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Tree Aulie-Agash in Zharkent.

 Pilgrim tourism on Almaty province.

“For everything in this journey of life we are on, there is a right wing and a left wing: for the wing of love there is anger; for the wing of destiny there is fear; for the wing of pain there is healing; for the wing of hurt there is forgiveness; for the wing of pride there is humility; for the wing of giving there is taking; for the wing of tears there is joy; for the wing of rejection there is acceptance; for the wing of judgment there is grace; for the wing of honor there is shame; for the wing of letting go there is the wing of keeping. We can only fly with two wings and two wings can only stay in the air if there is a balance. Two beautiful wings is perfection. There is a generation of people who idealize perfection as the existence of only one of these wings every time. But I see that a bird with one wing is imperfect. An angel with one wing is imperfect. A butterfly with one wing is dead. So this generation of people strive to always cut off the other wing in the hopes of embodying their ideal of perfection, and in doing so, have created a crippled race” 

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Travel from Almaty to Zharkent mosque.

One place not to be missed when visiting Zharkent mosque is a tree known as Aulie-Agash and thought to be over 700 years old.
It's said that your fondest wishes will come true if you make them under this tree.
This mighty old elm has a huge trunk; in order to encircle it, seven people would have to join hands. Its mighty twisting branches bend down to the earth, and the roots spread out for a whole hectare.
There are said to be only three such trees in the world, with the other two growing in China and Turkey. Young elms bend their tops to the senior tree, and if you stand in the middle of the grove near Aulie-Agash, the twisted branches look like the shanyrak, the top of the yurt and - to Kazakhs - a symbol of the home and hearth.
There is a steady flow of pilgrims to Aulie-Agash: some ask their ancestral spirits to heal their illnesses, other ask to be blessed with children and others ask simply for luck and happiness.
This place is full of legends, and if you're lucky the guardians of the mosque will share some of them with you.

Vilage Aulie-Agash.Sacred tree Aulie-Agash.Sacred tree Aulie-Agash.Sacred tree Aulie-Agash.Sacred tree Aulie-Agash.Sacred tree Aulie-Agash.

Authorship:
Magazine “Tengri” 2, 2008.

Photos
Alexander Petrov.