Karez Underground Irrigation System

Karez Underground Irrigation System
Karez Underground Irrigation System
Karez Underground Irrigation System
Karez Underground Irrigation System
Karez Underground Irrigation System
Karez Underground Irrigation System
A karez is a horizontal underground gallery that conveys water from aquifers in pre-mountainous alluvial fans, to lower-elevation farmlands (see illustration 2 ). The water for the karez is provided by the mother well(s), which is sunk into the groundwater recharge zone. A karez transports water underground, usually surfacing in cultivated areas (see photograph 4 ). Putting the majority of the channel underground reduces water loss from seepage and evaporation. A karez is fed entirely by gravity, thus eliminating the need for pumps.

Illustration 2. Schematic of a Karez Project

  • (1) Infiltration Part of the Tunnel
  • (2) Water Conveyance Part of the Tunnel
  • (3) The Open Channel
  • (4) Vertical Shafts
  • (5) Small Storage Pond
  • (6) The Irrigation Area
  • (7) Sand and Gravel
  • (8) Layers of Soil
  • (9) Groundwater Surface

Several theories have been made concerning the origins of Turpan’s karez technology. It was: (1) imported from Persia ; (2) locally developed and refined through long-term experience; and (3) developed elsewhere in China and then imported (ie. Longshouqu Canal project). Some combination of 1 and 2 seem the most probable. In seems likely that the karez concept moved north and east from Persia along the Silk Road.

In 1845, Lin Zexu was banished to the Turpan area. He was deeply impressed by the karez technology and encouraged its spread to other areas. Under his leadership more than 100 karezes were constructed. Statistics for 1944 show that there were 379 karezes in the Turpan area. By 1952, there were 800, with a total length of 2,500 km , equivalent to the length of the Grand Canal . Today there are over 1000 karezes in the Turpan area.

Flaming Mountain is situated in the north of Turpan Basin . Along the Turpan-Shanshan road there are red mountains about 100 km long. These mountains stretch in a east-west direction, and are about 10 km wide from south to north and 500 m above sea level. The highest peak is 850 m in height. The mountains are mainly composed of red sandrock. In summer, it is very hot here and under the hot sun, thermal air current rises, and the red sandrock gives out red light just like fire, so the mountains are named Flaming Mountains . Here is the hottest place in our country with the summer air temperature reaching 47 ? , and it was said that at the top of the mountain the air temperature is as high as 80 ? . Among the local ethnic groups spreads a fairy tale: there was a evil dragon that ate children. Later, the dragon was killed by a hero. Before killed, the dragon flew around the mountains that were dyed red by blood from the wound of the dragon.

Emin Tower

Emin Tower
Emin Tower
Emin Tower
Emin Tower
Emin Tower
Emin Tower

Located in the tableland of Munag village of Grape Town , 2km east of Turpan City , the Ermin Tower is an ancient Islamic tower with unique style. Every year, a great number of people come here for visit or worship.

As the largest ancient tower in Xinjiang, Ermin Tower was built in 1778 and has a history of over 200 years. In memory of achievements made by his father and as an expression of his loyalty to the Qing Dynasty, Suman, the chief of the Turpan Prefecture and the second son of Ermin Hoja who was a famous general of the Qing Dynasty, spent 7000 liang of silver on his own and built the Ermin Tower. The tower is 44 meters high and 10meters in its bottom diameter. It is a column-shaped body with a standing pole as long as the tower in the hollow of it, which supports the spiral 72-step leading to the top, where is a dome-shaped observation chamber with windows in all four sides. Ascending the top and looking around, the Tianshan Mountains , the Flaming Mountain and the Grape Valley in north direction, and the civilian houses in west direction will be in the sight of the climber. It is a post and panel structure with 14 square windows for day lighting and ventilation.

About 15-geometric figures of the surface body represent the essence of Uygur architecture art. At the entrance of the minaret, there is a stele standing under it, which was engraved by two kinds of character cut in intaglio, one is Uygur language and the other is Chinese character. The epitaph says: the reason that we built the minaret was to express the “the emperor’s kindness” granted by the Emperor of Qing Dynasty and made the achievement of Ermin Hoja to be remembered throughout the ages, and promoted the hole religion forever.

Located in the tableland of Munag village of Putao Town , 2km east of Turpan City , the Ermin Tower is an ancient Islamic tower with unique style. Every year, a great number of people come here for visit or worship.

As the largest ancient tower in Xinjiang, Ermin Tower was built in 1778 and has a history of over 200 years. In memory of achievements made by his father and as an expression of his loyalty to the Qing Dynasty, Suman, the chief of the Turpan Prefecture and the second son of Ermin Hoja who was a famous general of the Qing Dynasty, spent 7000 liang of silver on his own and built the Ermin Tower. The tower is 44 meters high and 10meters in its bottom diameter. It is a column-shaped body with a standing pole as long as the tower in the hollow of it, which supports the spiral 72-step leading to the top, where is a dome-shaped observation chamber with windows in all four sides. Ascending the top and looking around, the Tianshan Mountains , the Flaming Mountain and the Grape Valley in north direction, and the civilian houses in west direction will be in the sight of the climber. It is a post and panel structure with 14 square windows for day lighting and ventilation.

About 15-geometric figures of the surface body represent the essence of Uygur architecture art. At the entrance of the minaret, there is a stele standing under it, which was engraved by two kinds of character cut in intaglio, one is Uygur language and the other is Chinese character. The epitaph says: the reason that we built the minaret was to express the “the emperor’s kindness” granted by the Emperor of Qing Dynasty and made the achievement of Ermin Hoja to be remembered throughout the ages, and promoted the hole religion forever.