Сары-Кум / Sarigum
Бархан СарыКум.jpg
Sarykum Sand Dune
Map showing the location of Sarykum
Map showing the location of Sarykum
Location of Sarykum in Dagestan
LocationKumtorkalinsky District, Dagestan, Russian Federation.
Coordinates43°0′36″N 47°14′13″E / 43.01000°N 47.23694°E / 43.01000; 47.23694Coordinates: 43°0′36″N 47°14′13″E / 43.01000°N 47.23694°E / 43.01000; 47.23694[1]
Elevation262 metres (860 ft)[2]
Area1,175 hectares (2,900 acres)

Sarykum or Sary-Kum (Russian: Сары-Кум, Turkmen: Sarigum, meaning "Yellow sand") is a large sand dune located in the Kumtorkalinsky District of Dagestan, Russian Federation.[3] It is one of the largest sand dunes in Eurasia. The dune is located in a protected area, part of the Dagestan Nature Reserve, which was established on 9 January 1987.[4]


The dune rises about 18 kilometres (11 mi) northwest of Makhachkala. Sarykum is the highest dune of the Sarykumskye Barchany (Russian: Сарыкумские барханы) dune area, which extends below the northern slopes of the Narat-Tyube Range (Russian: Нарат-Тюбе).[4]

The Sarykum dune is very old. Measuring approximately 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) in length, with an area of 1,175 hectares (2,900 acres), the height of the highest summit may vary between 213 metres (699 ft) and 262 metres (860 ft).[5]


The Sarykum area is a refuge for desert flora in the region. There are up to 279 species of rare plants, including several which are endemic, such as Iris acutiloba,[6] Shishkin's groundsel (Senecio schischkinii), Karakugen milkvetch,[7] Astragalus karakugensis and Colchicum laetum.[8]


  1. ^ Caucasian Entomological Bulletin, Vol. 15. No. 1
  2. ^ Ред. В. Е. Коколов, Е. Е. Сыроечковский: Заповедники СССР. Заповедники Кавказа, Мысль, 1990, p. 46 - (in Russian)
  3. ^ Бархан Сарыкум
  4. ^ a b "Dagestan Zapovednik (Official Site)" (in Russian). Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (Russia). Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  5. ^ Семь чудес бархана Сарыкум (in Russian)
  6. ^ "The exhibition "Iris Russia"". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  7. ^ "Dagestansky Zapovednik". Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  8. ^ Münir Öztürk, Khalid Rehman Hakeem, I. Faridah-Hanum and Recep Efe (Editor)Climate Change Impacts on High-Altitude Ecosystems, p. 530, at Google Books