Ancient City of Niya

Ancient City of Niya, Hetian Attractions, Hetian Travel GuideThe remains of the lost ancient city of Niya are believed to the ancient Jingjue Kingdom during the Han and Jin period. The ancient Jingjue Kingdom was at the south end of the Silk Road, sprawling over an area 25 km long from south to north and 5-7 km wide from east to west. On this site, a large number of inscribed wooden slips in the Qielu language (created in Persia in the first century B.C. and popular in Niya in the 2nd to the 4th century) and some wooden tablets in the Greek style were found.

In 1959, a wool pile carpet fragment was unearthed at the site of Niya, China, on the southern edge of the Taklamakan Desert found along the Silk Road. The fabrication of the fragment discovered has been dated back to about 100 BC. The Niya Site is one of the most important archaeological sites in Tarim Basin and is actually the site of Jingjue Kingdom in the Han Dynasty and during the Wei and Jin period.

No one can believe that there was a rich and varied community that once thrived deep in today's Taklamakan Desert some 1,600 years ago. Just like other places in China, it was then under the control of several officials appointed by the central government. There lived more than families with a population of more than 3,000 people. Sprawling over an area 20 km in circumference around what is now the dried bed of Niya River, however, the city eventually became buried in the desert sand and slipped in oblivion. The extinction of Niya has left archaeologists and scientists many questions to answer. It has also given the ruins of the ancient holy city a feeling of mystery.

The Niya River winds through the southern Taklamakan Desert for about 210 km and its head waters are fed by melted snow from the towering the Kunlun Mount, known was Nanshan Mountain in ancient times. The river gradually dries up near a small Uygur village.

The city's ruins were lost until the early of the 20th century, when the British explorer Sir Aurel Stein discovered the ruins and archaeologists have continued their exploration of the area ever since.

Custom Hetian Tours

If our ready-made Hetian tours cannot fit your particulars, please complete our easy-to-use custom tour request form for a tailor-made Hetian tour solution. Our enthusiastic Hetian travel expert will promptly reply you and custom a Hetian tour 100% suit your interest. Custom Hetian Tour Now