Kazakhstan travel and tourism blog
Kazakhstan features, attractions, places of interest

Sep/16

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The Singing Dune of Altyn Emel National Park

The so-called “Singing dune”, a popular tourist sight of Kazakhstan, is located in the national park Altyn Emel, 182 km north-east of Almaty.

The dune is composed of light-colored sand and has a length of about 3 km and a height of 150 m. In dry weather sands emit a sound similar to an organ melody. Photos by: Sergey Terekhov.

Singing Dune, Altyn-Emel Park, Kazakhstan, photo 1

From the top of the dune, formed by the wind blowing sand from the shoals of the Ili River, you can enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding area.

Singing Dune, Altyn-Emel Park, Kazakhstan, photo 2

Singing Dune, Altyn-Emel Park, Kazakhstan, photo 3

The dune doesn’t roam the plain. Despite the fragility of sand and strong winds, it remains in place for several thousand years.

Singing Dune, Altyn-Emel Park, Kazakhstan, photo 4

Singing Dune, Altyn-Emel Park, Kazakhstan, photo 5

The cause of the sound is sand grains friction as it moves. The more moving mass of sand is, the more expressive sound you can hear – from a weak squeak to organ music and even rumble. Only dry sand mass emits sound.

Singing Dune, Altyn-Emel Park, Kazakhstan, photo 6

Singing Dune, Altyn-Emel Park, Kazakhstan, photo 7

Since ancient times, this place caused a lot of folk superstitions. The legends explained the sound by the activities of the desert spirits, imaginary animals, the bells of buried towns, underground rivers, etc. The Singing Dune on Google Maps.

Singing Dune, Altyn-Emel Park, Kazakhstan, photo 8

Singing Dune, Altyn-Emel Park, Kazakhstan, photo 9

Singing Dune, Altyn-Emel Park, Kazakhstan, photo 10

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1 comment

  • MM2H Global Travel · October 2, 2016 at 6:21 am

    Nice photos. I recently completed a trip to Kazakhstan including visits to Altyn Emel and the Zaiilisky Alatau Mountain Range. I hope to return in the near future and travel more extensively.

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