Kizil monastery, (near) Kizil, Xinjiang, CN

Raw data

"The Buddhist heritage of Uyghur culture in the Qizil, Qumtura, Bezeklik,
Siggim, Murtuq, and other Buddhist monasteries of Uyghur-Land is a very important
component of Uyghur civilization." Kamberi (2005:20)

"The fourth expedition directed by Le Coq (March 1913 to March 1914) continued to study the ming uy system of caves near Qïzïl." (Litvinskii n.d.)

"The Kizil Caves (also romanized Qizil Caves, spelling variant Qyzyl; Uyghur: Qizil Ming Öy; simplified Chinese: 克孜尔千佛洞; pinyin: Kèzīěr Qiānfú Dòng; literally "Kizil Cave of a Thousand Buddhas") are a set of 236 Buddhist rock-cut caves located near Kizil Township (克孜尔乡) in Baicheng County, Xinjiang, China. The site is located on the northern bank of the Muzat River 75 kilometres (by road) northwest of Kucha."

"Die Tausend-Buddha-Höhlen von Kizil, kurz: Kizil-Grotten (auch Qizil-Höhlen; chin. Kezi'er Qianfodong 克孜尔千佛洞 oder Kèzī'ěr shíkū 克孜尔石窟) sind eine Reihe von 236 buddhistischen Felshöhlen in der Gemeinde Kizil (Qïzïl, 克孜尔乡) des Kreises Bay (Baicheng) im Regierungsbezirk Aksu des Uigurischen Autonomen Gebiets Xinjiang, China. Sie liegen ca. 7 km südöstlich von Kizil am nördlichen Ufer des Flusses Muzat (chin. Muzate He), ca. 75 km von Kuqa (Kutscha) entfernt."

Uyghur Buddhism
"According to Wang Yan-de, there were more than 50 Buddhist temples in 981 in Turfan city. The traces of Uyghur temples can be seen in Qoco, Yarkhoto, Murtuq, Cicenxu, Subaši and Bayanghul in Qamil. An attractive one is the grand royal temple, 70.50 x 43.80 meters in circumference, found in Beshbaliq. Also there are nineteen Uyghur Buddhist caves in Bezeklik, five in Bešqaš, more than twenty in Wen-shu-shan, Jiu-quan, fourteen in Kumtura and twenty-three in Dunhuang (sixteen in Mogao and seven in Yulin). The Dunhuang caves contain nearly three hundred Uyghur inscriptions. In addition, there are several sites in Sengim, Yarkhoto, Toyoq, Simsim, Qizil, Qizil Qagha and Shikchin." Barat (n.d.)

"Kizil Caves
       Located in Kizil Township of Baicheng County and 67 kilometers away from Kucha, the caves were excavated on the cliff of Qul-tagh Mountain by the Muzart River . The listed 236 caves can be divided into four parts: west of the valley, inner valley, east of the valley and back mountain. The earliest caves might be excavated in the Eastern Han Dynasty and the Southern and Northern Dynasties was the prosperous period, the latter ones belong to the Tang Dynasty. The shape of caves and the mural inside all have a vivid style of ancient Qiuci area. But there are only over 80 caves and the murals well preserved, about 10000 square meters. The contents of these paintings are very rich, including jataka stories, Budda's life story and the stories about Karma. As the earliest caves in Xinjiang, they are also the earliest ones in China , listed one of the four biggest caves of the country."

Input by: tmciolek, Dec 15, 2010

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 06 Sep 2013

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200 m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Kizil monastery, CN.

General location of the Kizil monastery, CN.
Lat 41.783333, Long 82.5
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2010.

Google Map link:,%20CN)&ll=41.783333,82.5&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Kizil monastery

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • China:Xinjiang Uygur Zizhiqu

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

  • [missing data]

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Theravada - Baumer (2003:46)

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

MBM chrono-tag <=0200 - tmciolek 06 Sep 2013
<=0200 0200-32c 0233-66c 0267-99c 0300-32c 0333-66c 0367-99c 0400-32c 0433-66c 0467-99c 0500-32c 0533-66c 0567-99c 0600-32c 0633-66c 0667-99c 0700-32c 0733-66c 0767-99c 0800-32c 0833-66c 0867-99c 0900-32c 0933-66c 0967-99c 1000-32p dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

13. Date-late

  • There were 50 Buddhist temples in 981 in Turfan city. - Barat (n.d.)

MBM chrono-tag 0967-99c 1000-32p - tmciolek 06 Sep 2013

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • archaeological

16. Additional notes

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

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