The Mausoleum of Ibrahim Ata
This mausoleum is the final resting place of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi's father.
The ancient settlement of Ispijab (now known as Sayram) is the birthplace of the great Sufi Khoja Ahmed Yasawi. His revered parents – Ibrahim Ata and Karashash Ana – are buried here. In the 11th century, Sayram was a center for the spread of Islam, with many spiritual mentors and scholars living there. Ibrahim Ata was one of them. He came from a wealthy and educated family. Even before his early years were to end, he gained the respect of the local people, became a spiritual leader and a revered preacher. Ibrahim Ata helped the people in need and brought up many followers.
The original mausoleum, built in the 16th-17th centuries, was dilapidated and destroyed. Today, pilgrims and tourists see a 19th-century building with preserved medieval elements of internal and external decor. The mausoleum is a one-chamber square building standing at over eight meters (26 ft). Even though the mausoleum has been reconstructed several times, it has not lost its historic value. The Mausoleum of Ibrahim Ata, as well as the entire Sayram, attracts pilgrims from Turkic countries and tourists interested in the culture and history of the Great Silk Road.
Useful tips 2021-2022
In front of every historical site in Sayram, you will see signs with QR codes, which give access to information about these historical objects.
How to get there
The Mausoleum of Ibrahim Ata is located on the outskirts of Sayram (now a rural locality of the city of Shymkent). You can get to Sayram by taxi from anywhere in Shymkent, which is one of the country’s biggest cities easily accessible from any major city of Kazakhstan by train or plane. If you go to the mausoleum by bus, take Bus #130 at the “Ozero” (“The Lake”) bus stop near the Central Bazaar. The road will take you about an hour. Get off at the “Povorot” (“The Turn”) bus stop.
If you drive three kilometers (1.9 mi) southwest of the Mausoleum of Ibrahim Ata, you will find the Mausoleum of Karashash Ana, Khoja Ahmed Yasawi's mother.
Food and accommodation
At the bazaar, you should definitely try the local vegetables and fruits. Here you can also buy traditional flatbread and samsa (a bun stuffed with meat), buy dried fruits and kumys (a traditional drink made from mare's milk). Sayram offers a large number of cafes serving local cuisine, but you can also return to Shymkent’s center, which is known for its cafes and restaurants with a wide variety of food and excellent service. Finding a place to stay for the night in Shymkent shouldn’t be a problem, there are lots of hotels, inns, and guesthouses.