Most beautiful falls in the western part of Altai Mountains are Kokkol Falls – impressive, 60 – 80 m tall waterfall.

This waterfall had formed on a hanging valley near the tallest summit of Altai – Belukha. Falls are on Great Kokkol River – a large stream which originates in Kokkol Lake.

Water here slides down along very steep rock. In the middle part, the stream is extended and divided into smaller streams by cliff ledges.

Big advantage of this waterfall is good observation possibilities: there are spots where the whole waterfall and mountains behind it can be seen.

Some centuries ago here came Old Believers (Kamenschiks) and according to legends, they thought that here they have reached the fabulous Belovodye – the land of happiness and freedom, where the "river of milk" flows from the sky.

The 20th century though did not bring much happiness here. At the end of the 1930s next to the falls was built one of GULAG camps – Kokkol camp. It was built as a village for the miners in nearby quartz, molybdenum and tungsten mines. Now the buildings of this village – simple wooden shacks – are in ruins.

Many people come as tourists here and many are finding their inner freedom and happiness here.

History repeats itself. Now Russians are searching each his own Belovodye in Altai again.

Kokkol Falls on the map
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Location, GPS coordinates: 49.7193 N 86.6622 E
Categories: Waterfalls
Values: Geology, Visual
Rating: 3 out of 10 stars
Where is located? Asia, Kazakhstan, East Kazakhstan, on Great Kokkol River some 12 – 15 km south-east from Beluha Peak
Name in Kazakh language: Көккөл сарқырамасы
Name in Russian: Водопад Кокколь
Height: 60 – 80 m
Width: 5 – 25 m

Landmarks of Kazakhstan

Horse riders near Markakol Lake, Kazakhstan
Horse riders near Markakol Lake / Dmitry A. Mottl, / CC BY-SA 3.0

Kazakhstan belongs to world’s largest countries and its vast steppes, deserts and mountains hide numerous landmarks. Its natural and cultural heritage is comparatively little known, but here are found quite a few important landmarks.

Most interesting is the rich archaeological heritage. In Kazakhstan are found outstanding landmarks left by the Bronze Age and early Iron Age cultures – giant mounds (kurgans), megalithic monuments, petroglyphs.

Waterfalls and rapids

Virginia Falls, Canada
Virginia Falls / Paul Gierszewski, / public domain
Some of the most fascinating and awe inspiring natural monuments are waterfalls, or locations where a river abruptly changes its elevation.

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