The Necropolis of Shakpak-Ata (10th-13thcc.) and its underground mosque are located on the Tupkargan peninsula, 15 km from Sarytash bay. The Shakpak-Ata mosque takes the shape of a Latin cross. It is cut into the slope of a stone outcrop between two ravines going down the face of Ungazy mountain. The cruciate shape of the mosque brings to mind another purpose of the mosque in pre-Islamic times. Shakpak-Ata mosque displays the best traditions of nomadic stone work.
The entrance to the mosque is formed as a portal arch, with several recesses for the entombing of revered imams cutout nearby. The mosque takes the shape of a regular cross with an elongated southern end. The corners of the central square hall are decorated with massive columns which support a high arch with a round opening in the middle. The arches between the columns have remnants of multi-colored murals.
In the western section of the mosque there are small rectories. The walls of the mosque's halls, portal and recesses are covered with painting from different times - contour images of horses and riders, bulls, open palms, and floral designs. A Sufi poem about this world's fragility and life's futility stands out among the other inscriptions.
Duration: 1 day;
Season: April 15 - October;
Size of group: no more than 3.
Travel itinerary: Aktau - Sultan-Epe canyon - Kapamsay canyon - Shakpak-Ata mosque - Aktau
Departure from Aktau city to the Sultan-Epe canyon (30 km, cart-road). On a route: visiting of the patrimonial cemeteries Karagashty-aulie and Ushtam (16-19 centuries). On the board of the canyon is the tomb of the saint Sultan-Epe and the underground mosque. Moving from the Sultan-Epe to the underground Shakpak-ata. mosque (30км-s, a grader and cart-road). On a route: survey of the cretaceous Kapamsay canyon. Dinner in field conditions. (13.00 - 14.00)
The underground Shakpak-ata mosque is cut down in a rock, there are drawings and epigraphics (10-13 centuries).
Moving from Shakpak-ata to Aktau city (140 km, cart-road, a grader, asphalt). The route passes through the big cretaceous Shakpakatasay canyon where stops for panoramic surveys are provided. Returning to Aktau city.
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We hope you like the program and assure you that we are absolutely open to any suggestions to increase the range of our services for the entire satisfaction of our clients and are happy to meet your special requirements. You can alter the duration of your tour and places of visits by adding one of the extensions. Our tour operator will work closely with you or your travel agent to carefully prepare an itinerary based on your stated interests.