Shunak Meteorite Crater Shunak Meteorite Crater

One of the most interesting memorials of nature, with its unearthly origin, is the Shunak meteorite crater located 40 kms to the west of the Mointy railway station. It's crater was formed about 12 millions years ago by the fall of a huge meteorite and destroyed all living things for several thousand kms around.

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Turanga Grove in Orta-Deresyn Turanga Grove in Orta-Deresyn

Not far from Balkhash city there are several groves of relict turanga (Asian Poplar). In particular, one of those places is located on the lower stream of Tokyrau river, in the area of Orta-Deresyn Village. Asian poplar is resistant to cultivation due to the salt marshes and mostly sandy soil. It serves as a safety refuge during intense summer heat and strong drought.

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Baigabyl Peninsula, the Northern Bank of the Balkhash Lake Baigabyl Peninsula, the Northern Bank of the Balkhash Lake

To the south-east of Karaganda on the border of Karaganda and Almaty Oblasts there is inland Balkhash Lake; one of the largest lakes in the world (about 18 thousand square kms). What makes Balkhash unique is that it is half fresh and half salty (salty eastern and fresh western parts are divided by Uzyn-Aral strait (channel)). The depth of Balkhash does not exceed 26 meters and its length spreads more than 600 kms.

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Petroglyphic Drawings on the Terekty-Aulie Petroglyphic Drawings on the Terekty-Aulie

The petroglyphs of Terekty-Aulie, stretched out with flat rocky granite remains and dating back to the Bronze Age (the second Millennium before the Christ) are of great interest to scientists. The most popular here are pictures of animals, especially horses as well as camels and bulls.

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Alasha-Khan Mausoleum Alasha-Khan Mausoleum

Alasha-Khan is a character, perhaps more legendary than historical. No one knows exactly if this person ever existed. His name means “variegated or colorful” and he is considered to be an ancestor of the Kazakh people. Alasha-Khan is mentioned not only in Kazakh legends, but also in other Turkic people’s legends and traditions.

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Dzhuchi Khan Mausoleum Dzhuchi Khan Mausoleum

Dzhuchi Khan (Zhoshi), the elder son of Chingiz-Khan and ancestor of most Kazakh Khans, especially loved the Sary-Arka steppes, so he stationed his Headquarters very close to the Ulytau mountains. Khan’s Headquarters were a big administrative and cultural center of Sary-Arka for a long time.

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Dombauyl Mausoleum Dombauyl Mausoleum

Dombauyl Mausoleum which is situated on the left bank of the Karakengir river, in the opinion of the most scientists, is one of the ancient structures in Central Kazakhstan.

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Baskamyr City Baskamyr City

As Baskamyr city is located in the Taldysai boundary to the south of the Ulytau mountains, one can find signs of construction activity of the Kipchaks, one of the tribes which became the foundation of Kazakh ethnos. Scientists found ruins here, of a castle surrounded by three walls with guard towers and a citadel.

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The Monument of Unity of Kazakhstan’s People The Monument of Unity of Kazakhstan’s People

From the history of Eurasian Nomads, the Ulytau region (in Kazakh, meaning «Great Mountains») was always taken as a sacred place, and for most people this place is considered an epicenter of Nomad civilization. Ulytau is considered the historical center of Sary-Arka and the Kazakh lands, as a whole, owing to its concentration of mausoleums, petroglyphic drawings, caves, ancient cities, historical and legendary stories of distant places.

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Petroglyph of Zangyrtas Petroglyph of Zangyrtas

Zangyrtas is a couple of dozens granite boulders fairly small in size, and aligned on the hill side 20 kilometers to the northeast of Ulytau village. The stone surface is covered by various pictures made by the artists of the Bronze Age. Among them are images of argali, ibex and camels, scenes of hunting and horse manning are main themes here, as usual.

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