China Guide

Kashgar’s Aba Khoja Mausoleum A guide to the Mausoleum, Transport and Accommodation

Aba Khoja Mausoleum

As Xinjiang’s most holiest Muslim site, the Aba Khoja Mausoleum also known as the Afaq Khoja Mausoleum is a must see attraction for those venturing near Kashgar. It is a great place for those interested in Kashgar history as well as those interested in Islamic architecture.

The mausoleum is easily accessed being just a few kilometres from Kashgar’s city centre. You can easily walk using the good sign postings, though taking a taxi there at first is advisable then either walk or bus back to the centre city.

The Aba Khoja Mausoleum itself is a 17th century family tomb site first dedicated to the past Islamic leader of Kashgar, Muhammad Yusuf then to his successor and son, Afaq Khoja and their family. The tomb is made up of towers, teaching halls, worship walls and tomb chambers all within a five acre area. The architecture is spectacular with wonderful tile work and floral patterns making it one of the finest models of Islamic architecture.

Take particular attention to the differing geometric patterns of the windows in the complex as they each maintain a unique pattern. There is also a significant dome placed in the centre of the complex surrounded neatly by four minarets, creating a beautiful sight for visitors. If you are not afraid of doing the touristy thing, get your photo taken at the front of the mausoleum on the camel, though don’t pay over 10 RMB.

One thing to take care with is the falling tiles. There are several warning signs around the Aba Khoja Mausoleum about the state of the tiling which seems to be less than secure. Either the mausoleum cannot generate enough funds for the repairs or the money made is being mysteriously siphoned. Either way, the state of the mausoleum isn’t in such disarray as to stop it from being one of Kashgar’s highlights.

If you are feeling strong enough, try taking a bus back as it is easier to find the right stop off point when you are heading into the city. Otherwise it is possible to walk as the route is well sign posted or take a taxi which takes the hassle out of navigating.

If you wish to stay in the area to enjoy more of the city’s attractions, two places to start your search is the Kashi Gaer Binguan, a moderately cheap accommodation that is quiet, spacious and comfortable. For a more budget stay, the Maitian International Hostel gives a more backpacker styled accommodation though a beautiful place for a quick stay.