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Emin Minaret & Karez System

Emin Minaret (Su Gong Ta), Turpan, Xinjiang

 Emin Minaret (Su Gong Ta)

Located 2 km (1.24 miles) east of Turpan, Emin Minaret is the largest ancient tower in Xinjiang as well as the only Islamic old tower among China's one hundred famous towers. The minaret was built in 1777 by a heroic Turpan general, Emin Khoja. Emin was a great leader of Turpan Uigur and titled by Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) for his patriotic loyalty.

The tapered minaret is 44 meters (144 ft) high with a base of 10 meters (32.8 ft) in diameter. There are two steles inscribed with Uigur and Chinese standing in the entrance. The steles explain the reason of building this minaret as well as the loyalty of Emin Khoja. The brick made minaret has no stories, only a brick-piled pillar with 72 steps around the centre, allowing visitors to climb to the top. An attic covering about 10 sq meters (about 107.6 sq ft) stands atop of the minaret with a grand mosque situate beside it, many of the Uigur people come to worship every Friday.

Admission Fee: CNY 23
Opening Hours: 08:50 to 20:00
Recommended Time for a Visit: One hour

Karez System

 Karez System      
The Karez System is an ancient irrigation system, referred to as one of the 'Three Great Ancient Project of China' along with The Great Wall and Grand Canal. The history of the Karez can be traced back some 2,000 years, even today, there are still thousands of Karez running under Xinjiang, though most of them are under the Turpan.   Turpan is an area where annual rainfall is low, and surface water evaporates quickly. To survive in this harsh environment, ancient people used a system consists of underground canals accessed by wells, over-ground canals and small reservoirs to irrigate the Turpan desert. They channeled the melting snow from Tian Shan Mountain into the Karez, thus many oases appeared in the desert, including the famous Grape Valley. Thanks to the ingenuity of these ancient people, Turpan became the birthplace of grapes, hami melons, cotton, and many other fruits and vegetables.  

Admission Fee: CNY15

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