The ruins of the ancient city of Gaochang lies in the boundless desolate Gobi desert, shining like a resplendent precious stone inlaid in the barren desert and shining on the Silk Road. Withstanding the test of time and weather, the ancient city of Gaochang is one of the best-preserved ruins of the ancient cities in China. 45 kilometers to the east of Turpan , Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (must-see for Silk Road tours), the ancient city of Gaochang is located at the Mutougouhe River Delta, at the southeastern foot of the Flaming Hill , the hottest place in China. Gaochang, which means the king city in Uyghur language, was the capital of the old Yugor people's empire. It was also an important section of the Silk Road, a great trade route of the past. It was publicized as one of the key national cultural relic’s protection unit by the State Council in 1961.
The Ancient City of GaochangThe ancient city of Gaochang was built as a garrison town in the first century B.C., initially called Gaochang Wall, and later renamed Kharakhoja, Kocho or King City. During the successive dynasties, it was ruled as Gaochang Prefecture, Gaochang Kingdom and West Prefecture. By the 14th century, the city was damaged and abandoned as a result of warfare between Mongolian aristocrats and Uigurs. After 2,000 years, the weather-beaten ancient city still shows its past greatness and glory even though the walls are incomplete the magnificent outline remains.
The ancient city of Gaochang was also a sanctuary of world religious culture. It has left many invaluable treasures to us. In 629 AD, Xuanzang, a famous Buddhist monk from the Tang Dynasty, wanted to improve his spiritual quality. Regardless of danger of being killed because of the going out ban imposed by the imperial authority, he managed to go west via Gaochang and reached India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Xuanzhuang stopped in Gaochang for some time and delivered lectures. Xuanzang had left a great Buddhist legacy in old Gaochang City (an optional destination for China tour deals).
The Ancient City of GaochangThe Ancient City of Gaochang comprises the outer city, the inner city and the palace city. The walls of city are well preserved. The outer city is in a shape of rectangle with perimeter of about 5 kilometers, covering an area of 2 million square meters. The walls were built by ramming and the foundation is 11.5 meters high and 12 meters wide. There are outstanding battlements on the outside of the city walls---“Mamian” structure. The west city has two gates, from one of which, the small town outside the city gate can still be seen. The southeast and southern part of the outer city is the temple area. The bigger temple area lies on the southwest part of the city. The original of the ruins are the gate of temple, yard, main hall, pagoda basement of storied niche, and some remaining mural and figures of Buddha can still be vaguely seen in the niches. Some ruins of “workshop” and “fair” still exist in the southeast and northeast outsider the ancient city, perhaps the workshops ruin of small handcraft industry.
Transportation for China travel.
Take the tourist bus from Turpan to Doushan, it stops at Shengjinkou, then transfer to motorcycles from Shengjinkou to Gaochang.Take a bus from Turpan to Sanbao Township Government, and then transfer to motorcycles to Gaochang.Take a taxi.
Admission Fee: 40 CNY (Chinese currency converter )
Opening Hours: 8:00 - 17:00
Location: 45 km to the east of the city of Turpan
The Ancient City of Gaochang