Kizhel Kensh

The Kizhel-Kensh palace, an architectural monument from the time when the Dzungarians occupied the Kazakh steppes, is located in a small valley in the Kent Mountains surrounded by rocky mountains. This palace is thought to be the ruins of a 17th century Buddhist monastery. The official name of the monument means "red ore" or "red city". The Dzungars built the monastery in the mid-17th century when Ochirtu-Tsetsen Khan ruled them. According to research, the monastery was used for 50 years. Later, people left for unknown reason.

In the 19th century, a group from Tsarist Russia in the Kent Mountains heard the legend told by local residents during an ethnographic expedition and later confirmed the existence of the palace. At that time, part of the complex was still standing. A two-story building was almost untouched. You could see remnants of bright red paint on its interior walls. The ceiling was supported by six wooden columns, carved and covered with gold paint. There were beams preserved outside. Local residents were afraid to touch the temple. It was believed that those who harmed him died a terrible death. Unfortunately, the temple was destroyed in the last half of the 1900s. Looters destroyed the old buildings for logs and stone, ignoring their historical value. Little remains of the monastery. Native stonework can only be found under a layer of plaster. Modern restorers have begun to put the stone slabs back in place.

The monastery remains a beautiful set of ruins. The main temple was built in the shape of a crucifix. The central hall is where the Lama prays. There is a smaller temple next to the main temple. Archaeologists found this place forged by treasure hunters. The thieves broke the stone floor and dug a deep hole because Buddhist treasures were often buried in underground vaults. In front of the main temple was a picturesque artificial reservoir, which was filled with melt water in the spring. There are two more buildings in the complex: the kitchen, located to the left of the temple, and a house located some distance from the water. All four buildings stand exactly in their original places. Pilgrims have always visited this area, but they often settled in their yurt and left the buildings.

Some artefacts found in the Kizhel Kensh Palace are exhibited in the archaeological museum of Karaganda State University. Some examples of recovered artefacts are: Manchurian coin, silver-tipped copper men's ring, parts of the palace such as ornaments and hooks, gun and lead bullets allegedly belonging to the guards, nails, beads, and patterned wood carvings painted with real gold paint.