Mor Stupa monastery, (towards) Kashgar, Xinjiang, CN

Raw data

"In the middle of 10 century A.D., when Islamism was formally introduced into Kashgar, Buddhism staged out of the historical arena. Nowadays. The only traces left was Mor Stupa, which is the last witness of Buddhism of Shule state. […] it was a famous ancient temple site, which is located 29 kilometers northeast of Kashgar city.
The stupa has been identified as a Building of middle or late Tang dynasty. In 1957, it was designated as the autonomous level historical relics protection unit.The padoda faces south. Now it rests on ranges of mountains, facing the wilderness, and oppositing Hannuoyi ancient city over Qiakmak river. The pottery pieces, fragment of coins, grapevine, Karez system and ancient bacon tower proved that the place was once dense-populated and bustling.
Judged from the untreated relics, its scale is very large. Apart from two pagodas, on its southeast part was the site of sitting rooms of monks. Under the slope was one-kilometer Kares System winding across the foot of the hill, from which monks got water and we can see Kares System was not the monopoly of Turpan. All the other buildings had been destroyed. From the timber under the temple, it is predicted that these buildings might well have been burnt down by fire. At present, we can only see two wrecked pagodas standing side by side. […] According to the site and its shape, we can calculate that the pagoda enjoy a high position at that time, which may have been the special temple for the royals in Shule." - Kashgar Prefecture (2005).

"Ancient Hannuoyi city - Hanouy city is located 28 kilometers northeast of Kashgar City, rests on Matag Mountain on the north, faces Kashgar oasis on the south, and circles around the former site of Qiakmak River."

"Not far from ancient Hannuoyi city ia the MOr pagoda of Tang Dynasty which stands by an ancient river. The temple(Buddhist) with such a large scale must be not far away from the capital. According to the structure of the ancient city, it is quite possible that it was Jiashi city of the Tang Dynasty […]
The middle part of the Kashgar city at that time was located north of today's Tuman river, that is the sit of today’s Kashi airport. But at that time it was a patch of oasis which was covered by rivers, canals, luxuriant forest on the southern foot on Gumatag mountain instead of Gobi desert. Gumatg mountain was very iimportant to thecapital city of Kalahan Dynasty which was called "Baerhan Mountain". "Baerhan " means "Buddhism" in Turkish. It gained the name because there are a lot of temples and Buddha of Dover in the mountain at that time, among them was "Three Caves of Immotals"."

"Sanxian Dong, o Caverne dei tre Immortali, si trovano a 20 chilometri da Kashi, e sono grotte buddiste, scavate dentro la roccia presso il fiume Qiakmak."

"The Grottoes of the Three Immortals (Sanxian Dong) date from the Eastern Han period (25-220) and lie 10km/6mi to the north of the town, on the slopes of a steep hill. Each one of the three long interlinking caves is divided into a front and rear section. A badly damaged Buddha statue is kept in the rear section of the middle cave. On the walls of the left-hand cave there are some 70 likenesses of Buddha, dating back 1700 years. One of the Buddhas on the rear wall is depicted with a bare back - an unusual phenomenon in the wall paintings of that period."

" At the end of jarring 35km drive northeast of [Kashgar] town are the ruins of Ha Noi (Hannuoyi Gucheng), a Tang dynasty town built in the 7th century and abandoned in the 12th century. Little remains except a great solid pyramid-like structure and the huge Mor Pagoda (Mu'er Fota) or stupa"
Input by: tmciolek, Sep 2, 2010

The Mori Tim Stupa Complex in the Kashgar Oasis by Angelo Andrea Di Castro

Map (but with no site names):

“An archaeological 3D reconstruction is more complex than it seems, imagining the Mori Tim stupa area as it was in the Fifth - Sixth Century CE is not simply a technical challenge but it is also a theoretical, cognitive engagement.“ -

[Mor Stupas by Drew Parsons, 07 July 2010] “There are two Buddhist stupas near the location of the 7th century AD Tang Dynasty town of Ha Noi, a Shule military governship centre. […] The two stupas have been variously ascribed dates from the 3rd century AD to the 7th century AD, although they may be earlier as they are on the route that Buddhism took on its journey from India and Ghandhara into China, as early as the 2nd century AD. Xuang Zang the Buddhist roving monk passed this way in 644 AD and noted the many Buddhist temples in the Kashgar region and as Mor was an important religious centre at that time, it is likely he visited the site. The introduction of Islam into the area and a fire at some stage saw the demise of the temples, whilst changing climate saw wells dry up and the area finally abandoned in the 10th century AD. [… The] latter era name of Mor may be a corruption of the Uyghur word mordun meaning "chimney" as signal towers were once used with fires to guide travellers along the way through the desert. […] Lat: 39.620000N  Long: 76.250000E“ -

Input by: tmciolek, Apr 13, 2013

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 16 Apr 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 Mor Stupa monastery, CN.

General location of the Mor Stupa monastery, CN.
Lat 39.61592 Long 76.25358
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2010.

Google Map link:,%20CN)&ll=39.61592,76.25358&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Mor Stupa monastery - Kashgar Prefecture (2005).

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • China:Xinjiang Uygur Zizhiqu

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx. Lat 39.61592 Long 76.25358 - based on visual identification of the Mor Stupa site in maps/satellite imagery & Panoramio photographs (and guided by geographical references to remnants of the Ancient Hannuoyi city such as “Henei Reservoir” and “Hanwuyi road” -, - tmciolek, date. - tmciolek, 16 Apr 2013.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

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

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

11. Date-early

  • MBM chrono-tag 0400-32p 0433-66p 0467-99p 0500-32p 0533-66p 0567-99p - tmciolek 14 Apr 2013
  • 0400-32p 0433-66p 0467-99p 0500-32p 0533-66p 0567-99p 0600-32c 0633-66c 0667-99c 0700-32c 0733-66c 0767-99c 0800-32c 0833-66c 0867-99c 0900-32c 0933-66p 0967-99p dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

13. Date-late

  • MBM chrono-tag 0933-66p 0967-99p - tmciolek 14 Apr 2013

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

* Archaeological

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

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

  • [missing data]

18. Known monks and nuns associated with this monastery

19. Available Printed Literature

  • DI CASTRO, A.A. 2009. The Mori Tim stupa complex in the Kashgar Oasis. East and West 58: 1-4.
  • STEIN, A.M. 1907. Ancient Khotan: detailed report of archaeological explorations in Chinese Turkestan. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 3]

end of page

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License