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Author Topic: Kazakhstan - Turkistan - Hazrat-e Turkestan - Türkistan - Түркістан  (Read 1432 times)

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Offline mendeleyev

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Turkistan (the city in Kazakhstan)

Hazrat-e Turkestan (modern name Türkistan, Kazakh: Түркістан), a city in the southern region of Kazakhstan, near the Syr Darya river, is where the capital of ancient Kangju (康居) was located prior to being moved to Zhe’she. It has a population of 85,600 and is situated 160 km (100 miles) north-west of Taraz (Aulie-Ata) on the Trans-Aral Railway between Ak-Mechet (Perovsk) to the north and Tashkent to the south.

Türkistan is the most historic city in Kazakhstan with an archaeological record dating back to the 4th century. Once a part of the vast Chinese empire, it was known to the Chinese as Beitian. The name Hazrat-e Turkestan literally means "the Saint (or Blessed One) of Turkestan" and refers to Khoja Ahmad Yasavi, the great Sufi Shaikh of Turkestan, who was born here at the turn of the 11th century AD, and is buried in the town in a large mausoleum. Under his aegis the city became the most important centre of learning for the peoples of the Kazakh steppes. In the 1390s Timur erected a magnificent domed Mazar or tomb over his grave, which is without doubt the most significant architectural monument to be found anywhere in Kazakhstan.

The city attracts thousands of pilgrims. According to local tradition, three pilgrimages to Türkistan are said to be equivalent to one hajj to Mecca, although this is not widely accepted elsewhere in the Muslim World. The Saint was held in such reverence that the city was even known as the Second Mecca of the East, and it is of enormous importance for Muslims in Kazakhstan.