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Gulf of Alexanderbay.

The best walks in Mangystau.

"Travel as the greatest science and serious science helps us to rediscover ourselves"

Albert Camus.

Bays of Caspian Sea in Kazakhstan.

Aleksandrbai Bay is located on the eastern coast of the Caspian Sea, in the southwest of the Mangyshlak Peninsula, between Capes Sarzha and Zhilandy in the Karakiya District of the Mangistau Region. In 1959, by the decree of the Presidium of the Geographical Society of the USSR, the Aleksandrbay Bay was renamed into Alexander Bekovich-Cherkassky, and later the old name was returned.
In the western part, the bay is not protected from winds, and the eastern part is partially covered by the Sarzhinsky ridge. The banks are monotonous, mostly sandy, low, in some places there are low hillocks. Along the shores there are banks, small islands, surface and underwater stones.
Almost to the coastline there are chains of high, reddish dunes, which gradually turn into sandy hillocks as they move away from the coast. At the top of the Bay of Bekovich-Cherkassky A. is the port point of Kuryk (Eralievo, Yeraly), 4.5 miles north of Cape Zhilandy.
The depths of the bay range from 1.2 meters in the western part to 18 meters in the southeastern part. Alexander Bekovich-Cherkassky (before the adoption of Orthodoxy - Devlet-Kizden-Murza, (according to other sources Davlet-Girey-Murza) died in 1717) - a descendant of the Kabardian princes, captain of the Preobrazhensky regiment, head of the military campaign to the Khiva Khanate in 1714-1717, from which he did not return, Captain from the Guard (1716).
Of the Kabardian princes. Was brought up in the family of Prince B.A. Golitsyn. In 1694 he was enlisted as an ensign in the Preobrazhensky regiment, in 1708 - 1709. studied marine sciences in Holland. In 1711 he successfully carried out a diplomatic mission in Kabarda to attract her to the side of Russia in the war with Turkey.
Returning to Russia, Bekovich-Cherkassky continued to closely monitor the changing moods and influences among the Caucasian highlanders. In 1714, he drew up a project for the annexation of the Caucasus to Russia, approved by Peter I.
"In view of the observed weakness of Persia in relation to the mountain tribes," Bekovich-Cherkassky advised sending ambassadors to the Persian Shah to establish trade relations with Persia and on the conclusion of treatises on mutual assistance in case of war ( A.P. Volynsky was sent to Persia in 1715).
In May 1714, Bekovich-Cherkassky was appointed head of the expedition to Khiva (“send to Khiva with congratulations to the khanate, and then go to Bukhara to the khan, finding what business business, but real business, to see about the town of Irnek (Irket), how far the same from the Caspian Sea and are there any rivers ottol, and although not from that very place, but on the exploration of the eastern coast of the Caspian in order to find the old channel of the Amu Darya, which allegedly previously flowed into the Caspian Sea ").
In 1715, Bekovich-Cherkassky passed along the eastern coast of the Caspian Sea. In August, he reported to the tsar that he had arrived in the Aktan area, where the Amu-Darya River flowed into the Caspian Sea, which was diverted near the Kharakaya tract (four miles from Khiva) into the Aral Sea by a special dam.
Then Bekovich-Cherkassky informed Peter I that he had finished making a map of the Caspian Sea (not preserved). After a personal report to Peter I about the results of the expedition, he was ordered to "turn" the Amu-Darya course to the "old" channel, to explore the path to India, and also to persuade the Khiva khan "to loyalty and allegiance", promising the preservation of his hereditary power and military assistance.
Bekovich-Cherkassky was instructed to build two fortresses, go up the river "as long as he allows," to destroy the dam. The Bekovich-Cherkassky expedition was accompanied by military difficulties; he received news that the Bukharians, Khivans, Karakalpaks, Kaisaks and Balaks (about 2000 people) were going to attack his detachment.
However, on August 24, 1717, he managed to make peace with the khan and hit the road, but the Russian detachments, disunited at the request of Khan Shirgazi, were attacked by the khan's troops and were defeated, most of them were destroyed.
Bekovich-Cherkassky was killed in captivity. The Khiva khan sent the head of Bekovich as a gift to the Bukhara khan. His death became proverbial (“disappeared like Bekovich”). It was believed that the Turkmens from the Yomut (Yomud) tribe attacked directly the detachment of Bekovich himself.
When, in 1873, the Governor-General of the Turkestan Territory, Kaufman, ordered Major General Golovachev to carry out a punitive raid on those who refused to accept Russian citizenship tribe and destroy their nomad camps, public opinion in Russia took this event, including as revenge for Bekovich
A bay, a bay, a strait, a spit and a lighthouse on the eastern coast of the Caspian Sea are named after him.
Geographic coordinates of Alexanderbay Bay: N43 ° 09'31.82 "E51 ° 37'07.14"

Alexander Petrov. "On the origin of the drainless depressions of South Mangyshlak". V.V. Sholokhov. Institute of Physics of the Earth, RAS, Moscow, Russia.

Photos by:
Alexander Petrov.