The cities of Turkestan, Otrar and Taraz represent monuments of ancient civilizations and routes. A trip to the city of Turkestan situated in the south of Kazakhstan will let you get to know more about Muslim architectural monuments. This ancient city once was the capital of the Kazakh khanate and has treasures such as the majestic mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yassavi, one of the most honorary Islamic Sufis and poets.
The city of Turkestan (earlier known as Yassi) was located on one of the ways of the Great Silk Road – on the trade route between Khorezm, Tashkent, Bukhara and Samarkand. Turkestan was visited daily by caravans of 500 and more camels. There is a belief that the monument to Khoja Ahmed Yassavi in Turkestan was set by the order of the great conqueror Tamerlan.
Another ancient city of Kazakhstan is Otrar. All travelers, who were heading from the East to the West used to visit this place. These ancient travelers and explorers described Otrar as a trade center with great palaces and mosques. One of the greatest philosophers of the Orient – Abu-Nasra al-Farabi was born and raised in Otrar.
Besides, in this city there is a majestic mausoleum named Arystan-baba that was built by order of Tamerlan in honor of the Central Asian Saint – Arystan Baba. The mausoleum was ruined because of an earthquake in the XVIII century, but it was reconstructed later.
In the third largest city of Kazakhstan – Shymkent you will find a great number of architectural pearls and holy places as well. There is the Karashash-Ana mausoleum, built in honor of the mother of the great poet Khoja Ahmed Yassavi. She was a very educated and literate woman of those times. She is considered as a symbol of motherhood and noblesse. The mausoleum of the father of Khoja Ahmed Yassavi also exists. It is the Ibrahim-Ata mausoleum. He was a spiritual guide and a teacher, who propagated the Islamic religion. Many other attractions located in Shymkent and its surroundings will surprise you by their majesty and spirituality.