The Kuqa(or Kucha)Gorge is located in the Southern part of the Tianshan Mountains, about 64 kilometers north of Kuqa County in Xinjiang. The Kuqa River is a tributary of the Tarim River'and local Uygur people call its valley "Kizilia" which means "red cliffs. "A typical earth-rift ravine, the gorge extends more than five kilometers in total, with a main valley and seven branch valleys. It is 1,600 meters above sea level on average and its highest peak reaches 2,048 meters; it is between 150-200 meters deep and at its narrowest point is only 1.2 meters wide.
The whole gorge is made up of red sandstone and conglomerate of the Paleogene Period. With the upthrust of the Tianshan Mountains, these red rock strata were subjected to all kinds of folding and bending, added to which water and wind erosion, created the gorge's grotesque, jagged peaks and rocks. Although located in an arid continental area, there are clear gurgling springs in the gorge. At sunrise, sunset as the wind gets up, as mists rise or sounds echo, as light and shade shift and change....its mystery and strangeness is beyond words.
Kuqa is a corruption of the name"Qiuci." The cultural heritage of the ancient Qiuci Kingdom in Kuqa is a delight of the Silk Road. Recently the remains of the Thousand-Buddha Cave created during the heyday of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) were discovered in the Kuqa Gorge. Its grotto murals compare well with those of the Dunhuang Grottoes of the same period. there is a similar but larger gorge....Kuduluke Gorge in Wensu in the southern part of Mount Tomur, the highest peak of the Tianshan Mountains. In the vast tracts of the Tianshan Mountains, indeed all China's northwest. There are more splendid gorge landscapes waiting.