Kyzyl Thousand Buddha Caves - are the earliest and largest caves on the Great Silk Road, which were announced as protected monuments of state value in 1961. The building of these caves started in the 3rd – 4th cent. BC and continued for 500-600 years. Kyzyl Thousand Buddha Caves, Mogao caves in Dunhuang of Gansu province, Yungan caves in Datun of Shansy province and Lunmen caves of Henan province are known as “Four major caves in China”. Till present time there were found 339 caves, 167 of them have 7-storey roof, which is called by scientists as the “composite seven-storey roof”. These caves are unique in China. The caves are divided into several areas: western area, area inside the valley, eastern area and mountain area (duration is 3 km).
There remained various works of art: architecture, sculpture and fresco painting. There are 236 coded caves; the fresco paintings with total square 10000 sq. m are remained in these caves. These fresco paintings show hermit life and Buddha’s sermon in teaching of Hinayana. There are also several sculpting clays in the caves: the statue of Buddha 6 meters in length, which is the biggest statue of Buddha among others in Kuqa caves.
Kuqa Mosque is the second largest mosque after “Id-Kakh” (Etigart) mosque in Xinjiang. The mosque qas constructed in the 16th cent. BC, when the founder of Ishan movement – Iskhak Valy came to Kuqa from Kashgar and spread his teaching in Kuqa. Initially it was just the clay mosque, but in 17-th cent. It was restored in 1923 after destroying by fire. After that it was reconstructed again in 1931 due to the finances of Eirym Aga. The mosque consists of big and small prayer houses, minaret, gates with arch and tower for watching the moon. They watched the moon in order to get know the exact date of post beginning. The minaret is 20 meters in height.
The total area of prayer house is 1165 km and it can fit more than 3000 followers of Islam. The courtyard is placed in front of the entrance; the big and small prayer houses are placed on the left side, they are supported by 88 polyhedral cylindrical wooden columns with stone pedestals; there are various wood carved paintings on the cover of the columns. This mosque is constructed in Uygur architectural style.
There are only 3 minarets 20-meters in height, which are standing near the arch of the gates. It is possible to see the whole city from these minarets. The prayer house consists of hall (middle room), side rooms and extra rooms. Doors and columns are decorated with wood carving. The mosque is high and magnificent shows, and it shows the high level of technology.
Kuqa Royal Palace occupies territory of 40000 sq. m and it is the palace which combines Chinese and Islamic architectural styles. Kuqa Royal Palace contains Kuqa Museum, The Museum of Kuqa Royal Palace monuments and Museum of national traditions. It was constructed by Chinese builders in 1759, which were sent by Chinese Emperor of Tsin dynasty to glorify local Uygur leader for his assistance in suppression of the younger and older Khodja rebellion. By the beginning of this century there were remained part of rooms and city wall in Kuqa original Royal palace. In 2004 Kuqa Royal Palace was reconstructed by government of Kuqa city and as the last ruler of Kuqa was Dauti Mekhsuti, the government of Kuqa also built a residence for this last ruler.
After that Kuqa Royal Palace is opened for visitors. The current royal palace consists of ruler’s residence and small residence, which adjoin to each other on west eastern direction. The residence of ruler situated on the west side, four buildings are located on two lines in southern and northern side. The sightseeing area includes exhibition area “Royal Palace”, “Kuqa museum” area and “Ancient city wall” area. There was constructed such buildings as summer house, tower, rooms for royal house, small bazaar and other buildings. All these architectural buildings are constructed in peculiar style and have clear ethnic features.
The perimeter of Kuqa ancient city is about 8000m, the length of the north wall is 2000m, the south wall is 1806m, the east wall is 1646m, the west wall is 2200m. Except ruins of the east, south and north walls, the west wall is totally ruined. Kuqa ancient city has square shape; the city wall height is about 2-7m. It is a cob wall with 1 embrasure of 40m.
In 1985 a famous archeologist of China Huan Wenby did archeological excavations and discovered such archaeological finds as stone implements, bone products, pieces of painted pottery, copper products, small copper coins of nominal value 5 chju of Han dynasty, Kuqa ancient city coins, small copper coins “Kaiyuan Tunbao” of Tan dynasty. Kuqa princedom was one of three west region princedoms (Siyuy). In Kuqa ancient city was developed musical and dancing arts.
Subbashi ancient city (special name: Chjaokhuli temple) was built during the period of the Wei dynasty and the West and East Czin dynasty. Kumardjiva - Buddhist mentor of Kuqa ancient city, a great translator of the Buddhist canons in ancient China, gave there his lessons. This temple prospered during the Sui and Tan dynasties; Syuanczan monk of the Tan dynasty also stayed there more for than two months. In the middle of the seventh century (658 AD) Ansi viceroyalty of the Tan dynasty resettled to Kuqa; this ancient city became the place of meeting of many monks and Buddhist mentors. Everyday there were given sermons of Buddhism; morning bell ring and evening drum sound stirred up the air, the pilgrims went there incessantly.
At the end of the Tan dynasty (ninth century) this temple fell into decay and was abandoned in the 13th – 14th centuries. Nowadays most of the walls are reconstructed; the temple is divided into two parts: east temple and west temple. There are prayer hall, pagoda and statue of Buddha in the east temple; magnificent prayer hall and extant square pagoda in the west temple. In the northern part of the temple 17 Buddha Caves with a great view are located, where still preserved the ruins of the wall painting and carved writing of the ancient Kuqa.