Places to visit in Almaty Region
Tamgaly Gorge
4.5
About
In addition to ancient settlements and burial sites from the Bronze Age, this mountain gorge contains thousands remarkable rock carvings.
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2 within 10 kms

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles34 reviews
Excellent
19
Very good
12
Average
3
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0
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PhilipLeic
Leicester, UK1,538 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022
A large amount of petroglyphs spread over a number of sites. We visited on our tour from Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan. We had our tour guide who translated for the local knowledgable site guide, which made the visit more interesting and pointed out to us the best images. I think we would have struggled without these guides. Viewing the drawings clearly does seem to depend on where the sun is shining, the time of day and the angle you view at, this is especially important with photography. The site now has a new toilet block with a charge or the old single toilet in the corner of the car park which is free. There are designated areas for a picnic.
Written 9 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PatrickM_Travels
Almaty, Kazakhstan1,808 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
We self-drove from Almaty, reaching Tamgaly with ease. The location is correct on Tripadvisor and Google Maps. There was a small ticket booth. You must park your car there, and then walk in. It's a short walk. I was not very happy with the ticket salesman who unfortunately insisted to walk WITH us (for additional fee) and also insisted we pay even more to leave our car in the lot. Both of these extra fees are bogus, as the entrance fee covers your entrance and parking. Bad first impression when you feel like you're getting cheated by a corrupt ticket booth attendant.

However, we left the guy behind at the ticket booth and made our way to the petroglyphs which are amazing and well worth the drive. There are a few groupings of petroglyphs which are easy to find and view without a guide. There's a walking loop that is well-marked. There are some covered benches where we sat to eat lunch while looking at the petroglyphs. Our Central Asia guide book, Wikipedia article, and UNESCO website combined gave us plenty of reading materials that describe the site in great detail. You do not need to hire a guide, and you do not need the ticket guy to accompany you. If he insists, then sternly say no, pay your entrance fee and proceed to the site.

The rockface is interesting in that it shimmers in certain angles. So you can get a totally different view of each carving, depending on the angle at which you look. There are over 5000 carvings according to UNESCO.

Overall a very interesting place and worth visiting. But they need to hire an honorable ticket salesman who does not try to extort the visitors who arrive without a guide. They have recently constructed a new visitor center, which you will see on the left of the road shortly before reaching the old (current) parking lot. However, the visitor center appears abandoned, never opened, and not approachable through locked gates. Maybe they will open it in the coming years.
Written 10 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Simon3N
Nanjing, China20 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019
My wife and 1 visited this amazing site during our trip to Almaty. We secured the services of Tatyana and Ramon through Indy-Guide.com - highly recommended. Leave the city through a construction site as the govt develop the road system. Once complete, it will reduce the trip to 2hrs, taking you across the steppe along the Silk Way. You go past a vineyard, which is being refurbished with private money after a USSR effort under Gorbachev - when developed a refreshing stop will add to the trip! We saw around 25 golden eagles in this area - a bonus.
Tatyana took us around the site which is divided into 6 sectors . There is a small explanation plaque for each area but Tatyana gave us great detail. The carvings are bronze and iron age so around 4-3000 yrs old. As we were only 2, we were allowed very close to the carvings and touch them. The detail is incredible and the number is huge so you can see them on most stones around what must have been a sacred site.
It was the most amazing feeling looking at something which had so much significance, so long ago but seems so fresh. Some scenes depict sacrifice - human and animal, along with carnal pleasure - be prepared!
The animals portrayed seem to be exaggerated with enormous horns, strength - the sharman (priest or headman) obviously had high authority.
Written 7 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gene R J
Silver Spring, MD9,100 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2018 • Couples
We had contacted indy-guide.com to reserve "Tamgaly petroglyphs Tour - Day Trip Almaty" by Tatyana Gussar.
She and her husband, Ramon, picked us up at 8 AM in their nice air conditioned Toyota at our Hotel Kazzhol for the 106 mile drive to the northwest. After crossing Almaty's industrial west, we passed extended irrigated horticulture, corn, and hay, before entering the dry steppe of wheat, sheep, cows and horses, arriving at Tamgaly at 10:40 AM.
Tatyana purchased our tickets at the entry house while we used the portapotty and read the signboards in the small enclosed parking lot. With hiking shoes, hats and water, we took the 1 KM trail back to Group II at the first gorge. Here Tatyana distinguished among the 400 petroglyphs to identify the most important by their age grouping; 13th C BC, 5th C BC, or more modern. We moved on to Group III at a second gorge where she did the same with its 400 petroglyphs. Then we crossed an easy wetland to Group IV at a large rock outcropping with 13th C "Sun-head Deities" and, after a climb through thorn bushes, a view of a Buddhist mantra from the 17th C. We stopped at several Bronze age burial sites discovered in 1985 before returning to the parking lot, now filled with a tour bus, 2 vans and several cars.
We enjoyed our packed lunch at one of the shaded shelters, watching a herd of horses gallop across the seemingly endless grassland with only 2 ranch sites in distant view. The popularity of this wonderful cultural site can only increase dramatically with its new road.
We returned to our hotel at 3 PM, very happy to have chosen this nice young couple who made the travel time disappear with pleasant conversation. Tatyana's excellent English to relate this country's culture and Ramon's good driving with a comfortable car made this day trip a good value at $160.
Written 17 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MAC81667
Washington138 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2017 • Couples
We hired a private driver from Almaty who took us out to this UNESCO World Heritage Site in Tamgaly. The drive is the kind that will make you weary but, it's part of the trip and all worth it. Along the way, we stopped at an Islamic/Muslim cemetery, got something resembling "tea" (sweet hot water with chunks of cream in it), and walked around a local market where people were hoisting a live sheep into the trunk of their car. We passed on the chance to taste horse milk.
The site itself is A.mazing. At the time, we were able to walk right up to the petroglyphs and explore - beware of snakes apparently. But there are hundreds of carvings, and such few visitors, that they tell their own stories, thousands of years old.
I recommend bringing food/snacks, water, a hat, sunglasses/sunscreen as it can be hot, dry and windy. Also expect to squat in a hole if you nature calls.
Had I thought about it before we left, I would have brought a pencil and sketch paper so I could have done a rubbing! But we got some great pictures and it was a marvelous day.
Written 19 March 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TheRzezbiarz
Torun, Poland558 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2017 • Couples
1. landscapes around are really nice;
2. there is very few people, "billions miles" from crowd, so it's peaceful and relaxing;
3. petroglyphs are interesting, especially sunheaded gods;
4. road from Almaty is ok;
5. road from North is adventure!
6. It is so worn out, that here and there you DON't avoid holes in the road! You need to avoid the road itself, driving on the soft shoulder to avoid sad remnants of tar ;)
Written 6 September 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ken O
Glen Davis, Australia36 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2017 • Solo
Getting there is a matter of convincing your driver that you want this place and not Tamgaly Tas which is a Buddhist location with medieval remains. You need to start on the A2 towards Bishkek and travel close to 100km before the right turn which is signposted only to Kosa (or maybe Kopa). That village is 26km from the A2 and it is about another 40km to the visitor centre (usually closed?) and a few more km to the only signs of life on the left after you have been in the park for a few km (park entry about 4km past visitor centre).

Tamgaly gorge has around 5000 petroglyphs dating back to around 1500BC. I was fortunate to be guided by the deputy-director who speaks English and he told me that reports of ages up to 2500BC are wrong.

This is a cultural world heritage site and the actual area of the petroglyphs is encompassed by a 3km walk. Unfortunately, I was not up to seeing everything but what I saw was great. For a disabled man, I cannot agree with another reviewer who said the walking was easy.

There will be an online virtual tour later in the year - planned to be available from June.

The A2 has potholes and there can be danger from drivers swerving suddenly to avoid them. The side road also has potholes but is quite fast to the village. It steadily deteriorates after that and needs care for the last 20km. There are roadworks going on but improvement seems to be at a glacial pace.
Written 9 May 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

robert_cumming
Sydney, Australia107 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2016 • Solo
I went to Tamgaly Gorge today and it was a great experience. An amazing number of petroglyphs. But please note that this UNESCO site is NOT the same place as Tangaly Tas, which is on the Ili River.
Written 30 June 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

FunRaider71
Perth, Australia11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2015 • Family
2 hrs out of Almaty on the Bishkek road. Turn right and travel about another hour on a road that has seen better days but is not quite diabolical yet. And prepare to be amazed the petroglyphs at Tamgaly are just awesome. And to be able to walk amongst them and touch the very rocks those bronze age people did is quite humbling. We spent about 2 hrs there but you could easily do double that.
It was very windy when we were there fyi and please dont use my directions to get there use a map.
Highly recommend this site, one of my highlights of Kazakhstan and of ancient places.
Written 22 September 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

WonderfulWorld59
Lee's Summit, MO386 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Couples
Tamgaly is 60k on a rough rural sideroad (4x4 advised) off the A2 highway which connects Bishkek (134k) and Almaty (89k). This is an amazing place to see ~5000 of rock carvings up close and personal. From the carpark, you walk about 15 minutes slightly uphill to reach the rock groupings. From the main path through the site, there are 5 short gravel paths to various rock groupings. Each path begins with a plaque illustrating significant rock carvings. Use the yellow arrows to help you locate them. There are also benches to rest, if needed. Our visit lasted roughly 1½ hours.
Written 1 August 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Tamgaly Gorge, Almaty Region - Tripadvisor