The name Luntai 輪臺 refers to two different places.
There was a small state of Luntai, also called Luntou 侖頭, in the area of modern Luntai, Xinjiang, that was destroyed by the Chinese general Li Guangli 李廣利 in 102 BCE. When the Western Territories 西域 were conquered by the Han empire 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE), a commandery (xiaowei 校尉) was set up in Luntai that had to oversee the military agro-colonies (tuntian 屯田) opened in that area and from which the Han troops were to be supplied. The place was so suited that it was decided to erect there the fortified city of Wulei 烏壘 there (near the former statelet with the same name) and to choose Luntai as the seat of the Protector-general of the Western Territories (xiyu duhu 西域都護). During the Tang period 唐 (618-907) Wulei was made a prefecture (zhou 州).
The other place called Luntai was an important military garrison in the prefecture of Tingzhou 庭州 located near modern Ürümchi 烏魯木齊, Xinjiang. The garrison was built in 652 for the protection of the new northern route of the Silk Road that went along the northern slopes of the Tianshan Range 天山. In 650, it was transformed into the seat of an area command (dudufu 都督府) whose commander had to supervise the area command of Jinman 金滿 the territory of which was inhabited by the Chuyue 處月 tribe of the Western Türks (Xi Tujue 西突厥). Luntai was furthermore an important regional trade spot for the merchants of the Silk Road as well as the various Türkish tribes living in the surroundings. In 771 the additional garrison of Jingsai 靜塞 was built. Luntai was still a city during the Mongol invasion but became depopulated afterwards.