Here from my epic journey on the silk route in 2012/13 is my look at Gaochang in China. It was one of the highlights for me of the trip, I am a bit into ancient sites, I have a great connection with them, and I don’t know why?
Anyway I hope you get a taste for what out there and how the Chinese are trying to restore it!
Located 30 kilometers southeast of Turpan City, Gaochang, is an ancient city built on the northern edge of the Taklamakan Desert and to the south of the Flaming Mountains. Built in the 1st century BC, Gaochang, was an important area along the Silk Road. It was burnt down and destroyed in the 14th century due to increased warfare. The old palace and city ruins can be seen today as they’ve been well-preserved.
Gaochang was once a fertile and prosperous city serving as capital for three western states in ancient times. The location of Gaochang was ideal as it was located in the middle of the Turpan Basin and the city’s layout was designed with high walls and deep moats, making it a significant military fortress for the Western Region for centuries.
With an area of about 2 million square meters, the Ancient Ruins contain the outer and inner cities, along with a palace. The layout of the city is similar to that of Chang’an (capital of the Tang Dynasty at that time, today’s Xi’an). It is said that, “If you want to learn about the prosperity of the Tang Dynasty, Gaochang Ancient Ruins will show you.”
The outer city is surrounded by 11-meter high and 12-meter wide mud walls and nine city gates. The inner city is a 3-kilometer long rectangle that shares its southern wall with the Palace in the northern part of the inner city. A pagoda called, “The Castle of Khan” (meaning “Imperial Palace”) stands on a high stage there.
With a history of about 1,300 years, Gaochang, has witnessed many ups and downs in the Turpan region. These delicate ancient ruins have been listed as precious cultural relics under state protection.
Dunhuang Yardang National Geopark is sited in China’s Gansu Province, 108 kilometers (67 miles) to the northwest of Dunhuang city. It extends 25 kilometers (15 miles) from east to west and 13 kilometers (8 miles) from north to south. The park is well-known for Yardang landscape, which is a typical wind erosion landform. Yardang in Uygur language means a small mound with steep walls. The area contains 77 ruins and huge rocks formations in sculpted shapes. These images are from my visit in 2012 on my silk route journey, which finished at the Jade Gate in China.
In 2012 near the end of my Silk route journey, I crossed the border from Kyrgyzstan to China. Once deep in the heart of the Chinese state of Gansu , on the outskirts of Zhangye are the Amazing Matisi Cave Temples. Carved out of solid rock face a group of 7 grottos hold holy relics and wonderful wall paintings and beautiful sculptures of the Buddha.
Surrounding the Mati Temple are beautiful hills, peculiar caves, unusual peaks and green waters. Tourists can get the chance to interact with the people of Yhugur Minority tribe, try the authentic stewed lamb and learn more about their cultural characteristics and their unique lifestyle as true nomads.
During my journey across the Silk route into China, we travelled to the ancient city of Wuwei, here we visited the Wenmaio Temple . Beautifully ornate and spread over a large area.
The ancient Bell tower Dayun Si built during the Ming dynasty, also in the city of Wuwei . Houses a Tang dynasty bronze bell, which I had the pleasure of striking!
The pictures speak better for themselves.
Info taken from:https://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/gansu/wuwei/confucian-temple.htm
The Confucius Temple is known also as the Wenmiao Temple in Chinese, and is situated in the southeast of Wuwei City. This ancient complex dates from the Ming Dynasty having been established in 1439 on instructions from the reigning emperor and with the strong backing of public subscription. The construction of the original temple took just two years but various extensions have been added over succeeding centuries.
The complex covers an area of a little over 1,500 square meters and is the largest and best-preserved temple dedicated to Confucius in Gansu Province.
In 2012 I crossed from Kyrgyzstan in the the Western corner of north China, along my one month journey across China, I stopped at many places and this is a quick snapshot of one of my favourite Chinese Cities, Ürümqi.
A very big city that has managed to keep hold of it’s historical architecture and modern buildings in an eclectic mix. Along with three amazing and beautifully landscaped parks along with their own historical buildings which have been made central features to value them and where they can be appreciated by many.
Hotan Sunday Market
Hotan’ s bazaar is also called The Sunday market. Local people call it Chukubaza (meaning is low location market) located in the north-eastern corner of Hotan city. It is one of the biggest markets in southern Xinjiang. It has many special sections for the market. The Bazaar in Hotan is active every day, but the Sunday is special day, when it gets flooded by hundreds and thousands of people on Sunday. The kind of people who come to the market are people from seven counties of Hotan and some other prefecture of Xinjiang. They sell all kinds of special local Hotan such as beautiful styled dresses can be seen or bought and many sweet fruits and delicious dishes as well as snacks can be tasted. Minority Products and Souvenirs local made carpets and roll jade. local people say that it is possible to find everything accept Chicken milk, cows egg in Europeans style.
While you are in the market, please remember the word “posh” that means get out of the way in Uyghur language, as soon as you hear this word, please watch yourself. The best time to go to the market is after 8:30 AM Xinjian time.
Country no. 6 on the Silk Route is Yarkand in China. Mind you the distances are so great you would think the region that Yarkand sits in was a country in itself!
Yarkand was a great trade centers on the Great Silk Road, and was famous for its markets, where goods from all over the world could be bought. In modern times it is still a major transport hub for this region of China.
The Bazaar unlike other Bazaars is not within city walls but streets on and around Mausoleum of Ammnaishan and the Altun Mosque.