Kuqa, or Kuche, 库车 in Chinese, is a big county in Southern Xinjiang, China with population of 420.000, mostly Uyghur.
In the ancient time, Kuqa was called Qiuci 龟兹 that was famous for the Buddhism culture. As a hub on the Silk Road, Kuqa had various ethnic groups from different places living here, Soghdian, Tocharian, Indians and Persians etc. who were followed Buddhism and constructed many grottos in Kuqa. Therefore there are Kumtura, Simsim, Kizil. Kizilkara grottos that are very well-known for the frescos, paintings and statues created with the combination of local Kuqa and ancient Indian style.
Today local Uyghur believe Islam, it is a great fun to explore bazaar, mosque and grottos.
Located in the Northeast of Kuqa, Subash is a ruin for the Monastery where ancients coins, painted coffin, mummy, sutras, books, vessels were discovered. It is listed as a cultural site of Silk Road by the UNESCO.
One of the three translators of ancient China, Kumarajiva(344-413 A.D.) was born in Kucha [龜茲], in Central Asia. His father Kumarajana was a Braham from India, while his mother, Jiva was the prince of Kucha. Kumarajiva was named Kumara after his father and Jiva after his mother. As his mother loyal for Buddhism, Kumarajiva was educated by her mother to acquire rich knowledge about Hinayana Buddism.He was invited to Liaozhou, today Wuwei, to teach Budhismm, then moved to Changan, He had translated 74 scriptures that were contributed to the development of Chinese Buddhism.
His tongue was left as holy relic after his incineration, as he proclaimed his translation was in accord with genuine principal of Buddhism and his tongue would turn into holy relic after his death.
The earliest grotto in China, located in Baicheng county near Kuqa, Kizil grotto has 236 caves in which there are 81 caves with colorful frescos to describe the Jataka stories about Buddha on the diamond pattern uniquely.