Tamgaly Tas

#ID 518caac49208d.pngArid and full of stones Tamgaly Gorge is located in the Anrahai mountains, which means "cleft in the mountains", 170 km to the north-south from Almaty. This archeological monument includes not only famous  petroglyphs (rock paintings), but different ancient settlements, tombstones, stone quarries from XIV-XIII A.C. till XIX-XX A.D., another worlds from the Bronze Age till the ancient times. All these cult structures were found in the 1957 year.

The creators of the petroglyphs  were very smart and used the phenomenon of the "desert sunburn",  the paintings were marked by the firm stones or metal tools later on the porphyrite. Porhyrite forms big and smooth surface with the help of weathering, which are covered with the dark brown crust ("desert sunburn").

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Assy Plato

#ID 518cab682eaae.pngThere are a wonderful place in the Ile-Alatau national park - the Turgen Gorge, 90 km from the Almaty.

The most beautiful place of the Gorge is Assy plato (2800 m-3200 m above sea level).  Turgen Gorge is famous for waterfalls and relict moss fir grove, which grows in everfrost, different coniferous forests, alpine meadows, lakes and springs, officinal grasses and berries. Ancient nomads use this Plato as summer grassland, first people lived here more than 5000 years ago. Our days this plato is used in the same way: yurts, ancient kazakh houses, are scattered in the valley and herdsmen pasture cattle in the summer.

In the top part of the Plato the observatory with one of the biggest telescope in the world is constructed.  

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Charyn Canyon

#ID 518caba2a38d5.pngСanyon "Charyn", stretching along the river on 154 km, is situated about 195 km east of Almaty, Kazakhstan, not so far from China. Charyn Canyon is an amazing creation of nature that exists for millions of years, picturesque and very diverse in geomorfological aspects. The height of steep mountainsides reaches 150-300 meters. Numerous ravines and gullies make dense rambling net. Wind and water created stunning "Castles Valley". The length of it is more than two kilometers, the width - 20-80 meters. All along the valley you are surrounded by towers of fantastical forms, built of sedimentary. Their age is about 12 million years. All this time the nature was creating these architectural wonders, without haste was building the majestic castles. You may spend hours walking in this fairy tale, astonished by the inventiveness of nature!

On the bottom of the canyon there is a Grove of a very rare species of the Ash Tree. The Sogdian Ash Tree Grove, that survived the Glacier Age. The Canyon, the River and the Sogdian Ash Tree Grove are all within the territory of the Charyn National Park.

Many people compare it to the Grand Canyon of California. Of course, size wise it's smaller than the Grand Canyon, hence the nick name "little brother of the Grand Canyon". The rock formations, the colors resemble that of the Grand Canyon.

  Landscape diversity of the canyon creates a conditions for more than 1500 species of the plants, 17 of them are in the Red Book, 62 types of mammals, 103 kinds of birds and 25 types of reptiles. 

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Turgen Waterfalls

#ID 518cabdc48670.pngTurgen Gorge (90 km from Almaty) is situated on the territory of the Ile-Alatau national park, which is located on the hillsides of the Zailiyskoe Alatau. The ways of the caravans to India and China lied through this gorge in the ancient times. The Turgen gorge is famous for its seven waterfalls. The Medvezhy (Bear) Falls drop 30 meters and is attractive because of its overhanging cliffs and green fir trees. The Bozgul waterfall is memorable by the most fast and full of force water stream. The springs with the living water could be found here.  A lot of notable places of interest will be met along the way to the gorge: The Oster Farm, Trout Farm, The Spring of Youth, The Open-air Museum, Issyk Kurgans.

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Tamgaly Tas (Painted rocks)

#ID 518cac0cd8e62.pngTamgaly Tas Hole is situated near the Ili river (120 km from Almaty). The name of the place means “the stones with signs” or “paintings on the stones” from the Kazakh language. There are more than 1000 different paintings on the rocks, dating to the Middle Ages. Different petroglyps, the images of the Gods, Buddhist inscriptions and the most famous one – three Buddhist Gods are figured on the cliffs. Under the paintings the ancient inscription on Sanskrit “Om mane padme hum”, dating to the XII century is written. The meaning of this phrase is “Blessed be the one born from the lotus”.

Nearby is another rock with writings in an ancient Turkic runic script dating back to the 8-9th centuries. By another legend the ancient Mongol nomads have been using them during three centuries.

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Big Almaty lake

#ID 518cac49515c1.pngBig Almaty lake is in the gorge of Big Almaty River, approximately in 28,5 kms to the south from Almaty, at height of 2511 meters above a sea level. The lake is rounded by the high mountains from all sides.  Like majority of the Tyan-Shan lakes, it is the result of the earthquakes. Three main peaks tower above the lake: Sovet Peak (4317), Lake Peak (4110) and Turist Peak (3954). To the west from the Turist Peak, big crest with the height of 3681 meters is raised over the dam, this place could be seen from the center of the city.  The color of the lake changes during the seasons – from light green to turquoise blue. Spring water feeds the lake, it reaches the size of 1,6 kilometers long and 1 meters wide.

Big Almaty Lake is a part of the Ile-Alatau national park. Today the city uses the lake as the natural water storage reservoir. 

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