喀什市 · قەشقەر شەھرى
A minaret in Kashgar close to Id Kah mosque
Location (red) within Kashgar Prefecture
|Country||People's Republic of China|
|• County-level city||555 km2 (214 sq mi)|
|• Metro||2,818 km2 (1,088 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,270 m (4,170 ft)|
|Population (2010 census)|
|• County-level city||3,979,221|
|• Metro density||290/km2 (750/sq mi)|
|Alternative Chinese name|
Kashgar or Kashi is an oasis county-level city with approximately 350,000 residents and is the westernmost Chinese city, located near the border with Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is the administrative centre of Kashgar Prefecture of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region which has an area of 162,000 square kilometres (63,000 sq mi) and a population of approximately 3.5 million. The city's urban area covers 15 km2 (5.8 sq mi), though its administrative area extends for 555 km2 (214 sq mi). The district consists of 10 counties.
- 1 Name
- 2 History
- 2.1 Han Dynasty
- 2.2 The Kushans
- 2.3 Three Kingdoms to the Sui
- 2.4 The Tang Dynasty
- 2.5 The Arab Caliphate
- 2.6 The Karakhanids and Kara-Khitans
- 2.7 The Mongols
- 2.8 Qing Dynasty Conquest
- 2.9 The 1862 revolt by Chinese Hui
- 2.10 First East Turkestan Republic
- 2.11 People's Republic of China
- 3 Climate
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Economics and society
- 6 Sights
- 7 Transportation
- 8 International relations
- 9 See also
- 10 Footnotes
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The modern Chinese name is 喀什 (Kāshí), a shortened form of the longer and less-frequently used (simplified Chinese: 喀什噶尔; traditional Chinese: 喀什噶爾; pinyin: Kāshígé’ěr; Uyghur: قەشقەر). Ptolemy (AD 90-168), in his Geography, Chapter 15.3A, refers to Kashgar as “Kasia”. Its western and probably indigenous name is the Turkic Kāš ("rock"), to which the East Iranian -γar ("mountain"; cf. Pashto and Middle Persian gar/ġar) or the Old Turkic -yār/-qurɨ ("cleft, slope; hillside, mountainside") was attached, while in the East it appears in Chinese as Shule (疏勒) and in Tibetan as Śu-lig. The Old Turkic -yār/-qurɨ itself derives from Proto-Turkic *Kuŕ ("Northern slope"), ultimately from Proto-Altaic *k`i̯ŭ́jŕo ("cold wind, fog, North"; cf. Old Japanese kiri). Another possibility also includes a derivation either from Middle Turkic qɨr ("mountain top, mountain ridge; steppe, desert, level ground") or from South Siberian Turkic and Eastern Turki qor-am/qor-um ("rock, cliff, heap of stones"), from Proto-Turkic *Kor-um, ultimately from Proto-Altaic *k`ori ("hill; embankment, boundary"; cf. Middle Japanese kùró, Middle Korean kòráŋ and Tungusic xurē). Alternate historical Romanizations for "Kashgar" include Cascar and Cashgar.
Variant names include the approved name Shule, the Uyghur: يېڭىشەھەر, the official transcriptions of the Uyghur K̂äxk̂är or Kaxgar, as well as Jangi-schahr, Kashgar Yangi Shahr, K’o-shih-ka-erh, K’o-shih-ka-erh-hsin-ch’eng, Ko-shih-ka-erh-hui-ch’eng, K’o-shih-ko-erh-hsin-ch’eng, New Kashgar, Sheleh, Shuleh, Shulen, Shu-lo, Su-lo, Su-lo-chen, Su-lo-hsien, Yangi-shaar, Yangi-shahr, Yangishar, Yéngisheher, Yengixəh̨ər and Еңишәһәр.
Another early mention of Kashgar is during the Former Han (also known as the Western Han Dynasty), when in 76 BC the Chinese conquered the Xiongnu, Yutian (Khotan), Sulei (Kashgar), and a group of states in the Tarim basin almost up to the foot of the Tian Shan mountains.
Ptolemy speaks of Scythia beyond the Imaus, which is in a “Kasia Regio”, probably exhibiting the name from which Kashgar and Kashgaria (often applied to the district) are formed. The country’s people practised Zoroastrianism and Buddhism before the coming of Islam.
In the Hanshu (Book of the Former Han), which covers the period between 125 BC and 23 AD, it is recorded that there were 1,510 households, 18,647 people and 2,000 persons able to bear arms. By the time covered by the Hou Hanshu (roughly 25 to 170), it had grown to 21,000 households and had 3,000 men able to bear arms.
- "In the period of Emperor Wu [140-87 BC], the Western Regions1 were under the control of the Interior [China]. They numbered thirty-six kingdoms. The Imperial Government established a Colonel [in charge of] Envoys there to direct and protect these countries. Emperor Xuan [73-49 BC] changed this title [in 59 BC] to Protector-General.
- Emperor Yuan [40-33 BC] installed two Wuji Colonels to take charge of the agricultural garrisons on the frontiers of the king of Nearer Jushi [Turpan].
- During the time of Emperor Ai [6 BC-AD 1] and Emperor Ping [AD 1-5], the principalities of the Western Regions split up and formed fifty-five kingdoms. Wang Mang, after he usurped the Throne [in AD 9], demoted and changed their kings and marquises. Following this, the Western Regions became resentful, and rebelled. They, therefore, broke off all relations with the Interior [China] and, all together, submitted to the Xiongnu again.
- The Xiongnu collected oppressively heavy taxes and the kingdoms were not able to support their demands. In the middle of the Jianwu period [AD 25-56], they each [Shanshan and Yarkand in 38, and 18 kingdoms in 45], sent envoys to ask if they could submit to the Interior [China], and to express their desire for a Protector-General. Emperor Guangwu, decided that because the Empire was not yet settled [after a long period of civil war], he had no time for outside affairs, and [therefore] finally refused his consent [in AD 45].
- In the meantime, the Xiongnu became weaker. The king of Suoju [Yarkand], named Xian, wiped out several kingdoms. After Xian’s death [c. AD 62], they began to attack and fight each other. Xiao Yuan [Tura], Jingjue [Cadota], Ronglu [Niya], and Qiemo [Cherchen] were annexed by Shanshan [the Lop Nur region]. Qule [south of Keriya] and Pishan [modern Pishan or Guma] were conquered and fully occupied by Yutian [Khotan]. Yuli [Fukang], Danhuan, Guhu [Dawan Cheng], and Wutanzili were destroyed by Jushi [Turpan and Jimasa]. Later these kingdoms were re-established.
- During the Yongping period [AD 58-75], the Northern Xiongnu forced several countries to help them plunder the commanderies and districts of Hexi. The gates of the towns stayed shut in broad daylight."
And, more particularly in reference to Kashgar itself, is the following record:
"In the sixteenth Yongping year of Emperor Ming 73, Jian, the king of Qiuci (Kucha), attacked and killed Cheng, the king of Shule (Kashgar). Then he appointed the Qiuci (Kucha) Marquis of the Left, Douti, King of Shule (Kashgar).
In winter 73, the Han sent the Major Ban Chao who captured and bound Douti. He appointed Zhong, the son of the elder brother of Cheng, to be king of Shule (Kashgar). Zhong later rebelled. (Ban) Chao attacked and beheaded him."
"During the Yuanchu period (114-120) in the reign of Emperor, the king of Shule (Kashgar), exiled his maternal uncle Chenpan to the Yuezhi (Kushans) for some offence. The king of the Yuezhi became very fond of him. Later, Anguo died without leaving a son. His mother directed the government of the kingdom. She agreed with the people of the country to put Yifu (lit. “posthumous child”), who was the son of a full younger brother of Chenpan on the throne as king of Shule (Kashgar). Chenpan heard of this and appealed to the Yuezhi (Kushan) king, saying:
- "Anguo had no son. His relative (Yifu) is weak. If one wants to put on the throne a member of (Anguo’s) mother’s family, I am Yifu’s paternal uncle, it is I who should be king."
The Yuezhi (Kushans) then sent soldiers to escort him back to Shule (Kashgar). The people had previously respected and been fond of Chenpan. Besides, they dreaded the Yuezhi (Kushans). They immediately took the seal and ribbon from Yifu and went to Chenpan, and made him king. Yifu was given the title of Marquis of the town of Pangao [90 li, or 37 km, from Shule].Then Suoju (Yarkand) continued to resist Yutian (Khotan), and put themselves under Shule (Kashgar). Thus Shule (Kashgar), became powerful and a rival to Qiuci (Kucha) and Yutian (Khotan)."
However, it was not very long before the Chinese began to reassert their authority in the region:
“In the second Yongjian year (127), during Emperor Shun’s reign, Chenpan sent an envoy to respectfully present offerings. The Emperor bestowed on Chenpan the title of Great Commandant-in-Chief for the Han. Chenxun, who was the son of his elder brother, was appointed Temporary Major of the Kingdom.
In the fifth year (130), Chenpan sent his son to serve the Emperor and, along with envoys from Dayuan (Ferghana) and Suoju (Yarkand), brought tribute and offerings.”
From an earlier part of the same text comes the following addition:
- “In the first Yangjia year (132), Xu You sent the king of Shule (Kashgar), Chenpan, who with 20,000 men, attacked and defeated Yutian (Khotan). He beheaded several hundred people, and released his soldiers to plunder freely. He replaced the king [of Jumi] by installing Chengguo from the family of [the previous king] Xing, and then he returned.”
Then the first passage continues:
“In the second Yangjia year (133), Chenpan again made offerings (including) a lion and zebu cattle.
In the third year (170), Meng Tuo, the Inspector of Liangzhou, sent the Provincial Officer Ren She, commanding five hundred soldiers from Dunhuang, with the Wuji Major Cao Kuan, and Chief Clerk of the Western Regions, Zhang Yan, brought troops from Yanqi (Karashahr), Qiuci (Kucha), and the Nearer and Further States of Jushi (Turpan and Jimasa), altogether numbering more than 30,000, to punish Shule (Kashgar). They attacked the town of Zhenzhong [Arach − near Maralbashi] but, having stayed for more than forty days without being able to subdue it, they withdrew. Following this, the kings of Shule (Kashgar) killed one another repeatedly while the Imperial Government was unable to prevent it.”
Then, during Emperor Ling’s reign, in the first Jianning year , the king of Shule (Kashgar) and Commandant-in-Chief for the Han (i.e. presumably Chenpan), was shot while hunting by the youngest of his paternal uncles, Hede. Hede named himself king.
Three Kingdoms to the Sui
These centuries are marked by the general silence on Kashgar and the Tarim Basin in general.
The Weilüe, composed in the second third of the 3rd century, mentions a number of states as dependencies of Kashgar: the kingdom of Zhenzhong (Arach?), the kingdom of Suoju (Yarkand), the kingdom of Jieshi, the kingdom of Qusha, the kingdom of Xiye (Khargalik), the kingdom of Yinai (Tashkurghan), the kingdom of Manli (modern Karasul), the kingdom of Yire (Mazar − also known as Tágh Nák and Tokanak), the kingdom of Yuling, the kingdom of Juandu (‘Tax Control’ − near modern Irkeshtam), the kingdom of Xiuxiu (‘Excellent Rest Stop’ − near Karakavak), and the kingdom of Qin.
However, much of the information on the Western Regions contained in the Weilüe seems to have ended roughly about (170), near the end of Han power. So, we can’t be sure that this is a reference to the state of affairs during the Cao Wei (220-265), or whether it refers to the situation before the civil war during the Later Han when China lost touch with most foreign countries and came to be divided into three separate kingdoms.
The Sanguozhi, ch. 30 says that after the beginning of the Wei Dynasty (220) the states of the Western Regions did not arrive as before, except for the larger ones such as Kucha, Khotan, Kangju, Wusun, Kashgar, Yuezhi, Shanshan and Turpan, who are said to have come to present tribute every year, as in Han times.
In 270, four states from the Western Regions were said to have presented tribute: Karashahr, Turpan, Shanshan, and Kucha. Some wooden documents from Niya seem to indicate that contacts were also maintained with Kashgar and Khotan also had contact about this time.
In 422, according to the Songshu, ch. 98, the king of Shanshan, Bilong, came to the court and "the thirty-six states in the Western Regions" all swore their allegiance and presented tribute. It must be assumed that these 36 states included Kashgar.
The "Songji" of the Zizhi Tongjian records that in the 5th month of 435, nine states: Kucha, Kashgar, Wusun, Yueban, Tashkurghan, Shanshan, Karashahr, Turpan and Sute all came to the Wei court.
In 439, according to the Weishu, ch. 4A, Shanshan, Kashgar and Karashahr sent envoys to present tribute.
According to the Weishu, ch. 102, Chapter on the Western Regions, the kingdoms of Kucha, Kashgar, Wusun, Yueban, Tashkurghan, Shanshan, Karashahr, Turpan and Sute all began sending envoys to present tribute in the Taiyuan reign period (435-440).
In 453 Kashgar sent envoys to present tribute (Weishu, ch. 5), and again in 455.
An embassy sent during the reign of Wencheng Di (452-466) from the king of Kashgar presented a supposed sacred relic of the Buddha; a dress which was incombustible.
In 507 Kashgar, is said to have sent envoys in both the 9th and 10th months (Weishu, ch. 8).
In 512, Kashgar sent envoys in the 1st and 5th months. (Weishu, ch. 8).
Early in the 6th century Kashgar is included among the many territories controlled by the Yeda or Hephthalite Huns, but their empire collapsed at the onslaught of the Western Turks between 563 and 567 who then probably gained control over Kashgar and most of the states in the Tarim Basin.
The Tang Dynasty
The opening of the Tang Dynasty, in 618, saw the beginning of a prolonged struggle between China and the Western Turks for control of the Tarim Basin.
In 635 the Tang Annals report an embassy from the king of Kashgar. In 639 there was a second embassy bringing products of Kashgar as a token of submission.
Xuan Zang passed through Kashgar (which he refers to as Ka-sha) in 644 on his return journey from India to China. The Buddhist religion, then beginning to decay in India, was active in Kashgar. Xuan Zang records that they flattened their babies heads, were ill-favoured[clarification needed], tattooed their bodies and had green eyes. He said they had abundant crops, fruits and flowers, wove fine woollen stuffs and rugs, their writing had been copied from India but their language was different from that of other countries. The inhabitants were sincere believers in Buddhism and there were some hundreds of monasteries with more than 10,000 followers, all members of the Sarvastivadin School.
In 646, when the Turkic Kagan asked for the hand of a Chinese princess, the Emperor claimed Kucha, Khotan, Kashgar, Karashahr and Sarikol as a marriage gift, but this was not to happen.
In a series of campaigns between 652 and 658, with the help of the Uyghurs, the Chinese finally defeated the Western Turk tribes and took control of all their domains, including the Tarim Basin kingdoms. Karakhoja was annexed in 640, Karasahr during campaigns in 644 and 648, and Kucha fell in 648.
In 662 a rebellion broke out in the Western Regions and a Chinese army sent to control it was badly defeated by the Tibetans south of Kashgar.
After another defeat of the Chinese forces in 670, the Tibetans gained control of the whole region and completely subjugated Kashgar in 676-8 and retained possession of it until 692, when China regained control of all their former territories, and retained it for the next fifty years.
In 722 Kashgar sent 4,000 troops to assist the Chinese to force the "Tibetans out of "Little Bolu" or Gilgit.
In 728, the king of Kashgar was awarded a brevet by the Chinese emperor.
In 751 the Chinese were defeated by an Arab army in the Battle of Talas, which led to the decline of Tang influence in Central Asia. The Tibetans cut all communication between China and the West in 766.
Soon after the Chinese pilgrim monk Wukong passed through Kashgar in 753. He again reached Kashgar on his return trip from India in 786 and mentions a Chinese deputy governor as well as the local king.
The Arab Caliphate
In the 8th century came the Arab rule from the west, and Kashgar and Turkestan lent assistance to the reigning queen of Bokhara, to enable her to repel the enemy.[who?] In 711, the Arabs attacked Kashgar, but did not hold the city for any length of time. Although the Muslim religion from the very commencement sustained checks, it nevertheless made its weight felt upon the independent states of Turkestan to the north and east, and thus acquired a steadily growing influence. It was not, however, till the 10th century that Islam was established at Kashgar, under the Kara-Khanid Khanate.
The Karakhanids and Kara-Khitans
According to the 10th-century text, Hudud al-'alam, "the chiefs of Kashghar in the days of old were from the Qarluq, or from the Yaghma." The Karluks, Yaghmas and other tribes such as the Chigils formed the Karakhanids. The Karakhanid Sultan Satuq Bughra Khan converted to Islam in the 10th century and captured Kashgar. Kashgar was the capital of the Karakhanid state for a time but later the capital was moved to Balasaghun. During the latter part of the 10th century, the Muslim Karakhanids began a struggle against the Buddhist Kingdom of Khotan, and the Khotanese defeated the Karakhanids and captured Kashgar in 970. Chinese sources recorded the king of Khotan offering to send them a dancing elephant captured from Kashgar. Later in 1006, the Karakhanids of Kashgar under Yusuf Kadr Khan conquered Khotan.
The Karakhanid Khanate however was beset with internal strife, and the khanate split into two, the Eastern and Western Karakhanid Khanates, with Kashgar falling within the domain of the Eastern Karakhanid state. In 1089, the Western Karakhanids fell under the control of the Seljuks, but the Eastern Karakhanids was for the most part independent.
Both the Karakhanid states were defeated in the 12th century by the Kara-Khitans who captured Balasaghun, however Karakhanid rule continued in Kashgar under the suzerainty of the Kara-Khitans. The Kara-Khitan rulers followed a policy of religious tolerance, Islamic religious life continued uninterrupted and Kashgar was also a Nestorian metropolitan see. The last Karakhanid of Kashgar was killed in a revolt in 1211 by the city's notables. Kuchlug, a usurper of the throne of the Kara-Khitans, then attacked Kashgar which finally surrendered in 1214.
The Kara-Khitai were in their turn were swept away in 1219 by Genghis Khan. After his death, and Kashgar came under the rule of the Chagatai Khans. Marco Polo visited the city, which he calls Cascar, about 1273-4 and recorded the presence of numerous Nestorian Christians, who had their own churches. Later In the 14th century, a Chagataid khan Tughluq Timur converted to Islam, and Islamic tradition began to reassert its ascendancy.
In 1389−1390 Tamerlane ravaged Kashgar, Andijan and the intervening country. Kashgar endured a troubled time, and in 1514, on the invasion of the Khan Sultan Said, was destroyed by Mirza Ababakar, who with the aid of ten thousand men built a new fort with massive defences higher up on the banks of the Tuman river. The dynasty of the Chagatai Khans collapsed in 1572 with the division of the country among rival factions; soon after, two powerful Khoja factions, the White and Black Mountaineers (Ak Taghliq or Afaqi, and Kara Taghliq or Ishaqi), arose whose differences and war-making gestures, with the intermittent episode of the Oirats of Dzungaria, make up much of recorded history in Kashgar until 1759.
Qing Dynasty Conquest
The Qing had thoughts of pushing their conquests towards Transoxiana and Samarkand, the chiefs of which sent to ask assistance of the Afghan king Ahmed Shah Abdali. This monarch dispatched an ambassador to Beijing to demand the restitution of the Muslim states of Central Asia, but the representative was not well received, and Ahmed Shah was too busy fighting off the Sikhs to attempt to enforce his demands by arms.
The Qing continued to hold Kashgar with occasional interruptions from Muslim-centered groups. One of the most serious of these occurred in 1827, when the city was taken by Jahanghir Khoja; Chang-lung, however, the Qing general of Ili, regained possession of Kashgar and the other rebellious cities in 1828. When Jahangir Khoja, with the support of Tajiks, Kirghiz, and White Mountain fighters seized Kashgar in 1826 he captured several hundred Chinese Muslim (also known as Tungan, Dungan, or Hui) merchants, who were taken to Kokand. Tajiks bought two Chinese slaves from Shaanxi, they enslaved for a year before being returned by the Tajik Beg Ku-bu-te to China. All Chinese captured, who were mostly Chinese Muslims, both merchants and the 300 soldiers Janhangir captured in Kashgar had their queues cut off when brought to Kokand and Central Asia as prisoners. It was reported that many of the Chinese Muslim captives became slaves, accounts of Chinese Muslim slaves in Central Asia increased.
The queues were removed from Chinese Muslim prisoners and they were then sold or given to various owners, one of them, Nian, ended up as a slave to Prince Batur Khan of Bukhara, Omar Khan ended up possessing Liu Qifeng and Wu Erqi, the others, Zhu, Tian Li, and Ma Tianxi ended up in various owners but plotted an escape. The Russians record an incident where they rescued these Chinese merchants who escaped, after they were sold by Jahangir's Army in Central Asia, and sent them back to China.
The Kokand Khanate raided Kashgar several times. A revolt in 1829 under Mahommed Ali Khan and Yusuf, brother of Jahanghir resulted in the concession of several important trade privileges to the Muslims of the district of Alty Shahr (the “six cities”), as it was then called.
The area then enjoyed relative calm until 1846 under the rule of Zahir-ud-din, the local Uyghur governor, but in that year a new Khoja revolt under Kath Tora led to his accession to rulership of the city as an authoritarian ruler. His reign, however, was brief, for at the end of seventy-five days, on the approach of the Chinese, he fled back to Khokand amid the jeers of the inhabitants. The last of the Khoja revolts (1857) was of about equal duration, and took place under Wali-Khan, who murdered the famous traveler Adolf Schlagintweit.
The 1862 revolt by Chinese Hui
The Tungani troops in Yarkand rose, and in August 1864 massacred some seven thousand Chinese and their Manchu commander, while the inhabitants of Kashgar, rising in their turn against their masters, invoked the aid of Sadik Beg, a Kyrgyz chief, who was reinforced by Buzurg Khan, the heir of Jahanghir, and his general Yakub Beg, these being dispatched at Sadik’s request by the ruler of Khokand to raise what troops they could to aid his Muslim friends in Kashgar.
Sadik Beg soon repented of having asked for a Khoja, and eventually marched against Kashgar, which by this time had succumbed to Buzurg Khan and Yakub Beg, but was defeated and driven back to Khokand. Buzurg Khan delivered himself up to indolence and debauchery, but Yakub Beg, with singular energy and perseverance, made himself master of Yangi Shahr, Yangi-Hissar, Yarkand and other towns, and eventually became sole master of the country, Buzurg Khan proving himself totally unfit for the post of ruler.
With the overthrow of Chinese rule in 1865 by Yakub Beg (1820–1877), the manufacturing industries of Kashgar are supposed to have declined.
First East Turkestan Republic
Kashgar was the scene of continual battles from 1933 to 1934. Ma Shaowu, a Chinese Muslim, was the Tao-yin of Kashgar, and he fought against Uyghur rebels. He was joined by another Chinese Muslim general, Ma Zhancang.
Battle of Kashgar (1933)
Tawfiq Bey, a Syrian Arab traveler, who held the title Sayyid (descendent of prophet Muhammed) and arrived at Kashgar on August 26, 1933, was shot in the stomach by the Chinese Muslim troops in September. Previously Ma Zhancang arranged to have the Uighur leader Timur Beg killed and beheaded on August 9, 1933, displaying his head outside of Id Kah Mosque.
Han chinese troops commanded by Brigadier Yang were absorbed into Ma Zhancang's army. A number of Han chinese officers were spotted wearing the green uniforms of Ma Zhancang's unit of the 36th division, presumably they had converted to Islam.
Battle of Kashgar (1934)
The 36th division General Ma Fuyuan led a Chinese Muslim army to storm Kashgar on February 6, 1934, attacking the Uighur and Kirghiz rebels of the First East Turkestan Republic. He freed another 36th division general, Ma Zhancang, who was trapped with his Chinese Muslim and Han Chinese troops in Kashgar New City by the Uighurs and Kirghiz since May 22, 1933. In January, 1934, Ma Zhancang's Chinese Muslim troops repulsed six Uighur attacks, launched by Khoja Niyaz, who arrived at the city on January 13, 1934, inflicting massive casualties on the Uighur forces. From 2,000 to 8,000 Uighur civilians in Kashgar Old City were massacred by Tungans in February, 1934, in revenge for the Kizil massacre, after retreating of Uighur forces from the city to Yengi Hisar. The Chinese Muslim and 36th division Chief General Ma Zhongying, who arrived at Kashgar on April 7, 1934, gave a speech at Idgah mosque in April, reminding the Uighurs to be loyal to the Republic of China government at Nanjing. Several British citizens at the British consulate were killed or wounded by the 36th division on March 16, 1934.
People's Republic of China
In 2008, two Uyghur men carried out a vehicular, IED and knife attack against police officers. In 2009, development of Kashgar's old town accelerated after the revelations of the deadly role of faulty architecture during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Many of the old houses in the old town were built without regulation, and as a result, officials found them to be overcrowded and non-compliant with fire and earthquake codes. When the plan started, 42% of the city's residents lived in the old town. With compensation, residents of faulty buildings are being counseled to move to newer, safer buildings that will replace the historic structures in the $448 million plan, including high-rise apartments, plazas, and reproductions of ancient Islamic architecture. The European Parliament issued a resolution in 2011 calling for "culture-sensitive methods of renovation." The International Scientific Committee on Earthen Architectural Heritage (ISCEAH) has expressed concern over the demolition and reconstruction of historic buildings. ISCEAH has, additionally, urged the implementation of techniques utilized elsewhere in the world to address earthquake vulnerability. In 2011, a spate of violence over two days killed dozens of people. By May 2012 two-thirds of the old city had been demolished, fulfilling "political as well as economic goals."
Kashgar features a desert climate (Köppen BWk) with hot summers and cold winters, with large temperature differences between those two seasons: The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from −5.3 °C (22.5 °F) in January to 25.6 °C (78.1 °F) in July, while the annual mean is 11.84 °C (53.3 °F). Spring is long and arrives quickly, while fall is somewhat brief in comparison. Kashgar is one of the driest cities on the planet, averaging only 64 millimetres (2.52 in) of precipitation per year. The city’s wettest month, July, only sees on average 9.1 millimetres (0.36 in) of rain. Because of the extremely arid conditions, snowfall is rare, despite the cold winters. Records have been as low as −24.4 °C (−12 °F) in January and up to 40.1 °C (104.2 °F) in July. The frost-free period averages 215 days. With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 50% in March to 70% in September, sunshine is abundant and the city receives 2,726 hours of bright sunshine annually.
|Climate data for Kashgar (1971−2000)|
|Average high °C (°F)||0.3
|Average low °C (°F)||−10.2
|Precipitation mm (inches)||2.1
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||2.2||2.1||2.3||1.6||2.9||3.5||3.7||3.7||2.5||1.1||.6||1.7||27.9|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||154.9||160.1||184.5||213.7||255.6||304.3||312.2||287.5||259.4||239.9||196.2||158.0||2,726.3|
|Percent possible sunshine||52||53||50||54||58||68||69||68||70||69||65||54||61.5|
|Source: China Meteorological Administration|
Economics and society
The city has a very important Sunday market. Thousands of farmers from the surrounding fertile lands come into the city to sell a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. Kashgar’s livestock market is also very lively. Silk and carpets made in Hotan are sold at bazaars, as well as local crafts, such as copper teapots and wooden jewellery boxes.
The movie The Kite Runner was filmed in Kashgar. Kashgar and the surrounding countryside stood in for Kabul and Afghanistan, since filming in Afghanistan was not possible due to safety and security reasons.
Kashgar's Old City has been called "the best-preserved example of a traditional Islamic city to be found anywhere in Central Asia", although it is currently being largely razed by the authorities to make way for 'modern development'. At present, it is estimated to attract more than one million tourist visitors annually.
- The huge Id Kah Mosque, the largest mosque in China, is located in the heart of the city.
- An 18 m (59 ft) high statue of Mao Zedong in Kashgar is one of the few large-scale statues of Mao remaining in China.
- The tomb of Afaq Khoja in Kashgar is considered the holiest Muslim site in Xinjiang. Built in the 17th century, the tiled mausoleum 5 km (3.1 mi) northeast of the city centre also contains the tombs of five generations of his family. Abakh was a powerful ruler, controlling Khotan, Yarkand, Korla, Kucha and Aksu as well as Kashgar. Among some Uyghur Muslims, he was considered a great Saint (Aulia).
- Sunday Market in Kashgar is renowned as the biggest market in central Asia; a pivotal trading point along the Silk Road where goods have been traded for more than 2,000 years. The market is active every day but Sunday is the biggest in scale.
Kashgar Airport caters to mainly domestic flights, majority of them from Urumqi, it is also linked with Pakistan's capital Islamabad through chartered cargo and passenger services, in the past regular passenger services were operated on the route for a few years, which were the only scheduled international flights from there.
Kashgar has the westernmost railway station in China. It is connected to the rest of China's rail network via the Southern Xinjiang Railway, which was built in December 1999. In December 2010, the 488-km Kashgar-Hotan Railway opened to freight traffic. It connects Kashgar with cities in the southern Tarim Basin including Shache (Yarkand), Yecheng (Kargilik) and Hotan. Passenger train service on this line is expected to begin by June 2011.
The investigation work of a further extension of the railway line to Pakistan has already begun. In November 2009, Pakistan and China agreed to set up a joint venture to do a feasibility study of the proposed rail link via the Khunjerab Pass.
The Karakorum highway (KKH) links Islamabad, Pakistan with Kashgar over the Khunjerab Pass. Bus routes exist for passenger travel south into Pakistan. Kyrgyzstan is also accessible from Kashgar, via the Torugart Pass and Irkeshtam Pass; as of summer 2007, daily bus service connects Kashgar with Bishkek’s Western Bus Terminal. Kashgar is also located on China National Highways G314 (which runs to Khunjerab Pass on the Sino−Pakistani border, and, in the opposite direction, towards Ürümqi), and G315, which runs to Xining, Qinghai from Kashgar.
Twin towns – Sister cities
Kashgar is twinned with:
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kashgar.|
- Kashgar travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Interactive Maps and Slide Shows comparing Old and New Kashgar
- Explore Kashgar's Old Town on Global Heritage Network (GHN)
- Kashgar City government website
- Photos of Kashgar Kashgar Pamir Youth Hostel
- Photos of Kashi dheera.net
- Kashgar berclo.net
- T. Digby, Nests of the Great Game spies Shanghai Star, 9 May 2002.
- Images and travel impressions along the Silk Road – Kashgar