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“The anxiety and fatigue went away instantly.” Tourists are invited to celebrate Nauryz in Imantau

18 March 2021

In order to enjoy the upcoming long weekend on Nauryz, it is not necessary to book a vacation abroad. Residents of Nur-Sultan can take a short trip and find themselves in a completely different world, much closer to history and nature.

For the first time, agricultural tours, which provide a close acquaintance with rural life, were organized in the village of Imantau in 2020. Tourist groups, as the president of the Kazakhstan Association of Agro – and Rural Tourism Khalida Tulegenova shares, came there in the summer, autumn and winter for weekends.

During the weekend, guests are immersed in the life and culture of the people who live in this area. They meet local residents, including representatives of the Tatar diaspora, attend various master classes, climb a mountain, swim or fish on a lake, and go hiking in the forest. In winter, they are offered to go skiing, in autumn-to collect mushrooms and medicinal herbs.

Tourists can visit the family of the shepherd, where they will receive a master class on the production of kurt, as well as taste Kazakh national dishes, get acquainted with the life of local residents and look at the animals that are bred here.

During the warm season, the program includes a visit to the beekeeper. He tells the guests about the structure of hives, about the content of bees, about the peculiarities of their life and how honey is extracted. After that, tourists can taste and buy this natural delicacy.

Фото ©Казахстанская ассоциация агро- и сельского туризма

In both winter and summer, you can go fishing here. In Lake Imantau, small roach, perch, dace and bream are found. They catch fish on a worm or a cancerous neck. You can also catch crayfish in the pond.

Another local fun that the villagers can enjoy is a cart ride in summer or a sleigh ride in winter.

Фото ©Казахстанская ассоциация агро- и сельского туризма

Astana resident Amina Turalina admits that agrotourism began to attract her during the pandemic. She decided to appreciate the beauty of Kazakhstan’s nature and went to the village of Imantau. Most of all, according to the tourist, was struck by the cordiality with which she was greeted by the villagers.

“In Imantau, I was touched by the way we were greeted by representatives of the Tatar diaspora. They came out to us in their national costumes, embroidered with patterns. Such outfits were probably worn by their grandparents. They met us at the log house, which is more than 100 years old. A rich dastarkhan was laid out for us. They didn’t know exactly when we were coming, but all the dishes were hot. Especially pleased with the hot, freshly baked belyashi and herbal tea with honey. We are urban, we are used to drinking bagged tea, this is not the same, here it is so delicious, ” says Amina Turalina.

Interesting fact

7,500 peasants from Saratov, Poltava, Kursk and other provinces, including Tatars, were enlisted in the Cossack army and settled on the southern shore of Lake Imantau in 1849 -1851. Soon they began to raise the question that the eastern side of the lake is more suitable for life, and gave a bribe to the surveyor in the amount of 50 rubles to move there. The specialist received the same amount from the Russians and Mordvins, who were assured that on the southern side the coast is better, and the mountains are nearby. Thus, the Tatars settled in the village, which is now called Imantau.

Фото ©Казахстанская ассоциация агро- и сельского туризма

The village is quiet and harmonious. On the shore of the lake is a hill, the slopes of which are covered with pine forest, and at its foot under the canopy of the forest preserved relict plants. As part of the tour program, guests are offered to climb Mount Kazantau to the stone of energy.

“We were climbing Kazantau Mountain. It’s hard for a city dweller to climb, but it’s worth it: a stunning view opens up from the height. Instantly, fatigue, anxiety, and the daily hustle and bustle disappeared. We always strive for something, and there, on the mountain, you understand the most important thing that you do not need much for happiness: clean air, so that there are good people nearby, tea with a delicious pie prepared with love, and that’s all,” the Astana resident shares her impressions.

The tour to Imantau made a lasting impression on the resident of the capital, she shared her emotions with friends and colleagues, colorfully telling about her experience in the North Kazakhstan region. As a result, Amina Turalina inspired two more of her friends for a short trip to the village and came to Imantau first with one, and then with the other.

Фото ©Казахстанская ассоциация агро- и сельского туризма

“The program of the tour to Imantau for Nauryz will be even more diverse and interesting. In addition to traditional visits to the Tatar diaspora, farmers, master classes, and climbing the mountain, the villagers will organize a demonstration of rituals, traditional Kazakh games, install a yurt, and will be treated to dishes of national cuisine-Nauryz kozhe, bauyrsaks, beshbarmak and Tatar: zur balish pie, echpochmak, gubadia (festive pie with sweet filling), peremyachi (meat pies), chak – chak,” the organizer of the trip shared Khalid Tulegenov.

Фото ©Казахстанская ассоциация агро- и сельского туризма

How to get to Imantau

Tours to Imantau are organized by different operators in Nur-Sultan, Kokshetau and Karaganda. Each of them brings tourists to the village from their own city. The road from the capital will take about 4.5 hours.

The cost starts from 30 thousand tenge for an adult and 18 thousand tenge for a child. This includes transfer, accommodation in the guest house for three days – March 20-22 (two nights), meals, as well as a cultural program. The group departure takes place from Nur-Sultan. You can also get to the village by car, then the cost of a ticket for an adult will be reduced by 10 thousand tenge.

Those who want to relax in Imantau can not use the services of tour operators at all, but come to the village by car and settle in guest houses, of which there are two-for 18 people and for 10. Of course, in this case, they will independently organize their meals and leisure time.

Where else can I go

According to Khalida Tulegenova, now the Kazakhstan Association of Agro-and Rural Tourism works with the Akmola, North Kazakhstan, Turkestan and Almaty regions. When drawing up programs, the climate, natural resources, the uniqueness of the landscape and other features of the area are taken into account.

In the south, in the Turkestan and Almaty regions, the villagers often keep camels, this is the norm of everyday life, and for the northerners it is exotic. Therefore, there are tours that include visits to camel farms. Guests can try shubat and see how the camels are kept. In addition, there are many gardens in the south. In the spring, during the flowering period, groups come for photo shoots, and in the summer, tourists can participate in the harvest and taste the fruit directly from the branches.

In Almaty region, in the Talgar district, there is a flower farm. Citizens come here to take pictures among the flowers or to hold an event, for example, a bachelorette party.

In the Turkestan region, citizens have the opportunity to visit a lemon greenhouse, see how these citrus fruits grow, and prepare a dish using lemon.

If the south is rich in crop production, then in the north, in the North Kazakhstan region and the Akmola region, they are engaged in breeding horses, cattle and small cattle. Therefore, often tours are based on visits to various farms. In Akmola, for example, there is a horse breeding farm. Guests can not only watch and feed the animals, but also get a riding lesson. During another agricultural tour, citizens have the opportunity to visit a goat farm. Tourists have the opportunity to try a variety of products – kurt, sour cream, butter, milk, yoghurts and ice cream made from goat’s milk.

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