- Chinese Name: 喀什地区
- Location: Situated in southwest of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region
- Area: About 162,000 square kilometers
- Population: 4,514,700
- Language: Uygur language, Mandarin, etc.
Kashgar Prefecture has jurisdiction over 1 county-level city, 10 counties and 1 autonomous county, and these places are further divided into 4 streets, 28 towns, 140 townships, 155 communities and 2,293 village committee.
- 1 county-level city: Kashgar City (喀什市)
- 10 counties: Shufu County (疏附县), Shule County (疏勒县), Yengisar County (英吉沙县), Yopurga County (岳普湖县), Jiashi County (伽师县), Yarkant County (莎车县), Zepu County (泽普县), Kargilik County (叶城县), Makit County (麦盖提县), Maralbexi County (巴楚县)
- 1 autonomous county: Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County (塔什库尔干塔吉克自治县)
Kashgar Prefecture is located in central Eurasia and southwest of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in China. It neighbors Taklimakan Desert in east, Keping County and Awati County in northeast, Atushi city, Wuqia County and Akto County in northwest. Also, it connects Pishan County in southeast, Tajikistan in west, and Afghanistan as well as Pakistan in southwest, with a borderline of 888 kilometers. The three surrounding neighboring countries of the prefecture are Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Indian. With an area of 162,000 square kilometers, it has a 750 kilometers’ length from west to east and 535 kilometers’ width from north to south.
Kashgar Prefecture is surrounded by mountains on three sides, with southern part of Tianshan Mountains in north, Pamirs in west, Kala Kunlun Mountain in south, and Taklimakan Desert in east. With several mountains and deserts standing around, Yarkant River and the alluvial plain of Kashigaer River are like green diamonds inlaying there.
The whole terrain tilts from southwest to northeast. The outline of geotectonic and geomorphology of the prefecture is tectonic units which include the Tarim Basin, Tianshan Mountains and Kunlun Mountain. Humid air from Indian Ocean is hard to reach; the Arctic cold air is also difficult to pass through, which brings the drought and hot warm temperate zone desert landscape of Kashgar Prefecture. However, the melting snow and ice from mountains create conditions for the development of the oasis there. Therefore, the relatively concentrated two famous oasis ( Kashgar and Yarkant River) formed.
The highest point there is Chogori, with an elevation of 8,611 meters; the lowest place is Taklimakan Desert which is 1100 meters above sea level. And the average altitude of Kashgar city is 1,289 meters.
Located in central Eurasia and with the restriction of the geographical environment, Kashgar features a desert climate with hot summers and cold winters, and large temperature differences between summer and winter. Spring is long and arrives quickly, while fall is somewhat brief in comparison. Kashgar is one of the driest cities on the earth, averaging only 64 millimeters of precipitation per year. Owing to the extremely dry conditions, snowfall is rare, despite in the cold winters. To know more about Kashgar Climate.
Kashgar is short for "Kashiga’er" in Uygur language. The name was evolved from the gathering of Turki, ancient islamic and Farsi language, containing different meanings like“the land gathering of jade ware”, “brick houses with different color”, “newly established”, etc.
With a long history, Kashgar could be dated back to 6000 years ago to the Neolithic Period, and at that time, there were humans living in.
At the beginning of Han Dynasty and the end of Qin Dynasty, Kashgar belonged to Xiongnu people. In 119 BC, Zhangqian was dispatched to Shule, and then the region was started to be managed by Han Dynasty. In 60 BC, Protectorate of the Western Regions (西域都护府) was established in Xinjiang, which makes Kashgar be officially listed in the Chinese territory.
In 1986, Kashgar was designated as the national famous historical and cultural city. In May of 2010, China central work conference gave the approval to set up Kashgar as a special economic zone, which makes the prefecture become China's fifth special economic zone. Then, Kashgar could enjoy the special supporting policies in fields of industry, taxation, finance, territory, foreign trade, etc.
The Best Time to Go
The time from August to October is the best time to go because this period is neither too hot nor too cold. Also, it sees the most charming scenery. Then, its time of harvest so that you could taste diverse fruits and melons.
Things to Do
Some people have said that it’s not a real reaching to Xinjiang if you are not arriving in Kashgaur which is supported by the fact that Kashgar shows the most authentic Uyghur folk customs, so you could experience Uygur culture and customs. Then, with a long history of more than 2,000 years, Kashgar old city is a must -visit place that you could find the prints of profound culture of the city, and the biggest mosque in China and in Xinjiang - Id Kah Mosque which is located there. Besides, you could go to Kashgar Grand Bazaar where you could see and buy a variety of local food and souvenir.
As a transportation hub of southern Xinjiang, Kashgar enjoys good conditions of transportation. The local airport connects the prefecture with domestic cities as well as places in Pakistan. Then, railway and highway serve it with convenient communication with cities around and other provinces. For the urban transport, bus and taxi are convenient for people. To know more about Kashgar Transportation.
Kashgar is blessed with snow mountains, forests, grassland , and lakes. By viewing the mountains, you could see the four seasons, and a glance to distance you could see diverse scenery. Besides, cultural sites like Former Residence of Xiang Fei, High Platform Folk Houses, old streets, etc.tell the history and culture of the prefecture. Famous cultural and historical city, the home of singing and dancing, homeland of fruit and melons, the land of jade, etc.all these special and unique tourist resources favor Kashgar tourism a lot and attract more and more visitors. Besides. Kashgar takes part in the Belt and Road Initiative actively and uses the opportunity to develop its tourism.
Kashgar economy benefits from its favorable geographic position. It neighbors Tajikistan in west, and Afghanistan as well as Pakistan in southwest, with a borderline of 888 kilometers. Besides, the three surrounding neighboring countries of the prefecture are Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Indian. Also, it borders other cities or counties of Xinjiang. In May of 2010, China central work conference gave the approval to set up Kashgar as a special economic zone, which makes the prefecture become China's fifth special economic zone. The special zone favors the development of Kashgar.
In 2016, Kashgar GDP totaled 75.98 billion yuan, with an increase of 11.5% over the previous year. Among them, the primary industry added value of 26 billion yuan, up by 6.5%; the secondary industry added value of 19.13 billion yuan, increased by 12.7%, during which the industry added value of 7.08 billion yuan, up by 12%; the tertiary industry added value of 30.85 billion yuan, with an increase of 15.3%.
Kashgar is a prefecture that gathers diverse nationalities, so Kashgar visiting may bring you different activities and events of various nationalities there. In addition to the traditional Chinese festival that almost all people celebrate in varied forms, the festivals that are attached importance a lot must be Lesser Bairam and Corban Festival because there live a number of Uyghur nationality that believes in Islam. To know more about Kashgar Festivals.
People in Xinjiang region take cooked wheaten food as staple, and the most well-known one is Nang. People there like mutton a lot and their mutton shashlik is quite famous and has been brought to many places in China. In addition to mutton shashlik, you could also eat other mutton-based dishes like roast whole lamb, stewed lamb in clear soup, etc. Kashgar has various of delicious snacks and food that you could enjoy, such as baked steamed buns, Xinjiang's hand grasping rice, Lamian noodles, Nang, etc. To know more about Kashgar Dining.