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> Almaty, Kazakhstan, Hiking, Climbing, history routes - you can find it here
vikik
post Jul 23 2009, 10:16 PM
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Hello to everyone!
I enjoyed reading travelling stories of other people on this forum. And I would like to represent my native city as a good place for tourism. And, just share my photos and my feelings about untouched nature beauty.

First, general information about Almaty:

Almaty (former names: first - Verniy, then Alma-Ata) is the biggest city of Kazakhstan, it was a capital till 1997. Then the capital was moved to Astana. And Almaty gained a status of South Capital. Also our city is cultural, education and touristic center of Kazakhstan. Population of the city is about two million people (including regions around the city).
Almaty is located in South-East of Kazakhstan: 77 Eastern longitude and 43 North latitude, on the height ofrom 600 to 1600 meters above sea level. The city is rounded by Zailiyski Alatau mountains in the South. This helps not to get lost here. Locals do not usually use directions “to the West”, or “to the East”. Istead of it we say: “Up” and “Down” relatively the mountains. And white hats of mountain aiguilles make our city look especially pretty.
Climate: extremely continental. January average temperature is - 8, average July temperature is + 22.3. Not too hot, not too cold.


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vikik
post Jul 23 2009, 10:34 PM
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First I wanted to post all information in a certain sequence.
But there are topics, which are more unteresting for me, and I decided to write them first.

There is a tradition in May to go to Tamgaly Tas for climbing. All climbers of Almaty gather in this place in Spring. We have climbing games. Plus at this time here takes place bard festival, "river regatta" on self-made boats, paraglider show, bike competitions, and so on.
It is a great festival, and everyone can take part in every activity. People live in camping, and in the evening you can hear guitar music near every camp - mostly rock music.

But not due to this festival Tamgaly Tas became famous.



Almaty is placed in the area, where in the ancient times lived nomad tribes. Thanks to this we have many interesting significant sites around the city. One of them is Tamgaly Tas.
It is located on Ili river bank – 120 km. from Almaty. It is the favorite place of rock-climbers. But the most interesting here are not the rocks, which were left by “old mountains”. The most breathtaking are Buddha’s pictures on one of rocks. According to archeologists, Buddha was engraved on rock in 16-th century. Here is one of the theories, how did it happen: Buddha’s missioners were moving towards Semirechye. When they stayed on Ili bank, near the rocks, a strong earthquake happened, and block of rock broke and fall down. Buddha votaries took this as a sign, and engraved Buddha on this block.
I promise to tell more about this place, where we can touch a history by our own hands, later, and I will past my own photos.


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aopaq
post Jul 24 2009, 12:52 AM
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Great stuff vikik! speak_cool.gif I especially found the Buddha pictures impressive. However, I cannot get an idea from your pictures as to just how big the drawings are. Do you have any info on the dimensions of some of them?

BTW, you should consider becoming an official Local Expert by doing up a Starter Kit. If you are not certain as to the format, check out this link: http://www.travelpod.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=11648
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vikik
post Jul 24 2009, 06:04 AM
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Thank you!
And, I will try to find some photos with people staying near the Buddha's engraving, so that you could see the size.
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vikik
post Aug 6 2009, 01:28 AM
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Snow Leopard

You can see it on the city emblem. It is no mere chance that this graceful animal was chosen for the emblem of city. Formerly the emblem of the city was a big apple – and the old name of Almaty is Alma-Ata (Father of apples). But now, I regret to say, our city lost this status. What about snow leopard – you can meet this “cat” in the snow mountains near Almaty. Hunting for this animal is prohibited, of course. But there are hunters of other kind, who throw themselves in way of Snow Leopard – they are photographers. Some Touristic companies even offer a photo tours in search of Irbis – local name of Snow Leopard. But hikers can meet this animal accidentally, when they are in remote mountain areas. That’s why tourists usually travel in groups of 4-6 people, thou, Snow Leopard do not attack people. Me, myself, have never met it yet. But, I do not loose a hope. I think I will have enough chances for this in future. However, I know people who saw it during their routes. I believe it is an amazing filing!

Some facts about snow leopard:
The snow leopard (Uncia uncia or Panthera uncia), sometimes known as ounce, is a moderately large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central Asia. The classification of this species has been subject to change and its exact taxonomic position will not be resolved until further studies are conducted.

It cannot roar, despite possessing some ossification of the hyoid bone. The presence of this ossification was previously thought to be essential for allowing the big cats to roar, but new studies show that the ability to roar is due to other morphological features, especially of the larynx, which are absent in the snow leopard.

It usually lives on the height of 2000-3000 m. above the Sea level. But when the weather is hot, it can climb even on the “roof of the World” – 6000 m. above the Sea level.



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