the four sides of the world and the four seasons.

The main idea behind the creation of the museum as an architectural and cultural heritage of Kyrgyzstan is that God is one for all and all living beings are one before him.

Cultural Center Rukh Ordo

Excursions to the “Ruh Ordo”

There are excursions on the territory of the Rukh Ordo complex, which last an hour and a half and cost 400 soms (the ticket price per person). The center itself works daily and without weekends, but tours are conducted according to the schedule. The updated schedule can be viewed on the official website. Guests are met and introduced to the history and culture by experienced guides.

The main noteworthy places that tourists visit during the tour:

  • Five Chapels of the World’s Religions;
  • Treasury of Knowledge;
  • Sayakbay Karalaev’s gazebo;
  • Exhibition Hall;
  • Kyrgyz village;
  • The pier on the lake.

Cultural Center Rukh Ordo

Participants of the Great Patriotic War and pensioners of the Kyrgyz Republic can visit the cultural center for free by presenting a certificate. Children up to 7 years of age are free to enter the complex.

Services .

Not so long ago in the cultural center named after Ch. Aytmatov Cultural Center has recently opened a museum-shop of natural stones and jewelry made of them. Visitors can buy the products they like and just enjoy the beauty of the work of craftsmen.

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Guests of the complex can try to learn archery, plunge into the former times of the nomadic peoples of Kyrgyzstan, learn a little more about the military customs of the time.

A visit to the museum-shop and archery is not included in the tour program. You need to check the schedule of these events in advance.

How to get to the cultural center “Rukh Ordo” named after Chingiz Aitmatov

Chingiz Aitmatov complex is located near the center of Cholpon-Ata, a few minutes walk from Sovetskaya Street. The complex is located near the Central Park of Culture and Recreation.

To get to the entrance of the Rukh Ordo you need to go down from the Central Park of Culture and Recreation to the lake to the end of Orozova Street. It is also possible to walk from the main bus station in Cholpon-Ata to the cultural center, the road takes about 20 minutes.

How to get to Rukh Ordo from the Cholpon-Ata bus station

There is an opportunity to get from any point in Cholpon-Ata using local cab services: “Kol Taxi”, “Karakol Taxi” and others.

Review: Cultural Center “Rukh Ordo” (Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan) – The best place to explore the culture of Kyrgyzstan and not only

Today I want to tell you about one more place besides Grigorievskoye and Semenovskoye gorges which I visited during my vacation at the Issyk-Kul Lake – the Cultural Center named after Chingiz Aitmatov “Rukh Ordo”. It’s located in Cholpon-Ata, not a long drive from my boarding house, Teltoru.

The center was founded back in 2002, but has been in the shape it has since 2008, when the complex was purchased and the name of the writer Chingiz Aitmatov was associated with it. He is perhaps one of the most famous representatives of the Kyrgyz people.

Rukh Ordo Cultural Center (Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan) photo

Immediately upon entering I liked the cleanliness and logicality of the complex, there were signs everywhere. I went to the booking office and bought a ticket. At the entrance I was met by girls in traditional costumes, briefly described the complex to me and told that the free guided tour in Russian would begin in half an hour, and I could still wander here on my own.

Bagatti Valsecchi Museum in Milan, description and photos

The first thing that catches my eye is the five identical towers standing on the complex. Although, in fact, they do have differences. Each tower is dedicated to a religion, and thus differs in the symbol on top.

Later in the tour we were led into each of them.

The first chapel is dedicated to Judaism. At the top of the chapel is a picture of a star of David.

Chapel of Judaism

There is practically nothing inside the chapel except lines from the Old Testament on the walls.

Inside the chapel

The next chapel is a Muslim chapel. There is a crescent moon on top.

Muslim chapel

Here the decorations are more diverse. Carpets hang on the walls.

Inside the chapel

Sacred books are on a rack. In the corner stands an aftafa, a jug used by Muslims for ablutions.

Inside the chapel

The next tower is dedicated to Buddhism. I honestly couldn’t remember what the symbol on the top was.

Buddhist chapel

There was nothing inside that interested me, except maybe one statue.

Inside the chapel

There are two whole chapels dedicated to Christianity: the first belongs to Orthodoxy, and the second to Catholicism.

Orthodox chapel

Catholic chapel

I was surprised that our guide asked us not to take pictures inside the Christian chapels. It turns out that all the chapels are active.

There was nothing special in the Orthodox one, but next to the Catholic one there is a figure of Joan of Arc.

Jeanne Dark

All the chapels are made in the same style, none stands out. This was done on purpose to show that all religions of the world are equal in importance.

In addition to these five buildings in Rukh Ordo, I would like to mention the House Museum of Chingiz Aitmatov. Outside, the title of his novel “And the day lasts longer than a century” is written on the end of the building.

Chingiz Aitmatov House Museum

Chingiz Aitmatov House Museum

Inside, there is a large hall where international meetings and festivities are held.

Inside the museum

The walls are decorated with Kyrgyz ornaments as well as various paintings and portraits

Museum of Musical Instruments in Berlin, Germany

Inside the museum

Inside the museum

A collection of dolls in traditional Kyrgyz attire also caught my attention.

Dolls in traditional Kyrgyz clothes

After visiting the museum we visited the conference room. Its walls were also decorated with different paintings, carpets and Kyrgyz ornaments.

Conference hall

Conference hall

I also liked the large map of Kyrgyzstan with its mountains and the pearl of the lake Issyk-Kul.

Map of Kyrgyzstan

That’s where we were going.

The entrance to the lake is through an arch with a sculpture of Sayakabai Karalaev, the famous manaschi (the performer of the Manas epic).

Sayakabay Karalaev

Immediately near the lake I liked the original metal trees. I think at night they serve as lanterns.

Metal trees

There are several sculptures on the waterfront itself.

A boy with a foal

I thought that this sculpture of a boy with a foal symbolized the Kyrgyz people’s connection to the nomadic life, of which horses are an integral part, but the guide said that this sculpture is also dedicated to the heroes of Chingiz Aitmatov.

On the other side of the pier is a sculpture of a Kyrgyz beauty surrounded by swans, as a symbol of beauty, freedom and love.

Kyrgyz beauty

A little further along the coast there are sculptures of ancient Greek goddesses: Demeter, Aphrodite and Hestia.

Greek goddesses

In general, there are a huge number of sculptures on the territory of Ruh Ordo.

Near the pier, there is a sculpture of the mother – a she-wolf, who, according to legend, saved and nurtured the boy, who was left without legs and arms after an attack on his settlement by enemies.

A mother she-wolf

Since his entire tribe was wiped out, it was because he was able to survive that his lineage was continued and did not disappear from the face of the Earth.

Many of the sculptors at the Center are dedicated to the works of Chingiz Aitmatov.

White steamer

Sailing away with a dream

Sailing away with a dream

The prophetic bird Donenbai

The bird Donenbai, a prophetic bird.

There is also a bench with the writer himself.

Chingiz Aitmatov

The sculpture is of very high quality, the resemblance is obvious, not like the Beatles in Kok-Tobe Park in Kazakhstan.

There are other sculptures of famous personalities.

Bulat Okudzhava

For example, composer Bulat Okudzhava.

Suymenkul Chokmorov

Kyrgyz actor Suymenkul Chokmorov.

Hugo and Nobel

There are even sculptures of Hugo and Nobel.

Phallological Museum in Reykjavik, Phallus Collection

And this is not all the famous personalities in the “Rukh Ordo.

Unobtrusive traditional Kyrgyz music plays throughout the complex. And the speakers are disguised under such stones.

Disguised column

In addition to this stone, I want to mention another one unique in its shape.

Heart-shaped stone

I think there is no need to even write the name, everything is clear as it is.

Kyrgyz ornaments are used to decorate the entire complex, even the tiles on the paths are made with them.

Kyrgyz ornament

At the end of our tour, which lasted about 1.5 hours, our guide took us to the statue of the frog, telling us that visitors throw coins here for good luck and prosperity.

A coin for luck

Now somewhere in that pile lies my ruble, too.

After the tour ended, I wandered around the complex some more.


There are benches and urns all over the territory.

There are a few more interesting things at the entrance/exit of the complex.

First of all there is a real yurt.

Rukh Ordo Cultural Center (Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan) photo

Unfortunately, it was closed when I was there, but you can usually get inside it to take a look at everyday life from the inside.

Secondly, next to the yurt there is a Kyrgyz national swing, which works on public holidays.


This entertainment came down to our days from the distant past. It was believed that if a guy wants to show a girl that he likes her, he needs to ride with her on such a swing.

And thirdly, I would like to mention the gong set up at the Buddhist chapel.

Gong, the one that grants wishes

It’s a place for making wishes. You have to think about what you want very badly and strike the bell.

Having done this procedure for the last time, I left the Rukh Ordo absolutely satisfied.

Rukh Ordo Cultural Center (Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan) photo

I think this is the best place to get acquainted not only with the works of Chingiz Aitmatov, but with all the legends and traditions of Kyrgyzstan. And here you will not just walk along the beautiful clean paths along the sculptures, but also get a quality interesting tour.

I liked this place very much, I recommend to visit it by all means, especially if you have a rest at the Issyk-Kul Lake.

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