Ольга Николаевна
Группа:Команда портала
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0 Единственная одиночная песчаная гора в мире - Сарыкум
  • Магомедова Карема Магомедовна
  • Руководитель методического объединения учителей английского языка
  • МБОУ "Гимназия №56"
  • г. Махачкала, Республика Дагестан, Россия
Eco-tourism in Dagesnan.
There is a very surprising natural place of interest, the pride of Dagestan, on the border of the steppe and foothill of republic.
It is a sandy Dune Sarykum, a piece of Asian desert in the heart of mountainous region. The world learnt about its existence in the XIX century when the great French writer Alexander Dumas-the father who had visited Dagestan before described its beauty in his book “Caucasus from Prometheus to Shamil”.
The name Sarykum in Kumik language means – Yellow sand. There are several dunes here but they don’t occupy a large territory – approximately 10 kilometers in length and 3-4 kilometers in width.
The height of the dune changes all the time but the average height is 260 meters. It is the highest sandy dune not only in Russia but in Eurasia. Its age is more than several hundred thousands years.(pic 1)
Because of the wind the dune changes its form very often but its foot always remains in the same place, at the edge of Kumtorkala mountain range where the mountains meet with the steppe.Photographers say that you will never be able to make to similar photos of this wonderful dune.  
There are many legends about its origin. According to one of them before intending to go to fight with Tohtamysh khan Aksak-Temir decided to check how many warriors he had got in his army. Every warrior was ordered to put sand into his helmet and then pour it out in one place. When every warrior emptied his helmet Aksak-Temir saw a mountain of sand. On seeing it he believed that he would be able to conquer the greatest state of their time The Golden Horde, Northern Dagestan being part of it at that time.
    Here is another legend but this time it is a love story. In the village of Kumtorkala there lived a man called Ibrahim. He had a very beautiful daughter Bariyat. Many young men wanted to marry her but she loved only one man- Bulat. Many time Bulat came to Ibrahim and asked him a permission to marry Bariat but Ibrahim refused all the time. But the girl was stubborn and didn’t want to marry any other man. And then Ibrahim told Bulat to do the following: “Bring from the sea and throw up such a large sandy mountain behind the river Shura-Ozen that you would be able to see our house from its top. Only then I will believe that you love my daughter.” And Bulat agreed.
       Months passed, years passed but the mountain grew very slowly. It became more and more difficult for Bulat to bring sand from the sea. He was very tired.
      Once having climbed the mountain he saw his native village. He noticed a woman’s figure on the roof of familiar house. And though it was difficult to see the face he recognized his beloved. Bulat ran down the slope, crossed the river and ran to the village. Finally he could marry his beloved Bariyat. But who did he see? A crooked old grey haired woman was looking ruefully at the approaching man. Her cheeks had become hollow; her eyes had lost their color because of constant tears.What an awful picture! Only then he paid attention to his long white beard. The youth had past away and the whole life had passed away… But the monument to unhappy love of Bulat and Bariyat stands near Kumik village of Kumtorkala.                           
   But the real reason of the formation of the Dune is connected with the winds. During centuries they had been destroying the neighboring mountains and brought the sand into one place. In this way the Sandy Dune was formed. The winds in this place blow in such a way that they only change the image of the dune, but the dune itself remains in the place where it is. It is so called « Rose of the Winds».
Sarykum is the hottest place in Dagestan. In summer the temperature on the southern slopes can reach +60 degrees Celsius and sometimes it comes up to + 90 Degrees. In such conditions only typically desert inhabitants such as cobras, ground squirrel, and scorpions can survive.The Sarykum Dune is a natural monument and is protected by the state.
   If we speak about ecotourism here, there are a lot of reasons that I can suggest.
But before it I would like to tell some mysterious facts, that surely will be interesting for tourists. It is immovable! The dune’s destiny is to move, but as for the Sarykum it stands still , sand from all around villages is brought here by the wind, lay here. The other surprising thing is that the river Shura Ozen flow under the dune, without doing any harm to the sand. There are two barkhans, on the left side –big, and on the right side small one. ( pic. 2)
As for the climate, it differs from the climate of the nearest piedmonts and plains. Even in winter there is not any frost though in environing places it occurs. From May till October the average temperature is +20, in summer +60. From the middle of Spring, at night it gets cool soaking moisture from atmosphere. French winemakers, who visited Sarykum, advised to plant vineyard here, referring to ideal climatic conditions. But it is still not the end of miracles in  this wonderful place. If you imagine Sarykum as a little sandy hill, you are absolutely wrong. Anyone who comes here feels something like teleportation to real  desert. Lateral dunes, which are made by the wind , are 100 meters high, you cannot see neither sea nor  neighboring mountains.
But it is not the end of miracles of this pretty little desert. There is a tortoise that is entered into the Red Book, it is only 20-30 centimeters and is called Testudo graeca.
(pic 3) . Nobody knows why this Mediterranean tortoise dwells here. This wonderful place is homeland for about 350 plants and200 kind of birds, it is the place of nidification and migrationof rare disappearing birds, that is why it has the status of « crucial ornithological territory of international value». (pic.3) Owl, golden eagle and hawk eagle are in the Red Book of International Unity of Nature Protection. (pic. 4)
I would like to start the second part of my project with sad news. Dagestan pride- sand dune Sarykum is slowly disappearing. It has reached its last decades. The showplace of Caucasian edge is steadily destroying , which threatens to the region  by ecological catastrophe.
The specialists notice disappearing from the region some kinds of snakes and birds which are in the Red Book. Dagestan ecologists and nature saving organizations are in panic. The highest European sand dune and its unique climatic zone is under the menace of loss. The average height  reducing is about 1 meter. Who is guilty? Of course human being.
The borders of reserve are constantly breaking by the flocks, that are urged along with shepherds for wintering from mountains to the plains. I have talked with administration, they are going to appeal to arbitral court. But the main pain is sand open pit opposite the dune. From the 80s high quality send development for constructional necessities are held here. ( pic. 5) Specialists claim that in spite of the fact that open pit and Sarykum is separated by the river and the plain dune’s condition directly depends on it. This problem is solving for several years, but with no success – dune is decreasing, flora and fauna are suffering. Birds stop flying over it, gurza is disappearing , fish is dying in the river. This list is supplemented with poachers and hooligans. 
The average huntsmen’s salary  is about 1200 rubles. The only exemption from the government is to use reserve’s territory as a garden. And of course traditional financing problem. With such pace dune reducing for 1 meter each year there nothing will be left after 250 years. Yes its enough for us, but what about future generations.
One of the ways of solving Sarykum’s problems I think is ecological tourism, because it is based on relatively undisturbed natural areas non-damaging non-degrading a direct contributor to the continued protection and management of natural areas. The planned practice of tourism in which the enjoyment of nature and learning about living beings and their relationship with the environment are brought together, it is an activity which does not result in a deterioration of the environment and which promotes and supports the conservation of natural resources, thereby producing economic benefits which reach most social strata of the population in such a way that a sustainable horizontal development is achieved. Moreover ecotourism promotes justice for people and for nature.
My first suggestion is to open souvenir shop where we can sell toy animals of Sarykum, like a birds, snakes, we can attract Dagestan craftsmen on wood for it, and of course traditional Dagestan souvenirs, additionally we can sell boots from snakes and scorpions that will allow to walk in the sand. It especially will be interesting for those tourists that want to take photos of rare animals and we can provide here so called bird watching tourism. I propose once a week organize something like campaign. If someone succeeded to make a photo of rare animal he will get souvenir for free. I think opening of such shops is additional working place for local people.            
   When I visited Sarykum, I was upset with its pure animal’s exhibition. I talked with manager of the dune, he agreed with me that it is of course difficult to see all the animals at once. If we find sponsor, we will open museum with all the photos of the rare animals and  dry plants. We can shoot a film about history, winds, animals and plants and show it on the museum’s screen with subtitles in English   Its additional money for local people who will serve the museum.
As for the tidiness once a month we can invite pupils from all over the Dagestan who can help collect garbage and walk in Sarykum for free. The headmaster Laila Kamalidinovna also told that for good help in cleaning she  will offer something delicious for children. I thinkthat such kind of work will teach children not only to save  and love our motherland, our places of interest but also not to drop litter, be careful with nature.
The last time when I visited Sarykum I met tourists from Moscow( pic. 5) . To my question what do they like and don’t like, the answer was : “Everything is perfect, such a wonderful place we saw nowhere else”. But the problem was that there were only few places for night staying, and it was a bit difficult to get there because there were no guide signs, or they were burnt with Sun. This dune is not promoted as it should be, and that’s why I offer refresh each year the sign on the road, put the signs on the turning. As for the hotels and cafes, building hotel for those who would like to have a rest without going far away from the city , and enjoy the silence and observing wild nature it is the perfect place.
There is another point that I would like to mention, for those tourists that won’t like cars, there is a railway from Makhachkala to Buynaksk. It’s not a bad idea to make a station and call it Sarykum station where tourist can stop. (pic. 6)скачать dle 12.1

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