Bedel Pass

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Bedel Pass
Bedel Pass is located in Kyrgyzstan
Bedel Pass
Location in Kyrgyzstan
Elevation4,284 metres (14,055 ft)
LocationKyrgyzstan and Xinjiang, China
RangeTian Shan Mountains
Coordinates41°24′30″N 78°24′30″E / 41.4083°N 78.4083°E / 41.4083; 78.4083Coordinates: 41°24′30″N 78°24′30″E / 41.4083°N 78.4083°E / 41.4083; 78.4083
Bedel Pass
Traditional Chinese別迭里山口
Simplified Chinese別迭里山口
Literal meaningBedel pass
Alternative Chinese name
Traditional Chinese勃達嶺
Simplified Chinese勃达岭
Literal meaningBedel ridge
Second alternative Chinese name
Traditional Chinese撥達嶺
Simplified Chinese拨达岭
Literal meaningBedel ridge

Bedel Pass (Kyrgyz: Бедел ашуусу; Chinese: 別迭里山口 or 凌山 (historically) [1]) is a mountain pass in the Tien Shan mountain range between Kyrgyzstan and China's Xinjiang . It has an elevation of 4,284 meters (14,055 ft).[1] The pass linked China to Barskon, a settlement on the southern shore of lake Issyk-kul.


Historically, the Bedel Pass served as a Silk Road trade route between China and Central Asia. On the Chinese side, the Bedel Beacon Tower (別迭里烽燧) is located on the foothills along the path. It was built during the Han dynasty as part of the Han Great Wall. The beacon was reused and renovated during the Tang dynasty.[2] During the Sui and Tang dynasties, the pass was the main trade route linking Tarim Basin and Western Turks in Central Asia. Chinese explorer Xuanzang who inspired the Chinese classic Journey to the West used this pass in the 7th Century on his journey to India.[3]

The pass was surveyed in 1881 by both Chinese and Russian counterparts as part of Protocol of Chuguchak of 1864 demarcating the border in the region between the Russian Empire and the Ch'ing Dynasty.[4] During the Urkun incident of 1916, over 100,000 Kyrgyz reportedly died fleeing from Tsarist forces they attempted to reach China through the Bedel Pass.[5]

The pass is currently closed to traffic.[6] Kumtor Gold Mine is located down the road on the Kyrgyz side.[7] Along the path on the Chinese side is also the ruins of a KMT era sentry post which is a local cultural heritage site.[8][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b 中华人民共和国和吉尔吉斯共和国关于中吉国界的协定 [China-Kyrgyzstan Border Agreement] (in Chinese). 1996-07-04 – via Wikisource. 别迭里山口(原苏联地图为4284.0米别迭里山口)
  2. ^ "别迭里烽燧:古丝绸之路上的驿站" [Bedel Beacon: A relay on the ancient Silk Road]. 远方的家. Season 长城内外. Episode 194 (in Chinese). 2016-07-21. China Central Television. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  3. ^ Wang, Zhihong (2006). Dust in the Wind: Retracing Dharma Master Xuanzang's Western Pilgrimage. Rhythms Monthly. p. 80. ISBN 9789868141988. He then traveled southwest via the Bedel Pass, 4,284 meters above sea level. During the Sui and Tang Dynasties, this was the main mountain pass linking Western Turks and the kingdoms located in the Tarim Basin.
  4. ^ "The Lost Frontier – Treaty Maps that Changed Qing's Northwestern Boundaries_Demarcating and Signposting". National Palace Museum. Retrieved 2017-02-01. ...a joint survey of the borders from Bedel daban to Uz-bel.
  5. ^ Pannier, Bruce (2006-08-02). "Kyrgyzstan: Victims Of 1916 'Urkun' Tragedy Commemorated". RFE/RL. Retrieved 2006-08-02.
  6. ^ "Barskoon". Retrieved 2017-02-01. ...passing over the Bedel Pass (4,284 m) into China (the section from Kara-Say to Bedel Pass is now closed).
  7. ^ "Bedel Pass". Retrieved 2017-02-01. It is now the main road leading to the Kumtor Gold mine
  8. ^ Urumqi Tourism Bureau (2014-09-18). "大美新疆之旅游篇—克孜勒苏". (in Chinese). Retrieved 2017-02-03. 别迭里古道旁的依不拉音古堡
  9. ^ 依不拉依木二道卡子. Silk Road GIS ( (photograph) (in Chinese). Fudan University. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 县级重点文物保护单位 依不拉伊木二道卡子 乌什县人民政府二〇一〇年六月三日公布 乌什县人民政府二〇一二年五月三十日立