© iStock / yrabota
© iStock / yrabota

Legends and nature- Okzhetpes and Zhumbaktas in Burabay

5 minutes to read

This is a story that tells the legend of a beautiful woman's unconquered heart that took place many centuries ago. The Zhumbaktas Rock and Okzhetpes Mountain have one common history and appear to be the most attractive places of the National Park Burabay in North Kazakhstan

National resort

Burabay is officially known under several names, both as a national park and as a healing resort. Locals simply call it the pearl of Kazakhstan or second Switzerland. It is located just 257 km away from Nur-Sultan by car. The Nur-Sultan city is in the middle of the steppe, and when you head out of the town to the north, after an hour, you will be surrounded by endless steppes. Within 3 hours... here comes the greenery! Burabay will be seen on the way ahead. 

© Flickr / Alexandr Mikheyev
© Flickr / Alexandr Mikheyev

How to reach Burabay

As mentioned, the Burabay is easily reachable by car in about 3 hours; of course, there are many other options too. You can take the train at the railway station of the right bank of Nur-Sultan city. It will cost you around $17 for the first class, $12 for the comfort class, $6 for the economy class, and $4 for a spot in the commuter train.  Please keep in mind that the travel time will be between 2 to 4 hours, depending on the train’s type. You will arrive at the Burabay railway station, which is in Burabay town. It is just an administrative center, and the most touristic places, such as Okzhetpes and Zhumbaktas, are located in the resort area of Burabay, which is 20 km away. Thus after the arrival, you will have to take a taxi for $2. Last but not least, one more option to speak about is the mini-bus or a regular taxi from Nur-Sultan city’s railway station, that will both directly take you to the center of the resort. That will cost you more or less $7-8 with a smooth and comfortable ride. 

© iStock / alekskai52
© iStock / alekskai52

Burabay Resort Area

When you arrive in Burabay town's railway station, move towards a small village called Shuchinsk, which lies just at the edge of Burabay’s resort area with its mountains, rocks, lakes, and rivers. Basically, this small town is the landmark you need to see to make sure that you have almost reached the place. Seeing the pine and spruce forests, you get the feeling that this part of Kazakhstan is incredibly beautiful and diverse. Burabay has many resort-oriented sanatorium and hotels. Burabay is a place for everybody to heal, rest, relax, and have fun. A small piece of the resort area has some night clubs, pubs, and restaurants with western and local cuisines. Coming here, make sure that this spot has benefits and joy for every type of person. 

© iStock / yrabota
© iStock / yrabota

Close to nature

The little piece of the resort area is so modern, and it has been made according to locals and foreigners' needs.It has plenty of nightlife, and in the daytime, you can enjoy the local open-air zoo, fishing, riding horses, bicycles and ATVs. As a local person and a huge fan of Burabay, let me give you some advice on the best local things to try there: Kokshetau ice-cream, the peled fish, crayfish, and shashlyk, are simply a must! The ice-cream can be found anywhere around the resort, but the crayfish and the peled fish you can buy at the local market. At the beach, there are a lot of locals who walk and sell this kind of yummies. In any case, there is no doubt that you will eat well! By the way, there are plenty of paid beaches, but if you go as far as you can from the center, you will definitely find a beach that is free of charge. These beaches might not have trampolines, deck chairs, and sunbeds, but there are a lot of big rocks to lay on and tan after swimming. Use it as a hint. Tan, swim on the beach, have some yoga time in the forest and enjoy the fresh air from the coniferous and pine trees around you. Notably, it is the best treatment for your lungs

© Flickr / Mikhail Utkin
© Flickr / Mikhail Utkin

Zhumbaktas 

It is located in an eco-zone of Burabay National Park, about 4 km away from the Burabay resort. Zhumbaktas Rock is a mysterious thing to observe. It is a rock that rises up right in the middle of the lake. Apart from that, people have noticed that the rock from the one side looks like an illustration of a beautiful woman. However, if you walk alongside and have a look at it from another side, you will see the configuration of an older woman, who looks like the witch from Snowhite and seven dwarfs' story. You can rent a boat or a catamaran and reach the rock, even climb on it and get some unforgettable photos.

© iStock / yrabota
© iStock / yrabota

Okzhetpes

The Okzhetpes Mountain is clearly seen from the side of Zhumbaktas. It is a stone mountain of a 300 m height. It is a pretty attractive place for climbers; however, please make sure you get permission to climb it or contact the local tourism agencies that will help you make your wish come true. If you look at the top of it, undeniably, you will see an outline of an elephant. What a mysterious nature! Additionally to being close to the Zhumbaktas rock, these two main attractions of the lake Borovoe have a common history. Okzhetpes in the Kazakh language means “Not reached by a single arrow,” and Zhumbaktas means “Puzzle rock.” Why were they named like that? Let’s turn to the legend.

© iStock / yrabota
© iStock / yrabota

The legend behind

Once upon a time, there was a little village located at the edge of Okzhetpes. The mighty Khan invaded the village with warriors, destroyed it, and imprisoned a wonderful woman. His warriors asked Khan to marry her to one of them as a trophy of the victory. Losing her home and family, she was feeling upset about it and did not want to marry anyone. Thanks to her intelligence and dexterity, she made up a plan by announcing a contest to conquer her heart. She would climb up on top of Okzhetpes and hold a handkerchief; the one who could reach it with an arrow would be her husband. The arrows of the warriors would only reach some parts of the rocky mountain. Sadly, being disgraced, the men started climbing the Okzhetpes to bring her down. At that moment, the woman decided to jump from the top. She fell into the water and disappeared. In the place where she fell into the water, the rock appeared. It is now called Zhumbaktas.  

In just 257 km away from Nur-Sultan, you will witness the second Switzerland. You will visit the land of the legend about the unreached heart of a beautiful woman, the puzzle rock, and the stone elephant, which is peacefully laying on the top of the mountain. Enjoy the mysterious Okzhetpes and Zhumbaktas in Burabay, North Kazakhstan.


The author

Nazerke Makhanova

Nazerke Makhanova

Hi, I am Nazerke from Kazakhstan. Traveled to 15 countries, lived in Malaysia and Spain, currently I'm located in my hometown Nur-Sultan city, and I’d love to take you on an adventurous journey throughout Kazakhstan. Ready? Let’s go!

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