Culture • 04 September, 2018

4000 km of track and four national nature parks — results of Sary-Arka expedition

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September 4, 2018, the expedition on the Sary-Arka route, which started August 20 and lasted 16 days, was completed. During this time, the participants overcame more than 4000 km of the road and visited four national nature parks.

The expedition was organized by Kazakh Tourism NC on the order of the tourism industry committee of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. The route of the expedition Sary-Arka was realized by the NGO QazaqGeography. This is the fourth route in the framework of the Uly Dala Eline Sayahat project.

The travelers discovered a variety of landscapes, a rich flora and fauna of Akmola, Karaganda and North Kazakhstan region. As part of this expedition, as in the previous ones, there were travelers, television journalists and representatives of tour operators, foreign and Kazakhstan travel bloggers: Russian travel blogger Elena Khachina and Kazakhstan traveler, blogger Ulan Alimbek.

In the Buyratau State National Nature Park project participants observed marals in their natural habitat. Travelers had a hard time because of the weather: a night in tents in the pouring rain — not the usual thing for every tourist.

The group visited the lakes of this park. One of them is Azhibay. The place is famous for different kinds of birds. Here come the birdwatchers — ornithologists. This is one of the largest lakes in the park.

The next location along the route was the picturesque shores of Lake Toraigyr, which is located in Bayanaul National Nature Park. The origin of the lake is associated with a legend about the descendant of the famous bi-edyge, whose name was Toraigyr. He lived near the lake. People loved him for justice and discretion. In general, Bayanaul is a region with a rich history and amazing nature, which formed many myths and legends.

Another lake of the Bayanaul Park, which the expedition members visited — Zhasibay. This is a favorite place for tourists, which differs from other places with developed infrastructure.

In the Karkaraly national park in the territory of Karaganda region, the expedition members got acquainted with the next lake — Shaytankol. To reach this lake you can only walk, but the result is worth the effort, as the lake is spread among the stones on the top of the mountains. There are a lot of legends about this place, people think that evil spirits are wandering around here.

Akim of Karkaraly region Khalel Maksutov invited the expedition members to see one of the oldest mosques in Kazakhstan, which was built by Abai's father — Kunanbay Uskenbaev. To this day, the mosque has been preserved in a highly modified form. In the Soviet period, the mosque, unique in architecture and beauty, ceased to function. The mosque's minaret was destroyed in 1920, and the building itself was turned into a school, then handed over to warehouses, and later was abandoned altogether. In the 1980s the mosque was restored and today again functions according to its original purpose.

Then the travelers went to Lake Balkhash, one of the largest reservoirs of our country. It is remarkable and unique in that the western part of the lake is freshwater, and the eastern part is saline. There are about 20 species of fish in the lake, and on the shores there are more than 120 species of birds, many of which are listed in the Red Book of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

On the territory of the Northern Balkhash region is located the mysterious and picturesque Bektau-ata mountain range. Before the eyes of the travelers, incredible "Martian” landscapes were opened. This is a unique natural natural formation, the result of the fusion of two natural landscapes: a granite mountain and sandy steppes. Granite rocks Bektau-ata is a volcanic lava, frozen on the surface and in the cracks of the earth. Volcanic formations are like layers of a large pie. One of the attractions of the mountain range is the Atabeka Cave. Its length is 50 m. It is believed that this place served as a sanctuary where the Tengrians performed rituals dedicated to the goddess Umai.

In the Ortau Mountains, the expedition members visited the meteorite crater Shunak, from there they went to the tract of Terekty where there is an archaeological monument that preserved the ancient rock painting. On the rocks of the tract Terekt-Aulie you can see images of animals made in the "animal style." In total there are about 300 petroglyphs in the tract.

Travelers visited two more national parks: the Kokshetau State National Natural Park, as well as the Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to the participants themselves, the route was rich and impressive.

Recall that in the framework of the project Uly Dala Eline Sayahat there are two more routes: "From Sea to Sea" — through the territories of Kyzylorda, Aktobe and Mangistau regions and the "New Silk Road" — through the territories of Turkestan, Zhambyl and Almaty regions. The National Geographic Russia team will take part in the "New Silk Road" route.

As a result of the expedition, a special program will be launched to visit tourist sites on Kazakh TV. The official media partner of the expedition is the Khabar Agency.

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