Ninety kilometres north of Aktau is Saura Canyon. It starts 2.5 km inland, runs southwest towards the Caspian Sea and ends in front of the abandoned Soviet-era fishing village of Saura. Half a kilometre to the west is Karakul, an oasis-like lake in a smaller side canyon of the same name. It’s also home to a large population of marsh turtles, which are found nowhere else in Mangystau.

Upstream of the lake is the Bronze Age Saurin Fortress (Сауринской репости), however its exact location remains a bit of a mystery. According to Mangystau’s Department of Culture, which also has 360-degree videos of Saura Canyon, all that remains of the fortress is a 30 m long stone wall built across a tributary canyon. Excavations revealed several finds, such as flint objects, copper ore, the remains of an Iron Age skeleton, an iron knife, clay vessels, beads, and a red-coloured geometric figure painted on a rock slab.

Copyright © 2021 Planet Esoterica. All Rights Reserved.


  • Saura Canyon (RUS—Урочище Саура): 44.22924982301923, 50.82136970891217
  • Saura necropolis (RUS— Некрополь Саура): 44.23038080339926, 50.80785330800107
  • Karakul Lake (RUS—Озеро Каракуль, KAZ— Қаракөл көлі): 44.23178698761622, 50.803106184406815
  • Saura abandoned fishing village: 44.22456586704986, 50.81362090236207