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Bayanaul national park.

National nature parks of Kazakhstan.

Everything in excess is opposed to nature” 


Heritage tourism in Baynaul nature park.

The Bayan-Aul National Park has rock drawings, stone sculptures, clear, sparkling lakes and pine trees clinging to the cliffs. Draw an imaginary line between Astana and Semey, and at the halfway point, 180 kilometres southwest of Pavlodar, you will find the Bayanaul Nature Reserve.
Kazakhs call it "Nature's Museum"; it has charming lakes, mountains, pinewoods with strangely formed trees, bizarre rock formations, steppe - there is a bit of everything here, an idyllic coexistence in an area of only 450 square kilometres.
The beautiful Bayan, a well-known figure in Kazakh folklore, was said to have set up her aul here. Many people, most of them young men, travel from far and wide to see Bayan. Today, they come to admire the landscape rather than a woman's beauty, but nature puts on a wonderful show, and seems almost animated here.
This is the reason why, according to general opinion, Bayanaul has produced so many famous Kazakhs, such as the academic Satpayev and the poet Toraygyrov. In 3 - 5 days you can visit everything worth seeing: the holy cave of Konyr Auliye, the Kempirtas (Witch) Rock, Mount Akbet - the area's highest peak, the Soap Lake and the Satpayev Museum.
Is in the Bayanaul Mountains situated in the southwest of the Pavlodar Oblast, in the remote part of the Saryarka Steppe. The mountains covered with woods are a real oasis appearing unexpectedly in the bare steppe.
The climate there is different from that of the adjacent steppe areas because of the relief peculiarity, the woods and the lakes. There are neither strong winds nor sand-storms. Many plants species survived intact in Bayanaul.
Some of them are relic, for example, the black alder (Alnus glutinosa) and the rock red currant (Ribes petraeum). The mountains are also rich in various berries and mushrooms. The peculiarity of these places is that they are literally full of legends.
This is proved by the fact that every mountain, lake or stone has a name and is connected with an old story. Scholars believe that the word ‘Bayanaul’ is of Mongolian-Turkic origin. Its literal translation is ‘rich, happy mountains’.
But ancient legends interpret the name of the place as the name of Bayan-Sulu (beauty Bayan), the folk epos heroine. Other remarkable places of Saryarka are BayanauIsky mountains.
They are the northeast suburb of Kazakh small-hills. These mountains are a unique isIet among steppe plain. On Akbet hill they rise up to 1026 meters above sea level. Granite massif of Bayanaul is covered with pine wood, and some meters lower the rocks of freakish forms such as "Baba-Yaga", "Shaitantas", "Stone head" and others also can be met.
There are many small picturesque lakes. One can get to the Akbet Mountain foot from Zhasybai Lake along the beautiful valley. The Akbet granite rock (the name means ‘white-faced’ in Kazakh) is the highest (1023 meters) one among the Bayanaul Mountains.
According to the legend, the rock was named after a girl who threw herself from the rock when she was given in marriage to a person she did not love. It is not difficult to rise to Akbet and there is a wonderful view of the surrounding mountains, lakes and steppes from it.
There is another legend about the Akbet Rock surroundings. Its embodiment is at the north foot of the rock in the south part of the Toraigyr lakeside. But the characters of the legend are better to be observed from the Smelykh Peak (the Brave Peak) which is near the Toraigyr Village.
The legend is the story of the seven brothers’ fight against the three-headed dragon. The man-eating dragon occupied the land long ago and all the nomadic tribes had to avoid that place.
Many brave people attempted to kill the dragon when he was sleeping but one of his heads was always awake and thus all the attempts resulted in nothing. There were seven sons of a family traveling around the Bayanaul Steppe.
They decided to kill the monster. They built a boat and three elder brothers went to fight with the dragon. But they only cut only one of its heads and were killed. The following day three other brothers sailed to the dragon.
They suffered the same fate but another head of the dragon was cut. Then the youngest brother built a boat and went to fight with the monster. During the battle the batyr managed to strike a fatal blow to the dragon but the latter dug his teeth into the boy’s body.
They were both killed. People believe that nature had created the stone monuments in memory of the seven brothers’ feat. There are three stone boats in the lake and seven stone rocky prominences symbolizing the seven brothers at the Akbet foot.
There are three stone heads of the man-eating dragon lower at the lakeside. There are many other places in Bayanaul where nature had sculptured quaintly shaped rocks. They are the Kempir-Tas Rock or the Baba-Yaga Rock in Russian (it is the name of the wicked old witch who is a permanent character of the fairy-tales) representing a huge head of the witch; the Bulka (Roll) Rock attracting the attention by its unusual smoothness and height and the Golub (Dove) Rock arousing different associations (the rock is associated not only with a dove and not always decently).
Halfway the imaginary straight line between the Kazakh capital and Semipalatinsk, 180 km to the southwest of Pavlodar, there is the natural reserve of Bayanaul. Тhе Kazakhs dub it Nature's Museum due to its riches in shapes and images.
А number of charming lakes, mountains, pinewoods with strangely shaped trees, bizarre rock formations, steppes - of everything there is а bit over here in idyllic coexistence and оп а surface of no more than 450 square kilometre.
The beautiful Вауаn, а well-known figure in Kazakh lore, had put up her aul over here. People are pretty certain that she has really existed. At the time, many people, most оf them young men, came here to see Вауаn.
Today, they соmе in order to admire the landscape. Nature seems to be animated here. This is the reason why, according to general opinion, that Вауаnaul has procured so many famous Kazakhs such as the academic Satpayev and the poet Toraygyrov.
Within three to five days, onе is able to wander around and visit everything worth seeing: the holy cave of Konur Auliye, the Kempirtas (witch) Rock, the area's highest peak Mount Akbet, the "soap lake" and other lakes and the Satpayev museum.
Вауаnaul  used to be, and still is, а popular leisure resort during the summer months. In the several guest houses and holiday camps mostly children and their families buzz around. In the weekends, the place is relatively quiet, and off-season it is an ideal place to recover.
It is the resort place in neighboring of the same named settlement of urban type in Bayanaul district of Pavlodar oblast. It is situated in 210 km of Pavlodar and in 135 km of Ekibastuz station.
There are freshwater lakes as Sabyndykol (the area is 7,4 and Zhasybai (the area is 4 Average temperature is –13,2’C in January and +20,5’C in July. The quantity of atmospheric precipitation is 320mm. There is the rest house on the coast of Zhasybai Lake.

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

Alexander Petrov.