Barkol Grassland is located in Kumul, northeast of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It is 18 kilometers (11.12 miles) northwest of Barkol County.
Barkol Grassland is the second largest grassland in Xinjiang. Tourists can go to Barkol Grassland to avoid summer heat, and entertain themselves in winter. It is also called “Hometown of Heavenly Horse”.
Barkol Grassland is 1650 meters above sea level. Jokuls are glittering and translucent, with verdant pine forests and wreathing clouds and fog, making the scenery changeable. This is called “Tian Shan Song Xue”. Till now, Barkol is called “Hometown of Heavenly Horse”.
About 5 kilometers (about 3.10 miles) south of Barkol ancient city, there is a hill called “Yue Gong Tai” (Terrace of Sir Yue) measuring about 200 meters high. Having jokuls on its back, “Yue Gong Tai” faces the grassland, with uniquely-shaped stones and beautiful peaks on its top and running creeks and waterfalls on its foot. Overlooked from the top of “Yue Gong Tai”, the vast grassland looks like a boundless ocean. Han ancient city and Man ancient city are connected with each other, like a huge sea craft sailing in the green sea.
Next to “Yue Gong Tai” lies a valley where the scenery is quite beautiful. The valley is twisting, mountain road winding. Scenery suddenly becomes extensive when people come to the valley bottom. Seeing the steep cliffs, green trees, exotic flowers and herbs, tourists will feel that they enter a different world. The valley smells fragrant because it abounds in herbs. Even in cold winter with heavy snow, spring is evident everywhere in the valley, with green grass, blossoming flowers and tall pine trees. In the legendary, there lived a black dragon in the black valley, travelling from the valley and the Dragon King's palace and thus bringing the spring scenery to this valley.
"Jian Shan Zi" is on the south bank of Barkol Lake. Early in the morning, when the whole grassland is still in a grey mist, the mountain peaks have become red because of the sunshine of the rising sun. This scenic spot is called “Jian Shan Xiao Ri” (meaning the morning sun on the mountain top). On the huge rock on the top of the mountain, a poetic sentence that "Dong Jun Pian You Yi, Guang Zhao Jian Shan Dian" (meaning noblemen from the east coming here with strong will, sun shining on the top of the mountain) was carved in seal character. It is told that this is carved by the fingers of Xuanzang and his three disciples when they reached here on the way to India. There is another scenic spot called “Sha Shan Gu Ying” (meaning the ancient camp site in the sandy hills), in the sandy hills 48 kilometers (about 29.83 miles) east of the ancient city.
Barkol Lake in Kumul is a high land lake, with an elevation of 1585 meters. Around it, there a waving hills, with rich water and grasses. In the lake, green waves are rippling. In summer, herdsmen graze near the lake bank. Ranges of yurts, herds of cattle and ship and melodious pastoral song make Barkol Lake an ideal summer resort. Barkol Lake is also known as Puleihai Lake or Poxi Lake. In Yuan Dynasty (1206-1370), it was called Ba Er Ku Le Nao Er. It was also known as Meng Gu Sha or Ba Er Ku Er in Qing Dynasty. There are lots of beautiful tales about Barkol Lake. The most popular one tells a story of girl of Han people and a Kazakh young man called Puleihai. They fought together against a monster who attempted to destroy the lake. At last, the girl became a stone under the Jianshan Mountain, and the young man perished together with the monster into the lake. They paid their lives for the happy life of other people. To commemorate them, people named the creeks on the foot of Jianshan Mountain "Han Gu Creeks" (meaning creeks of the Han girl) and named the Lake “Puleihai Lake”. Water in “Han Gu Creeks” are good for making mineral spring water. Now, a joint mineral water factory has been set up with businessman from Hong Kong.
How to Get There
People can take a bus from the Kumul Bus Station to the county town of Barkol. It costs 300 to 400 RMB if people take a taxi to go there.