Botagai mausoleum
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The mausoleum of Botagai (other names of Bytygai, Tatagay) is an iconic monument of the 11 th- 12th centuries. The mausoleum is located on the left bank of Nura. Akmola region, Korgalzhyn district. Botagai is a medieval door-dome mausoleum. In 1862 the picture of the mausoleum of Botagai was painted by the great scientist and ethnographer of the Kazakh people Shokan Ualikhanov. According to descriptions and drawings of many travelers, Botagai is a prominent representative of the fine arts in Kazakhstan.

The name of Botagai town was first put on the map of Russia in 1694. It was painted by the Russian ambassadors F. Skibin and M. Troshin, who came to the Khan Tauke. The map consisted of 20 pages and was called Kazakh Horde. It says that the city of Botagai was located on the coast between Korgalzhyn Lake and the Nura River. Many coffle routes of the Great Silk Road are crossing each other here.

In 1762, in St. Petersburg, a book entitled The work of the Imperial Adviser Academy of Sciences Peter Rychkov was published. A Russian scientist who traveled through the Kazakh land wrote the following about Bytygai. «Bytygai is the remains of the great town of the Kyrgyz-Kaisaks’ Horde locatedon the bank of the Nura River which flows into Korgalzhyn Lake. According to the description, this town was ten kilometers away: the local quadrangular constructions in the form of palaces were so large that they occupied three hundred fathoms. There is one mosque and collapsed stone buildings». After the death of Tauke Khan, Bytygai was emptied and nearly destructed.

In 1816, I. Shangin inspected the mausoleum and wrote a brief description of it: he described the layout of the building and the front part of the mausoleum. In 1825. in an entry that was written in the name of Alexander I about the relocation of the Siberian- Orenburg border line to Kazakhstan, the adviser Demidov wrote about this monument, «Among the salt lakes, Korgalzhyn lake is the largest, with a circumference of 300 km. The Nura River, which had once fallen into the Yesil River, now flows into this lake. Not far from this lake is the territory of the old arable land, which shows that these lands are fertile, and the brick ruins that remained after the destruction of the old city and occupy an area of 15 km, demonstrates the significance that fine arts had at that period. This suggests that these lands were inhabited not by nomads, but by literate and educated people».

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