At the low-lying basin in central Xinjiang, there is a place known as the "Land of Flames", where a variety of high-quality grapes is produced, it is Turpan, known as the "the county of grapes".
Panoramic view of Turpan City
Turpan was anciently called Gushi; in the Han dynasty (206BC - 220 AD), it was Cheshi Qianguo, Cheshi Qianwangting; in Tang dynasty it was known as Gaochang, Xizhou and Huozhou.It is located in the eastern part of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, east of Hami. On the west and south, it borders on the counties of Hejing, Heshuo, Yuli and Ruoqiang of Bayangol Mongol Autonomous Prefecture; across the Tianshan Mountains to the north, it is connected to the city of Urumqi and the counties of Qitai, Jimsar, Mulei of Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture. The region of Turpan is 240 kilometers wide from south to north, and about 300 kilometers long from east to west,covering an area of 70 thousand square kilometers and have a total population of 559,000 people. There are 24 ethnic groups including Uygur Hen Hui etc., the Uygur population is about 71% of the total. Turpan is renowned for its peculiar environment, abundance of ancient relics and rich produces.
Grape harvest in Turpan
Turpan is located in the intersection of two provincial roads,one in east-west direction and one in north-south direction. It is a necessary pass point on the Silk Road. For northern nomads it is also a vital access for crossing the Tianshan Mountains to enter the Tarim Basin. Furthermore, it is an important channel connecting the central plains to Xinjiang, Central Asia and between northern and southern Xinjiang. Human activities have left traces here as early as in the Neolithic Age, about six or seven thousand years ago. At that time, people mainly occupied themselves in hunting and fruits collection. After entering the slave-owning society, mode of production gradually shifted to agriculture, people slowly settled in the Turpan Basin. The Gaochang City, Yiwu and Shanshan in the Turpan region were once the gateways to the Western Regions. Historically, this area has always been a grabbing point for the various peoples and all the dynasties.