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Singing Barkhan — Charyn Canyon — Bogdanovich Glacier

Charyn Canyon

Charyn Canyon is one of the most unique places in Kazakhstan. It takes one of the first places in the rating list of the best tours in Kazakhstan!

The canyon is located 190 km away from Almaty that takes 3-4 hours driving from the city. It is a very amazing place on the Earth. It is similar to the world Grand Canyon Grand, which is located in the US, and has second place by the size but its beauty conquers the hearts of thousands of tourists who visit this fabulous place every year from different points of the world.

Charyn is a monument of nature, which has 12 million years of age.

The Natural Park was established on February 23, 2004. The park area is 93150 hectares. It is located in Ili intermountain hollow. The canyon of the Charyn River is one of the most interesting and picturesque places in Kazakhstan. Water, wind and sun built here a quaint clay-stone city. Here is a unique monument of nature – a relic ash-tree grove, which age is about 5 million years. The fauna includes 24 species of mammals, 48 species of birds, 3 species amphibians, 14 species of reptiles. In order to enjoy the beauty of these places fully you need to visit here by yourself.

The length of the canyon is 154 km. The depth is about 250-300m

The most attractive route is the Valley of the Castles, which makes up the total walking route about 2 km and the width of 15-90 meters. The valley of the castles is a wide, dried canyon, adjacent to the main river bed. The river itself now flows along a different path, and millions of years ago this place was simply a gulf of a giant ancient sea stretching from the modern lake Alakol to the Caspian Sea. This explains the rather mild structure of the walls of the canyon from stones, firmly pressed with clay, but easily changing their shape under the influence of wind and water. From this material the great sculptor is the nature – that creates fantastic giant and very small sculptures.

Now this place is very popular in the movie industry. People here come to make the movies from different countries, both from neighboring states and far abroad.

At the top of the canyon are observation platforms, from which you can take a photo with good panorama. And from above and from below is an amazing beauty that must be seen with your own eyes.

It is possible to walk in the valley of the castles both on foot and on a bicycle.

Inside the castle valley there are cafes, yurts, bungalows. Where it is possible both to spend the night and taste national dishes.

Singing barkhan

The main attraction of the reserve is the dune called “SINGING BARKHAN “, situated on the slopes of which there are thickets of the rarest white saxaul. Singing barkhan is a mountain of sand of light tones, has a length of up to 3.0 km and a height of 150 m. Barkhan is located in the corridor between the ridges of Dzungarian Alatau – the Big and Small Kalkans which are 182 km to North-east from Almaty. Singing Barkhan is a phenomenon of nature and famous for the fact that dry weather makes the sands sound like a melody of an organ. The reason for the sound of sand is the friction of grains of sand when it moves (wind, walking along it, etc.). The more the moving mass of sand, the more expressive the sound – from a weak squeak to a melody of the organ and even a roar. Meanwhile the dry sand mass sounds only.

You can see the Ili river stretched by as a snake from the top of the barkhan and the red mountains of Boguty and the purple mountains of Sogety too. The view of the precipitous side from the west side is closed by the mountains of Kalkan. You can see there the Jungar Alatau, Chulak, Matai, Altyn Emel mountains in the North.

Barkhan was entered to the short list of 7 new natural wonders!