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HISTORIC ROUTES:   # 1

{from Leh in Ladakh, India to Sinkiang, China when it was a popular trade route in the 19th C. Today it has been replaced by a Kashgar – Karachi Highway.}

 

LEH to YARKAND & KASHGAR by NUBRA valley, Saser, Karakorum and Kilian passes:- from an 1897 book called “ROUTES IN JAMMU AND KASHMIR” written by Maj. Genl Le Marquis de Bourbel, also former Chief Engineer of the Jammu & Kashmir State.

Abbreviations:

D.B.- Govt. Dak Bungalow with servants & board.

B- Road Bungalow, rest house or baradiri without servant or board.

F.B.- Forest Bungalow.

C.- Caravan Serai for Native Travellers.

E.- Encamping Ground.

P.O.- Post Offcie.

T.O.- Telegraph Office.

S.- Supplies or russud for an ordinary party of travelers.

G.- Grass for grazing for transport animals.

F.- Firewood or other fuel.

W.- Water for drinking.

M.P.- mountain Pass.

L.- Lake.

T.- Transport coolies, ponies, mules or yaks available for an ordinary party of travelers.

H.- Hot Spring.

 

 

 

Only minor editing done like changing miles into kms, feet into metres, and a few spellings into recognizable ones of today.

 

 

No. of Marches

Stages

Kms

Kms

Nature of Route

Main Valleys & mountain passes

River crossing and lakes

ASL in meters & feet

Supplies & Transport at Stages

Remarks

 

 

Camp to camp

Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Via Ganglas

….

  0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   8

Road rough & stony

Up ravine N of Leh

…..

11500’ or 3506 m

S.F.G.W. & T abundant. Take through supplies and transport to Yarkand.

Large town and fort. Capital of Ladakh. Palace of Gyalpo Raja. Residence of Wazir and British Joint Commissioner.

1

Camp

19

19

Ascent to pass by a very steep and stony zigzag

Khardong or Laochi La,

 

15000 or 4573 m

 

 

 

17,800

 

or 5426 m

 

 

S & T nil,

F. G. W. scarce

Halting place…

Yaks necessary over this pass

2

Khardong  E.-

 

43

, descent down a steep snow field over moraine banks and down a mtn torrent to the Shyok Valley

down ravine cross Shyok valley and up Nubra valley along left bank.

 

13,500 or 4116 m

S. and T. nil F.G. W. available

Vlg on plateau

 

Khartsar

 

61

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

Satti  E.-

19

62

Road fair down Shyok V & then up Nubra V,

 

Shyok ferry

10,430

or 3180m

Ditto

Vlg in fertile and cultivated  Valley

 

Tirit

 

74

passing several populous villages, well cultivated

 

 

 

 

 

4

Tagar

24

86

 

 

Sumur Loongma

10,030

or 3058 m

S. & T. scarce, F.G.W. procurable

+ orchards

 

Chamsing

 

95

 

 

Chamsing Loongma

 

 

 

 

Popchick

 

98

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

Panamik

E.-

21

107

 

 

Hot Springs

10,840 or 3304 m

S.F.G.W. & T. moderate

Ditto..

Complete supplies here for onward journey

 

Pokachu

 

110

 

 

Poka chu

 

 

 

 

 

 

120

 

 

Tutyalak chu

 

 

 

6

Chunglung

E.-

18

125

Here leave Nubra Valley.

Up Tutyalak

Ravine over

Hot Springs

10,760

or 3280 m

“    “

Last village  in Ladakh

 

 

 

130

Steep zigzag ascent &

Descent over pass

Karawal Dawan

 

17,000 or 5183 m

 

 

7

Tutyalak or

Pangdongsta

18

143

Road most difficult and dangerous from snow avalanches

 

 

13,000

or 3963 m

S. & T. nil, F. scarce, G.W. plentiful

Halting place under glacier

 

Sartang

 

155

moraine slips and sudden floods

 

 

15,500 or 4726 m

 

 

 

 

 

160

Cross 2 glaciers 16 kms long on watershed

Saser pass

 

17,500 or 5335 m

 

Yaks essential

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

Brangsa Saser

E.-

24

167

between Nubra & Shyok Valleys

Cross Shyok Valley

Shyok ford

15,204 or 4635 m

S.F.G.T. nil W.

plentiful

Huts on right bank of Shyok

 

 

 

168

After crossing Shyok ford, turn eastwards up deep gully

 

 

 

 

Winter route up and down latter.

 

 

Chungtash

 

179

To Chungtash and down…

Up Rout- a side Valley.

 

 

 

Lake.

9

Bulak-i-Murghai

16

183

..stony gully to Murghai.

 

 

15,100

or 4604 m

S.F.G.T. nil W. plentiful, springs

Halting place

 

Burtse

 

203

Hence road narrow, difficult and risky from stone avalanches

 

 

16,000 or 4878 m

  “  “

 

10

Kizil Langar

E.-

25

208

Ascend by steep & stony gorge

 

 

 

  “   “

 

 

 

 

218

To high plain,

Dipsang playeau

 

 

  “    “

 

 

 

 

230

Cross this barren plateau over

Cross chipchak Valley

 

 

  “   “

 

11

Daulat Beg Oldi

32

240

spongy soil

 

Chipchak ford

16,880 or 5146 m

ditto

Halting place

 

Chajosh jilga

 

253

and descend by wide and deep gully

 

 

 

  “   “

 

 

 

 

261

Gradual rise to pass over gravel and clay soil, then ascent sudden & steep,

Karakoram pass

 

18,300 or 5579 m

  “    “

Practicable for laden horses

12

Balti Brangsa

E.- Rock shelter

35

275

similar descent, then gradual down shingly gully

Down Yarkand valley

 

17,180 or 5237 m

  “    “

Halting place

 

Wahab Jilga

 

298

Road good

 

 

16,000 or 4878 m

 

 

13

Aktagh or Malik Shah

E.-

45

320

Road gradually rises over arid stony plateau to foot of pass

Leave Yarkand Valley

 

15,590 or 4753 m

  “   “, a little grass in summer

Winter route diverges by Kugiar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14

Chibra

16

336

Road ascends gradually to

 

 

16,480 or 5024 m

S.F.G.T. nil,

W. scarce

Halting place

 

 

 

346

the Suget pass, flat on top for 5 kms and descends steeply down ravine, over moraine banks and granite boulders

Suget Dawan,

Down suget and Karakash Valleys

 

17,618 or 5371 m

 “   “

Yaks necessary, air rarefied

15

Suget

34

370

Road follows course of Suget stream, then crosses

 

Cross suget stream several times

12,970 or 3954 m

S. & T. nil, F.G.W. plentiful

 

 

 

 

376

Karakash river and along right bank of latter

 

Karakash ford

 

 

Junction of suget & Karakash rivers

16

Shahidulla

13

383

 

 

 

11,500 or 3506 m

Ditto

Old fort erected by Maharaja of Kashmir

 

Aiduk

 

390

 

 

 

 

 

Kirghiz camps around

 

Toghra Su

 

395

 

 

Toghra Su ford

 

 

 

17

 

*

*Ali Nazar Kurgan

17

400

 

 

Up Kilian or Dair Manluk Valley

 

“   “

Kirghiz camps & Fort

18

Bostan

16

416

 

 

 

 

S.T. nil, F.G. scanty, W. available

Halting place

19

Kara Chagian Aiaghe

29

445

Ascent & descent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

454

of pass steep, but not difficult,

Kilian Dawan

 

17,000 or 5183 m

 

Yaks necessary

20

Tsch Kun Kilian

26

470

men suffer from dam or mtn sickness through the rarefied air

Down Tazgun Valley

 

 

S.F.T. nil, G. scanty, W. available

North foot of pass

21

Basilik Aghse

19

489

 

 

Cross Tazgun current several times

 

“     “

 

22

Chiguluk Aghse

24

513

 

 

 

 

“    “

Ditto

23

Akshor

24

537

Road fair

 

 

 

 “    “

Hamlet

 

Sark Aryk

 

554

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yut Kuduk

 

560

 

 

Tagzun ford

 

 

 

24

Kilian

32

569

Road through richly cultivated valley, then over sandy soil and

 

 

7000 or 2134 m

S.F.G.W. & T. moderate

Large village of 150 houses, where renew supplies

25

Bash Langar

23

592

undulating ground

 

 

 

S.F.T. nil, G.W. available

Village, buy food & fodder

 

Doghri Kuprik

 

603

 

 

 

 

 

 

26

Bora, Oasis

22

614

Road gradually rises over undulating ground for 13 kms and then along

 

 

 

S. & T. precarious, F.G.W. available

Village in oasis well cultivated, where join route from Sanju

27

Besh Aryk

40

654

a chul flat to Kargalik

 

 

 

 

Village

28

Kargalik

10

664

 

 

Across drainage of Tarim Valley

4500 or 1372 m

S.F.G.W. & T. plentiful

Large town & bazaar, 1000 houses

 

Kulchi

 

675

Road from Kargalik to Yarkand

 

Tezab ford

 

 

 

29

Yak Shambeh

18

682

Through cultivated and watered

 

 

 

S.F.G.W. & T. moderate

Village, 300 houses

 

 

 

690

country

 

Tiznaf ford

 

 

 

30

Posgam

C.E.-

20

702

 

 

 

4200 or 1280 m

 “   “

Large village, 600 houses

31

She Shambeh

14

716

 

 

Yarkand or Zarafshan ferry,

 

S.T. nil, F.G.W. plentiful 

Hamlet

 

Langar Alim Akhoon

 

726

 

 

Zulchak river

 

 

 

32

Yarkand

P.O.,B.,C.,E.-

13

729

Good road through gardens and cultivation

 

 

3950 or 1204 m

S.F.G.W. & T. abundant

Large and ancient city, Fortress, bazaars,

 

 

 

736

well shaded by trees for 14 kms from Yarkand,

 

Opah bridge

 

 

Residence of Governor, center of trade

33

Kok, Robat, oasis

40

769

Traversed by arbas

 

 

3830 or 1168 m

S.& T. nil

F.G.W. plentiful

Village, 400 houses

34

Ak Robat

B.-

24

793

Road through chul or stony desert

 

 

 

 “    “  W. brackish

Village, 400 houses

35

Kizil, Oasis

C., E.-

24

817

Good road through oasis, then over a chul

 

Kizil ford

3910 or 1192 m

S. & T. nil, F. scanty, G.W. available

Large village, 300 houses, iron works

36

Topaluk

23

840

 

 

 

 

S.F.T. nil

Small village, iron works

 

 

 

858

 

 

Shahnaz bridge

 

G.W. available

 

37

Yangi Hissar

B., C., E.-

26

866

Good carriage road 7 metres wide traversed by arbas.

 

 

4320 or 1317 m

S.F.G.W. & T. plentiful

Large town and fort, 600 houses

 

Sogholuc

 

890

The road is lined by trees and runs

 

 

 

 

 

38

Yapchan

39

 

905

through a well watered and cultivated country,

 

Crossed several branches of the Gez river

4210 or 1283 m

S.F.G.W. & T plentiful

Large village, 250 houses

 

Tazgun

 

914

9 kms from Yangi Hissar,

 

Tazgun bridge

 

 

 

 

Karasu

 

920

16 kms round Yapchan, and 14 kms from Kashgar.

 

Karasu bridge

 

 

 

39

Yangi Shahr

25

930

 

 

Kizil Su or Kashgar river

4060 or 1238 m

S.F.G.W. & T. abundant

New city and fortress

40

Kashgar

P.,O.,B.,C.,E-

8

938

 

 

 

4043 or 1233 m

 

Capital of Chinese Turkistan.Large and ancient city, bazaars, center of trade.

 

*Hence are 3 routes over the Kuenlun range to Kargalik and Yarkand.

 

I.                 By Toghra su Valley, Killik pass and Tupa Diwan, path little known and closed by the Chinese authorities, grass and wood procureable at every stage, said to be the best for foot passengers.

II.              By Kilian Valley, Kilian pass and kilian city, summer route as under.

III.          By Karakash Valley, Sanju or Grim pass and Sanju city, also summer route as in LXXIX. The Chinese sometimes block parts of it. 

 

NOTES:  There are 3 improvements being made on the Kashmir side in this road from Leh.

A new road over the Khardong pass with an easier gradient to summit, avoids the glacier on further side and descends to Shayok Valley with a fairly easy gradient.

Blasting of a road (1.5 kms through solid rock) up the month of the Tutyalak ravine to circumvent the Karwal Dawan, to avoid this high spur and shorten the distance.

New approaches on both sides to the great glaciers on Saser pass.

From Yarkand, a road branches westward to Tashkurgan in Sarikol by Yakarik 32 kms, over Shaitan kum (desert) to Kiziltagh 38 kms, Arpalik 25 kms, crossing two low passes, Kizil Diwan and Kara Diwan to Khaizak 34 kms, on the Charling river and up this valley by Tashkerim 23 kms to Chehil Gombaz 30 kms, over Torat pass 13,400’ or 4085 m, to Past Robat 9370 ft or 2857 m 14 kms, Tarbashi 11,515’ 13 kms, Shindi 27 kms, Tashkurgan 10,270’ or 3131 m 30 kms- Total Yarkand to Taskurgan- 300 kms approx.

From Yangi Hissar another roadbranches south-west and joins the foregoing at Chehil Gombaz 10,310’ or 3143 m, by Ighizyar 30 kms, Aktala 27 kms, Sasak Taka 21 kms, Kaskau 23 kms over Kaskau pass 13,000’ or 3963 m to Chehil Gombaz 14 kms- Total Yangi Hissar to Chehil Gombaz 114 kms and to Tashkurgan 199 kms.

From Tashkurgan 10,270’ or 3131 mthese roads continue in the same direction S.W. by Khanshabur 12,980’ or 3957 m 27 kms, over Nessa Tash pass 15,000’ or 4573 m to Aktash 12,600’ or 3841 m 29 kms, Ghazkul lake on Little Pamir 13,200’ or 4024 m 74 kms, Langar 12,530’ or 3820 m 40 kms, Sarhad 11,150’ or 3399 m 38 kms, Kila Panja 88 kms- Total Tashkurgan to Kila Panja 296 kms.