© iStock / Zhenikeyev
© iStock / Zhenikeyev

The steppe tales of an ancient nomad village near Almaty

3 minutes to read

Nowadays, trying to learn the history of ancient times and get close to the roots is among the most wanted things to do. On the left bank of the Ili River, there is a very rare and ancient-looking place, which is located 90 km away from Almaty; it is called the Nomad Fortress. From the first sight at it, you might think how brilliantly the ancient town is preserved till nowadays, however, these are not the ruins of a city that existed. This is a huge construction, built for filming a movie about the lifestyle of ancient Kazakhs as nomad people. The setting of 'Nomad - the warrior' movie, required the erection of a medieval eastern fortress right in the center of steppes. Hundreds of actors were involved in the filming process. The film was released in 2015. And you are now welcome to discover the steppe tales of the ancient Nomad Village that can be found near Almaty

The Nomad Village near Almaty city
The Nomad Village near Almaty city
© iStock / Liens
© iStock / Liens

How to get there

The best option to reach the place would be to find a tourism agency which will take care of everything till you return to Almaty. The whole trip would last for about 8-10 hours. The tour price will cost between 5000 to 7000 tenge on average ($13 - $18). For this kind of trip, the price is quite fair and offers an effortless way to discover the Nomad Village. Moreover, apart from taking memorable photos in such a unique historic village, you will have the opportunity to see the legendary Ili River. The one-way journey to the Nomad Fortress takes on average up to 2 hours, so you will spend 4 hours on the road overall to go and come back. The rest of the time is for sightseeing and enjoying the place, the history, nature, and the spirit of the Kazakh land - steppes. By the way, the Ili River flows near the most popular tourist sights as Charyn Canyon, Tamgaly tas, Altyn Emel National Park, and many other attractions of the Almaty region

© instagram / lunada
© instagram / lunada

Nomad - the Warrior movie

The movie called 'Nomad the Warrior' was filmed in 2004. It tells the story of the Great Khan of Kazakh steppes. As a child, he was destined to reunite Kazakh people into one nation and defend the fortress from the Dzhungar invaders. The movie is based on a true story about the Abylai khan's biography and takes the data from the second book of 'Nomads' trilogy written by Kazakh writer, Ilyas Yesenberlin. The movie was presented at the 79th Academy Awards, and with an investment of $40 mln, it appears to be the most expensive Kazakh movie that was ever made. The film is translated into English and Indian, apart from Kazakh and Russian. So, if you would like to learn more about Kazakh's history and its greatest Khan, you can easily find the full movie online. If you had the luck to visit Almaty, then this history is closer than ever and can be experienced in a couple of hours. 

The Nomad Fortress

The architecture of the Nomad Village finds its source in the history of nomads back in the XVIII century. The village was built according to the standards of those times. The fortresses of such nomad villages were engineered in a way to serve as a shield for the town against the invaders. Outside the Nomad Fortress near the Ili River, you will meet horses frolicking in the steppe. Riding a horse in the 'homeland of nomads' allows you to feel like a real nomad yourself. To experience such emotions discover the steppe tales in the ancient nomad village near Almaty.


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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