Akmeshyt (White Mosque) is an ensemble of monuments which have not only historical and artistic, but a great spiritual significance. The ensemble is situated in Zhilioi district of the Atyrau region, 28 km north-east of the village Akkiztogay.
The main object of the ensemble is the underground mosque located near the river Zhem. As legend tells, this mosque was built in the early 19th century, by Kulnash, a pupil of a talented religious educator, Islamic theologian, scientist and architect Becket-Ata.
According to surviving oral sources, Becket-Ata lived in the second half of the 18 c. The place of his birth is the village Kulsary, Atyrau region. In his 14 the young theologian went to the tomb of the revered by all sage Shopan Ata to receive his blessings. The young man spent three days at the tomb of the saint, and on the third night he was blessed and given an order to study. Becket-Ata goes to Khiva where, studying in medrese, he grasps many sciences. In his 40, he becomes Sufi and begins teaching children to read. During his hard life Becket-Ata made many trips as scholar and pilgrim, until he finally returned to his native land. Being gifted with healing skills, he treated people educating them simultaneously and giving spiritual strength. Sick and afflicted people often visited him, and he could find the words of comfort and support for each of them. Becket-Ata often acted as a judge in solving disputes, he always showed tolerance and wisdom of the true Sufi. In his sermons, Becket-Ata instructed the believers to walk honestly, be fair and do good. The sage and the saint remained in people's memory as a warrior as well, who accomplished a feat in a battle with the Kalmyks. He had a heroic strength and courage, as well as his great-grandfather Eset-warrior.
As legend has it, Becket-Ata built 4 mosques, the first is Akmeshyt in Kulsary, the second mosque is located in the chalk cliffs 20 km from the village Beyneu, the third one is in Bayshatyr on the upland Ustyurt, the last mosque carved in the massif of chalk rocky promontory in the area Oglandy. It consists of seven rooms which still have perfect acoustics. He is buried near this mosque. The necropolis Becket-Ata is the spiritual, historical and architectural monument.
Akmeshyt-Kulshan consists of two spacious rooms made of firmly stacked chalk structures, interconnected with a three-layer arc. The passage of the mosque is narrow, oblong, the first room has a special opening through which sun rays penetrate in the day time, in such a way, the mosque is illuminated by natural light. The walls have special grooves, deep south-eastern part of the room is the mihrab. Mihrab is a special hovel decorated with columns and arch, indicating the direction towards Mecca, it is designed for an imam to pray here, thus when praying, he is ahead of the rest of the congregation.
In addition to the mosque, Akmeshyt ensemble includes necropolis consisting of 32 kulpytas, 2 koytas, 2 domical mausoleums and one saganatam, 13 kulpytas have architectural and decorative, historical and ethnographic significance.
Akmeshyt is considered to be a very popular place. People come here not just for an idle curiosity, but also for desire to visit the holy places.