Shymkent – city of Otrar – the Mausoleum of Arystanbab – Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi

A trip to Turkistan – We visited ancient places like, city of Otrar and the Mausoleum of Arystanbab and the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi.


Ancient city of Otrar – is one of the most ancient cities of Central Asia.

It was first mentioned as the native land of the philosopher and mathematician Abu-Nasr Al-Farabi in the 9th century, whose works had a great influence on the philosophy of Europe and the Middle East.n 1219, Otrar fell because of the advance of Genghis Khan’s army who destroyed the city. But it was rebuilt, and in the middle of the XIII century it became one of the largest centers of trade between the East and the West. The city adjoined one of the luxurious courtyards of the Karakhanid dynasty. Here flourished: science, medicine, education and trade. The city attracted scientists, poets, musicians, writers, and wise men and included: madrasa mosque, forges, large trading markets and baths. The famous Amir Temir died in one of the Otrar palaces in 1405. The city existed until the 18th century as one of the major cities of the Kazakh Khanate.

The remaining ruins of the city are located in the south of the country in the village of Talapty. Here, in the vicinity of Turkestan, camels roam past the ancient settlement, as if reminiscent of the former greatness of the city, when Otrar was the center of commerce and was located at the intersection of caravan routes.

The archaeological excavations of Otrar began in 1969 and archaeologists have found: mosques, a bath, city blocks and a palace. Now on the archaeological site was built a museum, located under the open sky. Here, you can explore the ruins of the ancient city – the bazaar, mosques and residential neighborhoods. Many wells have been preserved from the ancient city, and the earth is everywhere dotted with fragments of pottery, whose history goes back hundreds of years.

The name of the world-famous Amir Temir is associated with Otrar, since it was on his orders that a mausoleum was built in honor of the great mentor and teacher of Khoja Ahmed Yassavi – Arystan-Bab. This mausoleum has become one of the main attractions in the city, and to this day pilgrims come here from all over the world.

Mausoleum of Arystanbabis a mausoleum in Kazakhstan close to the village of Kogam and Otrartobe.

History – The mausoleum dates from the 14th century and is constructed over Arystan Baba’s 12th-century grave but was reconstructed several times up to the 18th century. In the 18th century the previous mausoleum, which had been destroyed by an earthquake was replaced with a double domed structure supported by two carved wooden columns. Most of the current structure was constructed in the first decade of the 20th century with only the carved wooden pillars remaining from the original building. 

The mausoleum features a large central arch and wide front facade with minarets at the ends and two large domes to the left of the main arch. As well as the two-chambered table-tomb (gurkhana) of Arystan Bab and three of his students, Hermet-Azyra, Karga-Baba and Lashyn-Baba, a mosque and auxiliary quarters and museum are located in the other rooms of the mausoleum. The mausoleum is today a place of pilgrimage.


Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi – UNESCO world heritage site –

The Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, in the town of Yasi, now Turkestan, was built at the time of Timur (Tamerlane), from 1389 to 1405. In this partly unfinished building, Persian master builders experimented with architectural and structural solutions later used in the construction of Samarkand, the capital of the Timurid Empire. Today, it is one of the largest and best-preserved constructions of the Timurid period. A uniqe place to visit, and a UNESCO world heritage site not to missed. Highly recommended by Cawa Media.


Dinner in Shymkent at the wonderful restaurant Bakhchi – Sarai. Please look at the restaurant on Trip Advisor: Bakhchi – Sarai 




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