Amazing place that is nearby

The majestic Mount Sherkala is located on the endless steppes of Mangystau and it is notable for its unusual shape. Locals say that from a certain angle, the mountain resembles a huge yurt(nomads’ portable tent). People joke that this natural object in the middle of the plain stepe was set by nomad giants to celebrate the toy(in kazakh - any type of celebration).

The height of Sherkala is 308 meters. The mountain is a large remnant of unusual shapes that arose during the formation of the mountainous near-Karatau valleys as a result of raising land from the depths of the sea.

It is a favorite destination for tourists and residents of the region. Next to this unique object, a person feels the greatness of nature, its unpredictability and beauty.

The top of the mountain is convenient for walking. Tourists climb to the very top to enjoy the view; get in touch with the nature, and, of course, to make a lot of successful photos on their gadgets and cameras.

Connoisseurs advise to walk around the mountain. It takes about two hours. During this time, the tourist will receive a lot of interesting impressions - after each subsequent bend a new panorama opens, that is different from the previous one.

To explore the caves located at the foot of the mountain, it will take at least two more hours. In addition to the wonderful views, you can get acquainted with wild animals. Camels, horses and small turtles live at the foot of the mountain.

The view of Sherkala in the afternoon is very different from the view in the evening. Therefore, for people who have extra time, we advise to stay at this monument with an overnight tour. In the afternoon, limestone, reflecting the sun's rays, dazzles, and the mountain looks creamy white. In the sunset rays of the deserted sun, Sherkala resembles a red-hot stove. An incredibly beautiful sight makes professional photographers and video operators from all over the world to visit the mountain.

History of Sherkala

The fortified city was cut down in Mount Sherkala in the VIII – IX centuries. The Turkmen city of Mankashlak (translated as “Big Settlement”) was located here. When the Arab conquerors came to this land, they captured the fortress and created their settlement nearby. After the conquest, the city became a transit point for caravans traveling along the Great Silk Road. According to the found artifacts, it is known that huge caravans (up to 3,000 camels with luggage and 5,000 eastern merchants) from Baghdad stopped on the way to the city of Bulgar on the Kama River. First, a Turkmen settlement, then a caravanserai, a living settlement, exited for about 800 years. But with the development of the sea route, this place lost its strategic importance and eventually turned into a memory.

Now you can find only a few man-made caves with cave paintings. From the ancient caravanserai were preserved several guard niches, the part of the secret passage leading to the top of the mountain, and the traces of rope ladders.

Mount Sherkala in 2018 was included in the state list of historical and cultural monuments of local importance. Also, the monument was included in the list of sacred objects under the project of regional significance “Sacred Geography of Kazakhstan”.

Legends and tales

There are many legends about Sherkala. According to the one of them, in ancient times, valiant warriors defended themselves from invaders at the foot of Sherkala Mountain. In terms of quantity, they were clearly inferior to the enemy, but fought like heroes. The last defenders hid in the underground passages inside Sherkala and remained there forever. So the name of this stronghold of heroism and independence appeared as Sherkala (Mountain of Lions).

Place to visit that is nearby

Near the mountain, there are a numerous of various attractions that will be interesting for an inquisitive tourist. At the foot of the mountain you can see spherical boulders. Some of them cracked over time and “revealed” secrets. Inside the stone balls are ancient fossils: prehistoric fish and shells.

Literally two hundred meters away from the foot of the Sherkaly mountain, there is an ancient cemetery where you can see petroglyphs on tombstones of different eras.

Not far from the “huge yurt” (two kilometers) is an abandoned ancient city built of clay. Kyzyl Kala - has more than 600 buildings. Tourists still find ancient shards and coins, while wandering around the “city” and imagining how our ancestors lived here. Among the local population there is a belief that somewhere near the city a treasure is buried.

Another noteworthy place is the Akmysh oasis. It is located a few kilometers from Sherkala. Unusual for the general view, a green plot of land with trees and shrubs will be a pleasant place for a walk. Plus, there is a spring and Akmysh river nearby.

How to get to Sherkala?

The village of Shetpe is located literally 18 km from Sherkala. This is the nearest village. To Aktau, the center of the region - 170 km. The road will take at least two and a half hours.

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