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The Mausoleum of Tekturmas

Tekturmas Mausoleum

The Mausoleum of Tekturmas dates originally from the 13th century but has been heavily restored. It is stunningly located on a promontory overlooking the Talas River, just beyond the southeastern edge of town. To get here, take Abai Avenue southwards from the city centre, turning left onto Paluan Sholak Street where Abai Avenue runs into the railway line. Turn right under the underpass beneath the railway, onto Zhibek Zholy Street, and then left onto Zhangildin Street after another 500m. Follow the road across the Talas River, turning right 100m further on. The road takes you between undulating hills to Tekturmas, 600m on.

A crazy-paved path, with a low wall on either side, takes you onto the promontory. You reach first a tall brick structure, square in plan, with tall sides with open arches, and topped by a dome. The cloth-covered tomb inside is that of 18th century Kazakh warrior Mambet Batyr. The path continues a few metres further to the Mausoleum of Tekturmas, which stands at the end of the promontory. It is a brick building with a metal-covered dome. There is a tomb inside. Its occupant, considered to be a pious, spiritual ruler, is identified in some accounts as Sultan Mahmud Khan. There is an excellent view from behind the mausoleum across the Talas River to the green cityscape of Taraz stretching beyond.

On your return, just beyond the Mambet Batyr Mausoleum, it is worth passing through the brick gale on your right, and taking the flight of steps down the side of a hill. These lead to a blocked entrance into the hillside. It is claimed that underground passages run for 120km. This spot is locally believed to project a strong spiritual aura: the remnants of fires next to the blocked entrance are evidence of prayers said here.