Tuyuk monastery, (near) Tuyuk, Xinjiang, CN

Raw data

"[…] mural paintings of visualizing monks at the Toyok caves in the Turfan area. […] Toyok is the oldest site of Buddhist cave temples in the Turfan area, dating approximately from the fifth century.[9] Since the caves are dug into fragile cliffs, many of the caves are badly damaged now. Of the surviving forty-six caves that have been assigned cave numbers, only nine retain mural paintings.[10] Among them, the most important caves for our purpose are Caves 20 and 42." (Yamabe 2002:125).

"Manichaean Temple Grottoes of Toyuk - Tuyugou grottoes of Gaochang […]
Nobuyoshi Yamabe has convincingly proved in his "Practice of Visualization & the Visualization Sutra: An Examination of Mural paintings at Toyuok, Turfan" that cave 20 & 42 of Toyuk actually depict the meditational themes of this Sutra and its related meditation manuals. What is interesting about this is the fact that Cave 20 and Cave 42 are ancient Manichaean Cave Monasteries. This fact has been proven in a separate work by Chao Huashan in his "New Evidence of Manichaeanism In Asia: A Description of Some Recently Discovered Manichaean Temples In Turfan." […] This stupa is located at the southeastern corner of the Ancient city of Gaochang. It was built in the late Uighur-Gaochang period.To the west of the stupa have been preserved Buddhist shrines with wall paintings preserved inside. […] The caves are forty-three kilometers east of the city of Turpan and forty kilometers from Shanshan County. They are considered to be the earliest hewn caves in the Turpan area. This group of caves, hewn in the Gaochang Prefecture period between the Jin and the Earlier Liang dynasties, has a history of 1,600 years. There are forty-six caves in the group, nine of which have Buddhist murals still visible in them."

Tuyugou;Toyuk;Toyok Caves
Date of Shot: 2004-10-XX
Place: China・Xinjiang Autonomous Region・Turfan
Year: 300 to 600
Century: 4 to 7C.
Era: Wuguo ?Qu-Gaochang
Located about 43km east of the city of Turfan, Toyuk caves are considered to be the earliest caves in the Turfan area. There are 46 caves in the group, 9 of them still have visible murals. This caves are rare to show the period of transition from the styles of the western region to Chinese style influence in the wall paintings and the cave structures.

Tuyuk, China Page
Other names: Tuyuq,Tuyuk Xiang
World:China:Xinjiang Uygur Zizhiqu
Lat 42.8111 Long 89.6875

"Turfan/Gaochang: Turfan is an oasis city surrounded by mountains.
It flourished as a center of Buddhism in East Turkistan until
the fourteenth century. […] In the outskirts of the city, in Bezeklik, Toyoq, and
Murtuq, many cave temples with wall paintings were constructed." (Kudara 2002a:100)

Input by: tmciolek, Dec 13, 2010

"Thousand-Buddha Cave - […] The ancient name for the Thousand-Buddha Cave was Dinggu Temple which is the earliest temple in the Turpan area. The Tuyugou Grottoes’ most prosperous time was between the year 443 and 450. […] The No.1, No.2, No.3 and No.4 Grottoes still keep the wall paintings of Uighur scripts."

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 19 Jul 2014 

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 2 km from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Tuyuk monastery, CN.

General location of the Tuyuk monastery, CN.
Lat 42.86080 Long 89.69796
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2010.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Tuyuk monastery (Yamabe 2002:125)

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • China:Xinjiang Uygur Zizhiqu

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx. Lat 42.86080 Long 89.69796 - estimated from the position of the cliff of the Flaming Mts., North of Tuyuk, maps.google - tmciolek, 13 Dec 2010.

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

  • [missing data]

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

MBM chrono-tag 0300-32c - tmciolek 19 Jul 2014 
0300-32c 0333-66c 0367-99c 0400-32c 0433-66c 0467-99c 0500-32c 0533-66c 0567-99c 0600-32c 0633-66p dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

  • 5th century CE - (Yamabe 2002.:125).

13. Date-late

MBM chrono-tag 0600-32c - tmciolek 19 Jul 2014 

  • End of Buddhism in the Gaochang area in 14th century CE - Kudara 2002a:100)

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • archaeological, stylistical

16. Additional notes

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

  • [missing data]

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