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turfan Jioahe ruins unesco sites



heavenly lake 180 kilometers from Urumqi city
   


Id Kah Mosque
Commanding the center of the city of Kashi (Kaxgar), the Id Kah Mosqueis one of the gems of ancient Uygur culture in China. It is
well known for its long history and magnificent architecture, and is as important in the Moslem world as the famous mosques of Bokhara and Samarkand. The first mosque to be built on this site more than 500 years ago was no match for the present on e in scale according to ancient records. It crouched on a desolate siope in a cemetery where in the past eminent people of Kaxgar were buried, including Prince Shaksiz Mirza of Kashi and his relatives , Mirza Ezizwali Sultan, brother of Prince Seyt Khan of Shache, and high officials and nobles. This small mosque was built by Prince Shaksiz Mirza's descendants in 1442. Subsequently Obul Kadir Mirza Albek, ruler of Kashi, rebuilt it into a bigger one in 1537 in honor of his uncle buried there. The local people owe the construction of the present grand mosque to a wealthy woman named Giilleyla who, on her way to Pakistan, fell ill and died in Kashi in the late eighteenth century. Her dying wish was to use her legacy to build a mosque, the predecessor of the Id Kah Mosque. It was not very large and the area around ' remained in use as a cemetery. The mosque later underwent numerous repairs and extensions until a major renovation in 1872 enlarged it to its present size. The area of the mosque was divided into two parts with the mosque itself in the eastern part while a Scripture-Teaching Hall was built in the western part. Inside the . Scripture-Teaching Hall were ninety-six rooms for housing four hundred students and a Turkish bathhouse with room for one hundred people at a time. There was also a heated room large enough to hold four hundred people. Four ponds were constructed around the main buildings as were a high pagoda, halls and a gate-tower, and trees and flowers were planted in the area. The mosque became a center of religious activities and a sightseeing attraction in Kashi. The mosque covers an area of 16 ,800 square meters. At its entrance is a huge door, 4.7 meters tall and painted light blue, the upper part of which contains inscriptions from the Koran in Arabic set off by fine designs in the Uygur style . The gate-tower itself rises to a height of twelve meters, and is set into a high wall with an eighteen-meter-tall tower at each end, topped by onion spires and . Islamic crescent moons. Behind the gate-tower is a huge domed building supporting a small onion-spired cupola on which is bal-anced a crescent moon made of bronze. All these buildings create an impressive scene full of magnHicence and solemnity. The two arched side gates of the mosque open into a courtyard wherevisitors can see trees, flowers and ponds. A path paved with bricks leads to the mosque itself, which is divided into an inner and outer mosque,' covering a total area of 2,600 square meters. Its square roof is supported by 158 pillars painted light blue and intricately carved and decorated. Twice a year, during the two major Islamic festivals-Corban and the Lesser Bairam-many Moslems in Kashi gather at the mosque to hold celebrations, and perform dances in the wide square before the mosque to the accompaniment of drummers and woodwind players up on a platform in the gate-tower. On ordinary days , the mosque always attracts visitors to Kashi , especially Moslems . The Id Kah Mosque has been listed as a key cultural site under the protection of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region . Over the years the people's government has earmarked funds to repair and maintain the buildings, and overall renovations were carried out in 1980 and 1981 so that today the mosque is restored to its original splendor. building supporting a small onion-spired cupola on which is bal-anced a crescent moon made of bronze. All these buildings create an impressive scene full of magnHicence and solemnity. The two arched side gates of the mosque open into a courtyard ,where visitors can see trees, flowers and ponds. A path paved with :.bricks leads to the mosque itself, which is divided into an inner and ,outer mosque,'covering a total area of 2,600 square meters. Its square roof is supported by 158 pillars painted light blue and ,intricately carved and decorated. Twice a year, during the two major Islamic festivals-Corban and the Lesser Bairam-many Moslems in Kashi gather at the mosque ,toholdcelebrations, and perform dances in the wide square before , the mosque to the accompaniment of drummers and woodwind , players up on a platform in the gate-tower. On ordinary days , the mosque always attracts visitors to Kashi, especially Moslems. The Id Kah Mosque has been listed as a key cultural site under the protection of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Over the years the people's government has earmarked funds to repair and maintain the buildings, and overall renovations were carried out in 1980 and 1981 so that today the mosque is restored to its original splendor.