Kayalyk settlement is located on the eastern outskirts of the modern Koilyk village, directly in the foothills of Jungar (Zhetisu) Alatau, where the busy route of Almaty – Oskemen is situated, and a thousand years ago so-called Silk Road ran, along which numerous trade caravans, important diplomatic, missionaries, travelers walked. Closest gorge to the medieval settlement – Arabsay gorge (the name is clearly associated with the first Islamic missions).
Kayalyk territory was surrounded by a fortified wall, having the form of an irregular quadrilateral with sides of 750 to 1,200 meters. Nowadays, it has been preserved well in the eastern part of the unoccupied area of modern buildings and the height reaches 4 m. Elsewhere it can be observed only fragmentary. Certain significant buildings, such as the Buddhist temple, are located at a distance of a few hundred meters from the city walls. This means that agricultural land, farms, centers of spiritual missions were at a considerable distance from the city, enclosed by the city wall, built from mud brick.
The social life of medieval towns of the Northeast Zhetisu of Ile Valley in mid-end of the XIII century (with a predominantly Muslim culture) assumed the presence of administrative center in the registan city: Palace, Friday Mosque and bazaar. During this period, the city gained importance as a major political, commercial and religious center, which was reported by sources and fully confirmed by the results of archaeological excavations, including the findings of silver and copper coins, minted in Kayalyk mint.
In the early Islamic period (Karakhanid, end of the first half of XII-XIII c.) spiritual life of Muslims was centered on the Sufi khanaka, arranged next to the mausoleums of rulers, which were decorated with terracotta and stucco carvings. Burial of holy preachers, Sufis were produced in the khanaka. This was confirmed at Kayalyk by detection during excavations of residues of the mosque of middle of the XIII century and earlier complex of mausoleums and khanaka. Buddhist and Manichaean temples were studied on the mound.
Nestorian fortified settlement was in the vicinity of Kayalyk. It was identified with the Lepsi city on the left bank of the same river at its exit from the mountain gorges, referring to the XIII century. The emergence of the settlement was attributed to the end of VIII and the beginning of IX centuries, a time, when the region began mass emergence of cities.
Excursions on the site are quite popular among specialists in medieval archeology, Muslim culture, religion and poly religious situation on the territory of the north-eastern part of the Great Silk Road, which has developed thanks to the unique geopolitical situation: this area played the role of a buffer between Chinese culture and interests, on the one hand, Islamic culture and Western Turkestan, on the other hand. Muslim culture just began to penetrate into East Turkestan.
Nominally, the political power in the region was at one of the branches of Karakhanid dynasty, who converted to Islam, but the real power was captured by Kidans (carakitai), brought Nestorian and Buddhist culture from the East, but expressed tolerance and respect to Islam. The situation became even more complicated with the arrival of Kuchluk to the region; they had demonstrated violence against Muslims and caused destruction of Islamic holy sites for over a decade before the invasion of Genghis Khan. With holding museumification of excavated archaeological sites, infrastructure arrangement, the flow of tourists on a busy, especially during the summer, the Almaty-Oskemen route, is increasing significantly.