It is a magical place, with the people therein breathing the same air but maintaining two different cultures, separated by a two-hour time difference between this region and mainland China.
It used to be the primary transportation hub of the Silk Road thousands of years ago, connecting the far East and Europe. The Uyghur community we are talking about at this moment was built on a cliff and once accomodated nearly six hundred families at its height.
The high cliff has a history of more than two millenniums. A thousand years ago, some Uyghur forefathers established homestead here. A few decades later in the mid-ninth century AD during the Kashra Khan Dynasty, the royal palace was built on the north side of this high cliff.
Historically, the north and south slopes of the cliff were connected as a whole, which was later struck by floods and separated. Since then, the north cliff becomes the site of the present-day Karahan palace in the old city, and the south cliff has become what we currently see as the residence on the bluff.
Over a thousand years, some unusual residential buildings have gradually been developed on the ridge, which was referred to as “clay pottery family on the bluff” in the Uygur language.