The Mausoleum of Koshkar Ata
This mausoleum stands on the eponymous river flowing through the center of the city of Shymkent.
The mausoleum was constructed on top of the grave of Koshkar Ata, the legendary Kazakh Sufi and the disciple of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi. The river flowing near the mausoleum was also named after the saint. This river has become a landmark of Shymkent and its cleanest source of water. According to legend, Koshkar Ata once asked his brother to deliver spring water for Ahmed Yasawi but warned him not to look back on his way to Turkistan. The brother looked back anyway, and the water spilled. In the place where this happened, many brooks appeared, which then merged to form a river.
Since the river is a source of drinking water, it’s forbidden to enter the river at its source. Here you can only fill bottles and wash your face.
Unfortunately, the mausoleum’s authentic appearance wasn’t preserved. In the 1960s, an active development began in Shymkent. Several multi-storey buildings arose near the mausoleum endangering its safety. Therefore, the mausoleum was dismantled and moved to a new location. It is still located on the left bank of the Koshkar Ata river, but closer to the ancient settlement of Shymkent and the mosque on Ordabasy Square. After the reconstruction, the mausoleum lost its two minarets. Despite the fact that the modern mausoleum looks simpler than before, it’s still of great architectural and spiritual value.
Useful tips 2021-2022
How to get there
The mausoleum is located in the center of the city of Shymkent, on the upper bank of the Koshkar Ata River, along Kabanbai Batyr Avenue. First, you need to get to Ordabasy Square. It will not be difficult, because it’s easily accessible from anywhere in the city. The square is a popular tourist attraction since it’s located right next to the ancient settlement of Shymkent and the country's largest bazaar. From the square, you need to walk along the river which will lead you to the mausoleum.
Food and accommodation
Since the Mausoleum of Koshkar Ata is located in the city center you won’t have any problems finding an overnight stay near it. There are hotels for every taste and budget. For example, on Ordabasy Square there is a hotel of the same name. The streets are dotted with cafes and restaurants offering different cuisine. We recommend that you try the famous Shymkent shish kebab or Tashkent pilaf.