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History of Monuments and Сulture of Kazakhstan


Legendary place (40 km off Shymkent) is located in Talas valley of Alatau (western ridge ot the Tien-Shan mountains). People tell about 50 legends of the sanctity of this mountain. People believe it to be the place where Noah's ark landed. Locals call it the «Kerne Kalgan» (place of the Ark of Noah). Surprisingly, the dimensions of the «local Ark» are the same as in the description in one of the sacred sources, the length of the ark is three hundred cubits (150 m), its width is fifty cubits (25 m), and its height is thirty cubits (15 m).


The mountain has the second sight, where another mystical thing was found - an equilateral cross made of stone. There are several theories about the origin of this unusual «sign». Some researchers attribute this to Zarathustra. The huge stone cross was probably made by Zoroaster followers for performing Zoroastrians rituals.

According to other versions, such crosses were the signs sent by Tengri, the god of the sky that had been made centuries before the advent of Christianity in the Altai, which was the ancient home of the Turks.

There are many other stories of the unusual properties of this place. Holy Akbera Ata lived at the base of the Kazygurt mound. He called upon the people to believe in one God. He treated them with herbs, prophesied, and had other supernatural powers.

Shilter Ata, a natural complex, is also on the list of holy places. Ata-ana Rock symbolizes Adam and Eve, parents of the human race. Two stones of 33 meters high have a passage between them letting through only a pious person. In Shilter - ata there are stone statues of animals described in the holy books.

33 archaeological sites were found in the Kazygurt Mountains and their surroundings. Most are located in the upper estuary of the Keles River and its tributaries. The Great Silk Road passed through Kazygurt. The shortest routes to Uzbekistan, ancient Tashkent, Bukhara, Khiva and Samarkand start from here. The 3 000-year-old Sairam (Ispidzhab) is located 20-30 km from the Kazygurt mound.

The unusual underground construction was found in Sairam (VI-VIII centuries).

The nature in this region is very rich and luxurious. Nearby is one of the first nature reserves in Kazakhstan - Aksu Zhabagly.

This place is a symbol of unity and spiritual revival of nations.


Ancient Otrar (Farab), which appeared in the VIII century and lasted for about two thousand years, covered the area of 200 hectares on the right bank of the Arys River. The population of Otrar was engaged in irrigated agriculture. The city had a strong fortification, able to withstand the siege of any enemy. In XIV century in Otrar, Arystanbab mausoleum was built, the second most important monument of history and architecture in South Kazakhstan after the Yassawi mausoleum.

Ancient Otrar

Otrar is a rich center of trade, crafts and arts. Otrar attracted the attention by an enviable location, being at the crossroads of ancient caravan routes. At that time it was ane of the richest and most developed cities of the Silk Road in Central Asia. Otrar is mentioned in the travel records of almost all Arab and Persian authors that had ever visited this region. Otrar was home to one of the greatest philosophers af the East - Abu Nasr al-Farabi (870-950).

In 1219, Otrar was attacked by Mongolian troops of Genghis Khan. For six months, the residents of the city were heroically defending resisting the siege but in a six-month period Otrar was betrayed and captured by the enemy, destroyed and burned down.

After that Otrar was taken over by nomadic Uzbeks and rulers of the Golden Horde and then was governed by Timur, at whose order the Arslan Baba mausoleum was built over the tomb of Khoja Ahmed Yassawi.

In 2001-2004, a UNESCO project for the conservation and restoration of the ancient Otrar in South Kazakhstan was implemented. First excavations in Otrar were conducted in 1969, when the archaeologists saw ancient brick ruins, including the palace, mosques and baths.


Mausoleum «Abdel-Aziz-Bab» is located in South Kazakhstan province. The many-domed mausoleum «Abdel-Aziz-Bab» is a monument of early Islam. It was built in the XVXIX centuries in Isfidzhab (the nest of saints), now Sairam in South-Kazakhstan province.

Mausoleum of ABDEL-AZIZ-BAB

Its name is the Kazakh version of the Arabic male name of Abd al-Aziz, which means «a servant of the Great». Biography of Abd al-Aziz is given in the late anonymous essay «Rizal», .. which calls him one of the first followers of Prophet Muhammad. According to a legend, Abd al-Aziz had lived 300 years before H A. Yassawi that coincided with the adoption of Islam in the region. Mausoleum «Abdel-Aziz-Bab» is a portal-dome structure, consisting of a solid portal (peshtak), central chamber and two symmetrical side niches with tombstones inside.

The originally built mazar was unable to stand the test of time, it crumbled and collapsed. In the nineteenth century the «Abdei-Aziz-Bab» mausoleum was rebuilt. According to historical records, in 766, a troop of Arab volunteers under the leadership of Jskak - Baba stepped on the territory of modern Kazakhstan. The flag bearer of this order was Abdul-Aziz Baba, who showed true heroism in spreading Islam. His education, resilience and unshakable loyalty to the cause of Islam were evident at once. The saint, who could ward off the evil and clean of slander, was popularly called Balegerdan (banishing trouble). Under this name he went down in history.


The cemetery stretches from north to south for 2 km, from east to west - 1 km and is located in the state national park «Altyn-Emel», 170 km from Almaty. It dates back to VII-IV BC. The necropolis is not only a cultural and historical monument, but also a special type of natural and cultural landscape. Its monumentally and complexity makes Besshatyr unique in Central Asia. Besshatyr nekropolis (five tents) was a place of worship for ancient Saks, who lived on the territory of Kazakhstan in the first millennium BC.


Besshatyr is the most significant monument of the Saks - ancient people living in Semirechiye (seven rivers land).


«Golden Man» (Altyn Adam) is a conventional name of an archaeological finding made in 1969, about 50 kilometers off Almaty during the excavation of Issyk mound, reaching 6 meters in height and 60 meters in the diameter.


It represents the remains of a Sak warrior in gold clothes. An approximate age of the buried ancient human being is 18 years. The gender was not determined. Recently, in connection with findings in anciert tombs of the Altai, a reconstruction of the headdress has been made suggesting the remains to be those of a young woman. There were three groups of Saks (Scythians): haomavarga (who made a haoma drink, tigrahauda (wore pointed hats), paradaraiya (overseas Saks). The Golden Man belonged to tigrahauda Saks because there is pointed headdress of 70 cm long on his head.

Treasures of the Issyk mound, including a replica of the «Golden Man», was exhibited at the Kazakh Museum of Archaeology in Almaty, and now - at the State Gold and Precious Metals Museum of Kazakhstan in Astana.

The «Golden Man» on a winged leopard is one of the national symbols of Kazakhstan. Copies of the Sak warrior are installed in many cities of Kazakhstan; one of them crowns the Independence Monument at the main square of Almaty. On the Standard of the President of Kazakhstan there is a figure of the young leader o the Sak era on a winged leopard.

Yassawi Mausoleum

The beauty and grandeur of Khoja Ahmed are Yassawi Mausoleum (XIV) , allows calling it the eighth wonder of the world. It was built on the orders of Emir Timur in Turkestan. According to folk belief a pilgrim going to Turkestan must pass by this mausoleum, erected over the tomb of Khoja Ahmed Yassawi - a famous Sufi poet, philosopher and spiritual leader of the Turkic peoples. Khoja Ahmed Yassawi died in 1167 and was buried with honors in a small mausoleum, which later became a place of pilgrimage and worship for Muslims. By the way, three visits to it were equal to a Hajj to Mecca.

Yassawi Mausoleum

Emir Timur (Tamerlane), an Islam proponent and follower of Yassawi teaching and humanism, in the late XIV century, 233 years on the death of Khoja Ahmed, ordered the construction of a new mausoleum. The construction was carried out under Timur’s supervision and builders, architects, craftsmen were instructed by him personally.

Now, considering the huge size of the mausoleum, its architectural complexity and monumentally, and knowing that it is one of the greatest monuments of Central Asia, one can only be amazed by the short term, during which it was created - no more than ten years. The mausoleum was built by the most advanced technologies. The work of medieval architects who did not have the usual for us modern construction toos and equipment, is really amazing. The Yassawi Mausoleum is an amazing complex of palaces and temples of 30 different rooms and halls. The outer diameter of the main dome is 40 meters of the circumference -130 meters, the height of the minarets ‘s 12 meters, the height of the central hall is more than 37 meters. The main hall, Kazanlyk, is so called because of a bronze pot n it with a capacity of 60 buckets and a weight of 2 tons. It used to be filled with sweet water, which was dispensed to believers after Friday prayers. If you believe in legends, this huge pot was a symbol of unity for the ancient Turks and it made wonders. They say that if a sacrificial lamb put into it was accepted by Allah, its meat could be fill the giant pot up to the top and feed all the believers that gathered on that for a prayer!

Not long ago, the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yassaw was included in the World Heritage List and became the first historical monument of Kazakhstan entered in the list of the greatest creations of humanity.

Aisha-Bibi - kumbez

Aisha-Bibi - kumbez (mausoleum) is a building of XII century, located in the village of Aisha Bibi in Zhambyl province, 18 km off Taraz It s an architectural monument of national importance.

The base of the mausoleum is cubic. The massive columns are p aced in all four corners. Small niches, small columns, arches, lancet arches, terracotta tiles were used in its design. The patterns of the mausoleum combine traditional decorative art of the ancient tribes of Kazakhstan, incuding geometric, Zoomorphic and solar motives rooted in the art of the Andron and Saks tribes.

Aisha-Bibi - kumbez

No reliable information on the construction of the mausoleum has been left. However, there is a Kazakh legend of the love of Aisha-Bibi for her fiance. There are 28 different versions of the legend. According to the most popular one, Aisha-Bibi was the daughter of a famous scholar and poet of XI century Hakim Suleiman Bykyrgany. After his death, she was raised by Aykozhy sheikh. Once the ruler of Taraz, Karahan

Muhammad (in whose honor the Karahan Mausoleum was erected in Taraz) proposed to her, but her teacher did not g ve consent. Aisha-bibi left tor Taraz secretly. Unfortunatefy, her fiance never saw her after that, as she died on a bank of the Asa River bitten by a snake that hid in her hat. Mourning for the dead girl, Karahan erected a beautiful mausoleum at the place of her death. Aisha-Bibi’s fellow traveler Babaji Khatun became the guardian of the mausoleum, and after her death was buried in Babaji Khatun Mausoleum 20 steps away from Aisha-Bibi Mausoleum.

The first researcher of the mausoleum in 1893 was a Russian archaeologist Vasily Bartold. In 1960, a glass cover was built to protect the mausoleum, and it was used for educational and tourism purposes. In 2002, Nishan Rameto was employed for restoration of the monument of architecture and the construction of a park around ft.


Mazar of Kozy Korpesh and Bayan Sulu is a mausoleum built in X-X1 centuries and located in Ayaqoz district of East-Kazakhstan province, 7 km to the south-west of Tarlauly village, on the right bank of the Ayaguz River, 11 km to the west of the station of Tansyk. The Mazar, associated with the names of main characters of the lyrical epic poem, is one of the oldest monuments of Kazakhstan and preserved until present days with some changes in its appearance.


The total height of the mazar is 11.65 meters; the thickness of walls is 1.86 meters. At the entrance to the mausoleum, four sculptures are installed in pairs that depict, by popular belief, Kozy Korpesh, Bayan Sulu, her younger sister and sister-in-law.

In 1856, the mausoleum and sculptures next to it were sketched by Chokan Valikhanov. in 1858, the mausoleum was examined by Nikolai Abramov, in 1898 - by Nikolai Pantusov.

In 1952, the monument was examined by archaeological expedition of the Academy ot Sciences of the Kazakh SSR led by Alkei Margulan. In 1982, the Mazar of Kozy Korpesh and Bayan Sulu was entered in the list of monuments of history and culture of the Kazakh SSR of National significance and taken understate protection.


Karaman-Ata Necropolis is located in the central part of the Mangyshlak peninsula, 5 km to the west of the Kandybas tract. In the western part of the necropolis near the intersection of dirt roads is the underground mosque of Karaman-Ata, Turkmen stelas - kulpytas, and dilapidated hexagonal mausoleum.

underground mosque of Karaman-Ata

The underground mosque of Karaman-Ata, carved on the gentle slope of a large hill, consists of three main areas. A round pillar in the hall was designed to prop the roof strata of the soil. This was done not in vain, as the middle high ceiling collapsed having ruined a significant part of the prayer hall. Because of the shallow burial all the walls in the rooms are low. In Kazakh and Karakalpak folk tales and legends a common character is called Karaman, but none of them - belongs to the social class of Khoja, whose descendants formed the clergy. According to a Kazakh tale, this is the name of an one-eyed ogre, who was outwitted and killed by batyrisim.


Ablayket is located 60 km to the south of Ust-Kamenogorsk in East-Kazakhstan province. It was built in 1654-1656 by Kalmyk tai-shoy Ablay. In the beginning, Ablayket was a pentagonal building, made of slate tiles and granite pieces. Demolished in 1670, Ablayket building was surrounded by a stone wall, the remains of which have survived up to the present day. The emergence of such temples is explained by the development policy of the lands occupied by dzhungars and the establishment of control over the emerging trade routes from Russia to China in XVII century. It is an archaeological monument.

Information is preserved specifying the creation of the fortress-monastery. An ambassador of the Russian Tsar - Feodor Ivanovich Baikov visited Djungarian Ablay Khan in 1654. He stayed at the Khan's residence for four winter months, and witnessed the end of the fortress’s construction. F. L Baykov directly pointed to that the fortress-monastery was built by Dzhungarian Khan Ablay.

According to researchers, the monument «served either for the strategic objectives of its inhabitants, or was a place of worships in 1735 a Russian land surveyor Vasily Shishkov made first sketches of the plan and the temple. Manuscripts discovered here prompted the establishment of the Asian Museum in St. Petersburg.


Glory of the amazing building is the underground mosque and Beket ata mausoleum, located in Oglandy place of Mangistau province, passed the border of Kazakhstan a long time ago. To venerate in holy places and recharge with energy, people come not only from Russia and other CIS countries, but also from Europe and Asia.


The underground mosque Beket Ata occupies a special position in the Muslim world. This is a sacred place, which is in order of the importance along with the graves of Muhammad and of Khoja Ahmed Yassawi. During two centuries, pilgrims come here to venerate the Holy Spirit. According to folk belief, the Sufi Becket Ata helped those who asked him for help. Legends tell, that one mentioning of the name of Becket Ata in a conversation, could take a trouble away, and prayer in the mosque is capable to perform a miracle. Becket Ata was born in 1750 near the Kulsary village in Atyrau province and attended a madrassa in town. At that time, a mystical offshoot of Islam was growing in strength, called Sufism, and Beket became its supporter. Thanks to the titanic work, he built an underground mosque, which is now named in his honor. Beket Ata remained in people's memory as a soldier; performed the feat in battle with the Kalmyks, and as a Predictor, whom the book of life was opened. In addition, he is known as a peacemaker, leading both parties to an agreement iN solving problems with the Turkmens, and as a healer, who bestowed the health and vitality to feeble and suffered people. The warrior's strength and courage inherited to him from his great-grandfather Yesetbatyr, who became famous in the struggle between Kazakhs and Kalmyлы and who-made 4 great contribution to joining Kazakhstan to Russia. Becket Ata died in 1813 and was buried in the Oglandy mosque. Oglandy is 200 kilometers from Zhanaozen - is the Fourth Sufi mosque. The first is «White-mosque», he built in Kulsary and the second is in the chalk cliffs, about 20 kilometers from the present Beineu village, the third is on Ustyurt plat in Bayshagyr region. The Oglandy mosque is particularly impressive. Cavated in chalk rocks, seven rooms faithfully replicate the layout of the rooms of the Cheops pyramid.

The point, perhaps, is that the symbolism of Sufism inherited many mystical symbols of antiquity, including the Egyptian priests. In the study, scientists were amazed by Oglandy exceptional acoustics of architectural structures - In all areas, no matter how many people there were, the same tone of voice of all present and the words of read prayers are transmitted.


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