In this blog post, we have discussed the 9 most popular sacred and religious sites in Kazakhstan that you must visit.
There are many tourist places in Kazakhstan, among them religious places are very popular. Since Kazakhstan is an Islamic country with 72% of the population practicing Islam, most religious places are related to Islam. Therefore, mosques and mausoleums are mainly religious places for the Kazakhs. There are also a few churches, and temples there which are also travel-worthy.
Sacred & Religious Sites in Kazakhstan
1. Hazret Sultan Mosque
Hazret Sultan Mosque is one of the most popular religious sites in Kazakhstan. It is located in Nur-Sultan which is the capital city of Kazakhstan. This mosque is the largest mosque not only in entire Kazakhstan but also in Central Asia. It is worth noting that “Hazrat Sultan Mosque” and “Hazret Sultan Mosque” are the same sites but differ in spellings.
The entire building is designed in classical Islamic style. There are four minarets located at the corner of the mosque which are 77 meters in height. If we talk about its capacity, more than 10,000 worshippers can pray there without any problem. The mosque has a very vast and wide ground in which many cultural events are held from time to time.
2. Nur-Astana Mosque
The next religious site is Nur-Astana Mosque which is also located in Nur-Sultan. The mosque is located in a very peaceful place. There is a very grand courtyard in the mosque where the worshippers pray. The capacity of the mosque is 5000 but there is space available for 2000 people outside the mosque. So, technically 7000 people can pray there.
The building is very beautiful. There is a pond situated outside of the mosque in which the fountain continuously flows. The mosque authorities pay a lot of attention to the greenery, therefore, they do plantations from time to time around the mosque.
3. Hare Krishna Temple
Kazakhstan is a Muslim country with approximately 72% of the population being Muslims. But you will be surprised to know that a very grand Hare Krishna temple is also present there. Therefore, as a tourist, you may have an experience with a completely different culture in Kazakhstan. The temple is managed by ISKCON followers and by expatriate Hindus from India.
The members of this temple are not only Hindus but also local families. After visiting there, you will get a chance to listen to shloka, bhajan, aarti, and other religious songs. There is a restaurant named Govinda where you can enjoy Indian foods. The temple community pays a lot of attention to cleanliness, greenery, and peacefulness, thus, you can experience all of them after visiting there. You can definitely call it one of the religious sites in Kazakhstan.
4. Mosque Nur-Gasyr
Mosque Nur-Gasyr is also one of the most popular religious sites in Kazakhstan which has an important spiritual significance for Kazakhs. The mosque is located in the Aktobe region, only 5 km from Aktobe International Airport. Therefore, reaching there is very easy. In hardly 10 minutes, you will be there from the Airport.
The building is square in shape. The spectacular dome, 40 meters high, is decorated with gilding. There are four minarets located at every corner of the mosque adding beauty to the overall building. These minarets are 63 meters in height. The mosque courtyard is very grand as well as clean. The overall architecture of the building is very attractive, you should definitely visit there.
5. Domalak Ana Mausoleum
Domalak-Ana Mausoleum is a travel-worthy destination for you if you want to experience a peaceful and divine atmosphere. It is located in the sunny Karatau area, in the valley of the Balabogen River which is in south Kazakhstan. The environment of this place is very peaceful. Tourists visit there and experience a different vibe.
This mausoleum was constructed over the grave of Domalak Ana who was considered the mother of all peoples living in Zhetysu, Aulie Ata, Shymkent, and Tashkent. The mausoleum has been rebuilt many times. Today, it is very popular with tourists and pilgrims, as it is one of the key attractions of the Turkestan region.
6. Palace of Peace and Harmony
The “Palace of Peace and Harmony” is a pyramid-shaped building located in the capital city of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan. It is one of the most popular tourists attraction in Nur-Sultan. The height of the pyramid is 62 meters. This building is used as a non-denominational national spiritual center and an event venue. The leaders of different religions from all around the world come here and discuss peace, harmony, and accord.
The building is well known for its design. The outer and interior appearance of the pyramid looks very charming. Most tourists prefer to visit there at night time so that they can enjoy the colorful lighting of the pyramid. There is a big ground present around the pyramid where the tourists can spend time there.
7. Mausoleum Arystan-Bab
Mausoleum Arystan-Bab is one of the holiest places in Turkistan Province. It is a brown to soil-colored building that is designed in a typical Islamic traditional way. Although it was originally constructed in the 12th century, it has been destroyed several times due to natural disasters like earthquakes, etc.
In the building, there are two domes, two minarets touching the edges of the building and a very grand gate for the entrance. There is ground in front of the mausoleum where benches are fixed. The tourists can take a rest there and observe the traditional style of Kazakhstan.
8. Mausoleum Aisha-Bibi
The mausoleum of Aisha-Bibi is also one of the religious sites in Kazakhstan. The mausoleum was constructed in the 11th or 12th century by the Karakhanid Dynasty ruler in memory of his fiancée Aisha-Bibi. The local people see this mausoleum as a symbol of love and harmony. They used to pray there since the middle ages.
The mausoleum has been renovated from time to time, so the original design is no longer there. But the current design almost matches the actual design. The mausoleum is square with a dome on its summit. The wall of this building is designed in the traditional Kazakh style. So, you can enjoy their traditional design after visiting there.
9. Aytbay Mosque
Aytbay Mosque is also one of the religious sites in Kazakhstan which is a very beautiful architectural monument located in Kyzylorda, south-central Kazakhstan. Aytabay mosque is one of the main attractions in Kyzylorda. Each visitor must walk near old walls and admire the Syrdarya towns’ architecture of the 19th century. One more thing, if you have a camera, don’t forget to capture all the moments that you will experience there.
FAQs about Religious Places in Kazakhstan
1. What are the main religions in Kazakhstan?
Islam is the main religion in Kazakhstan. According to a report by Pew Research Center, 72% of the population belong to Islam, 23.1% of the population are Christian, 4% are not under any religion, and 0.9% belong to other religions.
2. How religious is Kazakhstan?
Kazakhstan is a religious country. The majority of people follow Islam, therefore, Islam is the largest religion practiced in Kazakhstan.
3. When did Islam come to Kazakhstan?
Islam came to Kazakhstan during the 8th century when the Arabs arrived in Central Asia.
4. Who introduced Islam in Kazakhstan?
The Arabs introduced Islam to Kazakhstan.
5. What is the religion in Kazakhstan before Islam?
Arabian polytheism was the religion that was present before Islam in Kazakhstan.
6. Is Kazakhstan a Hindu country?
Absolutely not, Kazakstan is an Islam country. There are only a countable Hindus residing in Kazakhstan. These Hindus are either ISKCON followers or expatriate Hindus from India.
7. Is there freedom of religion in Kazakhstan?
Yes, the constitution of Kazakhstan defines the country as a secular state and provides for freedom of religion.
Conclusion: Religious places in Kazakhstan
These are the most Sacred & Religious Sites in Kazakhstan that you should definitely visit. After visiting there, you will have a wonderful experience of the heritage of Kazakhstan. Now, it’s your turn now. If you really want to explore these places, just be ready for your trip and visit there one by one.