Turpan sits at the very center of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest of China, an oasis at the foot of the Tianshan Range. 70% of the population here is Uigur. Turpan is the chief town of the Turpan depression, the lowest point (505 ft/154 m below sea level) in China. It was called: "Gushi" in ancient time, called "xizhou" during the Tang dynasty, and gained its current name "Turpan" in the Ming Dynasty. It means “fertile land".
Turpan is inspiring and beautiful. It was one of the most important cities along the ancient Silk Road. It was the center of flourishing civilization in which Indian and Persian elements were combined. This civilization was later absorbed by the Uigurs, who had their capital at nearby Gaochang (9th–13th cent.). Also nearby are the ruins of the ancient city of Jiaohe and the Bezeklik cave temples. Archaeological finds made in the early 20th cent. include much Nestorian literature and the bulk of the extant Manichaean literature.
The countryside around Turpan produces great quantities of high-quality fruit. Turpan is known for its grapes, multi-colored watermelons, cantaloupes, apricots and of course, raisins. Every household has a ventilated barn on the roof, and some of the world's finest grapes are produced here. Just as its name implied, Turpan is a place of affluence.
Turpan has a special location, so very unique landscape. Eons of wind erosion, frost and rainwater have sculpted the place's soft clay into marvelous shapes. The famed Flaming Mountain, gorgeous Tuyugou Canyon, Aikxun Yadan Spectacle are good examples of those natural wonders. Turpan once was a trade and Buddhist center on the ancient Chinese Silk Road. The Jiaohe Ruins, Gaochang Ruins, Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, Sugong Ta (Emin Minarets), Astana Tombs bear witness to the city's flourishing past.