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Emin Minaret (Su Gong Ta)

Emin Minaret was built in 1777 to honor the heroic Turpan general, Emin Khoja, an outstanding patriot who defended the unification of China throughout his life. He had eight sons but the eldest son died of illness at a young age. All his other sons, influenced by Emin, made contributions during the war against Jungar rebellions. It was Suleman, the second son of Emin, that built this minaret with his own money. This is the reason why the minaret is also named Su Gong Ta. Upon the death of Emin, Suleman inherited his the rank and became the second Turpan ruler.

Emin Minaret

Emin Minaret is the largest extant old tower in Xinjiang; it is the only Islamic tower among the hundred famous towers in China. And it is 2 km (1.24 miles) east of Turpan. At the entrance to the minaret, two steles were set up. On one is a Chinese inscription explaining the purposes for building the minaret- to show gratitude to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and to commemorate exploits of Emin Khoja while the Uigur inscription on the other stele gave thanks to Allah.

Emin Minaret is of 44-meter (144 feet) high without stories. The base of the minaret has a diameter of 10 meters (32.8 feet) and the the minaret tapers to an Islamic dome. In the center of Su Gong Tathe minaret is a brick-piled pillar with 72 steps around it spiraling to the top. Fourteen elongated windows open at different levels and directions to allow the building to get enough sunshine and ventilate properly. On the top is an attic of 10 square meters (107 square feet) with large windows on the four sides through which the marvelous landscape could be admired. It is a pity that tourists today are not allowed to climb the top so that the minaret can be protected.

The exterior of Emin Minaret is unique. Its huge column has 15 different decorative patterns such as waves, flowers or rhombuses that are formed by grey bricks and earth. The architects of the minaret also took the surroundings into consideration. The minaret is set against the azure sky, silvery Tianshan Mountain and the scarlet Flaming Mountain. 

 

Emin Minaret Tour

This mixture of Chinese and Islamic features is seen only in Emin Minaret in China and these special patterns are also the highlights of the art of the Uygur ethnic group.