- Gordon Dumoulin
2,700 mosques and 280 buddhist monasteries...
Gansu Province | Home to 2,700 mosques and 280 buddhist monasteries
Gansu province is undeserved little known to the outside world, a miraculous melting pot of natural environments, culture and history.
Gansu is a ‘narrow’ Italy-like shaped province with about the size of Sweden, squeezed between Shaanxi, Xinjiang, Qinghai, Sichuan, Inner Mongolia and Ningxia provinces. Gansu is home to a population of 25 million.
The natural environments range from luscious green Qin Mountains in the South-East, highlands in the West, ‘out of space’ colorful sandstone landforms, and deserts in North and West (including part of the Gobi desert).
Gansu is home to different religions, principally Buddhists (Han and Tibetan Buddhists) and Muslims (Hui, Dongxiang, Bao’an, Sala, Kazak and Uygur Muslim ethnicities). Linxia City is sometimes labeled as the little ‘Mecca’ of China.
As an important passage of the ancient Silk Road, Gansu is renowned for its ancient relics and sites, among others the Mogao Caves (336 AD), Jiayuguan Pass (1372, entrance of the Great Wall), Labrang Monastery (1710) or Maijishan Grottoes (384 CE).