Tamgaly Petroglyphs


The World Heritage–listed Tamgaly Petroglyphs are the most impressive of many petroglyph groups in southeastern Kazakhstan. Set in a lushly vegetated canyon near Karabastau village, 170km northwest of Almaty, they number more than 6000 separate carvings from the Bronze Age and later, in several groups. Many Almaty agencies can organise day trips for around 35,000T per carload; Outfitter KZ have expert historian guides (English-speaking guide 20,000T) and take customers to an additional petroglyph site not visited by other operators.

The varied images include sun-headed idols, women in childbirth, hunting scenes and a big variety of animals, and are best seen in the afternoon when most sunlight reaches them. The canyon was a ritual site for nomadic peoples from at least 3000 years ago. Don't confuse Tamgaly with Tamgaly Tas, which is a smaller and more recent petroglyph site on the Ili River.