China Silk Road
The name of the Silk Road was given to old trade route by German Scholar, Geographer Baron Ferdinand von Richthofen in 1870. The ancient trade route was linked the Roman Empire in the west with the imperial court of China, total length of the silk road is 6440 (4000miles). The Silk Road was once the greatest thoroughfare on the earth. Along it traveled precious cargoes of silk, gold, and ivory, the trade was carried out by foreigners. Before the discover of the sea route to India in 15th century, the silk road was the most important connection between the East and West. After the discovery of the sea route, the traffic slowed, the merchants left, and finally it’s town’s vanished beneath the sandy desert.
The ancient silk road was started in old capital of Chang’an( todays Xi’an) Which was the capital city of Han Dynasty, reaches the Yellow River at Lanzhou in Gansu Province. Silk road went west towards to Gansu province through Lanzhou, Tianshui, Zhangye, Jiuquan then reached to Jiayuguan, Dunhuang is located west end of the Hexi corridor of the Gansu province, the great part of the Silk Road passed via the Xinjiang.
The trade on the silk road was declined by the fall of the Tang dynasty in 10th century. The declining of the trade continued till 13th century after the Mongols conquests. Mongol’s extended the contact between East and West, this created increase in demand for Asian goods in Europe, the demand that eventually inspired the search for a sea route to Asia.
The discovery of the sea route to Asia in late 15th century, it caused blow to the silk road trade, with less cost, harassment and danger, many goods and materials that the silk road couldn’t transfer were conveyed through the sea route, and what is more, Persians had mastered the sericulture, then the import of the silk from the East was reduced. Since then the prosperous Silk Road was down warded.
Xinjiang Silk Road
The silk road divided in to three main route when it came out from Hexi corridor to Xinjiang. The three main silk road routes are, southern silk road route, central silk road route, and northern silk road route.
Sourthern silk road route rans west along the northern foot of Kunlun Mountains, via Charklik, Cherchen, Niya, Hotan, Karkilik, Yarkent, an then to Kashgar, then it run over the Pamir plateau on the Karakurum highway to India passed through Afghanistan, Russia, central asia, and Mediterrannean.
Central silk road route run west along the southern foot of the Tianshan mountain by Loulan, Korla, Kuqa, Aksu, Kashgar then Pamir Plateau through Mari Russia.
The Northern silk road route run along the northern foot of the Tianshan mountain, starting from Hami, then to Turpan, Urumqi, westward to Ili river , reaches to near the Black sea. The three route of the silk road runs between the mountain range and edge of the desert and Gobi desert, going through oases inhabited by ancient tribes.