Xinjiang Province, 1,470km (911 miles) SW of Urumqi, 520km (322 miles) NW of Khotan
The northern and southern Silk Routes joined at ancient Kashgar and bifurcated again, leading south through the Pamirs to Gilgit, and west through the Ferghana Valley to Samarkand. At the height of the Han and Tang dynasties, Kashgar was in Chinese hands. The Chinese were routed by the Arabs in 751 in the Battle of Talas River (northeast of Tashkent). This allowed Islam to spread east into the Tarim Basin, displacing Buddhism and Manichaeism. Kashgar subsequently became a center of Islamic scholarship and, but for a brief return during the Mongol Yuan dynasty, it lay outside the sphere of Chinese influence. During the Qing dynasty the Chinese reasserted control, and Kashgar became a key site for players of the Great Game -- it boasted both a Russian and a British consulate.
Trade is the lifeblood of Kashgar, and with the opening of border crossings at Khunjerab, Torugart, and the Irkeshtam...more local info
More of a relief from the bustling market than an attraction in itself, the prayer hall and leafy courtyard of Xinjiang's largest mosque (ca. 1442),...
The tomb of one of Kashgar's most renowned kings and spiritual leader of the Bai Shan sect is several miles northeast of town. Five generations...