Qitai County – The Western Terminal Caravan Route in Gobi Desert

Qitai County is also known by the name Gucheng historically. This county is located in Xinjiang region under Chanji autonomous prefecture in People’s Republic of China. There are six towns, three ethnic townships and six townships in Qitai County. The county seat is Qitai town. It covers an area of sixteen thousand six hundred and forty one square kilometres and possesses a population more than two hundred thirty thousand. Qitai County is situated on a chief route of Silk Road. The ancient Gucheng was in fact a western terminal for a caravan route in Gobi desert.


Radio Telescope project:

Qitai County is also well known for a radio telescope project. During the year 2012, the authorities of Academy of Science in China and the government of Xinjiang presided over a great revolutionary project at spot of Xinjinag Qitai Astronomical and Science Education Base. The Banjiegou Town located in Qitai County had all essential facilities and was elected to be home of this great project – Qitai radio Telescope. In case if this project gets completed successfully, this telescope will be ranked as the biggest and fully steerable radio telescope with single dish across the globe. Now, another initiative is under progress. It is Qitai County Jiji Lake Power Plant, a two thousand megawatt coal plant developed in province of Xinjiang of China. Specifically, this project is situated in northern part of Qitai County. The sponsor of this project is China Power Investment.


Qitai Silicified Woods Dinosaurs National Geo-park

It is a national geo-park include in third batch approved by Chinese ministry of land and resources. It is situated on new north road of old silk road in Qitai County. This geo-park is three hundred and fifty kilometres far from the Urumqi City. The entire area covered by this significant geo-park is four hundred and ninety two square kilometres. The park possesses lot of unique characteristics. It features palaeontologic fossil as well as geological geomorphic remains. This park is a perfect spot for appreciating the beautiful scenery of west desert. Here, one can do research in science subjects and also educate oneself. Fabulous sightseeing accompanied by an adventurous experience can be attained in the Qitai Silicified Woods Dinosaurs National Geo-park.


There are mainly 4 scenic regions in this geo-park, specifically, Silicified Woods Area, Yadan Ghost Town, Dinosaurs Valley region, and the Baiqiantan region. These areas possess very distinct landscape with various geological remains. This spot has the biggest scale silicified woods which is discovered so far in Asian countries. The dinosaur fossils, various Palaeozoic marine fossils, and more are seen here. It displays a great evolutionary history. There is a “Ghost City” which has uncommon unusual buildings, bright burnt rock region, etc. It can offer an amazing trip to mysteries of the nature.

Travel tips

The construction of Urumqi Dzungaria Railway in the year 2009 has helped travellers to visit Qitai County easily. This railway is via Jiangjun Gobi desert in northern Qitai County. It will end at a coal mine located in Jiangjunmiao. One can opt for train or bus services. 


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