ASTANA – Martin Gray, a photographer from the United States, included the mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi in Turkistan in his recently published book “Secret Sacred Sites,” placing it among the 12 spots he chose to share, Spanish daily newspaper El País reported on Jan. 19.
Gray described the mausoleum as an “unfinished building,” whose construction was initiated in 1389 under the rule of Tamerlane, part of the vast Timurid Empire “to replace a smaller 12th-century mausoleum of the famous Turkic poet and Sufi mystic Khoja Ahmed Yasawi.”
Designated as the first United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Site on the Kazakh territory in 2003, the mausoleum attracts pilgrims from across Central Asia, according to the photographer.
Gray dedicated 40 years to visiting sacred sites in 160 countries. While his book is not a conventional travel guide, it delves into lesser-known jewels, inspiring those seeking sacred places.
“I suggest that people first choose a country and then look through the book to see if there are sacred places to visit there,” he wrote.