Kashgar: Chinese authorities have razed down the iconic Grand Bazaar in Xinjiang's Kashgar region, a media report said on Sunday.

Satellite images show dramatic changes in the market, including the removal of buildings and the roofs of stalls, between photos taken on April 4 and May 4, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported citing PlanetLabs Inc.

This bazaar, which lies in the city of the oasis, was the largest international trade market in Xinjiang, with 4,000 shops that sell more than 9,000 products on 250-acres of land.

According to the report, goods from the region sold there include spices, teas, silk, dried fruit, carpets, musical instruments, Central Asia clothing and traditional skullcap.

A new tourist attraction will arise in its place, RFA reported citing a local official.

To make way for the new market, shops are being destroyed and their owners forced to move to a new location away from the city.

The local sources told RFA that authorities are cracking down on the criticism too, detaining and interrogating vendors who voiced their displeasure with the government's decision to tear down the marketplace.

Underlining the importance of the market, Kasimjan Abdurehim, an Uyghur exile based in the US who ran a shop at the bazaar from 1992 to 1998, said the bazaar served as a wholesale hub for traders from neighbouring countries and the former Soviet states in Central Asia.

Abdurehim said the market became an international tourism destination for many who visited Kashgar.

"This market was very vibrant and most crowded," he said. "It had all sorts of goods from both local traders and international producers.

"There's a saying about this market that anyone can find anything in this market except chicken milk," Abdurehim added.