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Three Days On The Great Silk Road Tour

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Route: Taraz - Shymkent - Otrar Settlement - Turkestan - Sairam (South Kazakhstan) Season: March - October DAY BY DAY ITINERARY Day 1. Taraz - Shymkent Arrival in Taraz by morning train from Almaty. Meeting at the railway . .
Country: Kazakhstan
City: Taraz
Duration: 3 Day(s) - 2 Night(s)
Tour Category: Culture Tours
Departure Date: Thu 01 Jan '99
Package Itinerary

Route: Taraz - Shymkent - Otrar Settlement - Turkestan - Sairam (South Kazakhstan)

Season: March - October


Day 1. Taraz - Shymkent

Arrival in Taraz by morning train from Almaty. Meeting at the railway station and transfer to Taraz. Sightseeing at History Museum, Karakhan and Dautbek Mausoleum, Tekturmas Historical Complex.

Taraz is one of the oldest cities in Kazakhstan, the remains of which are hidden under the buildings of the modern city. Taraz, the ancient and the largest commercial and administrative center on the Silk Way in VII - VIII centuries, is dating back more than 2,000 years. There are more than 70 monuments of archaeology, history, architecture, and monumental art in Taraz and the surrounding area.

Thus, a unique monument of medieval architecture of the XI-XII centuries - Aisha Bibi Mausoleum - the only monument not only in Kazakhstan but in Central Asia, which is entirely decorated by terracotta and included in the UNESCO list of the most valuable historical and architectural monuments of mankind.

Transfer to Shymkent. Accommodation in the hotel. Overnight in Shymkent.

Day 2. Shymkent - Otrar Settlement - Turkestan - Shymkent

Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Otrar Settlement (220 km). Sightseeing at Arystan-Bab Mausoleum (teacher and spiritual mentor of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi), an archaeological site of the ancient settlement of Otrar.

Otrar is the city where medieval philosopher and scientist Al-Farabi was born and lived. Otrar settlement was founded in the IV century BC. This center of trade and craftsmanship was the main point of the caravan routes between Eastern Europe and China. In the late XIII century, Mongolian troops razed the city to the ground.

But, despite the catastrophic devastation, Otrar rose from the ashes and in a relatively short time economically developed. The remains of the citadel and other large buildings, as well as the main gate and rabad, covering an area of about 10 square kilometers, have survived to the present day.

Transfer to Turkestan (70 km). Sightseeing at "Azret-Sultan" historical and architectural complex, Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi (Necropolis, a fragment of the fortress wall, citadel with gates, Hammam, Hilvet underground mosque).

Turkestan was founded around 500 AD at the crossroads of caravan routes from Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva in northern Kazakhstan. The city was known as the spiritual and political center of the Turkic-speaking people in the XVI-XVIII centuries and was the capital of the Kazakh Khanate. Turkestan has gained a wide international reputation due to the preaching activity of the famous Sufi Sheikh and philosopher Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, who was buried in a small mausoleum here in 1166.

The existing mausoleum was erected after 233 years after his death by the order of an outstanding military leader Emir Tamerlane, and today it is a masterpiece of medieval architecture and one of the main places of worship for Muslims. According to legend, all the attempts to build a wall of the mausoleum failed: in one version it was demolished by a big storm, in another version – it was a green bull who came and destroyed everything.

A saint appeared in Tamerlane’s dream, and said that at first, you ought to build a mausoleum over the grave of Arystan Bab (teacher and spiritual mentor of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi), and only then - over the tomb of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, what Tamerlane did. That is why pilgrims primarily visit the mausoleum of Arystan Bab, and then the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi. Pilgrims say that three trips to Turkestan equal a small Hajj to Mecca. Transfer to Shymkent. Overnight in Shymkent.

Day 3. Shymkent - Sairam - Shymkent

Breakfast at the hotel and check-out. Departure to Sairam Settlement (20 km). Sightseeing at Local History Museum "Sairam", Mar-Tobe, Ibrahim-Ata Mausoleum, Karashash-Ana Mausoleum, medieval minaret.

Sairam Settlement is located near Shymkent, at the place of Ispidzhab - one of the largest centers of the Great Silk Road in the Middle Ages. It was first mentioned in Chinese manuscripts of the year 629. In the XIII century, it gets a new name - Sairam.

The settlement keeps the remains of buildings of XIII-IXX centuries. But this is not the only reason for Sairam's fame, it is also known as the birthplace of the great enlightener of the XII century - Khoja Ahmed Yasawi. Mausoleums of his father and mother, Ibrahim-Ata and Karashash-Ana, are also located here.

Transfer to the foot of Kazygurt mountains to Kamekalgan natural sacred stones. Sightseeing: sanctifying rocks "Adam and Eve", stone statues of animals, "Noah's Ark", the magic stone "Dastarkhan".

Kazygurt is a mountain massif having an altitude of 1776 meters above sea level, located in the northern spurs of Talas Alatau. Externally mountain consists of two hills, enclosed between them with a saddle.

Despite its small height compared to the other mountains, Kazygurt has a legend, that in former times it was higher than all the mountains of the universe. During the flood, when the world had disappeared under the water, the top of Kazygurt was left undrowned. And it was the place where Noah's Ark landed. Today the symbolic Noah's Ark, created by contemporary artists in wood and metal, is constructed at the top of the mountain.

Transfer to Shymkent railway station. Departure to Almaty by the evening train.

TOUR PRICE: On request


1. Double accommodation in Shymkent hotel
2. Transfer to/from railway stations and transportation according to the program in a comfortable A/C minivan
3. Sightseeing according to the program with English speaking guide
4. Admission fees during the tour
5. Meals: Standard Hotel Breakfast


1. Accommodation in Almaty, if required
2. Railway tickets Almaty-Taraz/Shymkent-Almaty
3. Single accommodation supplement in Shymkent hotel
4. Meals (except hotel breakfasts)
5. Visa support and registration on the territory of Kazakhstan, if required
6. Personal expenses and other expenses not indicated in the program

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