Turkestan — the Historical Center of the Southern Kazakhstan

This city is 1, 500 years old. It was Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, the poet and Sufi deeply esteemed in the Islamic world that made Turkestan famous. For a long time his verses existed only in oral form being passed from generation to generation by word of mouth. They appeared in written form only a few centuries after the poet’s death.

Known to historians as Yassy and Shavgar, this city was the capital of the Kazakh khanate where the ceremonies of enthronement toоk place. It was the place where ambassadors of foreign states were sent to.

One of the most notorious Turkestan monuments is devoted to Ahmed Yasawi. It is an architectural complex made of palaces and temples which annually attracts crowds of tourists. This place is worshiped by the Muslim community of Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries. In ancient times the triple visiting of this place was equal to pilgrimage to Mecca.

The entire city centre is an ensemble of historical buildings including the tomb of Robia Sultan Begim, Timur’s granddaughter, the tombs of the Kazakh khans and the representatives of nobility. This is the largest city in Turkestan in terms of noble people’s tombs number.

The UNESCO has included Turkestan (or rather Khoja Ahmed Yasawi Mausoleum) in the list of the world’s heritage.

The railway station, which is considered a landmark, is also very interesting. It appeared in 1903 during the construction of the southern branch of Orenburg-Tashkent railroad.

Turkestan sights

Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yassaui

Turkestan (1)

Manylegendary assumptions were also made about Khoja Ahmed Yassaui. There is mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yassaui on the territory of the South Kazakhstan region – amazing complex of palaces and temples, architectural masterpiece built during the period from 1385 to 1405. Today mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yassaui became tourist attraction.

Arystan baba mausoleum


Mausoleum of Arystan  baba – well-known religious mystic of XII century is place of pilgrimage for tourists. According to the legend Arystan bab was Socius of Muhammad prophet. Once Muhammad prophet and his Socius sat and ate persimmon. One of the fruits was dropping out several times from the plate, and the prophet heard following revelation: «This persimmon is for Ahmed Muslim, who will be born 400 years after you». The Prophet asked his companions who would pass that persimmon to future owner. No one stepped forward.The Prophet repeated his question, and then Arystan bab answered: «If you ask Allah to give 400 years of life, I will pass the persimmon». According to traditions and written sources Arystan bab became teacher of Khoja Ahmed Yassaui after 400 years and really passed him the persimmon.

Aksu Canyon


Aksu canyon is one of the most scenic places of the oldest reservation. Canyon is considered one of the largest and the deepest canyons in Central Asia, it is hard to descent from it, and cliffed coasts of the river make it difficult to travel over it on many areas. In addition to plants found in the rest territory of the reservation horsetails, ferns, relic plants of bygone eras can be seen in the canyon.

Domalak Ana mausoleum


Unique architectural monument of the region is the mausoleum of Domalak Ana. Domalak Ana descends from Persian «Dihnat mother» that means Holy Mother. She became famous among people for her intelligence, wisdom, purity of soul and holiness. She is the mother of the peoples living in Zhetisu, Aulie-Ata, Shymkent, Tashkent. According to legend the mausoleum of Domalak Ana has two sacred stones; only righteous man can pass between them.

Ruins of Sauran fortress


For many yearsruins of Sauran fortress have been the place that adventurersand fans of antiquities liked to visit. Culverts – kahrezes – considered one of the most interesting objects of Sauran ancient settlement, because this system is presented here in enormous scale: its length is more than 110 kilometers — water was delivered to Sauran afar off, from Karatau mountains.

Kyzylkum sands


In addition to riparian forests about 300 thousand square kilometers and the territory of two countries, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, are occupied with Kyzylkum sands. One of local flora representatives can often be met in sands – saksaul whose constant companion is saksaul jay – endemic of the Central Asian deserts. Desert landscape is monotonous in summer, and in spring the area becomes rich in vegetation.

Sairam-Su canon


Main wealth of Sairam-su is lake of glacial origin. It is interesting that color of the lake is clearly distinguished between transparent blue and turquoise. There is beautiful legend about it. Head of local tribe had a daughter, who was brought together with rich khan when she was a child. The girl grew up and fell in love with poor shepherd, but her father did not give consent to marry him. The boy and girl decided to run away. Only grandmother blessed them and gave turquoise ring and snake-shaped bracelet to the bride as a gift. While running away the girl threw turquoise ring on the ground and lake with amazing malachite color water occurred on this place. Lake in shape of eight symbolizing infinity occurred on the place where the bracelet fell. So for many years turquoise (of the girl) and transparent blue waters (of the boy) are merged into one. As lake can not be spilled out into two halves by drops, so souls of lovers who gave rise to this lake are together forever.


Arboretum invites all guests of Shymkent to watch the unique collection of plants collected from different parts of our planet. Shady arboretum with a small lake is a perfect place for refreshment and walks with family and friends. Several hundred species of flora grow together amicably on this earth. One would like to return here again and again.