Buddhism is attested in Khotan as early as the 2nd c. CE, and it played a major role there until the beginning of the 11th c., when the kingdom was conquered by the Islamic Qarakhanids.
Previous studies on Khotanese Buddhist art based on the archaeological discoveries made at the beginning of the 20th c. indicate that the Buddhist artistic production of Khotan belonged primarily to the 8th century and that the last phase of Buddhist art in Khotan is nearly undocumented. Buddhist activity in Khotan after the 8th c. was indeed still alive and fully supported by the reigning class, as proven by documents and paintings in Dunhuang. In this period, it is also important to observe the impact produced by the annexation of Khotan to the Tibetan Empire in terms of cultural interconnection between Khotan and Tibet, an issue that still needs to be fully explored. There are traditions stating that one of the Buddhist art styles of Tibet originated from Khotan, and references found in literary sources confirm the presence of Khotanese artists in Tibet prior to the 10th c. Nevertheless, the character of the Khotanese style imported to Tibet in this period is still unclear.
Archaeological investigations of the last decade, especially those carried out in the eastern and northern areas of the oasis (Dandan-oiliq, Domoko), offer new elements of comparison and study.
The Buddhist ruins discovered in southern Domoko, Chira county (two temples, Topulukdong 1 and 2; a probable monastic dwelling, Topulukdong 3; fragments of paintings from Chira-Karadong) are undoubtedly connected to other sites of the Khotan oasis that have been previously investigated. Overall, the architectural typology, some iconographies, subjects and stilistic features are common to sites generally dated to the 6th -8th c., especially Dandan-oiliq and to some extent to Balawaste. On the other hand, one can perceive elements that seem quite peculiar to these ruins.
The possibility given by archeologists that the use of the temples in Domoko stretched through the 10th-11th c. offer more room to investigate a phase that so far has been poorly documented in Khotan. All in all, the temples in Domoko provide valuable documentation of the last phase of Buddhism in Khotan and of possible connections to contemporary artistic development in Buddhist art in the adjacent regions.