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Glade of Castles on left bank of Charyn River.

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“As soon as man seeks to penetrate the secrets of nature - in which nothing is secret and it is but a question of seeing - he realizes that the simple produces the supernatural”

Honore de Balzac.

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Glade of Castles is located on the left bank of the Charyn, at an altitude of 914 meters above sea level, in the place where the Valley of Castles ends, on the territory of the Charyn Natural Park, 8.8 kilometers before the mouth of the Temirlik River in the Uigur district of the Almaty region.
Glade of Castles is located in the easternmost part of the Toraigyr mountains adjacent to the left bank of the Charyn River. The Toraigyr mountains stretch from west to east for 50 kilometers. The western boundary of the mountains is the valley of the Chilik River, in the east the boundary is the left bank of the Charyn River.
In the south, the mountains are bounded by the Zhalanash valley, which stretches for 25 kilometers from the village of Togyzbulak in the west to the valley of Kopal in the east. The northern slopes of Toraigyr border on the southern borders of the Syugatinskaya valley, which stretches from west to east for 44 kilometers.
The area of ​​the Glade of Castles is 19319.56 square meters, the perimeter of the glade is 614.95 meters. The length of the Glade of Castles, from south to north, is 230 meters, from west to east 100 meters. Having started the descent to the Valley of Castles, and having made an interesting, informative and exciting walk with a length of 2600 meters, we will end this fascinating journey near the Charyn River.
This place is the Glade of Castles.
This is one of the most picturesque and wonderful places in the vicinity of the grandiose Valley of Castles, which connects with the Charyn Canyon at its eastern end. This unique place attracted tourists and travelers even before the opening of the national natural park.
The first time we visited this place was in 1981. It was truly pristine, wild nature. Here, not frightened foxes, tolai hares, mountain goats roamed in abundance, there were a great many colonies of large gerbils.

We took a bus to the place where the dirt road began towards the canyon near the Almaty-Narynkol highway and walked 11 kilometers along the trails along the Toraygyr mountains. Then, it seemed to me that the earth revealed its depths before us, we looked down, and it seemed to us that the Valley of Castles was a bottomless, incredibly deep abyss, and there a river meandered like a gray, seething ribbon framed by green tugai.
There are not enough words to describe this sight. Our amazement is easily understood by everyone who has been here. After the opening of the natural Charyn Park in 2004, a huge number of tourists come here, who, being on the edge of the canyon, admire the splendor that opened before them.
The Valley of Castles and the canyons of the Charyn River reveals for us several eras of the geological history of the Earth, a huge range of geological features of the structure of the earth's surface and is considered one of the most striking examples of erosion processes on planet Earth.
Within the walls of the Charyn Canyon, one can see several layers of sedimentary rocks dating back to about 20 million years. Most of the geological rocks were formed in different periods of the formation of the earth's surface.
Due to the position of the canyon and the Valley of Castles between the deserts, as well as due to the influence of the large mountain system of the Northern Tien Shan and the presence of ecologically contrasting habitats for vegetation, a high degree of biological diversity is observed in the park.
There are seven types of vegetation here: steppe, desert, shrub, forest, tugai, meadow and marsh. The walls of the Charyn Canyon and the Valley of Castles give a visual and practical representation of an untouched section of the earth's crust with various geological features and types of rocks with fossil remains that have been pressed into many rock layers, are evidence of the change of life on earth over many millions of years.
Geographical coordinates of Glade of Castles on left bank of Charyn River: N43°21'01.61" E79°04'52.14"

Alexander Petrov.

Photos by
Alexander Petrov.