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苏公塔Sugong Ta, also known as 额敏塔Emin Minaret, is the tallest minaret (an Islamic tower, usually attach to a mosque) in China. It is a circular tower that tapers as it rises 44 meters high. While wood can be found inside, the bulk of the structure was layered and decorated with sun-baked mud-bricks. A center post of stacked bricks rises from the base to the top, and winding around it is a 72-step staircase that leads to the top; at intervals light breaks in through 14 very narrow windows.  Besides the minaret is an active mosque, which has a large interior praying hall. In the back and on the minaret's side is an active cemetery. Like many tall and symbolic structures, the minaret's purpose is to act as a converging point.

The minaret was built during the early 清朝Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), in the year 1777. It was built to honor the Uygur (Uyghur) ethnic general 额敏和卓Emin Khoja by his second son 苏来曼Suleman.   For his efforts in securing the area, Emin was rewarded as the 君王prefecture ruler by the Qing government. The great tower was designed by the Uygur architect 伊不拉欣Yibulaxin.1

The site is not far from the 吐鲁番市Tulufan city center, about 2 kilometer away in a grapevined village called 木纳村Munacun.   I took the city bus there and because the village is quite interesting, I walked much of the way back. Like many of the roads in Tulufan, it was lined with poplar trees, so it felt very nice.

NEW -- July 21, 2010

The beautiful city of Suzhou crisscrossed with narrow water canals

Region: 新疆Xinjiang

苏公塔图片Sugong Ta (Emin Minaret) Pictures

  • Picture of 苏公塔 Sugong Ta (Emin Minaret)

    The large tower, called the minaret, is the main piece in the site, but to preserve the structure no one is allowed to go up.

  • Picture of 苏公塔 Sugong Ta (Emin Minaret)
  • Picture of 苏公塔 Sugong Ta (Emin Minaret)
  • Picture of 苏公塔 Sugong Ta (Emin Minaret)
  • Picture of 苏公塔 Sugong Ta (Emin Minaret)
  • Picture of 苏公塔 Sugong Ta (Emin Minaret)
  • Picture of 苏公塔 Sugong Ta (Emin Minaret)
  • Picture of 苏公塔 Sugong Ta (Emin Minaret)

    Entrance to the mosque part of the complex. The building is likely a recent addition.

  • Picture of 苏公塔 Sugong Ta (Emin Minaret)
  • Picture of 苏公塔 Sugong Ta (Emin Minaret)
  • Picture of 苏公塔 Sugong Ta (Emin Minaret)
  • Picture of 苏公塔 Sugong Ta (Emin Minaret)

    The praying area of the mosque.

  • Picture of 苏公塔 Sugong Ta (Emin Minaret)

    The praying area of the mosque.

  • Picture of 苏公塔 Sugong Ta (Emin Minaret)

    A moslem style pavillion.

  • Picture of 苏公塔 Sugong Ta (Emin Minaret)
  • Picture of 苏公塔 Sugong Ta (Emin Minaret)
  • Picture of 苏公塔 Sugong Ta (Emin Minaret)

    The moslem cemetery filled the side of the tower and extended all the way behind the complex.

  • Picture of 苏公塔 Sugong Ta (Emin Minaret)

    The moslem cemetery filled the side of the tower and extended all the way behind the complex.

  • Picture of 苏公塔 Sugong Ta (Emin Minaret)

    The cemetery is in active use. On the end side of the distinctly moslem gravestone, a long cylindrical body with a petal shape profile, is an area for burning materials. I don't know what was being burnt.

  • Picture of 苏公塔 Sugong Ta (Emin Minaret)

    The entrance area to the tower. The road was lined with vendors, most of them sell their famous raisins.

    Notes:
  • 1.Much of the data for the Sugong Ta minaret and its history are derived from 百度百科Baidu Baike's article of the same subject.
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Travelogues and travel notes.

Travel Information

    location map of Sugongta (Emin Minaret)

    苏公塔位置location of Sugongta (Emin Minaret) -- Green Arrow

  1. 吐鲁番市Tulufan (Turpan or Turfan) City
  2. 苏公塔Sugong Ta (Emin Minaret)
  3. 火焰山Huoyan Shan (Flaming Mountain)
  4. 二堡乡Erbaoxiang Township
  5. 高昌故城Gaochang Gucheng Ruins
  6. 三堡乡Sanbaoxiang Township
Getting There:

苏公塔Sugong Ta is about 2 kilometers east of 吐鲁番市Tulufan City center. Take the city bus #102 lu (road) (Y.5 morning, Y1 evening) to Sugong Ta stop. The tower is not far to the right through a short road.

Entrance Ticket:

苏公塔Sugong Ta entrance ticket

30 Yuan. (summer 2006).