Updated: May 25, 2020
I visited the capital city of Kazakhstan, Nur-sultan, which was earlier known as Astana. In honour to the first president Nursultan Nazarbayev, who served the country for almost three decade, it was named Nur-sultan city. My visit happened during the time of the presidential elections in June, 2019.
The city is full of glamor with a perfect bind of traditional architecture & modern structuring. It is no doubt one of the youngest and perfectly planned city.
Flying off from Delhi in a business class section of Uzbekistan Airways is a classic experience. Its was a small flight of the airline's fleet A320-214 with only 12 business seats. Albeit I returned in a bigger flight. Right from the beginning the services I must say were very impressive from food to comfortable seating to cabin crew.
Yes, I travel to a Central Asian country transiting from one so of course language was an issue. In both the countries Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan the common tongue is their respective regional languages or Russian. What I felt was that Uzbekistan's hospitality wasn't very convincing for English speakers at the Airport. Being travelled in business class was a relaxing part which minimized discomfort. On my return trip, I get to meet some Indian students heading back to their home land who told me about their happy experiences living in Kazakhstan.
My stay was in Radisson Blu which has world class services, five star rooms and delicious food. To much extend the polite and takitive management team is the best to talk to. The Infrastructure has all best in class services like gymnassiam, spa, multi-cuisine restaurant, shopping area and gathering halls for specific need.
Imagine cold breeze in Delhi during summer days, well impressive but that's not gonna happen. But stepping out of the airport in Kazakhstan, remember it was June. I was welcomed by joyful windy sprinkles which made things to stop and let you live the moment of affection.
I had a constructive conversation with the then Dy. Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko about India-Kazakhstan relations and future possibilities, the expanding cross regional corporations and investment in Oil and Gas sector which heads to increase. Apart from which I interacted with the presidential candidates, election observers, Kazakh national and friends from around the world. Oh you wanna know about the election? Well Kassym-Jomart Tokayev won which was expected with regard to his political experience, popularity and people’s will to continue Nazarbayev’s stable governance model. However, the election also showed a new beginning for the politics, just for instance-the participation of a women presidential candidate for the first time in the ever known male dominated nation.
Sight and the city
Nur-sultan is a perfectly planned city with clean and clear environment, cozy climate and high rising modern buildings which speaks the progressive vision of Nazarbayev. I was amazed to meet with the Kazakh citizens, they are decent looking friendly people and glazed to see the magnificent skyscrapers and symmetrical beauty of the capital city. The buildings will make you believe that you have entered in a Sci-fi movie.
The Presidential Palace of Kazakhstan, which took three years of making, opened in 2004. It is situated on the left bank of #Ishim River with two golden towers to added more fascination to its beauty. The front of former would mesmerize you which is a long strip with shopping place and garden blocks that leads you to the Bayterek Tower.
#Baiterek Tower represents the mythological tree of life which is among the first constructions in the city. It’s symbolic of free Kazakhstan which is installed like a tree and the egg of happiness which is a mirrored sphere of 22m in diameter. Adding more to your excitement, you can visit the top of this marvelous 344.5 ft. tall structure and get 360 degree view of the Nur-Sultan city
The city is well planned to cater the foreign visitors. The mordenly planned capital has all those facilities which you might get in any European city. Append to which it is clean, less populated and fully equipped with modern technology. It not only attracts businessmen and investors but tourists from around the world. The city has all the entertainment places one couldn't have imagined to experience in a Central Asian Country.
The Independence Column marks the sense of freedom. The list of monuments and places to visit is a stretched process however the city will leave a long lasting impact on your fascinating mind. My simple reaction after stepping out of the Delhi International Airport was 'I am going back to Kazakhstan'.
Courtesy: MFA, Kazakhstan and Kazakh Embassy, New Delhi