Hodja Ahmad Yesevi
Karasai and Agyntai Batyr
Kozy Korpesh and Bayan Sulu
Mashkhur Zhussip Kopeyuly
Rabiga Sultan Begim
Ruins of Otrar
Ruins of Sauran
It is said that Shopan-Ata was a student of the famous Khoja Akhmed Yasawi. The word 'shopan' is popularly understood as 'shepherd', this concept is also associated with well-being. The name of the holy Shopan Ata is widely known in the region. His tomb is an important place visited by pilgrims to the underground mosque of the great Kazakh temple Beket-Ata. However, all information about this great man has been preserved only in legends.
Shortly before his death, Khoja Akhmed threw his staff out of the window while sitting in the mosque and said to his murids: "I will recite Surah Fatiha to who will bring me my staff." All the disciples rushed out of the mosque to find the staff, only Shopan Ata stood up, reached the door of the mosque, but immediately returned and sat down. Khoja Akhmed turned to him and asked: 'Why don't you go?'
'If you read Surah Fatiha now, I would go; the staff is already far from here in the west, on the Mangyshlak Peninsula, on the shore of the great sea,' said Shopan Ata.
Meanwhile, the murids, who could not find the staff, began to return to the mosque. Khoja Akhmed told them: 'Out of this many, I found only one deserving student and friend'. Then he recited the chapter of Fatiha to Shopan Ata and allowed him to go to Mangyshlak to find his staff.
A mulberry tree grew in the Mangystau region, where Shopan Ata also found his master's staff, and it is 800 years old today. Another legend says that the staff fell near the house of a rich man. The rich man's first condition for him was to shepherd free, and he would give only the white lambs among the lambs born as a payment. However, in the next year only white lambs are born. Finally, he decided to marry her daughter to this wise and lucky young man. Later, Shopan Ata build an underground mosque built in the place where he worked as a shepherd. He had two sons and a daughter from this marriage.
The mosque consists of 12 interconnected rooms. The function of each room is different. These rooms are intended for religious rituals, education and household needs. The central room is a rectangular hall measuring 7.1x5.1 m. A round skylight with a diameter of 1.5 m illuminates the room. There is a wooden pole with a height of 1.5-1.8 m almost in the middle of the room. The place where this pillar is placed is considered sacred. There is a burial chamber at the bottom of the left wall. According to the legend, a burial chamber where Shopan Ata was buried was considerably deepened in the thickness of the rock. Two large rooms for pilgrims are cut across the entire width of the south and west walls of the central hall. There is a well under the mosque. Perhaps later, the second mosque, located just east of the original mosque, was built. It has a separate entrance. A few more burial chambers were carved in the east.