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The Capital of Capitals - Astana                              

A Pictorial by K Bhana

November 2017 - Kazakhstan

Astana, the new Capital city of Kazakhstan, established in 1997, is fast emerging as a centre of reckoning in Eurasia. It represents a clear shift of the modernization of a nation steeped in ancient history of a nomadic people at the crossroads of Asian, Oriental and European cultures.

Just 20 years old, Astana has emerged as the hub of Central Asia and the pivot of Eurasia. Kazakhstan shares its borders with 5 countries including Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan a 1500km border with China and almost 7000kms with Russia. Kazakhstan is the largest land locked country in the world that extends to the Caspian Sea. It is the 9th largest country by land size.

Astana, the spectacular, state of the art, futuristic metropolis should be on every intrepid travellers bucket list. The space age city, with a penchant for new energy and traditional hospitality is fascinating as it is unforgettable.

 

 

A visit to the National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan will provide context and reference that will surely enhance your travel experience. It will take you on an interactive journey of a people who were the first to tame horses and to use eagles for hunting, of woman warriors and pioneer crafters and artisans. It will give insight into a country of vast precious and mineral resources and natural abundance and beauty. The azure glass and white marble building is an attraction in itself. The hall of Astana provides a narrative of the development of the new Capital.

 

 

 


 

 

 

The Bayterek, a tree shaped construction with a golden dome is a central landmark of the city. It symbolises the tree of life and the golden sphere, the sun, which also represents the egg of an eagle and its nest in the tree. From inside the dome the views and panoramic vistas of the city are dazzling. Attentive guides are ready to provide commentary on the many modern edifices of the glittering cityscape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Khan Shytar Shopping and Entertainment complex is a tent shape transparent structure that resonates with the traditional nomadic Kazakh life. Apart from the international and local branded franchises its unique feature of an indoor beach is the main attraction.

 

 

 

 

 

Attending a performance at the Astana State Theatre of Ballet and Opera will leave an indelible impression of an awe inspiring tribute to the classical arts. The Italian designed facility is accredited with the best acoustics in the world. Regular performances in the 1250 seat Opera theatre and 250 seat Chamber hall are regarded highly on the social calendar and are well attended.

 

 

The spectacular World Expo Centre is home to the Museum of Energy and is a showcase of new energy discoveries and innovation. The eye catching golden domes of The Nur – Astana Mosque, the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation and the Triumph of Astana are the many other landmark features of the city.

Astana has the reputation for being the 2nd coldest capital in the world. Its youthful and diverse people are warm and welcoming, ready to share their Kazakh traditions and culture.

 

Of course no visit to Kazakhstan is complete without visiting Almaty, the old Kazakh capital in the south of the country. The Sweet Apple as its name suggests, is situated in the Tien Shan mountain range and is known as the city of a thousand colours.

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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February/March 2020

 
 
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