Shopan Ata Underground Mosque
This mosque is a historical and cultural heritage of Mangystau Province and all of Kazakhstan.
Shopan Ata Underground Mosque is associated with the name of the revered sage who once became a mentor for Beket Ata (a prominent religious leader and educator). Today there is an unspoken rule for pilgrims to stop at Shopan Ata before visiting Beket Ata Underground Mosque. The mosque is carved inside a rock and consists of 12 rooms. There are rooms for religious rituals and educational activities. In addition, there is a tomb of Shopan Ata and halls for pilgrims.
Video about Shopan Ata Underground Mosque
Useful tips for 2020-2021
How to get there
Aktau is the nearest city to the mosque, being 218 km (135 mi) away. A good paved road leads to the mosque, so getting there shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re driving from Aktau, first head to the village of Jetibay, then pass through the city of Janaozen. After another 25 km (15.5 mi) you will find the village of Kyzylsay, the nearest settlement to the Shopan Ata and Beket Ata Mosques. From there follow the signs indicating that you are moving towards Beket Ata Mosque. Shopan Ata Underground Mosque is easy to see from the highway. After your visit, drive 70 km further to Beket Ata.
Food and accommodation
You can have a bite in roadside cafes catering to tourists and pilgrims. There is a guest house near Beket Ata Mosque, where all guests, both pilgrims and tourists, gather around a dastarkhan (a traditional low dining table). Everyone brings his or her own treats. There are also two spacious sleeping rooms – one for men, and another one for women. You can spend the night there or return to the city of Aktau.