The Great Silk Road… What do we know about it? Our imagination gives us the picture of the boundless sandy sea of burning desert. Cleaving sand dunes like waves, endless caravans loaded with rich goods plod on their way through it… The tours of the Silk Road are really a journey into the diverse culture and ancient history of China quite unlike any other. During your Silk Road travel you are sure to come across a number of unsurpassed attractions.
But it’s only partially true. The Great Silk Road stretched out through thousands of kilometers guiding caravans both through scorching deserts, picturesque oases, and mountain passes. Along the way the towns and the whole civilizations sprang up, flourished and were ravaged. The ancient towns located along the Silk Road saw quite a number of devastating wars, destructions, fires, hunger and pestilence. The multilingual Oriental bazaars were making a noise for centuries, for hundreds years down the caravan roads the merchants carried silks and stones, spicery and dyes, gold and silver, exotic birds and animals.
On the basis of this, it can be said that the Great Silk Road is a grand trade route, which connected the East and the West and which was the cause of appearance of many unique towns, historical monuments, customs and even states.
Thus, how did this wonderful route appear, which afterwards became the source of the cultural enrichment of the West and the East? Let’s address to the captivating history of the Silk Road.
Great Silk Road Countries
Great Silk Road Tours
The Great Silk Road has never been the single main line. It consisted of a few branches of caravan roads which passed through the different passes in the mountain ranges, round the deserts.
Originally the Silk Road sprang from Chang’an – the ancient capital of China – and went along the northern Tien Shan to Dunhua– the town on the skirts of the Great Wall of China. Here the single road forked bordering the Takla Makan Desert from north and south. The northern road went through Turfan to the valley of the Ili river. The middle road (so-called the Southern Route) went from Shaoshan to the southern shore of the Issyk Kul lake – through Hotan и Yarkand, and led to Baktria (northern Afghanistan). Here the Southern Route forked into two other routes: one of them led to India, the other one – to the West and Merv where it joined the Northern Route. Further, it passed through Nisa – the capital of Parthia, Iran, Mesopotamia and further through Baghdad went to Damascus, reached the Mediterranean. Further about the Great Silk Road tours.
History of the Great Silk Road
Goods of the Great Silk Road
The goods along the Great Silk Road went chiefly from the East to the West. And, as it follows from the name, silk was the main article in this list. Thanks to its lightness, compactness, huge demand and high prices it is an ideal article to be transported for long distances.
As long ago as in the Middle Ages the Venetian merchant Marko Polo named these caravan routes silk ones. In the scientific turn the term “Great Silk Road” was brought in 1877 by the German explorer Ferdinand Richthofen who used it in his fundamental work “China”. Further about the goods of the Great Silk Road. Ak-Sai Travel Company offers the Silk Road tours over Central Asia. An unforgettable Silk Road travel will give you the brightest and most colorful impressions.