We invite you to visit the oldest cities in Kazakhstan – Otrar, the birth place of medieval philosopher and scientist Al-Farabi, and Turkistan, the burial place of the poet and preacher Khoja Ahmed Yasawi. His mausoleum, built by Emir Timur, is a masterpiece of medieval architecture, which has become one of the main worship places of Muslims..
The tour starts with departure from Shymkent to Otrar region, Shaulder Settlement. There you will have sightseeing at Local History Museum “Otyrar”, Arystan-Bab Mausoleum, archaeological site of the ancient settlement of Otrar.
Otrar is the city where medieval philosopher and scientist Al-Farabi was born and lived. Otrar settlement was founded in IV century BC. This center of trade and craftsmanship was the main point of the caravan routes between Eastern Europe and China. In the late XIII century Mongolian troops razed the city to the ground. But, despite the catastrophic devastation, Otrar risen from the ashes and in a relatively short time economically developed. The remains of the citadel and other large buildings, as well as the main gate and rabad, covering an area of about 10 square kilometers, have survived to the present days.
After sightseeing in Otrar you will be taken to the city of Turkestan, which was founded around 500 AD at the crossroads of caravan routes from Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva to northern Kazakhstan. The city was known as the spiritual and political center of the Turkic-speaking people in the XVI-XVIII centuries, and was the capital of the Kazakh Khanate.
Turkestan has gained wide international reputation due to preaching activity of the famous Sufi sheikh and philosopher Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, who was buried in a small mausoleum here in 1166. The existing mausoleum was erected after 233 years after his death by the order of an outstanding military leader Emir Tamerlane, and today it is a masterpiece of medieval architecture and one of the main places of worship for Muslims. According to legend, all the attempts to build a wall of the mausoleum failed: in one version it was demolished by the big storm, in another version – it was a green bull who came and destroyed everything. A saint, appeared in Tamerlane’s dream, said that at first you ought to build a mausoleum over the grave of Arystan Bab (teacher and spiritual mentor of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi), and only then – over the tomb of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, what Tamerlane did. That is why pilgrims primarily visit the mausoleum of Arystan Bab, and then Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi. Pilgrims say that three trips to Turkestan equal small Hajj to Mecca.
In Turkestan you will visit “Azret-Sultan” historical and architectural complex, Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, Turkestan ancient settlement, Necropolis, a fragment of the fortress wall, Citadel with gates, Hammam, Hilvet underground mosque.
Private tour: 400 USD for 1 person
Tour Price per person in groups:
238 USD, provided 2 persons travelling together
208 USD, provided 3 persons travelling together
Group discounts available.
Tour Price INCLUSIONS:
- 1. Transfer to/from railway stations and transportation according to the program
- 2. Sightseeing according to the program with English speaking guide
- 3. Admission fees during the tour
- 4. 1 liter of water per person per day
Tour Price EXCLUSIONS:
- 1. Meals (except hotel breakfasts)
- 2. Railway tickets and flight tickets to/from Taraz/Shymkent
Tour reservation should be done at least 48 hours before the tour and requires 50% advance payment of the total tour price.
Total tour price should be paid no later than 24 hours before the tour.
Accepted methods of payment: cash, wire transfer, bank card.
Please note: 50% of the total tour price is not refundable in case of tour cancellation less than 24 hours before the tour.
If you have any questions, please contact us via booking form. Thank you!