Known as a magical "Underground Museum" in Turpan, Astana-Karakhoja Ancient Tombs of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is a burial ground of Tang Dynasty (618-907) and should not be missed for your packages of Silk Road travel. It is located in the south of Flaming Mountains, about 42 kilometers southeast of Turpan city and 6 kilometers from the Ancient City of Gaochang. The name "Astana" means "Capital" in the Uighur language. And "Karakhoja" is the name for a legendary Uygur Kingdom hero who protected the people by slaying a vicious dragon. Served as a public cemetery for Ancient City of Gaochang, these tombs were gradually formed from the 3th to 8th century and have a history of more than 2,000 years. Occupying an area of 10 square kilometers, it stretches from northeast to northwest of the ancient city and about 5 kilometers long from east to west and 2 kilometers wide from north to south.
Astana-Karakhoja Ancient Tombs are mainly for Han people, some ethnic minorities such as Cheshi, Turkic, Hun are also buried here. The tombs were a peaceful and secluded resort for residents of Gaochang City to rest after death. From prominent officials, excellent general, normal soldiers to common residents, they are people from different class, career and ethnic minority and were buried at the same place, which reveals the relations between different ethnic groups here are harmonious and equal. In 1988, Astana-Karakhoja Ancient Tombs was listed as one of the country's key protected cultural sites in China and make contribution to local China tourism.
◆Chinese name: 阿斯塔那古墓群 (A'si Tana Gumu Qun)
◆Location: located in the south of Flaming Mountains, about 42 kilometers southeast of Turpan city, 6 kilometers from the Ancient City of Gaochang, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
- Peak season (Marc.1st – Nov. 30th): CNY179 for a 6H combined ticket, which includes the Ancient City of Jiaohe, Ancient City of Gaochang, Emin Minaret King’s Mansion, Astana-Karakhoja Ancient Tombs, Thousand-Buddha Cave;
- Low season (Oct. 21st – Ap. 20th): CNY126 for 6H combined ticket;
◆Opening time: 08:00 - 21:00 (peak season); 10:00 - 18:30 (low season)
◆How to get there:
- take Xiali taxi: CNY80 / person for return fare, CNY50/person for single fare;
- take buses at Turpan Coach Station, get off at Sheng Jin Kou, and then take pedicab (2CNY/person).
◆Best time to visit: all year round
1. Unopened areas are forbidden here in order to avoid danger.
2. No photos in the tombs.
3. Do not touch the mural paintings in the tombs.
4. No smoking in the tombs.
If you are interested in the tombs, you can consider it included in your itinerary of China vacation deals.
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