The city Almaty was named after its old name “Alma ata” which translated means ‘Father of apples’. And there are in fact many apple trees around the city and some even say that the city is the birthplace of apples. Almaty has about 1.5 Million habitants and is the biggest city in Kazakhstan and the city Central Asia. Almaty is a quite safe city. It used to be the capital before Astana was named the new capital in 1998. Almaty still remains the business and cultural center of Kazakhstan. The city still has a soviet style but has its own charm. Right behind the city are the mighty mountains of the Zailiysky Altau and the views to the snowy peaks are really stunning. In fact, the location makes Almaty one hell of a city. You simply don’t expect a city with millions of people right underneath mountains that are 4’000 meters high. Almaty is a city with both, an international flair and a Soviet history. You can find nearly anything you want in Almaty. There are lots of parks which make the city quite green. There are many nice and glittery shopping malls with international brands. Coffee shops in the style of Starbucks are on every corner and the night life offers lots of bars and clubs. The young women are well dressed and like to wear the latest styles and fashion. Somehow the city is like many cosmopolitan cities around the world.
Kazakhstan has a great variety of unique places attracting people from all over the world. No wonder, it’s a popular destination for passionate photographer from all over the world.
Deep in the unforgiving wilds of far western Mongolia, the last remaining Kazakh eagle hunters harness a powerful force of nature.
The burkitshi, as they are known in Kazakh, are proud men whose faces reveal the harshness of the beautifully barren landscape they call home.
They have an extraordinary bond with the golden eagle, which to them represents the wind, the open space, the isolation and the freedom found at the edge of the world.
Australian photographer Palani Mohan has spent years documenting the noble hunters, culminating in a book available now from Merrell Publishers. Mohan says only 60 eagle hunters remain, and fears the ancient tradition could disappear within 20 years.