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Tekes County, the World’s Largest Eight Diagrams Town

  Tekes County at Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, famous for its layout of eight diagrams, is called the Eight Diagrams Town. The streets of this radical-pattern town are all joined and resemble a maze. Besides, it also presents rich folk customs, profound historical cultures, and charming natural landscapes.

  This Eight Diagrams Town is so far the largest and most intact of its kind in the world. It is the only place in the world where the Wusun culture mingled with the I Ching culture, and the place where the Han Dynasty carried out the policy of allied marriage and had closest links with China's nomadic tribes in the western regions for the longest period…

  While just arriving at the Eight Diagrams Town, people would often get the impression that Tekes was not as mysterious as imagined. But the moment they climb the 50-meter-high eight-diagram tour tower at the center of the town, they will instantly get some idea on the glamour of the town. Getting a bird’s-eye view on what lies beneath the tour tower, people will see the grey streets, green lawns are arranged in a crisscross pattern, in the shape of an eight-diagram basin.

  The Eight Diagrams Town has a miraculous feature: It does not have a single traffic light. As proposed by experts and scholars, since all the roads are closely joined, the county seat will not suffer from traffic jams. Vehicles and foot passengers will arrive at the destinations, no matter which ways they choose. The traffic lights were abolished in 1996. Since then, the Eight Diagrams Town became a place without any traffic lights.

  In addition to the absence of traffic lights, the Eight Diagrams Town is also known for its strange phenomenon that strangers to the place are likely to “miss their way”. It is said that a trucker from other places had his truck heavily overloaded. So he chose an outlying road at night to make the round to the Eight Diagram Cultural Square at the center of the town. He saw a traffic police was on duty far and away through the lamplight. He was scared and turned about in an instant, in the hope of getting round the police. But no matter how he tried to get round, the trucker was simply unable to avoid the “blasted” traffic police. He went around for a night in the end. The next day, when the dog-tired driver told his “hard lot” to his fellow drivers, it became a laughingstock and soon went about throughout the county seat. In fact, the “confused and disoriented” driver saw only one traffic police at the night at the crossing towards the Eight Diagram Cultural Square.

  Tekes was one of the political, military, economic and cultural centers of the Wusun State during the Western Han Dynasty period (202B.C.~9 A.D.). As shown in the distribution of nearly 20,000 existing Wusun tombs and the unearthed cultural relics, the Wusun State was a well-off leading nomadic state in the Western Regions.

  The unearthed cultural relics include exquisite utensils that combined Chinese and western styles, the central plain culture and prairie culture, the Buddhist culture and Islamic culture. To date, Tekes County Cultural Relics Protection Management Institute keeps 112 pieces of cultural relics. They are separated into 59 varieties, including stone human statues, copper boilers, ancient calligraphies, gold kettles, copper head portraits, armors, ancient grain processing tools, ancient farm tools, swords, spears, potteries, and wooden printing molds. The Wusun cultural relics are listed to receive first-grade state protection. They were largely excavated in the course of building roads, digging dykes and constructing houses in townships, farms and pastoral areas since 1978. Some other cultural relics were handed over by villagers.