Almaty occupies a key and accessible location in Eurasia, it is one of transit stations of the Silk Road capable to further and upgrade tourism. 470 tourism companies are incorporated in Almaty (out of 713 throughout Kazakhstan) employing some 3,000 staff. In 2003, these tourism companies services 100,250 clients.
The ongoing arrangements aimed to develop and upgrade tourism in Almaty have bolstered the inbound tourism. 20,700 tourists visited the city in 2002 and 42,000 this year. Local itineraries attracted 3,600 tourists in 2000 and about 20,000 this year.
Experts say the city can annually receive more than 300,000 visitors.
Tourism in Kazakhstan kindles interest in foreigners, tourism companies are now vigorous to arrange inbound and outbound tourism. Today, 50 tourist agencies are engaged both in inbound and outbound tourism versus 20 in 2000.
Petroglyphs in Tamgaly
Nonpareil glorious Tamgaly area is located 170 kilometers northwest from Almaty City in the southeastern part of Chu-Ili mountains running from south to north from Zailiski Alatau reaching Balkhash Lake and Betbak Dala desert.
Tamgaly stretches in a semidesert area and this conditions its flaming and arid climate, however mountains in warm seasons are always covered with dense shrubs, and in spring a varicolored carpet of flowers delights the eye. Tamgaly astonishes visitors not only with its nature. Its flora and fauna embrace such rare species like Regel tulip, Juno Kushakevich, and still primeval wild animals: wolves, foxes, hares, turtles, snakes and a host of birds, including vermins: steppe eagle, red-footed falcon and saker falcon. It also makes people stare at masterpieces of ancient people – unglorified petroglyphs of Tamgaly.
It is a truly ancient art gallery portraying distinct animals and people, and multi-image compositions from life of ancient people. One rock represents a multi-image composition: three men dressed in skin holding tambourines. Images of disks, chariots, tamgs, prayer writings will fascinate tourists. Spacious and smooth surfaces of rocks took a desert tan for long centuries turning into a perfect background for this uncreated gallery, absorbing artists. For centuries, canyon rocks and Tamgaly coomb were sacred for various tribes who left a trace in the history of Kazakhstan . They hosted sacred ceremonies and cultic rites, worshiping of deities and spirits of ancestors. Cultic traditions have survived in Tamgaly, mainly in the form of colorful shreds on branches of bushes and other plain sacrifices of present-day pilgrims.
Burial grounds of Bronze Age (XI-X centuries B.C.) and early nomads (III century B.C. - II century A.D.) and their settlements are found in vicinity of Tamgaly area. The day-to-day life of Tamgaly inhabitants passed at the periphery of Tamgaly area; archeologists find the remains of ancient settlements and stops. Moving in clans and families, people were choosing suitable sites in small valleys between mountains with nearby springs and hill crests protecting them against winter winds and of course against unexpected raids. Mountain conditions of the area limited the choice, therefore a lot of sites once developed by people were used by other generations as well. Gradually, old buildings ruined and soil covered them, and new ones emerged in the same place. Thus, the remains of a stone house with an indoor fireplace constructed at the end of the Bronze Age (XII-XI centuries B.C.) found at Tamgaly I settlement were buried under three meters of soil that accumulated owing to the ongoing habitation there until late XIX century.
Not all Tamgaly sites and specimen are properly studies, and a lot of questions related to the history of marvelous Tamgaly site are unanswered. The earliest occupants of Tamgaly were the Bronze Age tribes that inhabited the territory of Kazakhstan during the second millennium B.C. Origin of these tribes remains disputable, however their link to Indo-Iranians, cattle breeders and husbandmen, skilled metal-makers and makers of fast battle chariots, is the most probable. The earliest inhabitants of Tamgaly area took fancy to this picturesque site and altered the environment with petroglyphs, constructing their houses or stone shrines; thus, they made this landscape unrivaled and unique. Petroglyphs within the archeological landscape of Tamgaly are inscribed on the list of World Heritage Sites of the UNESCO. Nature and history enthusiasts will find истории out a lot of interests in fascinating Tamgaly area. Moreover, it is located in vicinity of Almaty.