A report on Xinjiang and Tarim Basin

The Tarim Basin is the oval-shaped desert in Central Asia.
Dzungaria (Red) and the Tarim Basin or Altishahr (Blue)
Physical map showing the separation of Dzungaria and the Tarim Basin (Taklamakan) by the Tien Shan Mountains
Northern Xinjiang (Junggar Basin) (Yellow), Eastern Xinjiang- Turpan Depression (Turpan Prefecture and Hami Prefecture) (Red) and Altishahr/the Tarim Basin (Blue)
Tarim basin ancient boats; they were used for burials
Physical map showing the separation of Dzungaria and the Tarim Basin (Altishahr) by the Tien Shan Mountains
NASA landsat photo of the Tarim Basin
Map of Han Dynasty in 2 CE. Light blue is the Tarim Basin protectorate.
The Tarim Basin, 2008
Old Uyghur/Yugur art from the Bezeklik murals
Tarim Basin in the 3rd century
The Tarim Basin in the 3rd century AD
Tarim mummies, found in westernmost Xinjiang, within the Tarim Basin.
A Sogdian man on a Bactrian camel. Sancai ceramic statuette, Tang dynasty
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)
Mongol states from the 14th to the 17th centuries: the Northern Yuan dynasty, Four Oirat, Moghulistan and Kara Del
Map of Taizong's campaigns against the Tarim Basin oasis states, allies of the Western Turks.
The Dzungar–Qing Wars, between the Qing Dynasty and the Dzungar Khanate
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 Battle of Oroi-Jalatu in 1756, between the Manchu and Oirat armies
Uyghur princes from the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves near Turpan, Kingdom of Qocho, 8th-9th centuries
The Qing Empire ca. 1820
An Islamic cemetery outside the Afaq Khoja Mausoleum in Kashgar
Scene from the 1828 Qing campaign against rebels in Altishahr
Subashi Buddhist temple ruins
Yakub Beg, ruler of Yettishar
Northern Xinjiang (Dzungar Basin) (yellow), Eastern Xinjiang - Turpan Depression (Turpan Prefecture and Hami Prefecture) (red), and the Tarim Basin (blue)
19th-century Khotan Uyghurs in Yettishar
Uyghurs in Khotan
Kuomintang in Xinjiang, 1942
Fresco, with Hellenistic influences, from a stupa shrine, Miran
Governor Sheng Shicai ruled from 1933 to 1944.
Painting of a Christian woman, Khocho (Gaochang), early period of Chinese Tang rule, 602–654 AD
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

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

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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.

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.

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.

Hotan

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Kanishka's Empire (2nd century AD) including Khotan
Bronze coin of Kujula Kadphises found in Khotan.
Khotan Melikawat ruins
Khotan in the Tibetan Empire
Map of Central Asia (1878) showing Khotan (near top right corner) and the Sanju Pass, Hindutash, and Ilchi passes through the Kunlun Mountains to Leh, Ladakh. The previous border of the British Indian Empire is shown in the two-toned purple and pink band.
A mosque in Hotan
Amban Ch´ê Ta-jên's guests festing on a terrace in Nar-Bagh, 1912
Chinese troops at Khotan, 1915
Collecting jade in the White Jade River near Hotan in 2011
Map of Hotan (labeled as HO-TIEN (HO-T'IEN) (KHOTAN)) and surrounding region from the International Map of the World (USATC, 1971)
Locals at a busy Hotan market
Light coloured or "Mutton fat" jade for sale at Hotan Jade Market
Silk weaving in Hotan
Khotanese silks on display in shop.
Entrance to the Khotan Jade Market Center
Market in Hotan
Uyghur people at Sunday market
Carpet weaving in Hotan
Silk weaving in Hotan
Entrance to the Hotan Cultural Museum
Local jade displayed in the Hotan Cultural Museum lobby.
Map of the region including Khotan (Ilchi) (1893)
Map including Hotan (Ho-t'ien, Khotan) (DMA, 1983)
Ambassador from Khotan (于闐國 Yutian) to the Tang dynasty, in Wanghuitu (王會圖) circa 650 CE.

Hotan (also known as Gosthana, Gaustana, Godana, Godaniya, Khotan, Hetian, Hotien) is a major oasis town in southwestern Xinjiang, an autonomous region in Western China.

With a population of 408,900 (2018 census), Hotan is situated in the Tarim Basin some 1500 km southwest of the regional capital, Ürümqi.

The empire during the reign of Wu Zetian, circa 700

Tang dynasty

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Imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907 AD, with an interregnum between 690 and 705.

Imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907 AD, with an interregnum between 690 and 705.

The empire during the reign of Wu Zetian, circa 700
Portrait painting of Emperor Gaozu (born Li Yuan, 566–635), the first Tang Emperor.
Empress Wu (Wu Zetian), the sole officially recognized empress regnant of China in more than two millennia. She first ruled through her husband and sons for almost three decades, then became emperor herself and ruled in her own right for another fifteen years.
Map of An Lushan Rebellion
The Leshan Giant Buddha, 71 m high; begun in 713, completed in 803
Nanchan Temple (Wutai), built during the late 8th century
Xumi Pagoda, built in 636
A late Tang mural commemorating the victory of General Zhang Yichao over the Tibetans in 848 AD, from Mogao cave 156
Emperor Xuanzong of Tang wearing the robes and hat of a scholar
Tang tomb figure of an official dressed in Hanfu, with a tall hat, wide-sleeved belted outer garment, and rectangular "kerchief" in front. A white inner gown hangs over his square shoes. He holds a tablet to his chest, a report to his superiors.
Civil service exam candidates gather around the wall where results had been posted. Artwork by Qiu Ying.
Emperor Xuanzong of Tang giving audience to Zhang Guo, by Ren Renfa (1254–1327)
Emperor Taizong (r. 626–649) receives Gar Tongtsen Yülsung, ambassador of the Tibetan Empire, at his court; later copy of an original painted in 641 by Yan Liben (600–673)
The Chinese Tang dynasty during its greatest extension, controlling large parts of Central Asia.
Chinese officer of the Guard of Honour. Tomb of Princess Chang-le (长乐公主墓), Zhao Mausoleum, Shaanxi province. Tang Zhenguan year 17, i.e. 644 CE
A 10th-century mural painting in the Mogao Caves at Dunhuang showing monastic architecture from Mount Wutai, Tang dynasty; Japanese architecture of this period was influenced by Tang Chinese architecture
Tomb figure of mounted warrior similar to the one unearthed from the tomb of Crown Prince Li Chongrun
Tomb guardian (wushi yong), early 8th century
A bas relief of a soldier and the emperor's horse, Autumn Dew, with elaborate saddle and stirrups, designed by Yan Liben, from the tomb of Emperor Taizong c. 650
Illustration of Byzantine embassy to Tang Taizong 643 CE
Tang dynasty Kai Yuan Tong Bao (開元通寳) coin, first minted in 621 in Chang'an, a model for the Japanese 8th-century Wadōkaichin
Sancai glazed horse tomb figure
Tomb figure of a horse with a carefully sculpted saddle, decorated with leather straps and ornamental fastenings featuring eight-petalled flowers and apricot leaves.
A contract from the Tang dynasty that records the purchase of a 15-year-old slave for six bolts of plain silk and five Chinese coins. Found in the Astana Cemetery in Turfan.
Tomb Figure of a Sogdian merchant, 7th-century
A mural depicting a corner tower, most likely one of Chang'an, from the tomb of Prince Yide (d. 701) at the Qianling Mausoleum, dated 706
Map of Chang'an in Tang Dynasty
The bronze Jingyun Bell cast 711, height 247 cm high, weight 6,500 kg, now in the Xi'an Bell Tower
A Tang dynasty era copy of the preface to the Lantingji Xu poems composed at the Orchid Pavilion Gathering, originally attributed to Wang Xizhi (303–361 AD) of the Jin dynasty
A poem by Li Bai (701–762 AD), the only surviving example of Li Bai's calligraphy, housed in the Palace Museum in Beijing.
Calligraphy of Emperor Taizong on a Tang stele
A Tang dynasty sculpture of a Bodhisattva
An 8th-century silk wall scroll from Dunhuang, showing the paradise of Amitabha
A timber hall built in 857, located at the Buddhist Foguang Temple of Mount Wutai, Shanxi
A Tang sancai-glazed carved relief showing horseback riders playing polo
A late Tang or early Five Dynasties era silk painting on a banner depicting Guanyin and a female attendant in silk robes, from the Dunhuang caves, now in the British Museum
Palace ladies in a garden from a mural of Prince Li Xian's tomb in the Qianling Mausoleum, where Wu Zetian was also buried in 706
Tang era gilt-gold bowl with lotus and animal motifs
A Tang sancai-glazed lobed dish with incised decorations, 8th century
Tomb figure of a lady attendant, 7th- to 8th-century; during the Tang era, female hosts prepared feasts, tea parties, and played drinking games with their guests.
A rounded "offering plate" with design in "three colors" (sancai) glaze, 8th-century
A page of Lu Yu's The Classic of Tea
A square bronze mirror with a phoenix motif of gold and silver inlaid with lacquer, 8th-century
The Diamond Sutra, printed in 868, is the world's first widely printed book to include a specific date of printing.
The Dunhuang map, a star map showing the North Polar region. c. 700. The whole set of star maps contains over 1,300 stars.
"Great Tang" (Dà Táng) in seal characters.
A Tang Dynasty sancai statuette of Sogdian musicians riding on a Bactrian camel, 723 AD, Xi'an.

There was a long string of conflicts with Tibet over territories in the Tarim Basin between 670 and 692, and in 763 the Tibetans even captured the capital of China, Chang'an, for fifteen days during the An Shi Rebellion.

In fact, it was during this rebellion that the Tang withdrew its western garrisons stationed in what is now Gansu and Qinghai, which the Tibetans then occupied along with the territory of what is now Xinjiang.

Ili River

Dzungaria

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Ili River
Heaven Lake of Tian Shan
Kanas Lake
Bayanbulak Grassland
Dzungaria (red) and the Tarim Basin (blue)
Northern Xinjiang - Dzungarian Basin (yellow), Eastern Xinjiang - Turpan Depression (Turpan Prefecture and Hami Prefecture) (red), Southern Xinjiang - Tarim Basin (blue)
A map of the Dzungar Khanate, by a Swedish officer in captivity there in 1716-1733, which include the region known today as Zhetysu
Physical map showing the separation of Dzungaria and the Tarim Basin (Taklamakan) by the Tien Shan Mountains

Dzungaria (also transliterated as Zungaria; Dzungharia or Zungharia; Dzhungaria or Zhungaria; Djungaria or Jungaria; or literally züüngar, Mongolian for "left hand") is a geographical subregion in Northwest China that corresponds to the northern half of Xinjiang—hence it is also known as Beijiang.

Although geographically, historically, and ethnically distinct from the Turkic-speaking Tarim Basin area, the Manchu-led Qing dynasty and subsequent Chinese governments integrated both areas into one province, Xinjiang.

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.

Karasahr

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This 17th-century map shows Cialis (Karashar) as of one of the cities in the chain stretching from Hiarcan to Sucieu
The Tarim Basin in the 3rd century, showing the so-called Tocharian and related states.
Soldiers from Karasahr, 8th century CE
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.
Kaidu River in Yanqi

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.

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.

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).

Settlements, 3rd century AD.

Taklamakan Desert

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Settlements, 3rd century AD.
Taklamakan by NASA World Wind
Desert life near Yarkand
Sand Dunes captured by NASA's Landsat-7
Map including the Taklamakan Desert (1917)
The Molcha (Moleqie) River forms a vast alluvial fan at the southern border of the Taklamakan Desert, as it leaves the Altyn-Tagh mountains and enters the desert in the western part of the Qiemo County. The left side appears blue from water flowing in many streams. The picture is taken in May, when the river is full with the snow/glacier meltwater.

The Taklamakan Desert (, Xiao'erjing: تَاكْلامَاقًا شَاموْ, ; تەكلىماكان قۇملۇقى, Täklimakan qumluqi; also spelled Taklimakan and Teklimakan) is a desert in Southwestern Xinjiang in Northwest China.

The desert is part of the Tarim Basin, which is 1000 km long and 400 km wide.