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"city, southern Kazakstan, in the Syr Darya plain. An ancient centre of the caravan trade, known earlier as Shavgar and later as Yasi, it became a religious centre known as Khazret (Hazrat) because of the 12th-century S ufi (Muslim mystic) Ahmed Yesevi, whose 14th-century mausoleum is the city's chief monument. Captured by the Russians in 1864, Turkestan now has several industries." From the Encyclopaedia Britannica .
Türkistan also refers to a region of central Asia. "historic region of central Asia. Western, or Russian, Turkistan extended from the Caspian Sea in the west to the Chinese frontier in the east and from the Aral-Irtysh watershed in the north to the borders of Iran and Afghanistan in the south. Eastern, or Chinese, Turkistan comprised the western provinces of China, now the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region . Southern, or Afghan, Turkistan referred to a small area of N Afghanistan. Politically, what was formerly called Russian Turkistan and Soviet Central Asia includes the nations of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan and the southern portion of Kazakhstan. Much of the western part of this region is composed of two deserts, the Kara Kum and the Kyzyl Kum . The eastern part, rough and hilly, rises to include the mountains of part of the Pamir highland and of the Tian Shan system. Athwart the eastern section extends the Fergana Valley , one of Asia's most fertile regions." From Columbia Encyclopedia .
"A beautiful site of the ancient Kazakh history in the south of the country, Turkestan (Yasi city) was on the crossroads of an old caravan route - Great Silk Route branch - trade road between Desht-and Kypshak steppe and farming oasis of Central Asia - Horezm, Tashkent, Buhara and Samarkand. Its positioning provided for lively trade. China exported porcelain, Persia - Asian tiger skin, gold and silver ware, Byzantium - all kinds of women fabrics. Caravans leaving for Russia took astrakhan - the matchless treasure of nomad Turks, coloured Turkestan glass (it were Turks who taught its manufacturing to Chinese people), thin silk, cotton seed. Daily Turkestan saw the sale of more than 500 camels. The skin of a lynx was equivalent to 5 sheep, horn of a Siberian deer cost as much as silver. In XV - X cenuries Turkestan was the residence of Kazakh Khans. The town of Yasi was the scene of Hodja Ahmed's religious activity. It was here that he spent a large part of his life and was buried. Hodja Ahmed Yasavi Mausoleum is one of the major tourist attractions of Central Asia and a place of mass pilgrimage for Moslems from all over the world. This huge, domed structure, begun by Tamerlane in the 1390s, is a must-see-it's one of the most stunning architectural creations in Central Asia (the central chamber alone measures 153 x 213 x 144 ft/46 x 65 x 44 m). It is an important place of pilgrimage for Central Asian Muslims. A particular source of local pride is a two-ton sacred vessel, made of seven metals and used for storing holy water, that was returned to the mausoleum in 1989 after being on display at the Hermitage (in St. Petersburg, Russia) for 50 years." Previously on the Gateway to Kazakhstan.
(click on map to see a larger image, shows location of Kazakhs) used with permission from World Map .
UNESCO Turkestan 1500 is an extensive look at the 1500 year history of Turkestan and the surrounding area.
"Turkistan is over 1500 years old, a flourishing centre of civilisation during the time of the Silk Road, which contains more historical relics than any other city in modern Kazakhstan. Turkistan is an important place of worship for Moslems, the Mausoleum of Hodja Ahmed Yassaui has attracted many pilgrims over the centuries. 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 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." Previously on the Silk Road and Beyond (UK) site.
Excerpt from the poem Turkistan written by Maghzhan Zhumabay uh in 1921 in the Kazak language.
Ahmet Yasevi information and pictures of the Tomb.
The Mausoleum of Hodja Ahmed Yasevi in Turkestan; article by Nagim-Bk Nourmoukhammedov.
Doug Burnett's travelogue to Turkestan in September, 2000.
Previously on the Kazakhstan President's website.
Falling Rain has maps and current weather conditions (temperature, cloud cover and precipitation).
Aboutkazakhstan.com : population, city coat of arms, map, history, and pictures.
I have never had any hotels listed.