Turkistan province is one of the most popular among travelers in Kazakhstan, with many ancient cities and ruins to explore the past of the Great Silk Road, mountaineering opportunities in the Western Tien-Shan mountains, variety of delicious national food offered in local restaurants, a spa-resort popular in the neighboring countries, and exceptional hospitality shown to every guest.
The center of the province, a city of Turkistan is an ancient capital of Kazakh Khanate, with 1500 years of history. The architecture of some preserved buildings is so amazing, that everyone might start to wonder - how could people create such beauty without modern tools?
Turkistan is considered as sacred for Kazakhs because of the Khoja Ahmed Yasawi Mausoleum, located in the city. Khoja Ahmed Yasawi was a poet and Sufi, a founder of Turkic Sufi order in Islam and is very respected among the believers.
Interesting sights and activities in Turkistan province
- Khoja Ahmed Yasawi Mausoleum, built in XIV century, is a magnet for travelers in Turkistan. The mausoleum, an ancient city wall, the Hilvet underground mosque, the mausoleum of Rabiga Sultan Begim, an ancient bath and others, located nearby, are historical monuments, included the Azret-Sultan Museum-Reserve and protected by the museum. There is also belief, that in order to show respect to the spiritual mentor of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi – Arystan bab, travelers should first visit Arystan bab Mausoleum, which is located near the ancient settlement Otyrar, about 60 km from Turkistan.
- Ancient settlements worth visiting are Otyrar and Sauran. Otyrar settlement is one of the most ancient cities in Central Asia, which was a center of trade, craft, art and had diplomatic, military and strategic importance in those days. Sauran settlement was mentioned in written sources from the X century. Thanks to restoration works being carried out in these settlements, travelers can explore the history of the Great Silk Road and imagine life in Central Asian cities many centuries ago.
- National parks and reserves, such as Sairam-Ugam National Park, Aksu-Zhabagly Reserve and Karatau Nature Reserve, with their canyons and rivers, wild tulips blooming in spring and other interesting plants, and wildlife may be your wonderful eco-destination.
- Akmeshit Cave is a natural miracle of the Turkistan region and another location worth visiting. The cave has its own microclimate inside it: it is always cool and fresh inside the cave despite the hot weather outside, and there is mulberry bush growing right in the middle of the cave.
- Trekking and hiking in mountains, alpinism, rafting, fishing and other outdoor activities are also popular among travelers in Turkistan province.