Turkistan is the ancient town whose history dates
over 1500 years back when it was called Yassy, a flourishing centre of civilisation
during the time of the Great Silk Road, which contains more historical relics
and sites than any other city in modern Kazakhstan.
Founded at 5th century A.D. it was important trade
and religious centre, they say there were 14 mosques by that time. Turkistan
is an important site of worship for Moslems, the Mausoleum of Khodja
Ahmed Yassavi - the great Turkic holy man has attracted many pilgrims over
An outstanding poet and humanitarian scholar Yassaui
established a theological school attracting those craving for knowledge both
from the neighbouring cities and outlying steppes of Kazakhan and the city became
a significant centre of enlightenment.
At the age of 63, Hodja Ahmed Yassaui dug himself
an underground cell next to the mosque and lived there until he died in 1166
when he was buried with great honour. At the end of the 14th century, Timur
the Great (Tamerlaine) built a mausoleum over the site of the grave, which displays
the wonderful Timurid style of architecture. Three visits to Turkistan are equivalent
to making the Hajj to Mecca.
Also the places of interest in Turkistan are the mausoleums
of Rabiga Sultan Begimi, the granddaughter of Tamerlaine and the Kazakh Khans
Yesim, Ablai and Abulkhair-khan, as well as a well restored medieval bath house.