Tuyuq Khojam Mazar

Cave of Ashabe Kahf - Cave of the Seven Sleepers - Mausoleum of the Aṣḥāb Al-Kahf

Useful Information

Location: Mazar Aldi village, Tuyuq township. Tuyukhojam, Turfan. (42.859379, 89.690795)
Open: All year daily.
Fee: free.
Classification: SubterraneaCave Tomb
Guided tours:  
Bibliography: Yasushi Shinmen (2004); The History of the Mausoleum of the Ashab al-kahf in Turfan Memoirs of the Research Department of the Toyo Bunko (Kegan Paul) 61.
Address: Tuyuq Khojam Mazar, Tel: +86-, Fax: +86-,
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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2003 a Han-owned private company buys the development rights to the whole Mazar Aldi village and opens it to the public.


Tuyuq Khojam Mazar is also known as the اصحاب الکهف (Ashabe Kahf, people of the cave). The cave tomb is said to be the cave of the Seven Sleepers, at least Uyghur Muslims believe this. A mazār is a mausoleum or shrine, typically that of a Saint or notable religious leader. The Arabic word borrowed by Persian and Urdu, is used in Iran and other countries influenced by Persian culture, in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The tradition to be the grave of the Seven Sleepers is relatively new, dating back to circa 1600 CE. Probably the local population combined local history and custom with the legend of the Seven Sleepers in order to transform the Buddhist holy land into an Islamic one.

The cave of Ashab is covered by a mazār with two cupolas which are called gumbaz. The higher one is bright green and quite spectacular. The design is most likely influenced by the Buddhist stupa. The entrance to the cave is located right below the lower gumbaz. It is quite small and can only accommodate five or six people at a time.

Uyghur and Hui muslims from throughout Xinjian, Gansu and Ningxia come to Tuyoq Mazar every year between May and October to perform the pilgrimage. Under the guidance of the custodians they perform pilgrim rituals. Both the architecture and the rituals reflect the influence of Buddhism.