Photographer's Note

Traveling through the stunning Tashkurgan County. We went to the Pakistan border and traveled along the Karakoram Highway to Kashgar. We spent the night in the sleepy town of Tashkurgan. Would have liked to spent much more time in this area since our transit was too hastily done and we were given far from enough time to enjoy the scenery and its culture. I am planning to return in the spring and spend about a week in this area.

Lack of time also made photography more difficult and I was not quite satisfied with my results. Still think that some pictures were pretty decent and I hope you feel the same.

Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County (sometimes spelled Tashkorgan, Taxkorgan, Taj Qurghan, etc.) is one of the counties of Kashgar Prefecture in western Xinjiang.

Tashkurgan County is located in the eastern part of the Pamir Plateau, where the Kunlun, Kara Kunlun, Hindukush and Tian Shan mountains come together, at the borders with Afghanistan (Wakhan Corridor), Tajikistan (Gorno-Badakhshan Province) and Pakistan (Gilgit-Baltistan). The county seat is the town of Tashkurgan.

The territorial expansion of the county is 178 kilometres (111 mi) from north to south, and 140 kilometres (87 mi) from east to west, the total area is about 52,400 square kilometres (20,200 sq mi), at an average altitude above 4,000 metres (13,000 ft).

The Muztagh Ata, at 7,546 metres (24,757 ft), and the Kongur Tagh, at 7,719 metres (25,325 ft), are the main peaks in the county, while the two main rivers are the Taxkorgan River and the Tiznap (or Tiznef) River (Chinese: 提孜那甫河; pinyin: Tzīnfǔ H). There are several hot springs and resources of gold, iron, and copper.

Tashkurgan has a cold desert climate (Kppen BWk), influenced by the high elevation, with long, very cold winters, and warm summers. Monthly daily average temperatures range from −11.9 C (10.6 F) in January to 16.4 C (61.5 F) in July, while the annual mean is 3.58 C (38.4 F). An average of only 68 millimetres (2.68 in) of precipitation falls per year

The total population of Tashkurgan is 27,800, among them 84% Tajiks, 4% Han and 12% other nationalities. (Figures of 1995)

During the Han dynasty, Tashkurgan was known as Puli (Chinese: 蒲犁; pinyin: Pl); during the Tang dynasty, it was a protectorate of the Parthians, during the Yuan dynasty it was part of the Chaghatai empire. Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County was created in 1954 and is part of the district of Kashgar.

In Tashkurgan Town there is a museum that houses a few local artifacts, a photographic display and, in the basement, two mummies - one of a young woman about 18, and another of a baby about 3 months old which, however, was not hers. They are labelled as dating from the Bronze Age to the Warring States period (475-221 BCE). The mummies were discovered in the nearby Xiabandi Valley on the old caravan route to Yarkand. The valley has now been flooded for a hydro-electric project.

trevormoffiet, jhm, Kofman, maria-v1981 has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Peter Nilsson (PN85) Silver Note Writer [C: 7 W: 0 N: 29] (104)
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