Turpan city has preserved for us monuments of the Uyghur ancient architecture. Imin Minaret is the best sample, it is the most ancient and the highest tower in Xinjiang. Among the huge number of Xinjiang towers - it is the only one Muslim.
Located 2 km to the east of Turpan this Minaret was built in 1777 in honor of Turpan hero - general Imin Hodja. He was a great patriot and devoted his life to China’s union. Imin had 8 sons, but one of them died in childhood. The other 7 sons were influenced by their father and took active part in putting down Zhungar rebellion (1755 – 1756), and got respect and gratitude of Qing government. Qing emperor appointed Imin lord of Turpan and made this post hereditary.
After Imin’s death his son Suleiman became lord and used his money for building the Minaret in memory of his father and as a fee for Chinese government.
In the entrance of Minaret there are 2 steles with Chinese and Uyghur inscriptions. The stele with characters tells about the goals of Minaret’s building, praise Qing government and Imin Hoja feats. The stele with Uyghur inscriptions praise Allah.
The outside of Sugong Minaret was built with grey yellow brick, basically without any wood used except for top window lattice. The minaret body is fully round, cylindrical, and tapered gradually from the bottom to the top, has foundation diameter of 10m, top diameter of 2.8m, height of 37m, and 14 windows around for ventilation and natural lighting. Inside there is a spiral central pillar made with brick, with 72 steps directly to the top having an area of about 10sq.m for observation.
The top is a dome roof, with cast iron decorations. The body surface was made with 14 different geometric patterns, horizontal, skewed, dented or depressed. These traditional Uygur patterns are representatives of carving and painting arts in mosque of Islamic architecture style.
Next to the Minaret there are one of the biggest mosques in Xinjiang and a Muslim cemetery.
The tower is opened from 8:00 to 20:00.
It is situated in Munar Village, Putao Township, 2 km east suburb of Turpan City. You can get there by taxi or bus. Taxi costs 10 . Or you can take regular bus to Qiatekale Township from Turpan, stop at the fork to Sugong Minaret and walk east for 5 minutes.
Photos taken from http://www.chinatrips.ru/
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