In the center of the Takla Makan Desert and 100 km north of the Minfeng county seat are the ruins verified by archaeologists as the ancient site of the Jingjue State during the ancient Han and Jin dynasties.
They are called Niya ruins because they are located at the lower reaches of the ancient Niya River. The ruins cover an area of 25 km in length from north to south and 5 km in width from east to west. The layout of the official buildings, residences of the wealthy, and houses of the ordinary people remain distinctive from the existing ruins. The residences of the rich are neatly designed with parlors, corridors, bedrooms, kitchens, storages and stables, surrounded by orchards, forest belts and even withered towering trees. Temples, irrigation ditches, farmlands, reservoirs and burial sites of the community are still discernible.
Unearthed from the ruins are documents written in Chinese and Tocharian, bronze and iron weaponry, farming tools, mousetraps, silk, wool, and cotton fabric, revealing the local social life on the ancient Silk Road two thousand years ago.