As an important stop at the ancient Silk Road, Kuqa County in Xinjiang Autonomous Region is an ancient Buddhist Kingdom. It is a small oasis county along the Silk Road, which runs along the north edge of the Taklamakan Desert in the Tarim Basin and south of the Muzat River. It is located 400km to the west of Urumqi.
In ancient China, Kuqa was known as Qiuci Kingdom, which began at about 200BC, during the Western Han Period. As an oasis with advantageous location and abundant resources, Qiuci became a major trade, political and cultural hub, and later, an important Buddhist center in Turkestan. Influenced by the multiple cultures, Qiuci civilization was formed, and people are still able to have a glimpse of the ancient culture in Kuqa nowadays.
A great number of ancient city ruins, which have been disappearing for 10 centuries were found there with abundant cultural relics. There are many cultural sights, and Buddhist grottoes are the most famous, such as the Kizilgaha, Kumutura, Mazabeg and Simsem grottoes.