The Silk Road - Episode 12
Two Roads to the Pamirs
Two Roads to the Pamirs. 3700 km. from Chang-an to Kashgar–in old days a full year’s journey. Kashgar’s main mosque and celebration of end of Ramadan with thousands in square; music and dancing (for men only).”Tomb of the Fragrant Concubine” (Abakh Khoja Mausoleum), burial place of 17th and 18th century Naqshbandi Sufi rulers; legend of the Kashgari woman Xiangfei, who met tragic fate as emperor’s concubine. School for non-Chinese–cute kids identify their ethnic groups in rogues’ gallery lineup. Bazaar and craftsmen–lathe run by hand bow; beaten copper pots, making jewelry, musical instruments–continuation of tradition of Kashgar as commercial center. Marco Polo quoted on city.
Modern truck caravan trade over Karakorum Highway to Gilgit in Pakistan–barter exchange with silk, ceramics, tea, tools, thermoses from China in exchange for dried fruit, nuts, nylon scarves, medicines. Dancing entertainment. 1300-yr.-old Buddhist caves on outskirts of city, the oldest in Xinjiang (narrator mis-speaks–200-300 BCE), but all despoiled now. Drive toward Pakistan with scenic views, nomadic herders; scene of yak caravan crossing glacier to illustrate difficulty of mountain travel. Old fort at Tashkurgan; Ptolemy cited for report from Greek merchants about “Stone Tower” (the film does not mention it likely was not the one here…). Xuanzang passed through here. Tajiks of region; an interesting Tajik village wedding with dancing. Ends on Khunjerab Pass, 4943 m.