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Hotan - The Ancient Silk Road Station

 2014-01-13    Ada    Tours    Hotan    1833  

Located at the northern foot of the Karakorgan Range and on the southern fringe of the Taxkorgan Desert, Hotan is an oasis lying in the Tarim Basin, just north of the Kunlun Mountains, which are crossed by the Sanju Pass, and the Hindu-tagh, and Ilchi passes. Enjoy the vast array of delights in this largest city on the southern rim of the Taklamakan Desert, in the northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China.

This place was a town of military importance along the ancient Silk Road in the past thousands of history. Hotan was where the states of Pishan, Yutian, Yumi, Qule, Jingjue and Shulu were established. Since 60BC during the West Han Dynasty, it has been recognized as Chinese territory. In 1883, this place was established as a prefecture to be supervised directly by the court, while in 1920, it became a prefecture. It was also the crux of the four most important civilizations in the ancient world. As a bustling center on the southern stretch of the ancient Silk Road, Hotan was one of the three thriving commercial centers in the history of Xinjiang.

The ruins of many historical cultural sites still stand in desert in today's 'silk capital' Hotan, as a reminder of their brilliant past. In the main these are: Ancient City of Niya, Ancient City of Mallikurwatur, Ancient City of Yoktan. The Hotan Museum has a fine collection of cultural relics. In addition, tourists can also go to visit Muz Mountain of Cele (Qira) County, Hotan Oasis and Kunlun Mountains.

You’ll never get bored in Hotan. See silk made by hand in the ancient tradition from cocoon to the colorful King of Silk in Silk Workshop, and observe the ancient handicrafts practiced here for two millennia. Marvel at the dramatic modern architecture in the center around the enormous Unity Square. Watch nightly authentic Uyghur traditional music and dancing. Eat rice-based polo or noodle-based langmen from bottomless cauldrons in busy Uyghur restaurants and nibble your way along the stalls of an ancient night market, with sizzling lamb kebabs, mountains of fresh melons, stacks of nut bars and an endless variety of other treats. Imam Asim Ancient Tomb, a place most of visitors may be interested, is located in Jiya Township of Lop County.

It is about 23km from Hotan city. The tomb is just 1km inside of the desert where the farmland and desert merged. Best time to visit the Imam Asim tomb is during April and May on Thursday. Local people will come from different part of Hotan as well as other part of Xinjiang. In this occasion you can enjoy the local wrestling and Legend telling with music. This is not really a tourist destination, but a site of religious worship. Women should bring head scarves.
Besides, taking a camel ride out into the Taklamakan Desert and camping over night is also a nice choice at night. You can enjoy a camp fire dinner and breakfast in the desert. In addition, for the more adventurous, Hotan can be your gateway to two lesser-known routes into Tibet.

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