A report on Tarim BasinXinjiang and Karasahr

The Tarim Basin is the oval-shaped desert in Central Asia.
Physical map showing the separation of Dzungaria and the Tarim Basin (Taklamakan) by the Tien Shan Mountains
Dzungaria (Red) and the Tarim Basin or Altishahr (Blue)
This 17th-century map shows Cialis (Karashar) as of one of the cities in the chain stretching from Hiarcan to Sucieu
Tarim basin ancient boats; they were used for burials
Northern Xinjiang (Junggar Basin) (Yellow), Eastern Xinjiang- Turpan Depression (Turpan Prefecture and Hami Prefecture) (Red) and Altishahr/the Tarim Basin (Blue)
The Tarim Basin in the 3rd century, showing the so-called Tocharian and related states.
NASA landsat photo of the Tarim Basin
Physical map showing the separation of Dzungaria and the Tarim Basin (Altishahr) by the Tien Shan Mountains
Soldiers from Karasahr, 8th century CE
The Tarim Basin, 2008
Map of Han Dynasty in 2 CE. Light blue is the Tarim Basin protectorate.
Turkish dignitaries visiting king Varkhuman in Samarkand. One of them is labeled as coming from Argi (Karashahr in modern Xinjiang). Afrasiab mural, probably painted between 648 and 651 CE.
Tarim Basin in the 3rd century
Old Uyghur/Yugur art from the Bezeklik murals
Kaidu River in Yanqi
Tarim mummies, found in westernmost Xinjiang, within the Tarim Basin.
The Tarim Basin in the 3rd century AD
Fragmentary painting on silk of a woman playing the go boardgame, from the Astana Cemetery, Gaochang, c. 744 AD, during the late period of Tang Chinese rule (just before the An Lushan Rebellion)
A Sogdian man on a Bactrian camel. Sancai ceramic statuette, Tang dynasty
Map of Taizong's campaigns against the Tarim Basin oasis states, allies of the Western Turks.
Mongol states from the 14th to the 17th centuries: the Northern Yuan dynasty, Four Oirat, Moghulistan and Kara Del
A document from Khotan written in Khotanese Saka, part of the Eastern Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages, listing the animals of the Chinese zodiac in the cycle of predictions for people born in that year; ink on paper, early 9th century
The Dzungar–Qing Wars, between the Qing Dynasty and the Dzungar Khanate
Uyghur princes from the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves near Turpan, Kingdom of Qocho, 8th-9th centuries
The Battle of Oroi-Jalatu in 1756, between the Manchu and Oirat armies
An Islamic cemetery outside the Afaq Khoja Mausoleum in Kashgar
The Qing Empire ca. 1820
Subashi Buddhist temple ruins
Scene from the 1828 Qing campaign against rebels in Altishahr
Northern Xinjiang (Dzungar Basin) (yellow), Eastern Xinjiang - Turpan Depression (Turpan Prefecture and Hami Prefecture) (red), and the Tarim Basin (blue)
Yakub Beg, ruler of Yettishar
Uyghurs in Khotan
19th-century Khotan Uyghurs in Yettishar
Fresco, with Hellenistic influences, from a stupa shrine, Miran
Kuomintang in Xinjiang, 1942
Painting of a Christian woman, Khocho (Gaochang), early period of Chinese Tang rule, 602–654 AD
Governor Sheng Shicai ruled from 1933 to 1944.
The Soviet-backed Second East Turkestan Republic encompassed Xinjiang's Ili, Tarbagatay and Altay districts.
Close to Karakoram Highway in Xinjiang.
Pamir Mountains and Muztagh Ata.
Taklamakan Desert
Tianchi Lake
Black Irtysh river in Burqin County is a famous spot for sightseeing.
Kanas Lake
Largest cities and towns of Xinjiang
Statue of Mao Zedong in Kashgar
Nur Bekri, Chairman of the Xinjiang Government between 2007 and 2015
The distribution map of Xinjiang's GDP per person (2011)
Ürümqi is a major industrial center within Xinjiang.
Wind farm in Xinjiang
Sunday market in Khotan
Ürümqi Diwopu International Airport
Karakorum highway
This flag (Kök Bayraq) has become a symbol of the East Turkestan independence movement.
"Heroic Gesture of Bodhisattvathe Bodhisattva", example of 6th-7th-century terracotta Greco-Buddhist art (local populations were Buddhist) from Tumxuk, Xinjiang
Sogdian donors to the Buddha, 8th century fresco (with detail), Bezeklik, Eastern Tarim Basin
A mosque in Ürümqi
People engaging in snow sports by a statue of bodhisattva Guanyin in Wujiaqu
Christian Church in Hami
Catholic Church in Urumqi
Temple of the Great Buddha in Midong, Ürümqi
Taoist Temple of Fortune and Longevity at the Heavenly Lake of Tianshan in Fukang, Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture
Emin Minaret
Id Kah mosque in Kashgar, largest mosque in China
Erkin Tuniyaz, the incumbent Chairman of the Xinjiang Government

Karasahr or Karashar (قاراشەھەر), which was originally known, in the Tocharian languages as Ārśi (or Arshi) and Agni or the Chinese derivative Yanqi, is an ancient town on the Silk Road and the capital of Yanqi Hui Autonomous County in the Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang.

- Karasahr

Located in China's Xinjiang region, it is sometimes used synonymously to refer to the southern half of the province, or Nanjiang, as opposed to the northern half of the province known as Dzungaria or Beijiang.

- Tarim Basin

Xinjiang is divided into the Dzungarian Basin in the north and the Tarim Basin in the south by a mountain range, and only about 9.7% of Xinjiang's land area is fit for human habitation.

- Xinjiang

The city, referred to in classical Chinese sources as Yanqi, was located on the branch of the Silk Route that ran along the northern edge of the Taklamakan Desert in the Tarim Basin.

- Karasahr

The northern Tarim route ran from Kashgar over Aksu, Kucha, Korla, through the Iron Gate Pass, over Karasahr, Jiaohe, Turpan, Gaochang and Kumul to Anxi.

- Tarim Basin

The nearby kingdom of Karasahr was captured by the Tang in 644, and the kingdom of Kucha was conquered in 649.

- Xinjiang
The Tarim Basin is the oval-shaped desert in Central Asia.

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Tarim Basin in the 3rd century

Kucha

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Tarim Basin in the 3rd century
Tarim Basin in the 3rd century
Location of Kucha within Xinjiang with the county of Kucha in pink and the prefecture of Aksu in yellow
Kuchean monks and lay devotees circa 300 CE, in the paintings of the Cave of the Hippocampi (Cave 118), Kizil Caves.
The "Peacock Cave", in the Kizil Caves near Kucha, built circa 400 CE.
Kucha ambassador at the Chinese court of Emperor Yuan of Liang in his capital Jingzhou in 516–520 CE, with explanatory text. Portraits of Periodical Offering of Liang, 11th century Song copy.
Royal family of the oasis city-state of Kucha (King, Queen and young Princes), Cave 17, Kizil Caves. Circa 500 CE, Hermitage Museum.
Dali coins founded in Kucha
Bust of a bodhisattva from Kucha, 6th-7th century. Guimet Museum.
Wooden plate with inscription in a Tocharian language. Kucha, 5th-8th century. Tokyo National Museum.
A "Han Gui bilingual Wu Zhu coin" (漢龜二體五銖錢) produced by the Kingdom of Kucha with both a Chinese and what is presumed to be a Kuśiññe inscription.
King Suvarnapushpa of Kucha, from Cave 69, Kizil Caves.

Kucha, or Kuche (also: Kuçar, Kuchar; كۇچار, Кучар; also ; कूचीन), was an ancient Buddhist kingdom located on the branch of the Silk Road that ran along the northern edge of what is now the Taklamakan Desert in the Tarim Basin and south of the Muzat River.

The area lies in present-day Aksu Prefecture, Xinjiang, China; Kuqa town is the county seat of that prefecture's Kuqa County.

The southern kingdoms of Shan-shan and Jushi (Turfan and Jiaohe}) asked for Chinese assistance in countering Kucha and its neighbour Karashar.

Kashgar

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Kashgar in the Kushan Empire under Kanishka the Great
Camels traversing the old silk road in 1992
The Chinese Tang dynasty during its greatest extension, controlling large parts of Central Asia.
Mosque entrance in old Kashgar
Kashgar road scene, 1870s
Kashgar (c. 1759)
Kalmyk Archer, Kashgar Army in the 1870s
Night interview with Yakub Beg, King of Kashgaria, 1868
A view of the City of Kashgar in 1915
Colonel Mannerheim at the Russian Consulate in Kashgar, 1906
Sign marking previous Russian Consulate in Kashgar
Map of Kashgar (labeled as SU-FU (KASHGAR)) and surrounding region from the International Map of the World (1966)
Map including Kashgar (labeled as Kashi K'a-shih (Kashgar)) (DMA, 1983)
Cafe built on site of old British Consulate-General. Kashgar. 2011
Kashgari Musicians in 1915
Kashgar market
Woman on motorcycle. Kashgar. 2011
Uyghur family with two calves for sale at Kashgar market.
Kashgar's Sunday market.
Kashgar Airport
Kashgar railway station
Map of the region including Kashgar (1893)
thumb|Downtown Kashgar. 2011
Id Kah Mosque
Kashgar minaret at night
The tomb of Afaq Khoja
Mosque next to the tomb of Afaq Khoja.
Mao statue in the city square of Kashgar.
An old Kashgar city street.

Kashgar (قەشقەر) or Kashi is an oasis city in the Tarim Basin region of Southern Xinjiang.

In 270, four states from the Western Regions were said to have presented tribute: Karashahr, Turpan, Shanshan, and Kucha.

Uyghurs

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The Uyghurs ( or ), alternatively spelled Uighurs, Uygurs or Uigurs, are a Turkic ethnic group originating from and culturally affiliated with the general region of Central and East Asia.

The Uyghurs ( or ), alternatively spelled Uighurs, Uygurs or Uigurs, are a Turkic ethnic group originating from and culturally affiliated with the general region of Central and East Asia.

A Uyghur girde naan baker
Uyghur man in traditional clothing, playing a tambur, a traditional Uyghur instrument.
A possible Tocharian or Sogdian monk (left) with an East Asian Buddhist monk (right). A fresco from the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, dated to the 9th or 10th century (Kara-Khoja Kingdom).
Uyghur hunter in Kashgar
Uyghur schoolchildren in Kashgar (2011)
Uyghur princes from Cave 9 of the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, Xinjiang, China, 8th–9th century AD, wall painting
An 8th-century Uyghur Khagan
Uyghur Khaganate in geopolitical context c. 820 AD
Chagatai Khanate (Moghulistan) in 1490
Ethnolinguistic map of Xinjiang in 1967
Map showing the distribution of ethnicities in Xinjiang according to census figures from 2000, the prefectures with Uyghur majorities are in blue.
Protesters Amsterdam with the Flag of East Turkestan
A Uyghur mosque in Khotan
Map of language families in Xinjiang
Leaf from an Uyghur-Manichaean version of the ‘‘Arzhang’’.
Uyghur Meshrep musicians in Yarkand
Wall painting at Bezeklik caves in Flaming Mountains, Turpan Depression.
Xinjiang carpet factory
Uyghur polu (پولۇ, полу)
Doppa Maker, traditional Uyghur hats, Kashgar
A Uyghur man having his head shaved in a bazaar. Shaving of head is now seen mostly among the older generation.
Uyghur girl in clothing made of fabric with design distinctive to the Uyghurs
Uyghur women on their way to work, Kashgar. 2011

The Uyghurs are recognized as native to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in Northwest China.

The Uyghurs have traditionally inhabited a series of oases scattered across the Taklamakan Desert within the Tarim Basin.

Loulan and Khotan were some of the many city-states that existed in the Xinjiang region during the Han Dynasty; others include Kucha, Turfan, Karasahr and Kashgar.

Turpan

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Tarim Basin in the 3rd century
Buddhist Uyghur king from Turpan attended by servants. Depicted in Dunhuang Mogao Caves, Western Xia Dynasty.
"Mughal embassy", seen by the Dutch visitors in Beijing in 1656. According to Lach & Kley (1993), modern historians (namely, Luciano Petech) think that the emissaries portrayed had come from Turpan, rather than all the way from the Moghul India.
A model of the Turpan water system, (karez) in the Turpan Water Museum: Water is collected from mountains and channeled underground to grape vinyaards.
233x233px
Youth Road (QingNianLu), a Turpan street shaded by grapevine trellises
Turpan North Railway Station
Turpan Railway Station
Wall painting from a Christian church, Qocho (Gaochang) 683–770 CE

Turpan (also known as Turfan or Tulufan,, تۇرپان) is a prefecture-level city located in the east of the autonomous region of Xinjiang, China.

Historically, many settlements in the Tarim Basin have been given a number of different names.

At that time, other kingdoms of the region included Korla and Yanqi.

Woven silk textile from Tomb No. 1 at Mawangdui, Changsha, Hunan province, China, dated to the Western Han Era, 2nd century BCE

Silk Road

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Network of Eurasian trade routes active from the second century BCE until the mid-15th century.

Network of Eurasian trade routes active from the second century BCE until the mid-15th century.

Woven silk textile from Tomb No. 1 at Mawangdui, Changsha, Hunan province, China, dated to the Western Han Era, 2nd century BCE
Chinese jade and steatite plaques, in the Scythian-style animal art of the steppes. 4th–3rd century BCE. British Museum.
Achaemenid Persian Empire at its greatest extent, showing the Royal Road.
Soldier with a centaur in the Sampul tapestry, wool wall hanging, 3rd–2nd century BCE, Xinjiang Museum, Urumqi, Xinjiang, China.
A ceramic horse head and neck (broken from the body), from the Chinese Eastern Han dynasty (1st–2nd century CE)
Bronze coin of Constantius II (337–361), found in Karghalik, Xinjiang, China
The Silk Road transmission of Buddhism: Mahayana Buddhism first entered the Chinese Empire (Han dynasty) during the Kushan Era. The overland and maritime "Silk Roads" were interlinked and complementary, forming what scholars have called the "great circle of Buddhism".
Central Asia during Roman times, with the first Silk Road
A Westerner on a camel, Northern Wei dynasty (386–534)
Map showing Byzantium along with the other major silk road powers during China's Southern dynasties period of fragmentation.
Coin of Constans II (r. 641–648), who is named in Chinese sources as the first of several Byzantine emperors to send embassies to the Chinese Tang dynasty
A Chinese sancai statue of a Sogdian man with a wineskin, Tang dynasty (618–907)
The empires and city-states of the Horn of Africa, such as the Axumites were important trading partners in the ancient Silk Road.
After the Tang defeated the Gokturks, they reopened the Silk Road to the west.
Marco Polo's caravan on the Silk Road, 1380
Map of Eurasia and Africa showing trade networks, c. 870
The Round city of Baghdad between 767 and 912 was the most important urban node along the Silk Road.
A lion motif on Sogdian polychrome silk, 8th century, most likely from Bukhara
Yuan Dynasty era Celadon vase from Mogadishu.
Map of Marco Polo's travels in 1271–1295
Port cities on the maritime silk route featured on the voyages of Zheng He.
Plan of the Silk Road with its maritime branch
Yangshan Port of Shanghai, China
Port of Trieste
Trans-Eurasia Logistics
The Silk Road in the 1st century
The Nestorian Stele, created in 781, describes the introduction of Nestorian Christianity to China
Fragment of a wall painting depicting Buddha from a stupa in Miran along the Silk Road (200AD - 400AD)
A blue-eyed Central Asian monk teaching an East-Asian monk, Bezeklik, Turfan, eastern Tarim Basin, China, 9th century; the monk on the right is possibly Tocharian, although more likely Sogdian.
Bilingual edict (Greek and Aramaic) by Indian Buddhist King Ashoka, 3rd century BCE; see Edicts of Ashoka, from Kandahar. This edict advocates the adoption of "godliness" using the Greek term Eusebeia for Dharma. Kabul Museum.
A statue depicting Buddha giving a sermon, from Sarnath, 3000 km southwest of Urumqi, Xinjiang, 8th century
Iconographical evolution of the Wind God. Left: Greek Wind God from Hadda, 2nd century. Middle: Wind God from Kizil, Tarim Basin, 7th century. Right: Japanese Wind God Fujin, 17th century.
Caravanserai of Sa'd al-Saltaneh
Sultanhani caravanserai
Shaki Caravanserai, Shaki, Azerbaijan
Two-Storeyed Caravanserai, Baku, Azerbaijan
Bridge in Ani, capital of medieval Armenia
Taldyk pass
Medieval fortress of Amul, Turkmenabat, Turkmenistan
Zeinodin Caravanserai
Sogdian man on a Bactrian camel, sancai ceramic glaze, Chinese Tang dynasty (618–907)
The ruins of a Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE) Chinese watchtower made of rammed earth at Dunhuang, Gansu province
A late Zhou or early Han Chinese bronze mirror inlaid with glass, perhaps incorporated Greco-Roman artistic patterns
A Chinese Western Han dynasty (202 BCE – 9 CE) bronze rhinoceros with gold and silver inlay
Han dynasty Granary west of Dunhuang on the Silk Road.
Green Roman glass cup unearthed from an Eastern Han dynasty (25–220 CE) tomb, Guangxi, southern China

The southern stretches of the Silk Road, from Khotan (Xinjiang) to Eastern China, were first used for jade and not silk, as long as 5000 BCE, and is still in use for this purpose.

The Tarim mummies, mummies of non-Mongoloid, apparently Caucasoid, individuals, have been found in the Tarim Basin, in the area of Loulan located along the Silk Road 200 km east of Yingpan, dating to as early as 1600 BCE and suggesting very ancient contacts between East and West.

Past its inception, the Chinese continued to dominate the Silk Roads, a process which was accelerated when "China snatched control of the Silk Road from the Hsiung-nu" and the Chinese general Cheng Ki "installed himself as protector of the Tarim at Wu-lei, situated between Kara Shahr and Kucha."

Aksu City

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Baron C. G. E. Mannerheim (in the middle) in Aksu, 1907
Aksu railway station
Map of Aksu (labeled as A-K'O-SU (AK SU YANGI SHAHR)) and surrounding region from the International Map of the World (AMS, 1950){{efn|From map: "THE DELINEATION OF INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARIES ON THIS MAP MUST NOT BE CONSIDERED AUTHORITATIVE"}}
Map including Aksu (DMA, 1981)
From the Operational Navigation Chart; map including Aksu (A-k'o-su) (DMA, 1985){{efn|From map: "The representation of international boundaries is not necessarily authoritative."}}

Aksu is a city in and the seat of Aksu Prefecture, Xinjiang, lying at the northern edge of the Tarim Basin.

The kingdom bordered Kashgar to the south-west, and Kucha, Karasahr then Turpan to the east.

Tocharians

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The geographical spread of the Indo-European languages, with Tocharian in the east.
Female donor with label in Tocharian, Kizil Caves.
The Tocharian script is very similar to the Indian Brahmi script from the Kushan period, with only slight variations in calligraphy. Tocharian language inscription: Se pañäkte saṅketavattse ṣarsa papaiykau "This Buddha was painted by the hand of Sanketava", on a painting carbon dated to 245-340 AD.
Tocharian Prince mourning the Cremation of the Buddha, in [[:File:Maya Cave 224, mural 3.jpg|a mural]] from Maya Cave (224) in Kizil. He is cutting his forehead with a knife, a practice of self-mutilation also known among the Scythians.
Major oasis states of the ancient Tarim Basin
Tocharian kneeling devotees circa 300 AD, in the paintings of the Cave of the Hippocampi (Cave 118), Kizil Caves.
The Buddhist Cave with the Ring-Bearing Doves (Cave 123) at the Kizil Caves near Kucha, built circa 430-530 CE.
Monks from the Cave of the Painters circa 500 AD, Kizil Caves.
Ambassador from Kucha (龜茲國 Qiuci-guo), one of the main Tocharian cities, visiting the Chinese Southern Liang court in Jingzhou circa 516–520 AD at the time of Hephthalite domination over the region, with explanatory text. Portraits of Periodical Offering of Liang, 11th century Song copy.
King Suvarnapushpa of Kucha is historically known and ruled 600–625 AD. Cave 69, Kizil Caves.
Tocharian knights from Kizilgaha caves (Cave 30). Circa 600 CE
Emperor Taizong's campaign against the oasis states
Prince Tottika, Kizil Cave 205.

The Tocharians, or Tokharians ( US : or ; UK : ), were speakers of Tocharian languages, Indo-European languages known from around 7600 documents from around 400 to 1200 AD, found on the northern edge of the Tarim Basin (modern Xinjiang, China).

Their actual ethnic name is unknown, although they may have referred to themselves as Agni, Kuči and Krorän, or Agniya, Kuchiya as known from Sanskrit texts.

The Southern Xinjiang railway through the Tian Shan range in Hejing County

Southern Xinjiang railway

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The Southern Xinjiang railway through the Tian Shan range in Hejing County
Map of the Southern Xinjiang (Nanjiang) railway from Turpan to Kashgar
Train No.K169 running on the railway
Through the Tian Shan in Hejing County
Train running between mountains in Toksun County, Turpan
Hejing County section in winter
Kashgar Station

The Southern Xinjiang railway or Nanjiang railway, is a railway between Turpan and Kashgar in Xinjiang, China.

The railway is 1446 km in length and runs along the southern slope of the Tian Shan mountain range, connecting all major cities and towns of the Northern Tarim Basin, including Turpan, Hejing, Yanqi, Korla, Luntai (Bügür), Kuqa, Toksu (Xinhe), Aksu, Maralbexi (Bachu), Artux, and Kashgar.

Map of the campaigns against the oasis states of the Tarim Basin, including the defeat of Karasahr

Tang campaigns against Karasahr

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Map of the campaigns against the oasis states of the Tarim Basin, including the defeat of Karasahr

The Tang campaigns against Karasahr were two military campaigns sent by Emperor Taizong of the Tang dynasty against the Tarim Basin kingdom of Karasahr, a vassal of the Western Turkic Khaganate.

The city-state, which later became part of Xinjiang), may have been known to its inhabitants by the Tocharian name Agni, which was rendered Yanqi in Chinese sources.

Portrait of Emperor Taizong of Tang on a hanging scroll, created during the Tang dynasty era, kept in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

Emperor Taizong of Tang

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The second emperor of the Tang dynasty of China, ruling from 626 to 649.

The second emperor of the Tang dynasty of China, ruling from 626 to 649.

Portrait of Emperor Taizong of Tang on a hanging scroll, created during the Tang dynasty era, kept in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
A portrait of Emperor Yang of Sui, by the Tang court artist Yan Liben (600–673)
Portrait painting of Emperor Gaozu of Tang, father of Li Shimin
Armoured horseman, Tang dynasty
Emperor Taizong depicted giving an audience to Gar Tongtsen Yulsung, the ambassador of the Tibetan Empire, in a later copy of a painting by court artist Yan Liben (600–673 AD)
Detail of Yan Liben's painting on the reception of the Tibetan envoy, showing Tang Taizong
Fountain Memory, calligraphy of Emperor Taizong on a Tang stele.
Emperor Taizong's campaign against the oasis states
Fanciful modern representation of the Byzantine embassy to Tang Taizong in 643 CE.
According to the Xi'an Stele, Emperor Taizong recognized the Nestorian Church of the East, due to efforts of the Christian missionary Alopen in 635 CE.
The Sui dynasty tried to invade Goguryeo in 598, 612, 613 & 614. Taizong campaign (map) was in 645. Gaozong's campaigns were in 661, 667 & 668.
A bas-relief of a soldier and horse with elaborate saddle and stirrups, from the tomb of Emperor Taizong, c. 650. The relief shown here depicts "Autumn Dew," also known as "Whirlwind Victory" and is housed at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia, PA.
Tomb soldier figurine, Tang dynasty

In territorial extent, it covered most of the territories previously held by the Han dynasty and parts of modern Korea, Vietnam, Xinjiang, and Central Asian regions.

He also launched a series of campaigns against the oasis states of the Tarim Basin, and against the armies of their main ally, the Western Turks.

In 644, with Yanqi's king Long Tuqizhi (龍突騎支), who had assisted the Tang campaign to conquer Gaochang, turning against Tang and allying with the Western Turks, Emperor Taizong sent the general Guo Xiaoke (郭孝恪), the commandant at Anxi (安西, i.e., Gaochang) to launch a surprise attack on Yanqi.