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A trip to valley Akzhar.

Group Hiking Tours in Ulytau.

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving”

Terry Pratchett. “A Hat Full of Sky”.

Short description of the tour program to valley Akzhar in Kostanay region:

Zhezkazgan town - Terekty petroglyphs - Zhezdy village - Ayakkamyr ancient settlement - Beskamyr ancient settlement - Ulytau settlement - Akzhar valley - Zangyrtas petroglyphs - Zhezkazgan town - Almaty.

Distance of route: 723 km.
Season: May - September.
The length of the hiking part of the tour: 2 km.
Duration: 4 days, 3 nights.
Best time for the tour: June - August.

The detailed program of the excursion tour from Karaganda to Kostanay region:

Walking Routes Around Zhezkazgan.

Day 1. Town Zhezkazgan - rock paintings of Terekty (94 km).
Arrival in Zhezkazgan. Meeting at the airport, transfer to hotel, accommodation. City tour, visit to the historical and archaeological museum of the town. The museum has more than 25,000 exhibits, here are the bones of a giant rhinoceros that lived in this region 40 million years ago, jewelry and household items preserved from ancient civilizations.
The museum has exposition halls: paleontology, nature, archeology and ethnography, an art and exhibition hall. A visit to the town park of culture and recreation 30 years of Victory, the Square of Metallurgists, the monument to the Metallurgists, the monument to the First Builders of the town, the monument to space explorers, the monument to Abylai-Khan, the monument to the sarbaz-rebels, the monument to Kanysh Satpayev, the monument of glory to the soldiers of the Zhezkazgan who died in the Great Patriotic War, the temple Apostle Andrew the First-Called.
We will visit Cosmonauts Boulevard, which from 1994 to 2010 was called "Saken Seifullin Boulevard". By tradition, astronauts who returned from space and landed in the Zhezkazgan area in the 1970s-1980s of the XXth century planted pine trees on Cosmonauts Boulevard. About the "space" history of Zhezkazgan resembles the stela "Cosmos" and a panel depicting Yuri Gagarin on the house on Nekrasov Street, as well as the monument "Aviation and Cosmonautics".
Transfer: Zhezkazgan - Terekty village - rock paintings of Terekty (94 km). The historical and archaeological complex of Terekty-Aulie consists of a gallery of rock paintings - Neolithic sites, settlements and necropolises of the Bronze Age, mounds of the early Iron Age, the remains of horizontal and vertical adits, in which ores and semiprecious minerals were mined, tomb of the saint of the XIXth century.
The Terekty petroglyphs are located on the tops of three granite hills stretching from west to east. On the stones are images of animals that can be attributed to the Saks animal style, to the Bronze Age (III - I millennium BC), the early Iron Age (IX century BC - III century AD) and to the Middle Ages.
Walking in the environs, visiting cave paintings and tomd of the saint of the XIX century. End of excursion, return to Zhezkazgan, transfer to hotel, overnight.
Day 2. Town of Zhezkazgan - Ulytau village (131 km).
Breakfast. Transfer: Zhezkazgan - Zlatoust-Belovsky quarry - settlement of Zhezdy (47 km). After we pass the town, our path turns northwest, towards the village of Zhezdy. Arrival in the village of Zhezdy, a visit to the museum of the history of mining and smelting.
The museum of the history of mining and smelting in the village of Zhezdy was opened on July 15, 1994. The museum’s exposition is located in the open air on an area of ​​3 hectares, as well as in exhibition and exhibition halls, the museum’s fund consists of more than 15 thousand exhibits covering the history of mining and smelting, material culture, ethnography and the life of the people. The museum shows history from the Paleolithic to the present.
Transfer: Zhezdy village - Ayakkamyr ancient settlement (16 km). The ancient settlement Ayakkamyr is a highly pollinated square mound. On the ancient settlement there is a moat on three sides; on the fourth south-western side, the remains of structures adjoin the ancient settlement in the form of heavily swollen elongated hillocks and stone walls.
300 meters from the settlement is the mausoleum of Kutlug-Temir (Ayakkamyr). The mausoleum is made of burnt bricks. According to the assumption of A. Kh. Margulan, the mausoleum was built as the tomb of Genghis Kutlug-Temir. The mausoleum is surrounded by a late medieval necropolis. Walk around the fortifications and the mausoleum.
Transfer: Ayakkamyr ancient settlement (Kutlug-Temir mausoleum) - Karabulak valley – Beskamyr ancient settlement (14 km). The settlement of Beskamyr is the remains of a medieval castle surrounded by three powerful walls with a citadel and flanking towers.
The Beskamyr ancient settlement also includes 2 crypts, a cemetery of the same name, an observation stone tower 3.5 meters high, a system of aryks starting at the Sarybulak spring, a 20-meter-deep mine located 1.3 kilometers away, and a separate brick building with stone floors.
Researchers attribute Beskamyr to the VIII - XI centuries. The hillfort is associated with the construction activities of the Kipchaks. A walk in the vicinity of the settlement and archaeological site of the Bronze Age settlement.
Transfer: Beskamyr ancient settlement - monument “Unity of the Peoples of Kazakhstan” (44 km). The monument of unity and solidarity of the Kazakh people on the slope of Mount Aiyrtau was erected in 1992. The monument is the geographical center of Kazakhstan.
The sculptural composition represents the four cardinal points. At the very top, at a height of 30 meters, the sun-shanyrak was set, from here you can see four figures of argymaks. The entire area around the monument is decorated with stone sculptures of balbals. Walk around.
Transfer: monument “Unity of the Peoples of Kazakhstan” - Ulytau village (10 km). Arrival in the Ulytau village, transfer to the guest house, accommodation, dinner, overnight.
Day 3. Ulytau village - Akzhar valley (348 km).
Breakfast. Transfer: Ulytau village - Korgasyn village - Mayatas wintering - Kara-Turgai river - Ekidin village - Akzhar valley (165 km). Our path from the Ulytau village to the Akzhar valley lies to the north-west. At 111 kilometers after the village of Ulytau, we cross the border of the Kostanay and Karaganda regions.
Arrival in the valley, walks in the environs. The prevailing rocks of Akzhar are colored clays, fine-grained sands and sandstones, the underlying rocks are coarse-grained red sandstone and shale. The Akzhar valley impresses with its unique and non-repeating colors, these colored clays, millions of years old, the ocean splashed here millions of years ago.
The Akzhar valley is a concentration of greatness and at the same time lifelessness. The vegetation is rare, small the period of vegetation and growth is not long - heat and lack of moisture. The Akzhar valley is a layer of sedimentary rocks with magnificent forms and different soil colors. At sunrise, incredible views of the surroundings of the tract open. Lunch on nature. On the way back visit the rock paintings of Zyngyrtas.
Transfer: Akzhar valley - Yekidin village - Kara-Turgai river - Mayatas wintering - Korgasyn village - Zhanalayak mountains - Aktasty mountain - Zyngyrtas petroglyphs (165 km).
Petroglyphs Zyngyrtas are located in the valleyt Bezulgai. The name of the surroundings where the petroglyphs are located translates as Sounding. In windy weather, a faint ringing of bells can be heard from somewhere in the distance.
Petroglyphs are located on the crest of the meridional hill along the entire surface of the boulders, which is convenient for knocking out. Multi-figure compositions with the participation of people, archers and animals: mountain sheep, horses, wild boars, camels, bulls are depicted. The figures of a horseman on a horse, scenes of an erotic nature, a “string” of animals and two faces were recorded. Walk around.
Transfer: petroglyphs Zyngyrtas - Ulytau village (18 km). Arrival in the village, transfer to the guest house, dinner, overnight.
Day 4. Village Ulytau - Town Zhezkazgan – Almaty (150 km).
Breakfast. Transfer to town Zhezkazgan, arrival in town, transfer to the airport. Departure to Almaty.

Note:
Author program of Alexander Petrov. Copying and introduction -  from the sanction of the author  petrovsra@mail.ru

Alexander Petrov
Photos