Emin Minaret (Su Gong Ta)

Emin Minaret in Turpan
Emin Minaret in Turpan
Emin Minaret Pictures
Emin Minaret is the largest extant old tower in Xinjiang and the only Islamic tower among the hundred famous towers in China.

Standing 2 km (1.24 miles) east of Turpan, it was built in 1777 in honor of the heroic Turpan general, Emin Khoja. He was an outstanding patriot who defended the unification of China throughout his life. He had eight sons but the eldest son died of illness at a young age. Influenced by him, all his remaining sons made contributions during the war against Jungar rebellions. It was Suleman, his second son, that built this minaret with his own money. This is the reason why the minaret is also named Su Gong Ta. Upon Emin's death, Suleman inherited his father's rank and became the second Turpan ruler.

At the entrance to the minaret, two steles were set up. On one is a Chinese inscription which explains that the purpose of building the minaret was to show gratitude to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and to commemorate exploits of Emin Khoja while the Uigur inscription on the other stele gave thanks to Allah.

Emin Minaret with Islamic Style
Emin Minaret with Islamic Style
The historical background of Emin Minaret is underlined by the architectural significance. The 44-meter (144 feet) high minaret has no stories. From the base with a diameter of 10 meters (32.8 feet), it tapers to an Islamic dome. In its center is a brick-piled pillar with 72 steps around it spiraling to the top. There are 14 openings for ventilation and lighting which are located in different directions and at various heights. On the top, there is an attic of 10 square meters (107 square feet) with large windows on the four sides through which the marvelous landscape could be admired. Unfortunately, visitors today cannot climb to the top due to the protection reasons.

However, the unique exterior of the minaret will make up for this lack. The huge column made of grey bricks and earth would be dull if not for its decorative patterns. Smart Uigur architects used bricks to form 15 different patterns such as waves, flowers or rhombuses. What's more, the architects even took the surroundings into consideration. Set against the azure sky, silvery Tianshan Mountain and the scarlet Flaming Mountain , the minaret displays a pristine but dignified air. Only when you look up at it will you find how crystal blue and high the sky of Turpan is!

Tower with the Islamic Style
Tower with the Islamic Style
Right beside the minaret stands Su Gong Ta Mosque, one of the largest mosques in Xinjiang. The grand mosque can accommodate 1000 people despite the inconspicuous appearance. The idea behind this is also intriguing; the mosque is neither so glaring as to defeat the minaret nor too humble as it is a worship center. The circular Emin Minaret and the square mosque are in sharp contrast without losing harmony.

Admission Fee: CNY 50
Opening Hours: 08:50 to 20:00
Recommended Time for a Visit: One hour
- Last updated on Jul. 18, 2022 -
Questions & Answers on Emin Minaret (Su Gong Ta)
Asked by zakusplus from SINGAPORE | Aug. 13, 2015 23:18Reply
1 day Turpan tour
Is it possible to chartered a car/taxi and visit Karez well, Jiaohe ruins, Bezeklik thousand buddah caves, Gaochang ruins, flaming mountain and back to downtown in 1 day?
Answers (2)
Answered by Jackson from RUSSIA | Aug. 14, 2015 01:47

Oh, actually, one day's time is too tight. You don't have enough time to tour around every scenic spot well. So 2 to 3 days are suggested. In addition, hiring a private car usually costs CNY 700 to 800 per day.
Answered by Ablajan Jili from URUMQI ,CHINA | Dec. 14, 2015 06:45

Hi ,

One day is enough to cover to those sites , instead of going to Gao Chang i suggest you go to Toyuk village , Jiao he is better than Gaochang .

Ablajan Jili (A guide and driver)
Asked by Thotsapron from THAILAND | Oct. 10, 2012 00:07Reply
Can i pray friday in Emin Minaret
Answers (1)
Answered by Andy | Oct. 11, 2012 01:05

As I know, you can.
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