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NASA satellite image showing the towns of Kangxiwar and Pusa in southwestern Xinjiang, People's Republic of China and the Hindu-tagh Pass connecting them. The pass is marked in bright red.
Details of a map of Central Asia (1878) showing the Hindu-tagh Pass and Khotan in Chinese Turkestan as well as the northern border regions of the British Indian Empire (which included the Kashmir region).[1] The international border is shown in the two-toned purple and pink band. The mountain passes are shown in bright red. Warning the lat/long information is not everywhere correct.
Hindutash Pass
Elevation5,450 m (17,881 ft)
Location China
RangeKunlun Mountains
Coordinates36°16′23″N 78°46′50″E / 36.27306°N 78.78056°E / 36.27306; 78.78056Coordinates: 36°16′23″N 78°46′50″E / 36.27306°N 78.78056°E / 36.27306; 78.78056

Hindutash, also known as Hindu-tagh Pass, is a historical mountain pass in the western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (formerly, Chinese Turkestan) of the People's Republic of China. The pass cuts through the Kunlun Mountains connecting the now-deserted town of Kangxiwar, formerly Kengshewar, (36° 11' 58 N, 78° 46' 50 E) in the Karakash River valley to the town of Pusha, (36.3833° N, 79° E), formerly Bushia, in the Yurungkash River valley, and also connects to the road to the city of Hotan, formerly Khotan.[1] (See maps on right.)

A recent detailed Chinese map labels the pass 印地他什达坂 (Yìndì-Tāshí Dábǎn), and shows only a "track", but no road, going over it. The same map showed no other roads or tracks crossing the Kunlun within Hotan County.[2]


In 1857, the explorer Robert Schlagintweit crossed this pass from camping grounds in Sumgal ("three fords"), on the banks of the Karakash river, approximately 7 miles (11 km) upstream from Kengshewar and estimated its height to be 17,879 ft (5,450 m). At the top of the pass (36° 16' 23 N, 78° 46' 50 E), there is a steep glacier with many crevasses. The eastern Kunlun range, which is in the southern region of the Hotan prefecture of Xinjiang, is cut by two other passes: the Sanju Pass, near the small staging post of Xaidulla, formerly Shahidulla, northwest of Hindu-tagh, and the Ilchi Pass, southeast of Hindu-tagh, just north-east of the village of Dahongliutan, itself just north of the now disputed Aksai Chin area (see second map on right). The former pass had been much used historically, and provided the traditional means of entry from the south into the ancient Kingdom of Khotan. The latter was traversed in 1865 by W. H. Johnson of the Survey of India. "Hindu-tagh" means "Indian Mountain," and "Hindu-tash," "Indian stone" in the Uyghur dialect of Xinjiang.



See also


  1. ^ a b (Trotter 1878, p. U8)
  2. ^ Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Road Atlas (中国分省公路丛书:新疆维吾尔自治区), published by 星球地图出版社 Xingqiu Ditu Chubanshe, 2008, ISBN 978-7-80212-469-1. Map of Hotan Prefecture, pp. 18-19.