Kyzylorda is the capital of Kyzylorda Region located on the right bank of the Syr Darya, in 290 km northwest of Turkistan. The region is not very popular within the tourist, the nearest popular destinations within the tourist are Baikonur Cosmodrome and the Aral Sea. Besides if you are heading to the Caspian Sea you might pass this area as well as a pass to Russia. Kyzylorda serves mainly as a well starting point for visits to the western part of the region, including the Baikonur Cosmodrome and sites connected with the desiccation of the Aral Sea. 


Historically Kyzylorda lies on the strategic point where the caravan routes from Tashkent, Bukhara and Khiva came along and then cut to journey to western Siberia and through Torgay to Troitsk and Orenburg. In 1817, the fortress of Akmechet (White Mosque) was established on the left bank of the Syr Darya. Prior to the arrival of Russian in the late 1840s, the Uzbek military leader Yaqub Beg became commander of the fortress, he was the Uzbek military leader who was ruling Kashgaria.  

The Russian troops arrived under the General Vasily Petrovsky in 1953 the defeated Yaqub Beg run to Bukhara, and was later to rise to become commander-in-chief of the army of Kokand. He captured Kashgar from the Chinese and made himself the ruler of Kashgaria. At the same time, Ak Mechet was renamed to Fort Perovsky in honor of its conqueror. Proofs of those days are the Russian Orthodox church not far from the bazaar, established in 1878.  In 1905 was built Tashkent-Orenburg railway.

During the Soviet time, the city’s name was temporarily returned to Ak Mechet in 1922, before changed back again in 1925 to Kyzylorda. In the following four years served Kyzylorda’s time of glory, when it was the capital of Soviet Kazakhstan, bringing a Kazakh intellectual elite including Saken Seifullin and Ilyas Zhansugurov. But with the arrival of the Turksib railway in Almaty in 1929, the capital was moved to that city. After Independence Kyzylorda’s oil exploitation from the Chinese-owned Kumkol exceeds the rice exceed farming.

What to see in Kyzylorda

The town has little left of its blooming days as a capital day. You can start exploring Kyzylorda from the main squire, the large and green central square is circled by many of the important administrative buildings of the town like the city akimat, the court, Korkut Ata University and drama theatre. Besides, check out the train station as well which was built in 1904 during the Tsars time, there is an interesting Soviet painting on the walls. It is one of the most impressive building in the town with the elegant Tsars design. 

Regional Museum

Kyzylorda Regional Museum of History and Local Lore was founded in 1939 and housed initially in a Russian Orthodox church. The exhibits include the geography of the region, comparison of the Aral Sea as it used to be, with photographs of the fishing fleet, with the Aral Sea today, evidenced by a diorama depicting a beached boat and a lonely hedgehog wandering across the sand. 3D Tour

Korkyt Ata Monument

The Khorkhyt-Ata Monument is a large complex of monuments was erected by the Syr Darya, 18 km ahead Zhosaly. The monument was established in honor of Khorkhyt also known as Korkut, the legendary musician, philosopher, narrator and inventor of the kobyz, who is known to many Turkic nations. 

The legend tells that in the 9th Century, a woman in an aul (village) along the Syr Darya had a child, the sight of whom made all the women who had gathered in the yurt shriek and run away, since the newborn creature looked like a shapeless sack. But the mother opened the amniotic sack and a tiny baby appeared and immediately started to cry. On hearing this, the women returned to the tent and were reassured. They recommended that the mother name the child Khorkhyt, meaning terrifying. The boy grew up a clever and perceptive child, with a remarkable level of sensitivity. This characteristic remained with him, and when Khorkhyt was 20 years old, he had a bad dream, in which white-robed figures told him that he had only 20 more years to live.

How to get to Kyzylorda


Air Astana operates twice a day flights from Almaty and Nur-Sultan, as well we SCAT airlines have once a week flights from Karaganda and Bek air serves once a week flights from Atyrau and Aktau. 

Kyzylorda airport is located 21 km outside of the city center. You can get there by taking a bus number 30 from the train station. 


Kyzylorda is joined by straight train to the west with Aktobe about 13-18 hours, Urals about 20-25 hours, Atyrau about 19 hours, Aktau 31 hours, Saratov, Russia about 39 hours and Moscow around 52 hours. To the east, trains run to Nur-Sultan takes around 32 hr, Shymkent 8-10 ours, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan 21 hours and Almaty  18-27 ho

Train station situated in the northedge of the town center in the Aulbekov street. Moreover, outside of the train station there are buses departing to Aralsk.

Bus / Car

Less comfortable, however more expensive bus option. There are daily departures and arrivals to and from Turkestan and Shymkent, twice a day to Almaty and once to Nue-Sultan, as well as one to Aktobe through Aralsk and one to Taraz. Besiders, there are plenty of minibuses and taxis serving to the same directions. 

Bus station lies outside of the town in 3.5 km southeast.

Sights Near Kyzylorda

Page updated 12.3.2023

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