The Tamgaly Tas

The Tamgaly Tas, translated as “written rocks, stones with signs”, is famous because of medieval (XIV-XVI centuries) drawings of Buddha on the rocks.

The place is open area collection of the Buddhist petroglyphs. It is amazing to see Buddhist petroglyphs on the territory of non-Buddhist country as Kazakhstan.

The stone is located in the middle of the Betpakdala Sahara and is located 20 km upstream of the Sarysu river. The stone here is suitable for writing as it is very soft. Thousands of stamps and names, slogans, beautiful carvings, "sheep", "camel's feet", "human footprints", "horse footprints" bearing the signatures of the rulers of the country were engraved on the stone inscriptions of ancient times. T. b. characters are common.

Since ancient times, the Kazakhs have sought the places of symbols with bold inscriptions, such as "Tamgaly tas", "Tamgaly zhar" or "Tamgaly Nura". The oldest rock carvings date back to the 11th century and last until the 19th century. The reason why the Tamgali tas gained great fame is that the Kazakhs celebrated together, chanted slogans and united. For this reason, the scientists who first discovered this stone called it "a great witness of history" (A.I. Shrenk).

These symbols are synonymous with the symbols of the Orkhon-Yenisei inscriptions. According to Schmidt, the Tamgaly tas is a sacred stone revered by the Kazakhs.

According to local sources, in the 18th century, in 1710, during the war against the Dzungars, the three-zhuzun sons held a grand meeting. In this meeting, the stamp of each tribe was engraved on the Tamgaly tas and when pressed, it was embroidered on felt, meaning that the army that did not come to the tribe stamp remained. In addition, in the spring, the three-zhuz children gathered here took their tamga, celebrated summer and winter.

There is a legend that in the 10th century, when one of the Buddhist missions stopped on the banks of the Ili River during a campaign in Semirechye, an earthquake occurred and a large piece of rock fell to the ground, which was regarded as a sign of the need to return to India. Three images of Buddha were carved. Scientists have solved the riddle of all the runes on it; it says that in 2004 on March 6, the prophet will be born. On the adjacent rocks, you can find other images of him, where the peak was killed.

According to another version, Kalmyks made the inscriptions on "todorkhoi nomin bichig" ("clear literary letter"), which was created by Zaya Pandita Ogtorguin in 1648 and was used for more than three centuries by nomadic Mongols who carved images of Buddha.

Exploration of stones in Tamgaly-Tas began at the end of the 19th century. In 1875, Chokan Valikhanov made sketches of the area; in 1899, the Mongolian Aleksey Pozdneev, in the Notes of the Russian Geographical Society, gave a detailed description of the inscriptions and drawings.

The Tamgaly Tas
written rocks
The Tamgaly Tas
stones with signs