Zhambyl, Taraz, Dzhambul, Auliye-Ata, Mirzoyan

Would you like help me keep this page updated? I am unable to double-check the links and search for new sites as often as I would like. Just E-mail me [e-mail link] and let me know; I can also give you hints on how to search.

"Taraz, formerly Zhambyl, in S Kazakhstan on the border with Kyrgyzstan, on the Taraz (Talas) River and the Turkistan-Siberia RR. Industries include food processing and the manufacture of chemicals, footwear, and leather goods. Founded in the 7th cent., it was called Taraz or Talas. In the 8th and 9th cent. it was ruled by Arabs. From the 10th to the 12th cent. it was the capital of the Karakhan state, and in 1864 it passed to Russia. It was called Aulie-Ata until 1936 and then Mirzoyan until 1938, when it was renamed for the Kazakh poet Zhambyl Zhabayev; in 1997 the original name was restored. Near Taraz are two mausoleums (11th and 12th cent.)." From the Columbia Encyclopedia [external link].

"southern Kazakstan. It lies at the junction of the Talas River and the Turk-Sib Railway. Auliye-Ata is one of the oldest towns of Kazakstan. It stands on the site of the ancient city of Taraz, which flourished as a stop along the Silk Road until it was destroyed by Mongol armies in the 13th century. A new town called Auliye-Ata was established on the site by the emirs of Kokand in the late 18th century. The fort and town were captured by the Russians in 1864, and between 1938 and 1992 the town was renamed Dzhambul for the Kazak poet Jambul Jabayev (Russian: Dzhambul Dzhabayev; 1846-1945). The modern city has large phosphate-processing works; a large power station; sugar, leather, and footwear factories; and a wool-washing plant. There are institutions for teacher and vocational training." From the Encyclopaedia Britannica [external link].

"The city in southern Kazakstan, Taraz lies at the junction of the Talas River and the Turk-Sib Railway. It is one of the oldest towns of Kazakstan. It stands on the site of the ancient city of Taraz, which flourished as a stop along the Silk Road until it was destroyed by Mongol armies in the 13th century. A new town called Auliye-Ata was established on the site by the emirs of Kokand in the late 18th century. The fort and town were captured by the Russians in 1864, and between 1938 and 1992 the town was renamed Dzhambyl for the Kazak poet Jambyl Jabayev (1846-1945). Primarily an industrial city, Dzhambul (lately renamed Taraz again) does have some interesting sites. The Kara Khan Mausoleum, the Shamansur Mausoleum, are both nearly 1,000 years old and have interesting terra-cotta exteriors, carved to make the buildings look as if they were woven from straw. The Aisha-Bibi and Babadja-Hatun Mausoleums are beutiful masterpieces of the ancient Asian history." Previously on the Gateway to Kazakhstan.

"Talas/Taraz, Auliye-Ata, Mirzoyan, Dzhambul/Zhambyl. Founded in the 6th century on the Talas River after which the city was first named. Talas was an important halt on the Silk Road until it was destroyed by the Mongols in the 13th century. It was rebuilt by the Emirs of Kokand in the 18th century as a northern frontier fort and given the name Auliye-Ata 'Holy Father' from the Uzbek auliye 'holy' and ata 'father'. It was captured by the Russians in 1864 and became part of Russia. In 1936 it was renamed after Levon Mirzoyan (1897-1939), an Azeri who was sent to Kazakhstan in 1933 and became the senior Communist Party official (first secretary of the Central Committee) there in 1937. It was renamed Dzhambul, or Zhambyl, in 1938 after the Kazakh folk poet and singer, Dzhambul Dzhabayev (1846-1945). This is the Russian spelling of his name; in Kazakh his name is spelt Zhambyl Zhabaev and Zhambyl was the accepted spelling in 1992-7. Zhambyl reverted to its original name in 1997." From the Concise Dictionary of World Place-Names

Taraz City [external link] has a few pictures.

Tarazinfo.kz [external link] is in Russian. About city, information, picture album, chat, weather.

Taraz Map with Kazakh nationality (click on map to see a larger image, shows location of Kazakhs) used with permission from World Map [external link].

Underestimation of Infant Mortality Rates in One Republic fo the FSU [external link] article from Pediatrics.

Yahoo Group: Taraz [external link]: "for people who have adopted a child or have received a referral for a child from Taraz in Kazakhstan. Our intention is to foster discussion among and provide resouces to individuals and families touched by adoption from this region."

Interlink Resources [external link] is a non-profit organization operating in the Taraz region, providing assistance to orphanages. On their website they have a guide to restaurants and stores, map (coming soon, available at their office), a list of what is available for purchase and what to bring, and resources that are available through them. They are also facilitating a cultural class specifically for adoptive families through the Interlingua school; I have an information sheet [word document] available.

Falling Rain [external link] has maps and current weather conditions (temperature, cloud cover and precipitation).

Link recently added:

Visit Kazakhstan [external link] has information about the area, hotels, restaurants, etc.

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Previously on the Kazakhstan President's website.

One of the largest tourist centres of Kazakhstan is Taraz, the city, standing on the "Great Silk Road". At the beginning of our era on the fertile lands, irrigated by the river, there sprang up the large trade-and-handicraft town Taraz. Up to the XIIth century it was the economic, cultural and political centre of medieval state of Karakhanidz. In 1220 Taraz was conquered by the hordes of Chingiz-Khan and was razed to the ground. At the end of XVIIIth century near the ruins of Taraz the Kokands built the fortress. At the beginning of XIXth century, not far from it, on the spot of ancient Taraz there took place the rapid development of the city named as Aulie-Ata (? holy aged man? ). Its first settlers were Uzbeks, those who came from Namangan.

The population of the town was occupied with handicraft and trade. Here at the spring fair there took place the exchange of hand-made goods and production of agriculture, with which there were occupied the settled inhabitants of oasis, to the products of animal-husbandry of Kazakhs-normads.

In 1864 Aulie-Ata entered the structure of Russia and was occupied with Russian forces. Through its territory there lay the route from Tashkent to Vernyi and Pishpek. The town was settled with Russian officials and service men. In the Russian part of the town there were about 2 dozens of small industrial enterprises on primary processing of raw materials produced by agriculture, mainly, wool-washing and tanning industries. At the beginning of XIXth century there existed one municipal and two parish schools and one Russian-Kazakh school. In the town there were more than 20 mosques and 3 chirches.

In 1938 the town was renamed to Dzhambul after the name of the Kazakh poet Dzhambul Dzhabayev. On January 8, 1997 by the Decree of the President of Kazakhstan N.A.Nazarbayev the immemorial name - Taraz was given back to the town. Nowadays Taraz is the large city, its the centre of chemical, food and sugar industries of the Republic. On the territory of oblast which is named after Dzhambul Dzabayev there are more than 450 archeological monuments. Here one can meet the sites of primitive man of the period of paleolith and late Stone Age, monuments of the Bronze Age ( numerous burial mounds of so-called Andron type, rock paintings), dozens of ruins of medieval towns, fortifications and also of architectural structures. Beginning from the VIth century of A.D. there appearred the first written reports about towns of this land, which sprang up on the old caravan "silk road" joining two great powers of that time - Rome and China. Caravans were going from Shasha (Tashkent) to Taraz, Kulan, Mirki, Ashpara and Suyab and further - to oases of Chinese Turkistan. There remain the traces of those towns - ramparts, enclosed with deep ditches, ruins of towers. There exist the report about Taraz starting from the time of 568, when it was visited by the Vyzantine ambassador Zemarh. Zemarh explains, that there had been built a stone bridge through the river Talas. The Chinese traveller Suyan Jen, who visited Taraz in 30th of VIIth century, wrote that this town by its size and features resembles him the modern cities of Middle Asia. In Taraz in the centre of Shah possessions there was a citadel enclosed with a wall. Here lived the proprietor of the town and there were storages of goods, treasury, arms. And here, begining from VIIIth century, were minted local coins. In the town itself there were located caravan-sarais, workshops of craftsmen, stores of merchants. Taraz achieved its violent growth in X-XIIth centuries, the testimony of which is the forked network of water pipes made of clay pipes, remains of architectural structures, pavements and paved streets, numerous hand-mades of skilful masters, which were found during excavations. The presence in the town of bath-house is referred to that time. The bath-house had inside fresco murals.

In the town there have been preserved two mausoleums reminding about ancient Taraz. One of them is Aulie-Ata of Karakhan which was built in XIth century above the grave of one of the rulers of Karakhanids? dynasty. It presents portal-and-dome structure. Inside the mausoleum the walls are made of brick of Katakhanids? period. There have been preserved the stepped gravestone. The second small mausoleum of XIIIth century - Sha-Mansur was built above the grave of one of the vicerois of Mongol Khans who had been killed in 1262. It may be judged by the inscriptions preserved on the stone plate inside the mausoleum. According to the reports of Arab historian-geographer Makdisi, at the end of Xth century Taraz represented the large fortified town with numerous gardens and densly populated. Invasion of Tatars-Mongols at the beginning of XIIIth century was one of the reasons of Taraz?s downfall. After the great geographical discoveries of XIVth century the ancient caravan route lost its importance and this fact brought the commercial towns standing on this way (including Taraz) to final downfall.

There are two memorials located 18 km from Taraz which present particular interest for the scientists-researchers and tourists. They are situated not far from each other. The first is mausoleum of Babadzha-hatun, which was built in XIth century, and it has the marquee dome of unique construction. The second is mausoleum of Aisha-Bibi which dates from the XIIth century. It is the only in Kazakhstan unique memorial, entirely faced with carved terracotta with the richest ornamentation in the form of tiles with 60 kinds of patterns, cornices and styled inscriptions. Capitals and columns from terracotta blocks are covered as the entire wall with the thinest paintings, which present the richest composition of motives of folk ornament. On one of the corner towers of mausoleum there preserved the lines from the old distich: "Autumn... Clouds... The Earth is beautiful".

Inside video tour of Umit Baby Home[external link] and outside tour[external link] in June 2005.

Bringing Home Katie [external link] adoption video from Taraz in 2003. There is also Our First Year Together and Our Second Year Together from the same family.

Wiki: Taraz [external link]

Link recently added:

Aboutkazakhstan.com [external link]: population, 2 hotels, city coat of arms, map, history, and pictures.

Link recently added:

Ingvarr photo album [external link]

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Hotels

  • Zhambyl: 63 single/double rooms, continental breakfast included. "November 2005 - February 2006, $60/2 people, private bath with tub, shower, refer, mini bar, room service, air conditioned, heat, phones, TV, crib available, restaurant, bar, staff speaks English, salon, accepts credit cards, walking distance to shopping. More information is available at Olesya Files travel tips [external link]."
  • Gasovnik:

    "Aug/Sept 2003, private bath with tub and shower, hairdryer, refer, room service, AC/heat, TV, crib available, restaurant, bar, staff speaks English, accepts credit cards, walking distance to shopping, 'We were very comfortable in this hotel. It's the most updated in Taraz. The staff were helpful and enough of them spoke English that we had no problems. They had no cribs, but quickly went out and bought one for the hotel to have when they learned we were bringing our adoptive baby back to the hotel to stay. Good food in the restaurant with English menu.' "

    "March/April 2004, $75/night, 2 beds, private bath with tub and shower, room service, AC/heat, phone, TV, crib available, restaurant, bar, internet access, accepts credit cards, walking distance to shopping. 'The hotel is located in the "center" of town, close to two internet cafes - one dial up and one high speed. In walking distance of 3/4 restaurants, museum and grocery store. The waitresses in the hotel restaurant were WONDERFUL with our son - they have a high chair! :) Some of the front desk staff speaks English while some do not, it is best to ask for the room number when calling. They do have single rooms for $55.00 a night and you can have your child with you in a crib for that rate. They also have suites and deluxe suites.' Contact Cyndi [e-mail link] for more information."

    "June 2004, $70/night, 2 beds, private bath with tub and shower, hairdryer, room service, AC/heat, phone, TV, restaurant, bar, staff speaks English, accepts credit cards, walking distance to shopping. 'We did loose hot water for about three days, so we learned to shower fast. But the President's daughter stayed at this hotel twice while we were there and I don't think she would have stayed there if it wasn't nice. Many things are in walking distance to this hotel including a internet cafe, stores, the municipal buildings where part of your adoption paperwork is handled, an amusement park, soccer stadium, and Olympic sized pool. You can also walk to the bazaar from this street. We left an apartment in less than an hour because it was not up to our standards and were very glad we stayed at this hotel.' Contact Gail [e-mail link] for more information."

    "January-March 2004, $49/night for 1 person, amenities as noted in the above paragraphs, very comfortable accomodations, Front desk staff spoke English fairly fluently, Restaurant staff spoke limited English, All staff members were friendly and warm and helpful. The location is right off the town square; the internet place, markets, and bank were very close by I had a wonderful stay at the Gazovik! Contact Marcia [e-mail link] for more details."

    "February 2004, $46/night. Amenities as noted above. Wonderful staff; very nice clean hotel; very near to markets and two internet places; in a very safe part of town (right off the town square). Contact Marcia [e-mail link] for more."

  • Are you interested in renting an apartment? "The apartment is in the center of town, close to many restaurants, a small bazaar, workout place, shopping center, etc. It has a security entrance that is a keypad. It is on the 8th floor and has a wonderful view of the mountains. It has a living room, kitchen, two bedrooms and a bath. It is furnished with couch, chair, table, TV, bunk beds, dresser, queen size bed, washing machine, microwave, fridge, water heater, etc. One reminder though, it is the old Soviet style so people should not expect "Western" standards. We charge $100 a week which covers utilities. Phone is separate. We also have someone come in once a week and clean it (very honest person) and she is an excellent cook. We have an order sheet with traditional Kazakh foods that can be ordered a day in advance. She and her family live in the same apartment building so it can be delivered." It is available through Interlink Resources [external link] (listed above).
  • The people at Interlink have also recommended that you contact Zhanibek Absatov [e-mail link] to help you locate an apartment. Below is what they wrote me: "If you are looking for reasonably priced accommodations in Taraz, one of our contacts there has recommended using Zhanibek Absatov to locate apartments. You may write him directly at: zhanic@mail.ru or abzhanic@yahoo.com and copy: bethinkz@comcast.net (just for awareness). Please communicate your arrival date, how long you anticipate needing an apartment and any specific requests (i.e. number of bedrooms, air conditioning, etc.). Apartments will be furnished and have the basic amenities such as stove, fridge, TV, etc. Price range will be between $200 - $300 / month and he will charge a 1 time finders fee of $75. He speaks good English and has a vehicle. Although he cannot replace your driver/translator assigned by your agency, he can offer additional transportation services as needed and help you around town. To contact him by phone, he can be reached at: +7 701730846."
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Page updated on 9 January 2016.

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