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Kalmyk walls in Karkaraly.

Trip from Karaganda to Pavlodar.

“Under the Karkaraly order itself, in a narrow gorge where the Zharymsu river flows, a wall was erected to block the passage to a vast valley surrounded by very high mountains, along the crests of which, with unusual work, a wall was made of wild slab stone, in other places in seven, in others - five arshins high and three arshins thick. This fortification extends several versts in a circle”

Monuments of the Karkaraly mountains.

People’s stories are preserved about the grandiose creation of human hands - about the fortress wall, known as the “Kalmyk rampart”. They say that with a width of 2 to 3 meters and an estimated height of 3 meters, an artificial fence stretched for 5 kilometers.
It must be assumed that for the construction of such a structure thousands of people and one hundred thousand tons of stone slabs were needed! However, looking at such an impressive masonry is not easy. The fact is that now there is essentially no stone wall, its remains have been preserved.
in a completely different place and re-shaped! It turns out that the tiles from which the curiosity was composed, as a wonderful building material for a century, the Karkaraly residents moved to the city. From the finished wild stone they laid foundations, walls, erected sheds and enclosed their personal plots.
As noted by the Semipalatinsk local historian N. Ya. Konshin, even at the beginning of the 20th century some sections of the wall were clearly visible, especially in the gorges among the hills - the wall stretched like a ribbon, far, composed of granite, old, weathered, sometimes “large plates, but without inscriptions and images.”
So, the stone wall moved closer to the people. Where are its original boundaries? Judging by the descriptions of S. B. Bronevekogo, the author, armed with a measured tape, took Bubenov into the guides of the Karkaraly Cossack, went not only along the entire foot of the wall, but also made the necessary measurements.
Precious eyewitness lines preserved the state and location of the deserted abandoned fortification: “At the very Karkaraly order, in the close gorge where the Zharymsu River flows, a wall was erected to block the passage to a vast valley surrounded by very high mountains, along the ridges of which, as you can see, with unusual the labors made a wall of wild slab stone, in other places at seven, in others - at five arshins high and three arshins thick.
This fortification extends several versts in a circle.” You need to know that Zharymsu is now the forgotten name of the section of the Karkaralinka channel, starting from the moment it emerged from the forest. If you go to the edge of the forest in the gorge of the Bolshaya Karkaralinka river, you immediately find traces of a stone rampart: a two-meter strip of broken fine granite crossed the bed of the river, shot up onto the crest of a rocky ridge and rushed - south, repeating all the bends of a treeless ridge, descended from it into the valley of a stream Suukbulak and, having climbed the next hill, ended, as it began, near the edge of the forest.
If you imagine a space enclosed by a shaft, you get a well-protected vast field. Yes, in its open spaces tens of thousands of livestock could freely be accommodated! While there is no reliable evidence that this archaeological site is IV - V thousand years old. It is also not clear who created the wall here lived in a very small group.
According to some researchers, it was built by Andronovites - residents of the ancient settlement of Suukbulak. It is believed that since our ancestors, the construction of the wall was clearly beyond their power. In all likelihood, the defensive ridge arose in the era of the Tatar-Mongol invasions, or even later - during the heyday of the Dzungar Khanate.
But this version is known for this reason. At the end of the last century, archaeologist V.P. Nikitin recorded an interesting legend in Karkaralinsk, which indicates the name of the architect of the fortress wall - the Karkaraly batyr Malay-Sary.
He “chose a valley protected by large, almost sheer mountains for his nomad; but since it was surrounded by mountains on only three sides, on the fourth side, where there were no mountains and where the terrain was open for raids, he built a wall.
This wall served for a long time as a defense or boundary for the possessions of the Sarah clan and lost its significance only with the arrival of the Russians.” It is believed that the Stone Wall played its strategic role until Kazakhstan joined Russia.
Khan Abulkhair in 1731 was the first to accept the citizenship of the northern neighbor, and in 1782 the central part of Kazakhstan also became part of Russia. Since then, the shaft has been abandoned, gradually began to collapse and disassemble for household needs.
And yet this wall keeps secrets that science has yet to find out. For example, what is its length? One of the eyewitnesses believed that 120 versts. But what about the absence of the ruins of the ancient settlement inside the fortification?
Some believe that the fortress was a kind of summer residence: they hid in it and sat out in moments of danger. It is likely that they used it as a pen for hunting wild animals, keeping livestock.

Kalmyk wallst. XIX century. Photo from the local history museum of the village of Karkaraly.

Advertising booklet of Karkaraly National Park, 2003. Nature reserve - Karkaraly mountains.