"Hilvet" Underground Mosque
Khoja Ahmet Yassawi's Underground Mosque
The Turkestan region is of great historical importance for the Muslims of Kazakhstan and Central Asia, since priceless monuments of Islamic traditions are concentrated here. And the underground mosque Hilvet is just one of such monuments, which is located on the territory of the reserve “Azret- Sultan”, where there are also various sights of Kazakh culture.
Its construction is attributed to the personality of the famous Sufi poet Khoja Ahmet Yassawi, who, at the age of 63, descended to the underground abode, refusing earthly blessings to spend time praying. There is a hall for prayers, halls for ritual ceremonies and pilgrims, as well as a small room located at a depth of 4 meters. A visit to Hilvet never meant the beginning of a recluse way of life, but served to understand one’s “I” and to be alone with God.
The underground mosque Hilvet plays an important role in the cultural and religious identity of pilgrims who regularly come to Turkestan land.