Home: City Guide: Korla: Attractions
Font Size:    

Tiemen Pass & Bosten Lake

  Tiemen Pass (Iron Gate)

According to archaeologists, Tiemen Pass (Iron Gate) was originally erected in the Jin Dynasty (265-420). It was built in a twisted, deep and steep valley that was a path on the Silk Road. It had great military importance, as anyone who wants to come into the Tarim Basin must pass through it first.


Tiemen Pass has its own legend. It is said that Princess Zhuohela of Yanqi Kingdom fell in love with a sheepherder called Ta'eyi. The King, goaded by Chengxiang (the prime minister), caught Ta'eyi with the princess, and intended to sentence him to death. Clever Zhuohela rescued her lover after she heard of this news. Unfortunately, the rescue was discovered by Chengxiang and he sent his subjects to chase them. The pair of lovers fell into the deep valley and died on their way to seek happiness. In memory of this pair of sweethearts people built a graveyard for them in front of Tiemen Pass (Iron Gate).


Admission Fee: CNY 15
Opening Hours: 08:50 to 20:00
Recommended Time
for a Visit:
40 minutes


 Bosten Lake

The original name for Bosten Lake is West Sea. It got its present name in the middle of the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911). Bosten Lake is the largest inland fresh water lake in China. It has a triangular shape and its altitude is about 1,048 meters (about 3,438 feet). Bosten Lake exists in Korla together with snow-capped mountains, oases, deserts, rare animals and plants. All these become a beautiful painting that makes you feel like you are in a fairyland. Its vastness and charm win Bosten Lake its reputation of being a 'pearl in the desert sea'. Fishing boats in summer, golden yellow bulrushes in autumn, and an ice world in winter show you the irresistible enchantment of Bosten Lake.

There is a beautiful legend about Bosten Lake. A long time ago there was no lake here but a picturesque grassland. People here lived a happy life for generations. A young man called Bosten and a girl called Gaiya fell deeply in love with each other. However the God of Rain discovered the beauty of Gaiya and intended to make her his wife. Gaiya would prefer to die rather than give in to the evil. The God became enraged and from then on gave no rain to the grassland for years. In order to save everyone living there who had suffered severely from the drought, Bosten fought with that cursed God for 81 days and finally Bosten won, but died of exhaustion. Gaiya was so sad that she cried and the tears formed the lake, but she died of sadness.  From then on people called the lake Bosten Lake to commemorate the two lovers.

Admission Fee: CNY 20

I want to say