Korla is the capital of the Bayangol Mongol Autonomous Prefecture, which occupies an area of 478,700 square kilometers in the southern part of Xinjiang. Situated on the northern fringe of the Tarim Basin and the southern foot of the Tianshan Mountains, between latitude 414 and 424 north and longitude 852 and 867 east, Korla, which is 471 kilometers from Urumqi, covers an area of 7,449 square kilometers at an average elevation of 933.2 meters.
At the beginning of the Han Dynasty, this prefecture was the place where eleven kingdoms (Ruoqiang, Loulan, Quli, Shanshan, Qiemo, Xiaowan, Shanguo, Wuli, Luntou, Weili, Yanqi and Weixu) of the thirty-six in the Western Region were located. During the Sui and the Tang dynasties, the Yanqi Superintendent's Office and the Quli Superintendent's Office were established here. From the Five Dynasties to the Song Dynasty Korla was under the jurisdiction of Xizhou Huigu. During the Yuan Dynasty it was under the administration of Bieshibali Executive Chancery. During the reign of Qing Dynasty Emperor Qianlong, Korla was administered by Zhuledusi after the Mongolian Torgut Tribe conceded to the central government. In 1884, in the tenth year of the reign of the Qing Dynasty Emperor Guangxu, when the province of Xinjiang was founded, first Karashar Prefecture directly under the administration of the central government was established in the Korla area, and then was upgraded to Yanqi Prefecture. Under the People's Republic of China, the prefecture of Yanqi and Yanqi Administrative Area were set up.
During the Western Han Dynasty Korla was the territory of the Quli Kingdom, and then was annexed by the Yanqi Kingdom after the Eastern Han Dynasty. During the Qing Dynasty Korla was administered by a third-rank Uygur governor appointed by the Qing court, and under the Karashar executive minister. In 1917, the sixth year of the Republic of China, an office of the assistant magistrate of Yanqi was set up here and Korla was under the jurisdiction of Yanqi Prefecture. In 1930, the nineteenth year of the Republic of China, Korla was changed to an administrative Area. In 1939, the twenty-eighth year of the Republic of China, a county government was established here and it was under the administration of the Yanqi Administrative Supervisor's Office. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Korla was first under the administration of the Yanqi Prefectural Commissioner's Office, then under the administration of the Korla Prefectural Commissioner's Office. Now Korla is under the administration of the Bayangol Mongol Autonomous Prefecture.
The city of Korla has a population of 220,000, with an urban population of 120,000. Of the whole population of the city, the Han nationality accounts for 63.28 percent, the Uygur 33.93 percent, the Hui 1.89 percent and the Mongol 0.64 percent.Here are the major attractions in Korla:Bosten Lake,Ancient City of Loulan,Bayanbulak Grassland,Lop Nur,Tiemen Pass and Yadan Spectacle etc.