Tamgaly Tas' Buddhist Petroglyphs & Nomad Fortress
Discover the ancient Zhetysu where you can find Buddhist paintings, a medieval castle replica left from “Nomads” film and the rock canyon.
Head to Ili River, marked by huge cliffs up to 60m and home to unique rock drawings which tell the tales of Buddha and Burhans (Bodhisattvas). Archaeologists theorized that the site was once an open-air Buddhist sanctuary. Accompanied by exquisite Tibetan inscriptions, the unique style of the images were achieved by the fine art of stone carving and contouring.
Legend has it that these paintings were left here by missionaries because they saw a miraculous sign while traversing through the Ili river. An earthquake shattered the rocks, which created a crossing through the river and was recognized by pilgrims as a sign of calling the missionaries to return to India.
The central rock of the Tamgaly-Tas natural boundary has an image of Arya Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, known for the famous “Om Mani Padme Hum” mantra. To the right, at a height of four meters there is an image of Shakyamuni Buddha with another inscription – “Bow to Shakyamuni Buddha” and to the left – a carved image of Mangla Burhan – deities of healing.