Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi
The mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi is an Islamic religious monument built in the Timurid architectural style.
Khodja Ahmed Yasawi is the most prominent religious figure in the history of Sufism (a mystic movement in Islam). He also was a poet and philosopher. He died in 1166 or 1167 (some sources say 1146), and was buried in a small mausoleum attracting many pilgrims.
It was Timur who erected the immense mausoleum over the burial vault of Ahmed Yasawi in the 14th century. In fact, the "Mausoleum" is more like a multi-functional building: a meeting hall, a mosque, an archive and with rooms for the serving staff. It's situated in the town of Turkestan. After the death of Timur in 1405, the buildings remained unfinished.
Juha Sjoeblom - September 2016
Site visited April 2014. The grandiose Timurid era mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi is the highlight of Kazakhstan and also one of the highlights in Central Asia.
I flew from Almaty to Shymkent which is the usual hub for visiting the town of Turkestan. From my hotel I took a bus to Shymkent central bazaar where I changed to marshrutka. The journey to Turkestan lasted three hours. At Turkestan bus station I took a taxi to the site. It was a sunny and warm spring day and the site was full of local people.
The mausoleum is very impressive and you really feel yourself dwarfed by its sheer size. Especially the entrance portal is huge. It is easy to notice that the front facade is unfinished. There are lots of birds nesting in the holes of entrance portal. Backside of the mausoleum and the domes have flawless and brightly colored tiling. The other side of the mausoleum is surrounded by thick walls. Around the mausoleum there is an archaeological site where you can visit several smaller buildings.
While the exterior of the mausoleum is detailed and colourful, the interior is very plain, simple and white. There are lots of rooms which contain various valuable objects. Photography is not allowed inside but I remember that it was so packed full of people that I just walked with the flow from room to room.
It is interesting that according to this website’s statistics this is one of the least visited World Heritage Sites in Asia. The mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi is must see if you are travelling in Southern Kazakhstan. It is also within reach from the capitals of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. You can compare its grandeur and beauty only to the same era monuments in Samarkand.
aigerim kabdiyeva - November 2005
Anyone who visits the mausloeum fells dwarfed by the magnificence of the building and the atmoshpere of spirituality which pervades the structure. When I visited the site entrance was free.If you are in the city of Turkestan you will not have problem finding the mausoleum ,because all taxi drivers, actually everyone knows where it is.Once you are there, you should defninitely go inside and visit all the chambers including the burial-vault, which is preceded by wonderfully carved doors. Be sure to visit the chamber with a well. Khoja Ahmed Yasawi spent last years of his life in this well, because he didn't want to live longer than the Prophet.
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Full name: Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi
2003 - InscribedReasons for inscription
The site has 19 connections. Show all
Religion and Belief
- Built in the 14th century commissioned in 1389
- First inscriptions Kazakhstan 2003
- Located in a Former Capital Located in Turkestan which is assumed to have been Beitan, Capital of Kangju 250 BC-300
- Named after individual people Khodja Ahmed Yasawi is the most prominent religious figure in the history of Sufism.
- On Banknotes Kazakhstan; 500 Tenge; 1999
- Smallest cultural WHS 0.55 ha
WHS on Other Lists
- Memory of the World Collection of the manuscripts of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi (2003)