Melikawat Ruins

Ruins in Hotan

The deserts around Hotan are peppered with the faint remains of abandoned cities. The most interesting are those of Melikawat, 25km south of town, a Tang dynasty settlement with wind-eroded walls, Buddhist stupas and the remains of pottery kilns. Some scholars believe Melikawat was a capital city of the Yutian state (206 BC to AD 907), an Indo-European civilisation that thrived during the height of the Silk Road. A taxi to Melikawat should cost about ¥100.