Sacred relics

Aktau, hollow Karagiye, mosque Shopan-ata, Shakpak-ata mosque, Usturt plateau, Boszhira district, mountain Bokty
Sacred relics. Tours to Mangyshlak. The most significant necropolis of Mangyshlak.

Geographical location. Mangystau region includes the territory of the Mangyshlak peninsula, the major part of the Usturt plateau and the southern part of the Caspian depression - the Buzachi peninsula. That amounts to more than 16 million hectares of natural deserts and semi-deserts. There are several beautiful landscape areas here:
- shore of the Caspian Sea, with a large number of canyons and ravines;
- mountain massif of Karatau;
- chalky and limestone cliffs;
- sand dunes;
- clay and salty dry lake beds;
- hollows.

Trees and shrubby vegetation are rare. The Earth is naked "to the bones" in Mangyshlak, which is what gives geologists such a superb possibility to investigate the ancient aquatic geology. 

The climate of the region is extreme continental.Winters are harsh and windy with little snow. Spring is short, dry and windy. Summer is hot, cloudless and long-lasting. Autumn is warm and long-lasting as well. The Caspian Sea surrounds Mangyshlak from three sides but influences only the narrow seaside. The climate there is more humid and temperatures are lower in summer and higher in winter. The annual average temperature is about +10.5 + 11.5°C. The absolute annual minimum temperature is +26 + 34°C; maximum + 43 +45°C; surface heat reaches +60 +70°C. The hottest period is from the middle of July to mid-August. Autumn frosts begin at the end of October, and the spring thaw starts in April.

Precipitation is poor. Annual average precipitation is from 140 -160 mm in the north to 90-12-mm in the south. Rain showers are common in spring and early summer. In the mountainous areas they may cause mudslides.

Snow cover on Mangyshlak and Ustyurt is small (3-7 cm) and short lived, and not all areas are covered with snow. As a result of the high temperatures, poor precipitation and windy weather, evaporation exceeds precipitation by 10-15 times and air humidity is only 40-60% .

The Program:

Duration: 3 days;
Length: Route in the extent of 350 km to one side, including 150 km on asphalt to Jana Ozen city; the rest part of the route is on a country road;
Accommodation: 2 nights in tents;
Season: March - November;
Size of group: no more than 3.

Travel itinerary: Aktau - hollow Karagiye - mosque Shopan-ata - Shakpak-ata mosque - Usturt plateau - Boszhira district - mountain Bokty - Aktau

Day 1. 
"Sacred relics" with visiting Beket-ata and Shopan-ata. Extent of a route is 350 km to one side, including 150 km on asphalt to Jana Ozen city; the rest part of the route is on a country road.

The program includes visiting the hollow Karagiye, at the point of 116 m. below level of the world ocean, a stop on a viewing platform. "Shopan-ata" is the first stop at the underground mosque of the saint, whose name is Shopan-ata. The necropolis "Shopan-ata" is located on a line of an old caravan road from Mangyshlak to Khorezm which is the most extensive and possibly the most ancient on the peninsula. In a southwestern part of the necropolis there is a mosque and the Shopa-ata tomb. One of legends says, that Shopan-Ata was a pupil of Hodzha Ahmet Jasavi.

Traditional tea drinking.

Having visited the underground mosque "Shopan-Ata", you continue the way to the sacred earth "Beket-Ata" here. The peculiar position in the Muslim world is occupied by the underground mosque "Beket-Ata". The underground mosque "Beket-Ata" is cut down in a file of rocky cape, inside the average layer of a high rock. Walking on a twisting footpath, among rocks it is necessary to pass to the mosque. In a small premise where Beket-ata prayed and learnt children earlier , the opportunity to make "namaz" will be given to you.

In the evening - a traditional supper of pilgrims.

Lodging for the night in the hotel house on the floor, on "kurpacha", or in tents.

Day 2. 
In the morning: breakfast, departure to the plateau Ustyurt, 50-80 km on impassability, dinner in field conditions, walk. Survey of Ustyurt ridges in the Boszhira district (the mountain Bokty, Three brothers).
Supper, lodging for the night in tents.

Day 3. 
In the morning: breakfast, departure in Aktau direction: 200 km on impassability and 150 km on the asphalt line. Returning to Aktau city.

We hope you enjoy the program and assure you that we are absolutely open to any suggestions to increase the range of our services for the entire satisfaction of our clients and are happy to meet your special requirements.

You can alter the duration of your tour and places of visits by adding one of the extensions. Our tour operator will work closely with you or your travel agent to carefully prepare an itinerary based on your stated interests.


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