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Trip to Tamgaly Tas on Ili River

Next Destination: Tamgaly Tas near Ili River

Where: 170 kilometers to the north -west from Almaty

Main activities: hiking, rock climbing, camping

Best sights: beautiful view to Ili river, Budda petroglyphs

Where it’s at: Tamgaly Tas, translated as “ written rocks, stones with signs”, is located in Kazakhstan, 170 kilometers to the north -west from Almaty, on the right bank of the Ili River, which is 20 km north-west from the Kapchagay dam. The natural boundary consists of huge cliffs (up to 60 m). The unique style of the images is achieved by fine art of stone carving and fine contour lines. The drawings date back to the XIV-XVI centuries.

Interesting Facts:

  • The people have a legend about the origin of the Buddhist petroglyphs. Thus, the legend has it that at the moment when a caravan was moving to the river along the natural boundary, a strong earthquake took place. The witnesses saw huge boulders rolling with incredibly high cliffs into the water, forming a kind of river crossing. The pilgrims took it as a blessing and help from Gods.
  • On the opposite bank of the Ili River you can observe the scenery of medieval Kazakhstan which has been specially constructed for the movie “The Nomad”.

What We’did: One day trip to Tamgaly Tas organized by KIMEP CAT to discover the beauties of Buddhist petroglyphs, rock climbing with personal guide was attractive and at the same time challenging. As almost all citizens know the fact that Almaty is really popular for its hiking opportunities. So, students had a great chance to enjoy the view to Ili river and observe picturesque rocks which highly attract many tourists. It was also picnic organized with tradition tea from “Samovar” (is a heated metal container traditionally used to heat and boil water in and around Russia, as well as in countries in Central Europe, South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Middle-East).