The highest peak of Tianshan Mountains overlooks one of the most fascinating cities in Xinjiang- Aksu City. A millennium ago, Buddhism was spread from India to China, at first by traders along the Silk Road. Qiuci (lying in today’s Aksu Prefecture), was the place where the earliest “Western Region Buddhism” was born.
The Kizil Caves complex, built between the 3rd and 8th centuries CE, is one of the earliest and largest Buddhist sites in China listed also in the UNESCO World Heritage List. In the caves you can find ancient murals that show the multicultural interactions alongside the Silk Road.
Aksu’s desert climate was for many years a challenging issue for the locals. In spring and winter, fierce winds blew up and sand engulfed the cities. To prevent the desert from expanding, in 1986 a large-scale afforestation project was launched in which they cultivated the land and planted thousands of trees. As a result, a green strip was created, separating the dessert from the cities, making it easier to develop agricultural produce.
Aksus’ Kekeya “Great Green Wall” has been listed as one of the global 500 Roll of Honor for Environmental Achievement by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
This is Aksu