Jiaohe meaning in Chinese where two rivers meet was once the most forward outpost in the West for ages. Historical records and excavation reveal evidence of a prosperous ancient trading center and military stronghold from 1,600 years ago. Owing to the arid climate and remote location, Jiaohe remains relatively intact, leaving us a rare example of an earthen castle, the largest, oldest and best-preserved earthen city in the world.
Jiaohe Ancient City stands isolated on a 30-meter-high plateau in the Ya'ernaizi Valley, 10 kilometers east of Turpan. The whole city of Jiaohe Ancient City stretches about 1650 meters from south to north, and 300 meters from east to west. With a history about 2,000 years, the Jiaohe Ancient City was controlled by the residents of Gaochang.
Today, this is a well preserved site and a more atmospheric spot to wander and imagine times gone by than the city at Gaochang. Well preserved temples, pagodas and streets are dotted around. A Buddhist monastery marks the center of the city and there are some ancient filled wells here too. The crumbling sand colored walls of the buildings reflect the color of the desert and the surrounding sand dunes. Allow at least one hour to explore this intriguing city.
Jiaohe city has a lot of cultural relics unearthed, such as lotus eaves tiles in the Tang dynasty, lotus Buddhist text, etc. Recently, archaeologists, found an underground temple and the noble tombs of Cheshi country for the first time in cultural protective excavation, unearthed a batch of rare and precious cultural relics such as sarira.
Jiaohe Ancient City is located in the 13 kilometers west of Turpan city. Because of the water diverse around the city, then it is so called Jiaohe, is the capital of Cheshi Country--one of the 36 western countries near China. It was the country's political, economic, military and cultural center. The dry weather of little rain in Turpan make the city well preserved, and its shape and layout is similar to the Chang’an City of Tang dynasty. The street, palace, buddhist temple, pagoda, and workshops, local-style dwelling houses still can find here. The temple covers an area of 5000 square meters, with a well. Looking down from the air, Jiaohe city is like a piece of willow leaf.