AUTHOR GALINA HODORENKO - GUIDE TOUROPERATING COMPANY "TOURIST" LLP
UNDERGROUND MOSQUES OF MANGISTAU
Underground mosques are historical monuments of the Mangistau region. These architectural structures are not found anywhere else on the territory of Kazakhstan. The time of their construction refers to different periods of time. Mosques keep secrets still unsolved. In the Middle Ages of our era, they became the habitat of the first preachers of Islam. Their names are preserved in the names of underground mosques: Shopan-ata, Beket-ata, Shakpak-ata, Masat-ata, Karaman-ata, Sultan-epe, etc.
All underground mosques in Mangistau are unique. But most often they tend to visit the Beket-ata mosque. It is located in the area of Oglandy, Karakiya district, 85 km from Seneca village. The mosque is carved into a high rock. It consists of 6 chambers. Despite the inaccessibility, the Beket-ata mosque in Oglandy is a holy place for an endless stream of pilgrims.
The oldest on the peninsula is the underground mosque and necropolis of Shopan-ata, located in the Karakiya region, 12 km from the Seneca village.
The monument is associated with the Sufi sage Shopan ata, who lived in the 12th-13th centuries. The mosque is carved into the rock mass and consists of 12 rooms. There is a well in the center of the necropolis.
Shakpak-ata underground mosque is the most unique architectural complex. In all of Central Asia and Kazakhstan, this is the only religious building carved into a rock monolith and completely preserved to this day. The Shakpak-Ata Mosque is located 30 km from the village of Tauchik. According to archaeologists, it was built in the IX-X centuries.
The underground mosque of Karaman-ata and the necropolis of the same name are located 35 km from Shetpe village, in the Kandybas tract. The underground mosque Karaman-ata, carved on the slope of a small hill, consists of three main rooms. This mysterious temple dates back to the 13th-19th centuries. On the territory of the necropolis there are medieval kulpytases, stone fences, as well as mausoleums and saganatams of Adai masters.
Necropolis and underground mosque Sultan epe is located 57 km from the city of Fort Shevchenko. The necropolis is located on the slope of a rocky plateau, ending in a wide and deep canyon to the north. Near the underground mosque there is a well with fresh water.
"Sultan epe, save!" - this is how fishermen and sailors pray, caught in a storm at sea or in a storm on a river. Since then, he has become a saint who always comes to the aid of those who are in distress at sea.
Our task is to preserve this cultural and historical heritage for future generations.
You can visit the underground mosques on the author's excursion and tours of the Tourist LLP tour operator. More interesting informations about Mangistau in our blog