Shakpak Ata underground mosque
Excursion to the Shakpak Ata Mosque from Aktau -
Pilgrimage to the necropolis and to the Shakpak Ata Mosque on Mangyshlak -
Shakpak Ata is an underground mosque of the X-XII centuries, a sacred, sacred place, a place of pilgrimage on Mangyshlak, is also a place of power. The mosque is one of the oldest monuments of Islamic architecture, the mosque is carved into a limestone rock and is an artificial cave, the rock in the distant past was under the water of the Tethys Ocean, which existed here millions of years ago, and possibly even billions of years. The Shakpak Ata Mosque consists of four small rooms, the central hall is the largest, there are semi-columns inside. The light enters the central hall due to an opening cut in the ceiling with a diameter of 1.2 meters. Shakpak Ata necropolis is located next to the mosque.
How to get there, visit –
The Shakpak Ata Mosque is located in the Mangistau region, Tupkaragan district, 30 kilometers from the village of Tauchik, Kazakhstan. The distance from Aktau to the Shakpak Ata Mosque is 120 kilometers.
GPS coordinates: N44°26' 2.29" E51°8' 10.08"
The legend of Shakpak Ata, wars, Sufi, holy man -
Sufi Shakpak Ata was the grandson of Shopan Ata, was a sacred man, a Sufi, preached the teachings of Islam on the Mangyshlak peninsula. The legend of Shakpak Ata says that the Sufi was known for being able to strike sparks with his fingers and kindle fire, just as when he fought with enemies, sparks flew from his sword and struck enemies. Shakpak in translation from the Kazakh language means – flint, flint. Perhaps this addition is also due to the fact that there are deposits of silicon in the region. Shakpak Ata was also a healer, people came to him to heal from diseases and ailments, and he always helped people recover. Another legend says that Shakpak Ata was the lord of snakes and the patron of the dead. According to one version, Shakpak Ata's real name was Shakhmardan.
The Shakpak-Ata Mosque is a sacred sacred place on Mangyshlak, here you can always meet a pilgrim, read a prayer, relax and gain strength before further travel around the peninsula. Next to the mosque there is an ancient necropolis, which is also called Shakpak Ata necropolis and which is a complex of ancient tombs, mausoleums and monuments. It is especially beautiful at the Shakpak Ata mosque in spring, it is best to travel here also in spring, at this time it is not so hot and the nature of the region blooms, in July and August it is very hot in the area. On the upper plateau, under which the mosque is located, there is a square building oriented to the cardinal directions, the building was built specifically to mark the place and cover the mosque from getting water there from rain and spring snowmelt.
Shakpak Ata Mosque in Mangistau region, Mangyshlak Peninsula