In Search of a Better World

In Search of a Better World
Soul Searcher

Sunday, January 25, 2009

An Introduction to ATYRAU, Kazakhstan

Since the Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev is the chief guest at the Indian Republic Day celebrations I thought it would be a great time to introduce you to the place since for once I am in the right place at the right time.
Atyrau where I work is a small town in Kazakhstan which was one of the states of the erstwhile USSR before it got independence in 1991. It has very cold winters and very hot summers. The coldest I have seen on this visit is MINUS 33 degrees centigrade. I am a Madrasi whose definition of Cold used to be anything below PLUS 20 degrees centigrade. Now a minus 8 degrees is acceptable!

The Ural River flows through Atyrau and one side of the river is Asia while the other side of the river is Europe! A picture of the river is as below.
In spring the roads are full of flowers and lovely to walk on. Atyrau has taught me the meaning of the four seasons. In Autumn the trees shed their leaves in preparation of the winter and once I saw the winter here I understood why cold countries have a fall or autumn! And finally I learnt of a winter where the mighty Ural Freezes over and people walk across the river.

Yes this is the same river which divides Europe and Asia, the only problem is that it has frozen over. The people sitting have dug small holes in the ice and are fishing. Ice fishing is a very popular winter sport here. Another interesting sidelight is that on the 13th Of January each year the locals choose a particular spot and jump into the icy waters for a dip after cutting a hole in the ice. None of my colleagues or me was around to take pictures but we are told that it is an annual tradition.

A winter view of the town to let you know how it is like when I look out of my window…

That is it for now and more about Atyrau and the Kazakhi people (they are wonderful) in later blogs..


  1. Hi,

    Thanks a lot for your friendly visit to my blog.

    Atyrau sounds like a wonderful place.

    Well, this post has both beautiful pictures and a nice description of Atyrau.

  2. hey buddy..that's great man..your post and pix..thanks for giving us an idea of the beautiful place u live in..keep up the great work..cheers..and thanks 4 all the motivation..

  3. Nice pictures, and an idea of how people live in places we have only heard of. I first heard of this name from actor Sasha Cohen, who pretends to be a TV reporter called Borat from Khazakhastan.
    The river Ural is clear in my memory from schooldays and Geography lessons, as a river in Russia. :)

  4. Thoroughly enjoyed the post and linked it here-