Botagay Mausoleum (other names Bytygay, Tatagay) is an architectural monument of the XI-XII centuries. The mausoleum is located on the left bank of the Nura River, 2 km to the east from the Korgalzhyn village, Kurgalzhynsky district, Akmola region.
Botogay is a medieval portal-domed mausoleum. It is the only medieval mausoleum in Kazakhstan, which measured and described in detail in 1831-1856. It makes possible to reconstruct it. Great Kazakh scholar and ethnographer Shokan Ualikhanov drew Botagay mausoleum in 1862. According to drawings and descriptions of many travelers, Botagay was an outstanding architectural art masterpiece in Kazakhstan. The mausoleum was in relatively good condition in the mid-nineteenth century. Unfortunately, today it is destroyed.
The Mausoleum Botagay was mentioned in the works of Peter Rychkov in the middle of XVIII century. The book "Writings of collegiate councilor of the Imperial Academy of Sciences Peter Rychkov" was published in St. Petersburg, 1762. There were some written information about Botogay. In the beginning in the ХІХ century, the mausoleum repeatedly surveyed by various researchers, who studied the steppes of Kazakhstan, including the expedition of George Gens in 1815. First brief description of the mausoleum (in Russian sources it was called a temple at that time) with a sketch of the main facade, plan were done by expedition of Ivan Shangin in 1816. Like many researchers, Ivan Shangin considered Botagay mausoleum as a remnants of the Tatigay ancient city (Bytygay).
Ivan Shangin’s descriptions were preserved, according to which the Botagay mausoleum already had a fracture in 1816, and represented "remains of the ancient temple architecture", «inside pillars and walls plastered". Around it "was another similar one, and from ruins, which were further, some had up to 300 fathoms in length".
Information about the mausoleum were also in the works of George Spassky (1818-1824), Aleksei Shakhmatov (1831), Aleksei Levshin (1832), Joseph Castanet (1910), Leonid Semenov (1930). Tomb of Botagay was also mentioned in Shokan Ualikhanov expeditions(1855).
In 1949, the mausoleum was examined by the Central Archaeological Expedition of the Kazakhstan Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR, which was led by Alkey Margulan. They localized the Tatigay (Totogay, Botagay) city in a place of one of the big hills on the left bank of the Nura River, by identifying it with the Ahsiket city that indicated on the Catalan map (1375) in the lower reaches of the Nura river.
In 1974, the Central Archaeological Expedition of the Kazakh Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR, which was led by Alkey Margulan, conducted archaeological excavations of Botagay mausoleum.
In 2006, the monument was re-examined by the scientific research and project branch of the Republican State Enterprise "Kazrestavratsiya" under the leadership of Gulnar Kamalova.
Before the excavation, in 1949, the monument had oval-shaped form with a diameter of 30 m, height - 1.5-2 m. There was a metal triangulation point at the top. Excavations have revealed a brick space with size of 21x17,4 m and gave unique carved terracotta stalactites with geometric and floral ornaments to the region. Excavation materials are stored at the Institute of "Kazproektrestavratsiya".
According to preserved sketches, references and research materials, Kazakh scientists were able to reconstruct the plan of the mausoleum, and the size of the construction was 11.4 x 8.9 m. The mausoleum was a three-chambered portal-domed building with height of 10.6 meters, which built of burnt red bricks with sizes 26 x 26 x 4.5 cm on the alabaster solution. The main facade of the mausoleum was oriented to the southwest.
The Action Plan of the State program "Cultural heritage" is to study in detail the archaeological monument Botagay, and full restoration works of the mausoleum. It allows using the mazar, along with other architectural and archaeological monuments as the object of tourism.