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Djungarski Alatau
Kora river gorge
Ily River
Singing Dune
Aktau mountains
Zhasyl-Kol lake
Alakol Lake

Singing Dune

     The valley of Ili river located in between the turbots and Boguta & Syuguta mountains is called a “dusty” place. Here winds are strong - they take up into the air the clouds of sandy dust from  the river shoal. At the Big and Small Turbots standing at a slight angle, the winds meet a hindrance and getting weaker they tend to leave the sand. This way, an enormous sandy mountain was formed  during many millenniums – the sandy mountain is called a “Singing Dune”. This sandy mountain got its name due to the loud sound like a booming that is made though friction of millions of sand grains.
         The “singing dune” is represented by sandy ridge of 300 m height and 1.5 km in length. It looks like a real “giant” amongst sandy hills. One can clearly observe the dune’s edge with several outstanding peaks. Its slopes are steep and turn into roundish sand-drifts at the bottom overgrown by
thin-sown saxaul (haloxylon) and djuzgun trees. The remaining part of the dune is deprived of any  vegetation and the wind is blowing here freely taking up in the air the wisps of amazingly clean sand.  
         This huge sandy mountain in the middle of stony desert looks quite amazing. From high antiquity the singing sands have been causing numerous peoples superstitions. In those legends that reached our time, the sands’ singing was explained as fact of activity of desert spirits, fantastic fairy-tale animals, ringing bells of ancient belowground cities, powerful rivers and many other phenomenal reasons.  From here one can observe the beautiful panorama of surrounding countryside. In the south there is a thin line of Ili river, violet mountains of Boguta and Syuguta ranges, behind which the snow-covered peaks of Ketmen mountains are seen. 


Singing Dune
Singing Dune



March 15th, 2011
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