Narat Grassland – The Cultural Bowl of Ethnic Kazakhs

Narat Grassland is one of the four largest grasslands in the world. The grassland is located in the east of Nalati Town of Autonomous Prefecture Xinjiang in the People’s Republic of China. On its eastern side is the Tianshan Mountain. The grassland is 180 kilometer long stretching from east to west. Through the Illi Valley flows the famous Illi River. June to September is a fabulous season to visit the location as there you can see a flurry of flowers bloomed all over the location. The color combination of yellow, purple, red, blue, white is the best natural contrast one would like to keep on watching.


The meaning of Narat in Mongol:

The meaning “Narat” is “The place where sunshine first appears”. The lush green meadow is part of the sub-alpine pod belt and is one of the lavish meadows since ancient times. The combination of wide stretch of green land, river valley, the crisscrossed deep gorges, dense forest, plants, birds and animals making this green carpet an ideal relaxing destination. The local Kazak tradition, resorts and entertainments add richness to the tourism promotion.  There are lots of entertainment activities that can make your holidays a wonderful experience.


The folk story:

There is a beautiful mythical story about the name “Narat” how it coined. A troop from the Genkis Khan’s force under the command of his second son Changati was trying to cross the Illi Valley to the hinterland of Tianshan Mountain. The soldiers where literally dying and were unable to move further due to heavy cold climate. Suddenly they saw the beautiful valley and soldiers started shouting “Narat, Narat”, which means the sun is shining here. After that the location was known as “Narat” by the local Kazakhs. 

This is a lonely location recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site, where tourist can have a peaceful holiday from the busy, noisy city culture. No sky scrap building or taxi or hotels makes this an entirely different from other tourist destination. Here tourists are encouraged to live in small tents. You need to carry your own food cooking items, gas stoves and utensils for your daily cooking. Also try to carry warm cloths, bed, cold protection shoes and dry foods to manage and enjoy the new style of life.


Fertile black soil:

The land is very much fertile and is the reason the grass grown in such a thick bed. During September the grass will grow to a height of 70 to 90 centimeters.  The grass bed is situated at an altitude of 1,800 meters above sea level.  The main population is Kazhak and Han ethnic group and both are considered as minority group settled in this location. Also you can see Sai, Wusun, Xiongnu, Tujue and Mongols mixed with the ethnic minorities. The tourist spot is popular for the cultural activities of Kazakhs dancing, music, unique wedding style and palpable food and fruits.  You can also watch the wonderful horse sports skills displayed by the Kazakh men and women. 

Some of the interesting entertainment activities are Aken Music Festival. You can mingle with the party and dance and sing along with the performers. There are sports to display the adventurous skills such as “fight for Sheep on Horseback” and “chasing girls” are rarest of the rare experience. Never miss this opportunities and make sure to visit this beautiful land of wonders. 

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