A Journey to Mighty Kazakhstan

The world’s largest landlocked country by land area is truly a magnificent place. Kazakhstan is a melting pot of diverse cultures and traditions. Its beauty and dynamic energy rivals that of any metropolitan nation. When I ventured to Kazakhstan, I was blown away by the sheer richness and vibrancy of life in the country. Witnessing and experiencing the people and places gave me quite the burst of energy and vigour. I have seen so many beautiful sights while traversing the streets; some, I simply could not help but make special note of. Here they are:

Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi

The Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi is located in present Turkistan. It was initially built during the reign of Timur (or Tamerlane), the then mighty ruler of the Mongol Empire, in honour of the famed Turkic poet of the time, Khoja Ahmed Yasawi. Yasawi is the most known religious individual in Sufic Islam history. As one enters the halls of the mausoleum, one cannot help but be awed by its magnificent spiritual presence. Even I, a devout Catholic, was immensely touched by the holy atmosphere that resides within the walls of the great structure.  The Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi is also a UNESCO declared world heritage site.

Petroglyphs of Tamgaly

Similar to the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, the petroglyphs located in Tamgaly, Kazakhstan were also declared as Word Heritage Site in the year 2004. A petroglyph is a rock carving. Around 5000 petroglyphs are scattered and noticeable everywhere in the canyon. It’s fascinating to imagine about these ancient and prehistoric ancestors carving their life story unto huge rocks. Even then, they knew the importance of preserving one’s history and immortalizing them into something concrete and lasting.

Lake Burabay

An abundance of beautiful pine trees and rainforest greeneries has led to Lake Burabay, located 250 kilometres north of Astana in Kazakhstan, to be aptly known as Kazakh Switzerland. The terrain in Burabay is quite similar to that of the country world renowned for its gorgeous mountains and alpine trees. The scenery I witnessed in Lake Burabay was just as breathtaking. It’s also very fascinating to note how the landscape surrounding the lake stands in stark contrast to that of most all other places in Kazakhstan, of which the prominent sights are flat steppes. Various sports activities like mountain hiking, rock climbing and even skiing during winter, can be enjoyed in Lake Burabay’s vicinity.

Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center

The Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center is an impressive man-made structure located in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. The Royal Marquee, as it is also known, depicts a giant see-through tent. An awe-inspiring massive building, the Khan Shatyr was built to shock and strike people speechless, and that it truly did to me. The entertainment centre houses a recreational park, a shopping district, and other major amusements. It is indeed an architectural beauty and a highly advanced technological wonder.

Palace of Peace and Reconciliation

The Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, also known as the Pyramid of Peace and Accord is a huge pyramid structure in Astana, Kazakhstan. Nowadays, the building serves as an opera house and hosts several concerts and performances. Much like the Khan Shatyr, the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation is a sight to behold for anybody.

Photo by flicksta on Flickr

Be first to comment