Qyzylorda, Kazakhstan

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Qyzylorda, Kazakhstan

Region: Qyzylorda Region

Geographic Coordinates: 44.850000, 65.516700
Temperature Range: -40.0°C to 40.0°C (-40°F to 104°F)
Climate: Dry and hot summers, cold and dry winters, with low precipitation throughout the year.
Population: 242462
Language: Kazakh

Qyzylorda is a city in southern Kazakhstan that sits on the Syr Darya River. The name Qyzylorda means red city in Kazakh, Which is believed to have come from the red sandstone cliffs surrounding the area. It has a rich history dating back to ancient times and is an important cultural and economic center of Kazakhstan. One of Qyzylorda’s most notable landmarks is the Aral Sea Memorial Complex, Which commemorates one of the world’s biggest environmental disasters -the drying up of the Aral Sea. The complex features a museum showcasing photographs and artifacts related to this tragedy.

Another famous attraction in Qyzylorda is its Central Park, Covering 70 hectares with various recreational activities such as playgrounds for children, Cycling tracks, Boating and fishing on its lake, As well as numerous cafes and restaurants. The Korkyt Ata Mausoleum near Qyzylorda was built over 800 years ago by followers of Korkyt Ata – a legendary poet who lived during medieval times. It serves as a pilgrimage site for many believers seeking blessings.

Qyzylorda also has stunning natural landscapes like Lake Tengiz – one of Kazakhstan’s largest lakes with crystal-clear waters surrounded by beautiful mountains located approximately 50 kilometers northwest from Qyzylorda city center. Regarding cuisine, Visitors can enjoy traditional Kazakh food like beshbarmak (boiled meat served with noodles), Kuyrdak (fried liver mixed with onions), Shashlik (grilled meat skewers) that are popular among locals and tourists alike. Overall, Qyzylorda offers visitors an exceptional blend of history, Culture, And natural beauty. Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient sites or immersing yourself in local cuisine or nature walks around picturesque

landscapes- there’s something for everyone here!

Important Landmarks

  1. Aral Sea
  2. Korkyt-Ata Memorial Complex
  3. Syrdarya River Bridge
  4. Qyzylorda Regional Museum of Local History and Lore
  5. Karakalpakstan State Museum of Art and Literature
  6. Zhoshy Khan Mausoleum
  7. Akmeshit Cave
  8. Ayshuluk Hill
  9. Mynaral Mosque
  10. Shalkar Lake

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture, including cotton, wheat, and rice
  2. Oil and gas production facilities
  3. Chemical production plants
  4. Metallurgy operations
  5. Food processing companies
  6. Small businesses such as retail shops and restaurants

Noteable History

  1. The Aral Sea Disaster has had a significant impact on the city of Qyzylorda, which is located near the sea. Due to Soviet irrigation projects and mismanagement, the sea has shrunk over time, causing environmental and economic issues in the region.
  2. Qyzylorda was once part of the powerful Kazakh Khanate that existed from the 15th to 18th centuries in Central Asia.
  3. Abay Kunanbayev was a well-known poet, philosopher, and cultural figure who lived in Qyzylorda for several years during the late 19th century.
  4. During World War I and after the Russian Revolution in 1917, Qyzylorda became an important center for Bolshevik activity in Central Asia.
  5. The Baikonur Cosmodrome is located near Qyzylorda and serves as one of Russia’s primary launch sites for spacecraft.
  6. Nursultan Nazarbayev served as Kazakhstan’s president from its independence from Soviet Union until March 2019 when he resigned after almost three decades in power.
  7. Yuri Gagarin made history by becoming the first human to travel into space aboard Vostok-1 spacecraft launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome near Qyzylorda on April 12th,1961.
  8. Saken Seyfullin was a writer who played an important role in promoting Kazakh language literature during early Soviet era . He worked as teacher at schools located at Karmakshy district , which now falls under jurisdiction of Kzlyorda region.
  9. Korkyt Ata is considered one of the founding fathers of Kazakh culture and literature due to his legendary status as a poet, musician and philosopher among Turkic peoples during 9th -10th century AD .
  10. Mukhtar Auezov gained fame through his extensive writing on Kazakhstan’s history and culture including his novel The Path of Abai which tells the life story of Abay Kunanbayev, a famous poet from Qyzylorda region.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Museum of Local Lore: This museum offers a comprehensive overview of the history and culture of Qyzylorda. Exhibits cover archaeology, ethnography, and natural history.
  2. Korkyt-Ata Memorial Complex: This monument honors the legendary poet and musician Korkyt-Ata, who is considered one of the founding fathers of Kazakh literature.
  3. Auezov House-Museum: This historic home was once owned by renowned Kazakh writer Mukhtar Auezov. It now serves as a museum dedicated to his life and work.
  4. Karagiye Depression: Located just outside Qyzylorda city limits, this vast depression is one of the lowest points on Earth. It offers stunning views over an otherworldly landscape.
  5. Aral Sea Memorial Complex: This monument pays tribute to the ecological disaster that befell the Aral Sea in recent decades with exhibits detailing its history and impact on local communities.
  6. Qyzylorda Regional Art Museum: Featuring works by both local artists and international masters, this museum showcases some of Kazakhstan’s finest art collections.
  7. Botanical Garden Tulpar: Situated in a picturesque location on the banks of Lake Shalkar, this botanical garden boasts an impressive collection of rare plants from around Kazakhstan.
  8. Ak-Mechet Mosque: One of Qyzylorda’s most iconic landmarks, this mosque features traditional Islamic architecture with intricate tilework designs adorning its walls and domes.
  9. Zhosaly Railway Station Museum: Housed in an old railway station building dating back to Soviet times, this museum tells the story of Kazakhstan’s railway system through interactive exhibits and displays.
  10. Sayram-Ugam National Park: Located just outside Qyzylorda city limits in neighboring Uzbekistan territory), this national park offers breathtaking views over rugged mountainscapes dotted with alpine lakes and waterfalls.

Cultural Events

  1. Nauryz, the Kazakh New Year, is celebrated in March.
  2. Kurban Ait (Eid al-Adha) is celebrated by the Muslim community in Qyzylorda.
  3. Independence Day of Kazakhstan is celebrated on December 16th.
  4. The Shashu festival is a traditional Kazakh festival celebrating the end of winter and beginning of spring, held in March or April.
  5. The International Jazz Festival Jazzystan is held annually in May and features jazz musicians from around the world.
  6. The Silk Road Festival is a cultural event showcasing the history and traditions of the ancient Silk Road, typically held in September.
  7. Koshpendiler Alemi (World of Nomads) Festival is an annual event that showcases nomadic culture with traditional games, music, and food.
  8. The Qazaq Eli National Horse Games are an annual horse racing competition held at Lake Balkhash.
  9. Sabantuy is a Tatar holiday celebrating the end of spring planting season with food, music, and dance.
  10. The Baiga festival celebrates Baiga tribe’s culture through dance and music performances.


  • Beshbarmak – a traditional Kazakh dish made with boiled meat (usually lamb or beef) served on top of flat noodles.
  • Shashlik – skewered and grilled meat (usually lamb or beef) marinated in spices.
  • Lagman – a noodle soup with vegetables and meat.
  • Pilaf – rice cooked with carrots, onions, and meat.
  • Kazy – dried horsemeat sausage.

There are also several popular restaurants in Qyzylorda that serve these dishes:

  • Alasha Restaurant – This restaurant specializes in traditional Kazakh dishes like beshbarmak and shashlik.
  • Tandyr Restaurant – This restaurant specializes in Uzbek cuisine like lagman and pilaf.
  • Astana Cafe – This cafe offers a mix of Kazakh and European dishes for those looking to try something different than the traditional fare.
  • Sary-Arka Cafe & Bar – Here, you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner or drinks while trying some of the local favorites like beshbarmak or shashlik.
  • Satti Restaurant & Coffee House – If you’re looking for international cuisines alongside local favorites like beshbarmak and shashlik then this is the place to go! They offer Italian pasta dishes as well as sushi rolls alongside their delicious local fare!

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