Ancient City of Gaochang

The ancient city Gaochang, with a cover of 2,000,000 square meters, is located in 46 kilometers (29 miles) southeast of Turpan near the 'Flaming Mountains', Xinjing Uygur Autonomous Region, China. Built in the first century B.C. and originally called Gaochangbi, it used to be a garrison town and later became a key point along the ancient Silk Road. In ancient times, it had been one of the political, economic and culture centers in the Western Regions, and it was a hub of exchange of economy and culture between ancient China and the West. The famous Buddhist monk Xuan Zang taught in the city for several months during his epic 18 year journey to India.
Ancient City of Gaochang   Ancient City of Gaochang
Though the ruins have not been as well preserved as the ones in the Ancient City of Jiaohe, it still provides interesting insight into this unique civilization. The city is split into 3 parts, the inner and outer cities and a palace complex. Nine city gates were built at cardinal points; three in the south and two in each other three directions respectively. Visitors are usually suggested to enter the best preserved one in the west to the core. Inside visitors can see remnants of "Khan Castle", a 15 meter (49ft) structure, temples, manuscripts ,Buddhist paintings and so on.

Two temple remains, one in the southwestern and the other in the northwestern parts of the outer city are worth a visit. The first one, 130 meters (427 feet) long from east to west, 85 meters (279 feet) wide from south to north covers 10,000 square meters. It consists of an arched gate, a courtyard, a lecture hall, a library of sutras, a main hall and the monks' dormitory. It is said that Xuan Zang the renowned Buddhist monk of the Tang period had lectures here in the year of 628 on his way to India. The second is smaller but the murals remains are impressive.

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