Just thinking about the Great Silk Road it makes everyone to imagine caravans consisting of camels loaded with silks, treasure, and eastern spices, horsemen and messengers, drivers and dervishes, as well as the thousands of horses and sheep moved by the herdsmen to sales area with clouds of dust. There arise and merge with a string of exciting images of caravansarai, and rich prosperous cities of antiquity - Otrar and Taraz, Sauran and Yasi (now Turkestan), Ispidzhab (now Sairam) and Suyab, Kulan and Balasagun, and others.
Here, along these open spaces, you can see ancient fortresses (towns), visit the bustling eastern bazaars (markets), and admire the incredible beauty of the unique pearl of Muslims - the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi distinguished by a remarkable architectural design and the mosaic tiles design. By immersing yourself in the spirit of caravanserai, you can enjoy real aromatic oriental pilaf, and other local cuisine and other local cuisine! And vast expanses of the Great Silk Road will also open to you the beauty of the local mountains abundantly covered with emerald meadows and rushing rivers and streams flowed crystal clear spring water, the freshness of which you will enjoy in a hike. The Great Silk Road will be glad to welcome you as highly appreciated guests on its open spaces, and reward everyone with its friendly embrace. Adventures begun!
At the airport of Shymkent you will be met by QazWay guides. After accommodation and rest, you, accompanied by a guide and driver on a comfortable car, go on an excursion to the ancient city of Sairam, in remote antiquity - Ispidjab, one of the most beautiful cities of the East, called the White City. The historical relic of the city is the Bazalak-Ata Mosque Minaret dating back to the 12th century, two mausoleums associated with the name of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, religious buildings built after the Dzungar Invasion.
In Sairam the following to visit:
- Mausoleum of Karashash-Ana
- Mausoleum of Ibrahim-Ata
- Mausoleum of Kadyr-Ata
- Mausoleum of Mahmudhan Sheikh (great-grandfather of Ahmed, where Kh.A Yasawi was born)
- Martobe (where Zheti Zhargy (the set of laws) was signed))
After the excursion you will be transferred to your hotel where you will try a great dinner. Overnight in Shymkent.
After the tour, we'll have lunch with national cuisine, and direct to the Kemekalgan legendary ritual place - Adam and Eve Rock. Through this rock, according to legend, only people whose sins are all forgiven can pass.
After that, we are waiting for a trip to the Kazygurt Mountain, where, according to the local legend, Noah's Ark sailed after the World Flood. At the foot of the mountain we will be filled with water from a sacred spring, and we will pass to the symbolic Noah's Ark. The monument in the form of a ship stands on the top of the mountain at the Shymkent-Tashkent-Samara international highway. Those who rise to its base, opens a picturesque view of the flowering steppe and majestic snow-white-blue mountain peaks of the Western Tien-Shan.
After the end of the excursions you will be transferred to the hotel and dinner in the restaurant of national cuisine, a friendly evening of acquaintance with the delivery of branded t-shirts and baseball caps.
Early in the morning, we will have breakfast, rent a room in the hotel, and go on an exciting journey, in which you will visit:
- Arystan Bab Mausoleum is a place of pilgrimage, one of the Muslim shrines in Central Asia, and architectural monument of the XII century. According to legend, Arystan Bab was an associate of the Prophet Muhammad. Legend has that Arystan Baba was the teacher and spiritual mentor of Khoja Ahmed Yassawi, to whom he passed the amanat beads or persimmon stone;
- archaeological excavations of the ancient town of Otrar, where the medieval philosopher and scholar Al Farabi was born and lived. Otrar was destroyed to the ground by the troops of Chenghis Khan.
- Azret-Sultan historical and architectural complex, Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, Turkestan fortress, Necropolis, a fragment of the fortress's wall, Citadel Gates, Oriental Bathhouse, and Hilvet Semi-Underground Mosque. The Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi is an amazing complex of palaces and temples, a masterpiece of world architecture, an outstanding monument of medieval architecture, which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. A well-preserved inscription above the entrance to the building says: "This holy place was built at the behest of the ruler beloved by Allah, Emir Timur Guragan... - May Allah prolongs his command forever!"
The mausoleum still hides in itself a lot of unsolved mysteries, and one of them is the unusual golden radiance from one of its walls. The wall itself is covered with by a sea of blue mosaics, and, as modern architects and restorers have confirmed, there are no gold or gilded impregnations on it. In the center of the hall is a ritual cauldron Tai-Kazan, cast in alloy of seven rare precious metals, with a diameter of 2.2 m and weighing 2 tons. Kazan in Central Asia is a symbol of unity and traditional hospitality.
- Ancient fortification Sauran. According to contemporaries, Sauran was a pretty strong city-fortress. Thanks to defensive structures, water, food and weapons, he could withstand a siege for several months
After the excursions you will be transferred to Turkestan, where your lunch will be organized. After that, we will continue the car excursion to the archaeological excavations of the ancient fortress Sauran.
At the end of all excursions you will travel to Turkestan, where you will be accommodated at the hotel, have dinner, rest, and be able to see Turkestan and the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi at night. You will stay in Turkestan for the night. In ancient times Yassy is the first capital of the Kazakh Khanate. This city became the center of the district, the main trade point on the Great Silk Road. Yassy had also achieved special visibility at the beginning of the XII century, where Kh.A. Yasawi settled here. Turkestan is nowadays a large tourist and religious center that attracts people with its ancient culture, sacred objects of great historical and cultural value for Central Asia.
Early in the morning we will have breakfast, and we set off on the northern section of the Great Silk Road. We are waiting for mountain passes and picturesque gorges of the Karatau Mountain Range. On this day we will visit the Kyzylkol Lake, which in the 1980s was famous as balneological resort. The lake is included in the list of key ornithological territories of Kazakhstan, and serves as a nesting, feeding and stopping place for migrations for tens of thousands of river and diving ducks. During migration, more than one hundred species of birds accumulate here. Here you can transfer to the Eocene Epoch - 40 million years ago, and in even more ancient times - discovering the teeth of the tiger sharks and mollusk shells in the earth mass of the banks of the Ushbas River, which flows into Kyzylkol. This indicates that the bottom of the ancient ocean once existed between the Karatau Mountain Ridge and the Moyinkum Desert.
And we will also visit the ruins of the ancient settlement of Kumkent, entered into the register of archaeological monuments of Kazakhstan. The Armenian King Getum I about Kumkent mentioned in the XIII century, when he went to the rate of Khan Meng. An ancient hill was strewn with heaps of a large burnt red brick of square shape and a large number of fragments of ancient pottery.
From the ancient settlement of Kumkent our way will direct to a picturesque gorge in which we, like real travelers, spend the night in a tent camp on the bank of a mountain river. Here we will have a tasty hiking supper, a hot fire at night, and a huge starry sky!
We will start our morning on the bank of the river under a beautiful sunrise, have breakfast, and go on a simple hike to the mountains - to admire the landscapes of the mountain gorge and the canyon.
Upon returning to the camp we will fish, bathe, lunch, and rest. Then we will get in our jeeps and move forward Taraz, where on arrival we will find accommodation at the hotel,rest after this small but extreme trip. In the evening, we will have dinner and friendly communication in a cozy restaurant of national cuisine.
In the morning after breakfast we will go on an exciting trip to the 2000-year-old Taraz and its surroundings. It is in this warm, sunny, and green city the gaze of every traveler reveals the unique pearls of Muslim architecture included in the UNESCO list of particularly valuable historical and architectural monuments of mankind.
Taraz is the most ancient city in Kazakhstan; it is more than 2000 years old. It is the same age as Samarkand, and during the heyday of the Great Silk Road, Taraz was known no less than Turkestan or Bukhara.
Half an hour drive from Taraz, we will visit the Akyrtas archaeological complex-fortress, built entirely of red sandstone. This is one of the most mysterious and interesting structures of the ancient culture of nomads in the whole of Kazakhstan. For more than 8 centuries, Akyrtas has been and remains a legend, is considered a place of power, and is listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site in composition of the "Great Silk Road Facilities".
Our acquaintance with Akyrtas ends and we will return to Taraz, lunch in a cozy restaurant, and go to the following sights, recognisable cards of the city - Aisha-Bibi and Babajikhatun, Karakhan and Davut Bek, Tekturmas and Mambet Batyr Mausoleums. They are the unique, covered with legends monuments of medieval architecture of the ХІ - ХІІ centuries not only in Kazakhstan, but throughout Central Asia.
In the center of Taraz we will visit the historical monument of republican importance - the Ancient Taraz Archaeological Park, where specialists have carried out archaeological excavations for several years already.
In the evening we will have a delicious dinner and friendly dialogue in a cozy restaurant of national cuisine. After the dinner we will return to the hotel.
Early in the morning we will have breakfast, leave the hotel, comfortably accommodate in cars, and direct to the Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve, located one hundred kilometers from Taraz - in the Talas Alatau Mountains of the Western Tian Shan. The central place in the Aksu-Zhabaglinsky Reserve is occupied by the Aksu Canyon, about 1800 m deep, which we will visit.
After the excursion to the Aksu Canyon we will return to Shymkent, have dinner, communicate, and share impressions. Today ends your journey through the expanses of the sunny and hospitable south of Kazakhstan - a country where you will always be welcome! You say goodbye to the vast expanses of the Great Silk Road, go to Shymkent airport, and return home! As they say in Kazakhstan – Қош келдіңіз! What is translated from Kazakh as Welcome! And we tell you – to our next meetings, friends!
*Planning another route of returning home from Shymkent - inform us in advance please!
- Transport along the route (buses, minibuses, cars).
- All excursion programs, with a guide and a driver. The entrance fee for excursion objects and the territory of the National Park.
- Accommodation along the whole route.
- Catering throughout the route.
- Transfer to the airport / from the airport of Shymkent.