Zhambyl Region comprises endless plains in the south of Kazakhstan. Its administrative center – the city of Taraz – was previously called Zhambyl, in honor of the Kazakh akyn (an improvising poet). Although the city was renamed, the region still bears this name.

According to historians, Taraz has existed for more than 2 thousand years. The city was first mentioned in Greek manuscripts in 400 AD as one of the points of the Silk Road. In 751, the battle of Talas took place there, in which the Arab army crossed swords with the Chinese army. The Arabs won and then started to spread Islam in the region. In 1220, the city was besieged by the Mongols, who then razed it to the ground. However, in the 18th century, a new settlement called Aulie Ata appeared there. Since then, Taraz has changed its name several times.

Why is the Zhambyl Region worth visiting?

Such a rich past could not pass without a trace. The region indeed boasts some historical sites. For example, not far from Taraz, stand ancient mausoleums of Aisha Bibi, Babaji Khatun, Karakhan, and Dautbek. Also, the ancient settlements of Aktobe, Akyrtas, Kulan, Kostobe, and Ornek, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, have been preserved there.

Zhambyl Region is also known for its amazing landscapes which include mountain gorges, sand dunes, mountains, and endless steppes. The region is home to the oldest reserve in Kazakhstan – Aksu-Jabagly Nature Reserve.


updated: 09 january 2023

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