Стелы Ошактас

The Oshaktas stone steles (oshak means "fireplace" and tas means "stone" in Kazakh) is a cultural and historical monument belonging, according to the official version, to the historical period of Genghis Khan (13th century).

Oshaktas, Altyn-Emel Park


Oshaktas is located near the Kishi (Small) Kalkan mountains, 1.5 km from the Mynbulak post and 10 km from the Singing Dune.

Historical and Cultural Landmark

Oshaktas is a well-known historical and cultural monument in the Altyn-Emel National Park. Three steles, standing alone in the steppe on the way to the Singing Dune, attract everyone's attention.

It is not known for certain who and when installed here these mysterious stone blocks. Legend has it that it was the warriors of Genghis Khan who did it, building a huge fireplace for cooking food for the entire army when they passed through Altyn-Emel in the 13th century. There is also a version that the upright stones served as a signal tower.

There is also a less popular, but seemingly more reliable theory about the origin of the stone steles. It says that they served as a place for religious rituals in the era of the Saka nomads (1st millennium BC).

This is evidenced by the string of similar structures to the west of the Besshatyr necropolis, which could mark the western border of the sacred territory where pagan rituals were held. In this case, Oshaktas is its eastern border.

Also, the construction of Oshaktas is more reminiscent of a Saka altar than a stone fireplace for a giant cauldron (it is known that the Mongol army was famous for its speed and lightness, therefore it could hardly carry heavy items or utensils).

Be that as it may, the place itself, in the form of a small hole in the ground, with three megaliths and enclosing stones lying around, looks like the one for making a big fire, and for what purposes - that is anyone's guess.

Oshaktas Steles
Genghis Khan in Altyn-Emel
Historical Monuments in Altyn-Emel Park
Arba Travel

Arba Travel offers tours from Almaty and transfer service from the village of Basshi to the Singing Dune with a stop at the Oshaktas steles.

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