IT IS OFTEN SAID THAT THE GROZNY OF TODAY LOOKS LIKE A PART OF DUBAI THAT HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED TO RUSSIA. EVERY WEEK, HUNDREDS OF TOURISTS COME TO SEE SKYSCRAPERS, MOSQUES, MAJESTIC MOUNTAINS AND THE UNIQUE LAKE KEZENOY-AM.
TEXT: RAYANA VISAITOVA
As a result of significant investments in recent years, modern residential blocks, mosques, shopping centres, museums, and sports facilities have emerged in Grozny. Many of them purport to hold European and Russian records in terms of their size. A growing number of tourists are coming to the republic: the annual increase in tourist flow is 40-45%. Foreign tourists are also beginning to visit Chechnya more often, and in 2018 it welcomed visitors from 78 countries.
The Heart of Chechnya mosque is the #1 attraction in the area that tourists come to see. It is one of the largest and most magnificent mosques in Europe and the world. Dazzlingly white marble, quarried on Marmara Island in Turkey, was used in its construction. The height of its minarets is also remarkable — each of them reaches 63 meters.
Another mosque which impresses visitors with its size and beauty is the Prophet Muhammad Mosque in Shali City. It is twice as big as the Blue Mosque in Istanbul and is often compared to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi. The building is made of snow-white marble and the main hall has a lotus-shaped chandelier weighing about three tonnes. A huge park with two thousand trees and 48 varieties of roses surrounds the Mosque.
Beyond the Capital
You can admire centuries-old towers or walk along the edge of waterfalls — Chechnya has plenty of places to go outside the capital.
Lake Kezenoy-Am is located at an altitude of 1870m above sea level. The lake is captivating thanks to its unusual colour: the turquoise water changes its hue depending on the weather conditions.
The water temperature does not rise above 18 degrees Celsius. You can take a catamaran cruise or a go on a zipline ride (a high-speed cable car) right above the lake. An international sailing regatta, the Kezenoy-Am Cup, takes place every year here.
Another picturesque spot is the Argun Gorge, which stretches about 120km from Khevsuretia towards the Black Mountains. Along it can be found more than 600 historical, cultural, archaeological, and architectural sites, as well as outstanding sites of natural beauty. On the bank of the Chanti-Argun river, there are twin guard towers built into the rock of Ushkaloy. Historians estimate that they were built in the 11th-12th centuries.
The next stop in the Argun Gorge is the village of Nihaloy, where travellers can see a cascade of 12 waterfalls, the highest of which reaches 25 meters. This place is a real paradise for extreme sports fans. Fantastical cliffs, breath-taking canyons, and huge stone boulders create a sense of mystery and the primeval. To appreciate the beauty of this place it is unlikely that one day is enough, and for that reason many people stay at a nearby camp site with cottages and gazebos.
Chechen Style Resort
Do you like skiing and snowboarding? Well, these sports are possible all year round in Veduchi, thanks to a special surfacing. The artificial snow trail is well suited for beginners and experienced skiers alike.
The resort has an aerial cable car line over 800 meters long and a 1km ski run for beginners. By 2025, it is planned to build seven more cable cars and more than 16.5km of ski runs.
The resort operates as an all-season tourist cluster: in spring, summer and winter, guests can go hiking, take horse ride treks, or bike rides along the picturesque mountain slopes, or go on tours to one of the historical, cultural or wildlife attractions thanks to which the Chechen Republic enjoys growing popularity. TLR
PHOTO: ABDULLAH BERSAEV