Ancient City of Mallikurwatur and Yotkan

Ancient City of Mallikurwatur

Located on the west bank of the Jade Dragon Kashgar River, the Ancient City of Mallikurwatur is about 25 kilometers (16 miles) south of Hetian (Hotan) City. Ten kilometers (6 miles) long from north to south and two kilometers (1 mile) wide from east to west, it was built 1,500-1,600 years ago, with the Kunlun Mountains to the south.

Jade articles, pottery and a large number of old coins like Wu Zhu Qian (five zhu money) coin in the Western Han (206 BC-24 AD) Dynasty and Kai Yuan Tong Bao coin of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) were excavated here, therefore, some experts deem that this was the capital city of the Tian Kingdom in the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220). Furthermore, clay platforms are found widely about one kilometer (1,094 yards) south of the ancient city, where is conjectured to be the Palace or the living place of the officials and nobles. While, relics of murals and figures of Buddha, especially a fine clay Buddha's head were also discovered to the south of clay platforms, where there was presumed to be a Buddhist temple.In addition, ancient tombs and buildings along with three mysterious caves are also worth visiting in the ancient city.

The ancient city of Mallikurwatur is an important town in Yutian, the ancient country of west land. Yutian is one of the four garrison commands of Anxi, the other three being Qiuci, Shule and Yanqi. Yutian had well-developed handicraft industry because it attained the silkworm raising technique from central plains earlier than the other three countries. It was once the centre of Mahayana Buddhism and also reached superior accomplishment in music, painting and drama. Due to all of these and as a big town in Yutian, the ancient city of Mallikurwatur is supposed to be a prosperous city in that period.

Admission Fee: CNY 10

Ancient City of Yotkan

Today, the only remaining clue to the whereabouts of this ancient city available is a stone stele that informs the visitor that the site is a cultural relic of the Xinjiang region. Located 10 km(6.2miles) west of Hetian, Yotkan was an important city in the ancient and prosperous Yutian, a state in the Western Region that from 60 BC was under the sovereignty of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - 24 AD).

A swamp with an area 10 square kilometers (3.86square miles) and a depth of 5 meters (16feet) covers the remains of Yotkan. Many relics have been excavated including pottery figurines, and other wares showing strong Persian and Greek influences. Other important finds have been of bronze Buddhas, oracles, various ancient coins, books items of gold and jade that all tell of the past glory of the wealthy city that once stood at this spot. Among the gold items found is a duckling similar to that discovered in the Dunhuang Mogao Caves.

Although Islam predominates in the area today, Yutian was once the center of Buddhism in the West Region. It is interesting that among the finds at this site have been Christian coins and a cross. These seem to confirm visits by Christian Missionaries, a fact that underlines the cultural and religious importance of the city.

What is referred to as the Western Region is the land west to the Yangguan Pass and Yumenguan Pass in ancient China.

Admission Fee: CNY 15
Opening Hours: 09:10 to 20:00
Recommended Time for a Visit: Half an hour
- Last updated on Jul. 18, 2022 -
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