Alma-Ata (Kazakhstan)

According to cachedhealth, Alma-Ata (in Kazakh – Almaty) is called the “southern capital” of Kazakhstan. This is the largest city in the country, which was the capital of the state in the period from 1927 to 1997. Alma-Ata is located in the southeastern part of Kazakhstan near the border with Kyrgyzstan at the foot of the Zailiysky Alatau at altitudes from 670 to 1100 m. The ridges of the Zailiysky Alatau border the city from the south, creating an excellent backdrop. However, the proximity to the mountains led to the fact that Alma-Ata repeatedly suffered from earthquakes and mudflows. In the 20th century, a mudflow dam was built above the city, and all structures were built from durable materials that could withstand strong tremors.

In the 1st millennium BC. on the territory of modern Alma-Ata and its environs were inhabited by Saks. The settlement that grew on this place was called Almata. The settlement reached its heyday in the 10th-11th centuries AD, when it became an important center of one of the branches of the Great Silk Road that connected China with Europe. Almaty was badly damaged in the 13th century, when Mongolian troops swept across Asia. It was then that the once large trading city fell into decay. In 1854, on the site of the Kazakh settlement of Almata, a Russian border fort was built, which changed several names during its history. Only in 1921, the city that grew out of a Russian fortress was returned to its historical name – Alma-Ata. In 1929, the capital of the Kazakh ASSR was moved to Alma-Ata from Kyzylorda.

The main attraction of Alma-Ata is the Park named after 28 heroes of Panfilov, which is located in the north-eastern part of the city on an area of 18 hectares. In the center of the park stands the majestic Holy Ascension Cathedral. The cathedral was erected in 1904 according to the project of engineer A.P. Zenkov, which is why he is often called Zenkovsky. The height of the building is 54 m, it is made of blue Tien Shan spruce wood. Despite the fact that the cathedral is wooden, it withstood a ten-magnitude earthquake in 1911. The Cathedral is adjacent to the Memorial of Glory, built in 1975 for the 30th anniversary of the Victory over Nazi Germany. The memorial consists of sculptural compositions, high reliefs, the Alley of Memory and the Eternal Flame. Also in the park are the House of Officers of 1978, the Monument to I.V. Panfilov, Arasan Baths and the Museum of Folk Musical Instruments named after Ykylas. The Museum of Folk Instruments was opened in 1980. Now there are dozens of types of Kazakh folk musical instruments, the oldest of which were made in the 17th century. Behind the park is the central market of the city – Green Bazaar. It is an excellent example of an Asian bazaar with numerous shopping arcades and barbecues.

In the southern part of the city the Central State Museum is interesting. Here are unique archaeological finds that tell about the history of Kazakhstan from ancient times. In total, the museum has about 120 thousand exhibits, among which is an exact copy of the Saka warrior of the 4th century BC, found in the “Saki mounds” and called the “Golden Man” because of his armor made of gold. It is also worth visiting the main square of the city – Republic Square, where the Palace of the Republic and the Independence Monument are located, in the center of which is the symbol of Kazakhstan – the “Golden Man”. Next to the museum is the main square of the city – Republic Square, on which the Palace of the Republic and the Independence Monument rise. The central place in the complex of the Independence Monument is occupied by a 28-meter stele, on which stands the symbol of Kazakhstan – 6-meter sculpture of the “Golden Man”, who controls the winged leopard.

In addition, one of the largest mosques in the country is of interest in Alma-Ata – the Central Mosque of 1999, the minaret height of which reaches 47 m, St. Nicholas Cathedral of 1908, located in the city center, the State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater named after Abay Italian style, Zoo and Botanical Garden.

Be sure to go to the highest point of Alma-Ata – Mount Koktobe (1130 m), from where the whole city is visible. A cable car has been laid to its top from the Republic Square. On the slope of Mount Koktobe you can see the 372-meter Almaty television tower.

15 km from Alma-Ata on the slopes of the Zailiysky Alatau are the resort areas of Medeo and Chimbulak, known for their mild climate, which allows you to relax here all year round.

Complex Medeo located at an altitude of 1700 m. It is the world’s highest winter sports complex with the largest open-air ice skating rink used for skating. The area of the artificial ice field is 10.5 thousand square meters. m. More than 100 world records were set at this rink. Tourists can ride here from November to March. It is worth noting that at the beginning of the 21st century the sports complex was completely reconstructed and now meets the highest international standards. In 2011, it is planned to hold competitions in speed skating and bandy on the ice of the Medeo sports complex under the program of the VII Asian Winter Games.

Above Medeo at an altitude of 2200 m is the ski resort Chimbulak. It has been operating since 1954. The skiing season in Chimbulak lasts from November to April, the best time is from January to February. The slopes of the resort are suitable for skiers of any skill level. The highest point of the resort is located on the Talgar pass (3163 m). The most difficult trails start from here with a height difference of up to 900 m. Trails for beginners are laid from an altitude of about 2500 m. You can get here by chairlifts and towing ropeways, which are located in close proximity to the hotels. In addition, a snowpark for snowboarding enthusiasts and a playground with a baby lift for the little ones were built in Chimbulak. The infrastructure of the resort includes several hotels cottage type, restaurants, entertainment centers, saunas and swimming pools. Not far from here are also such ski resorts as “Tabagan” with a total length of tracks of 37 km and the highest mark of 1650 m and “Ak-Bulak” with a maximum mark of 2613 m.

Alma-Ata is the starting point for traveling along the ridges of the Zailiysky Alatau. The routes pass through mountain valleys, picturesque rivers and lakes and glaciers. Here, on the border of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and China, there is the highest point of the country – Khan-Tengri Peak (7010 m). Tourists who want to climb the peak get to the foot of the mountain by helicopter. The ascent takes about 14 days on average.

You can also engage in hiking in numerous conservation areas located in the vicinity of Alma-Ata. On the northern slopes of the Zailiysky Alatau lies the Ile-Alatau State National Natural Park. The area of the park is 202.3 thousand hectares. The highest peak is Constitution Peak (4540 m). There are over 1,000 plant species in the park. Here you can see the relic moss “Chinturgen spruce forests”, which have been preserved since the Great Glaciation. Here, under the moss at a depth of 30-40 cm, areas of permafrost with a thickness of 2-3 m have been preserved. 47 species of mammals live in the park, including rare Tien Shan brown bear, snow leopard, stone marten, Central Asian river otter, manul, Turkestan lynx and Indian porcupine. In mountain rivers there are 8 species of fish: naked and scaly osman, marinka, minnow, and in the Turgen river – acclimatized rainbow trout. 178 species of birds are noted, 11 species are included in the Red Book: black stork, dwarf eagle, golden eagle, kumai, shahin, sickle beak, eagle owl, saker falcon, peregrine falcon and large lentil.

East of Alma-Ata in the central part of the Zailiysky Alatau is the Almaty State Nature Reserve. The area of the reserve is 91.6 thousand hectares. The highest point is Talgar Peak (4973 m). Deciduous and coniferous forests grow in the reserve, alpine meadows and mountain glaciers (about 160 pieces) stretch. 39 species of mammals and 170 species of birds live here. Of the animals, argali, goitered gazelle, deer, roe deer, brown bear, lynx are common, and snow leopard is occasionally found.

Also in this mountainous region the State National Natural Park “Kolsai Lakes” is interesting.. The park was created in 2007 around the high mountain lakes Kolsai and Kaindy on an area of 161.1 thousand hectares. There are many hiking and horse trails in the park. The Kolsai lakes themselves are filled with pure glacial water, and numerous campsites have been built along their banks. The lakes will appeal to lovers of fishing, because trout is found here.

A little to the north is the Charyn State National Natural Park, where a natural monument is located – the Charyn ash grove. Relic Sogdian ash grows in a grove along the banks of the rivers on an area of 800 hectares. This type of ash in the territory of Kazakhstan is preserved only here. Near the grove you can see ancient barrows made of stones. The Charyn canyon is very beautiful, which was called the “Valley of Castles” for its bizarre rocks.

Even further north, in the spurs of the Dzungarian Alatau, on an area of ​​160 thousand hectares, the State National Natural Park “Altyn Emel” is located. Here are such natural monuments as the Singing Dune and the Aktau Mountains. with a unique lunar landscape, and such archeological monuments as the Besshatyr burial mounds. The “Singing Barkhan” dune is a mountain of sand up to 3 km long and up to 150 m high. The dune was formed as a result of blowing sand from the shallows of the Ili River. When the sand grains of the dune rub against each other, a sound is made, similar to the melody of an organ. Ancient people believed that these sounds were made by local spirits. The Kazakh “Singing Dune” is the highest dune in the world that can make sounds. Another attraction of the park is the Besshatyr necropolis, which means “five tents”. The burial mounds belong to the culture of the ancient Saks, who lived in these places in the 1st millennium BC. Here on an area of 2 sq. km, you can see 18 burial mounds with a diameter of 8 to 70 m and a height of 2 to 20 m. Saka kings were buried in these mounds. The tombs are surrounded by a chain of stone fences, on which images of animals are carved. Also in the spurs of the Dzungarian Alatau it is worth looking at the most picturesque waterfall “Burkhan Bulak” 90 m high.

North of Alma-Ata is the most popular recreation area of the region – Kapchagay reservoir. In summer, locals and tourists flock here. Entire cottage settlements have been built on the reservoir. In 1993, an “Aquapark” was opened here with numerous water attractions. The park covers an area of 18 hectares, on which there are Olympic and jumping pools, a lagoon with waterfalls, 4-beam shivoli slides, children’s plastic slides, cafe bars, shopping kiosks, a rental shop and sports grounds.

In addition to its picturesque nature, the surroundings of Alma-Ata are famous for their historical monuments. This region has been known since ancient times under the name “Seven Rivers”.on the Ili River there is the Tamgaly-Tas tract, where ancient petroglyphs have been preserved on the rocks, among which one can distinguish images of Buddhas, domestic animals and inscriptions in ancient Tibetan and Kalmyk languages. 170 km northwest of Alma-Ata is the Tamgaly canyon with thousands of petroglyphs dating back to the Bronze Age. Here there are images of deities, warriors, animals, scenes of hunting and sacrifice. Also in the vicinity of Alma-Ata is the world-famous open-air museum “Saki Kurgans”, where the remains of the Saka warrior, called the “Golden Man”, were found. This burial dates back to the 4th century BC. The warrior was dressed in armor made of golden “scales”, and his head was crowned with a high pointed hat 70 cm long, decorated with images of animals. Together with the warrior, a sword, a dagger, clay vessels, precious vessels made of silver and bronze, wooden trays and more than 4 thousand gold jewelry were found in the grave. To date, the “Golden Man” is a symbol of Kazakhstan, its copies can be seen in state museums. East of Alma-Ata in the State National Natural Park “Altyn Emel” interesting burial mounds Besshatyr, which means “five tents”. The burial mounds belong to the culture of the ancient Saks, who lived in these places in the 1st millennium BC. Here on an area of 2 sq. km, you can see 18 burial mounds with a diameter of 8 to 70 m and a height of 2 to 20 m. Saka kings were buried in these mounds. The tombs are surrounded by a chain of stone fences, on which images of animals are carved.

In addition, from Alma-Ata you can go to the town of artisans “Sheberler auyly”, where national life, cuisine, traditions, crafts and crafts are presented, and to the stele of the Anrakay battle, erected in memory of the soldiers who fought against the Dzungars.

In the extreme east of the region on the border with the East Kazakhstan region is located Alakol State Nature Reserve. The reserve was created on an area of 20.7 thousand hectares to preserve the natural world of the Tentek River Delta and the unique populations of relict gulls, beauty bustards, duadak bustards, curly and pink pelicans and ducks. In total, more than 269 species of birds live in the reserve, for the observation of which specialized ornithological tours are organized. Not far from here is the balneological resort “Arasan-Kapal”. Arasan-Kapal mineral springs belong to weakly radioactive, weakly sulphate-chloride-sodium terms. The temperature of most springs is +35..+37 degrees. The waters of the springs help in the treatment of diseases of the metabolism, the peripheral system, blood vessels, rheumatism and women’s diseases. Also, 20 km from Lake Alakol, but already on the territory of the East Kazakhstan region, there is a sanatorium Barlyk-Arasan. In addition to the local mineral springs with a water temperature of +43 degrees, antlers are also used in the treatment – antlers of sika deer, deer and red deer, which have been used in oriental medicine for several millennia.

Alma-Ata (Kazakhstan)