«Pale Valley» of all colors of the rainbow

Bozzhyra is a unique tract at the bottom of a huge canyon in the western part of the Ustyurt Plateau on the Mangyshlak Peninsula.

Translated from one of the Kazakh dialects, “bozzhyra” means ‘faded valley’ or ‘gray land’. It is difficult to say when exactly such a name was given, but those who have been here will definitely not agree with this definition: Bozzhyra in the sunlight is a true riot of colors! And we are not talking about the scale yet—the mountain range is located at the bottom of a giant canyon which view leaves speechless no worse than its Arizona counterpart—the Grand Canyon!

The color of rocks changes often, like a disco ball, depending on the time of day and the weather. Yes, beige predominates, but layers of brown, pink, gray, white, yellow can also be seen. The best thing for a guest of Bozzhyra is to meet the sunrise or sunset in the valley. Full moon is generally a magical time for the tract! Seeing chalk mountains illuminated by moonlight is, as they say, “Beautiful moment, do not pass away!” Incidentally, the underground mosque Beket-ata, the main Muslim shrine in Mangyshlak, is located just 20 kilometers from Bozzhyra.

Summer is the best time to travel to Bozzhyra: it often rains here from autumn to mid-spring, washing away the already poor roads. Despite the light color of the limestone, the canyon bottom warms up strongly in the sun and becomes unbearably hot by noon, although at the same time it could be 10–15 degrees cooler in the neighboring cities. At night, on the contrary, the air temperature drops sharply, so be sure not to forget your warm clothes.

Author: Moldir Adamzhan

Photo: Sergei Khachatryan

Read more