Tamgaly Petroglyphs

Tamgaly Petroglyphs

Tamgaly is a natural open-air museum of rock carvings, a temple of ancient nomads where you can see genuine masterpieces of various eras, from the Bronze Age (2 thousand BC) up to the 19-20 century.

The Tamgaly petroglyphic complex, with more than 3 thousand carvings, is one of the main and largest in the world.

It is a very quiet, secluded and sacred place which takes you back several millenia, to the workshop of a stone artist who lived at that time. Touching the images of ancient people carved on the rocks, animals, chariots and sun-headed deities, you contact with eternity.

Petroglyphs within the archaeological landscape of Tamgaly are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Tamgaly or Tanbaly?

The name of Tamgaly which has gained world fame, is currently cited in accordance with the rules of the Kazakh language and is changing to Tanbaly. However, the process of changing the name in the World Heritage List and in the republican documents will inevitably take some time. Therefore, both names are used at the present time: Tamgaly and Tanbaly.


Tamgaly is located about 170 km north-west of the city of Almaty, in the Chu-Ili mountains.


Tamgaly is not just an accumulation of petroglyphs. This is an oasis of the ancient culture of the tribes who inhabited this area and performed their pagan rites, sacrifices, burials and other rituals here. The link of times is perfectly preserved in this virgin territory.

Immerse yourself in the ancient history of our region by visiting the Tamgaly land, a unique monument to the sun, the steppe and the culture of nomads.

Altybakan, the traditional swing set of the nomadic peoples in Asia. Photo by: Mars Gallyamov / Outdoors.kz

The Tamgaly Museum-Reserve has a guarded parking lot where you can stay overnight in a camper. There are toilets, arbors, as well as "altybakan", the traditional swing set of the nomadic peoples in Asia, on the parking lot.

Tamgaly is marked with guiding signs and information stands, so you can walk around the museum without a guide.

During the trip, you can additionally visit the less known, but not inferior in importance, natural-historical monument of Kulzhabasy (50 km from Tamgaly).