The remarkable state museum-preserve “Khan Ordaly Saraishyk" is situated within 20-30 driving distance of Atyrau. Tourists visiting this region should necessarily allow time to visit this wonderful place, the world of history of the Great Steppe, full of secrets and riddles, will open before them. The museum-preserve “Khan Ordaly Saraishyk" was opened in 1999, on the basis of objects and exponents gathered by scholars in the course of the years of archeological excavations. Except the museum itself, the complex of the museum consists of Khan Pantheon and ruins of buildings and remains of fortress walls of the ancient city Saraishyk. People can see the reconstructed model of the city Saraishyk. It precisely displays the city's image of the XIV century. The great interest is attracted by the richest collection of the exponents gathered by scholars during archeological excavations. The collection explicitly reflects everyday life of the city folk throughout the duration of Saraishyk's existence. Except the museum, the complex includes Khan Pantheon (the author is the ex-akim of the Atirau region, the present akim of Astana Imangaly Tasmagambetov), which is the eight-faced construction, 17 meters high. The memorials of seven khans buried in Saraishyk are built Between the walls of the pantheon. The names of the khans and the periods of their rule are carved on a black marble.
Mengu-Temir (1266-1282 yy)
Toktagu (Tokty) (1291-1312 yy)
Zhanibek (1343-1353 yy)
Amir Okhas (1440-1447 yy)
Kassym Khan (1511-1518 yy)
Shyx Mamay (1542-1549 yy)
Zhusyp (Jusup) (1549-1554 yy).
All the history lovers are truly interested in the ruins of the ancient city. Sauntering through them, you can easily indulge in imagination and feel as if you are a contemporary of the great khans, a participant of their battles and victories. The city Saraishyk was constructed in the days of establishment of Dzhuchy ulus, which consequently became the background of the state Golden Orda. The city had an advantageous geographical location, being situated in the borderland between Europe and Asia it had become the fort station providing security of caravan tracks from Europe and Golden Orda to Khoresm, India and China. Frequent visits of the caravans and increase in trade allowed Saraishyk quick prosperity, the city developed and assumed not only military significance. Lodgments of various people – craftsmen, liberal citizens, merchants, appeared around its central buildings. The city had a well-designed planification with straight wide streets and squares. Splendid palaces, caravanserai, bathhouses, mosques, medrese and other gorgeous buildings were constructed in Saraishyk. They were structured by talented masters from the most famous architectural schools of East. In 1334 the prominent Arabian traveler Ibn Batut wrote about the ancient city: “Saraishyk is the biggest city in the world after Bagdad. The khan's palace is located in the center. It has four mosques and a lot of caravanserais. 11 meters high defensive wall towers around the city, the thickness of which is 4 meters. But the most amazing thing is that every house is supplied with water».
Saraishyk prospered in the epoch of permanent raids and battles, but the fate didn't spare the ancient city and in 1395 it was destroyed by the forces of the great conqueror Timur.
In the early XVth century Saraishyk was reconstructed and even became the residence of the khans of Nogai Orda. The quarters of the Nogai Orda khans were located here, then – of the first Kazakh khans. It is recognized that seven khans including the Kazakh khan Kassym were buried in Saraishyk. The history gifted Saraishyk 100 more years of existence, in 1580 the city was broken to smash by “burglarious", in other words the Cossacks, who were not controlled by the Moscow emperor Ivan Groznyi.
Unfortunately, even now, the fate is unmerciful towards the ancient city, as a result of diversion of the Ural river, the bank is concaved and remains of the ruins of the ancient city are submerged at high tide. The archeological excavations, continually held here, allowed us to save the image of the ancient city and household items of the city folk, and tourists can have a look at them at the Museum-preserve “Khan-Ordaly Saraishyk".