The Yusuf Khass Hajib Mausoleum, Kashgar

The mausoleum of  Yusuf Khass Hajib - a tribute to the great writer and poet

Kashgar is not only the “heart” of Xinjiang, but also a Muslim center in China. Several thousand believers come there every year to make a pilgrimage to the Muslim holy sites. One of the most visited holy places and one of the major tourist attractions in Kashgar, is the Mausoleum of Yusuf Khass Hajib, built in honor of the famous philosopher and preacher.

Yusuf Khass Hajib was a Turkish writer and famous Muslim philosopher of the XI century. The writer was born in one of the two capitals of Karakhanids - Balasagun (Kyrgyzstan), so he is sometimes called Balasaguni. However, almost all his life Yusuf Khass Hajib lived in Kashgar at the court of the Karahanid ruler Arslan Khan. His main life-work was “Kutadgu Bilig” (“Holy Knowledge”). This work is respected not only for its philosophical content, but also rightly considered to be the first work written in the ancient language, so Yusuf Khass Hajib Balasagun is revered not only by the Uyghurs, but also by other Turkic peoples of Central Asia. For example, Kyrgyzstan has his portrait printed on the 1000-som banknote.

Yusuf Khass Hajib died in Kashgar in 1085. During his life, he became famous not only as a writer and philosopher, but also as a public figure and philanthropist. He was buried in Kashgar, and his burial place became sacred for the city folk.

The mausoleum is located in the historic part of Kashgar - Old Town, near the Id Kah Mosque. It is a small building with a dome covered with blue glazed tiles and decorated with a minaret. The walls of the mausoleum are decorated with colorful mosaics and floral ornaments.

The Yusuf Khass Hajib Mausoleum is not only a Muslim shrine, but also a historical monument of the Karakhanid epoch, that went down in the Xinjiang history as the golden age for science, art and culture.