The area along which the Ili River flows is rich in its significant places, and in addition to such great and significant places as the Altyn-Emel State National Natural Park, which includes the white mountains of Aktau and volcanic Katutau, as well as such a miracle of nature as Singing Dunes, and another important place as Tamgaly Tas is located. We will tell you what this place is and how it is remarkable and so important.
What is noteworthy in the tract Tamgyly Tas?
Literally Tamgaly Tas means - stones with signs, and it is no accident, because on the rocks of the tract there are many petroglyphs preserved, there are about a thousand drawings depicted on the stone. Here you can see a lot of images of animals, ceremonies, hunting and warriors, but the most unusual and at the same time mysterious drawings on the rocks of Tamgaly Tas are images of Buddha, mysterious deities and Buddhist inscriptions. It would seem how these images could reach our lands? at the moment there are two versions of the appearance of carved images, one of which is based on a legend, and the second is closer to historical fact.
According to legend, it is believed that once around the 10th century one of the Buddhist missions organized a campaign in Semirechye. And the bank of the Ili River became for them a place to relax. At that time, an earthquake began, and a huge rock, breaking away, collapsed to the ground. The Buddhists decided that it was a sign from above that ordered them to return to their refuge in India. Before his departure, Buddhist monks carved Buddha images on the fallen fragment of rock and nearby rocks in order to appease his will.
According to another version, it is believed that the images were left by Kalmyks, and in fact, the writing left on the stone resembles "Todorhoy Nomin Bichig" (this is a writing based on the Old Mongolian language and was in demand by Buddhist monks). Moreover, “todo-bichig” was actively used by the Mongols - nomads for three centuries, which suggested that it was they who carved this miracle of petrography.
The research of the Tamgaly Tas area began, relatively not so long ago, and who would have imagined one of the respected and authoritative personalities of the history of Kazakhstan - the traveler scientist Chokan Valikhanov. It was he who made the first sketches of the area in 1875, which was a rush for study for Alexei Pozdneev, who began work in 1899.
Now it is one of the favorite places for tourism of Kazakhstanis and guests of Kazakhstan. Crowds of tourists annually come to Tamgaly Tas in order to personally see the petroglyphs and plunge into the wonderful mysterious and historical atmosphere, as well as take a couple of wonderful shots against the backdrop of cliffs.