Known by Ptolemy Tashkurgan

 

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Tashkurgan, the stone fortress

In the Uyghur language, tash kurgan means 'stone fortress'. Tashkurgan has little else to offer, although if one is coming from Pakistan, he will delight in (i) public conversation with women and (ii) beer (which may knock him back considerably at this elevation).

Facts F History

Diary F People

Tashkurgan

The ruins of a huge mudbrick fort still stand on the edge of town, and although this one is estimated to be about 600 years old, local lore says Tashkurgan has been a citadel for over 2300 years. The Greek philosopher-scientist Ptolemy (90 to 168 AD) mentioned Tashkurgan in his Guide to Geography as a stop on the road to China. The Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Hsuan Tsang wrote about its fortress in the 7th century, when it was the furthest frontier outpost of the Tang dynasty.

Afghan frontier

In 1893, the British priority of a strip of Afghan territory between the Hindu Kush frontier and the Russian was accepted in principle; in return the Russians got most of the Pamirs; the Amir, who stood to lose by this arrangement, was mollified by British concessions elsewhere on their joint frontier. Thus was created that anomalous strip of Afghan territory known as the Wakhan corridor. In 1895 a joint Anglo-Russian boundary commission marked out its eastern extremities and, separating Pakistan from the Tadjik region, it survives virtually untouched to this day.

[19 Aug. mitigé Kashgar-Tashkurgan bus 290 km Hotel Pamir]

KKH ponts écroulés, routes ensevelies et bloquées par la pelleteuse, paysages tellement beaux, presque indescriptible. Ulrich décole, direction le Nirvana. Sommets de Mutztagh Ata (7596m) et Kongur (7719m), éblouissants!

Au lac, des trekkeurs professionels se la jouent sérieux. Les vieux de mon bus ne pensent qu'à faire de la route. Nous passons à quelques kilomètres de la frontière afghane. Album photo plein de surprises!

Le soir, au restaurant 'Ice Mountain Hotel' de Tashkurgan, un mec s'asseoit à ma table, type latin. M'est avis que Marco Polo et les siens ainsi que beaucoup de voyageurs du déserts, moines y compris, ont laissé des traces de leur passage. D'ailleurs l'hotel-resto est limite louche, son patron fait vachement proxo; une dame vient lui rendre un cadenas... Plus tard dans la soirée, rencontre avec Bahtiyar, le Tadjik. Je lui souhaite plein de bonheur pour son mariage.

Views F Landscape

Orientation F Maps

Check out the photo album. Tashkurgan is about 3200m above sea level.