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Kashgar  

Henrik H. Sørensen and Jonathan M. Bloom

revised by Sheila S. Blair

[Kashi; Chin. Shufu, Shule]

Important trading town in the western part of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. Kashgar is located where the northern and southern branches of the Silk Route met before the crossing of the Pamirs into Afghanistan and India. Buddhism is likely to have been introduced here as early as the 1st century ad. Information on ancient Kashgar can be found in the Fa xian zhuan (‘Faxian account’) by the pilgrim–monk Faxian (fl 4th–5th century) and in the Da Tang xiyou ji (‘Great Tang record of travelling to the west’) by Xuanzang (600–64). The latter reports that the town was a centre of the Sarvastivadin sect of Buddhism, and that the local community consisted of some 10,000 monks living in several hundred temples. This source also mentions that the people of Kashgar made fine carpets of wool. The town was under Chinese control from 685 until the late 8th century. The Korean monk ...