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National monument of Altai.

Archaeological tourism in Kazakhstan.

«Memory is the treasure house of the mind wherein the monuments thereof are kept and preserved»

Thomas Fuller.

Cultural heritage tourism in East-Kazakh province.

Make time for an excursion to the ruins of Ae Ablyinkit Buddhist monastery, which was built in the XVIIth Century at the behest of the Zhungar Khan Ablay. This monastery in the Sibin Valley was once famous for its, comprising many precious Tibetan paper scrolls.
Today, however, the structure has fallen victim to the ravages of time, to the extent that it can now hardly be recognized as such. Travelling on from the lakes, you can continue on to the Bukhtarminsk Reservoir and eventually Zaysan Lake, a harsh but extraordinarily beautiful stretch of landscape.
An alternative is a return to Oskemen from Targyn, keeping to the north past Mount Sorokina Sopka, which can be recognized by its pyramid shape. The site of the winter camp Ak Baur not far from the mountain is steeped in archaeological history and eerie legend.
This is a place where extraterrestrial creatures are supposed to have landed many centuries ago. In fact drawings can be found in a small cave at the foot of Karzhimbay Mountain that have no equivalent to other rock drawings of this time.
Even the unpractised eye can believe it is seeing flying saucers. Archaeologists and ethnographers began studying the area in the 1960s; there are petroglyphs of hunting scenes, horses and maral deer, and a natural amphitheatre where a series of flat-sided granite rocks were placed in an exact East-West alignment, with man-made cracks in the rocks aligned with the mountain peaks and the Polar Star.
The conclusion is that in the distant past this was an important astronomical complex, where shamans ingeniously and accurately divined the equinoxes and solstices marking the seasonal changes (Vernal Equinox 22 March, Summer Solstice 21 June, Autumnal Equinox 23 September, Winter Solstice 21 December).

The Grotto Akbaur.Ablaikit rock wall.Petroglyphs in the Grotto Akbaur.Ablaikit monastery.Bayan Suly and Kozy Korpesh mausoleum.Akbaur komplex.

Authority:
The guidebook across Kazakhstan. Authors Dagmar Schreiber and Jeremy Tredinnick. Publishing house "Odyssey".2010.

Photos
Alexander Petrov.