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0028 Memoir on Maps of Chinese Turkistan and Kansu : vol.1
Memoir on Maps of Chinese Turkistan and Kansu : vol.1 / Page 28 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000215
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The height values ascertained for them are subject to minor adjustment consequent

upon the corrections which the geodetic work effected by the Survey of India in 1912-13 on the Tighdum-bash Pamir has involved for the triangulated points of the Pamir Boundary Commission. But the

results of Rai Sahib Rim Singh's triangulation leave no doubt that the Kongur ( or Shiwakte portion of the range rises in at least one peak ( Kongur-debe I, height 25,146 feet ) considerably above the great snowy dome of Muz-tagh-ati ( 24,321 feet ). The photo-theodolite panoramas taken by me around Little Kara-kul served for the preparation of a detailed map of the ground between that range and the Russian Pamirs, by Lieut. F. B. Tillard, R. E., on the scale of 4 miles to 1 inch. 6 A recent computation of heights, by Major E. O. Wheeler, M. C., R. E., based upon the same panoramas, has fully confirmed the greater elevation of Peak Kongur-debe 1, which hence may now be accepted as the culminating height north of the Hindukush and Himalaya, not merely in the Pamir region, but also in Asia generally. 6

The narrow valley of the Gez or Yaman-yar river draining the western and northern

slopes of the Kongur range, and the route followed in the plain north-

  • Survey of Gez route.   eastwards as far as Kashgar could be checked by triangulation. 7
    Several high peaks previously fixed from the Little Kara-kul side could be observed by theodolite both at Tashmalik, near the Gez river's debouchure from the mountains, and at Kashgar where a prolonged halt necessitated by my preparations for the winter's work fortunately gave a chance of favourable atmospheric conditions towards the close of August. As evidence of the very careful work done by R. S. Rim Singh both on the plane-table and in triangulation, I may mention that the longitude of Kashgar as shown by the former ( 76° 1' 0" ) differed by less than two minutes from the value which wireless observation on Sir F. De Filippi's expedition in 1914 determined ( 75° 59' 5.64"), while the triangulation result ( 75° 59' 15" ) as computed from. our Kongur-debe Peak I approaches this final determination still more closely . 8

At the beginning of September we left Kashgar first for the examination of some

ruined sites north-eastwards near the outermost foothills of the T'ienKishgar-Khotan route. shan, and then for the journey which was to take us to Khotan in the

south-east;, the main base for my intended explorations. 9 For the first portion of this journey I was able to avoid the well-known high road by rejoining Rim Singh in the large and fertile tract of Khan-arik and thence by making our way to the south via Ordam-pidshih. 1e By the visit to this famous pilgrimage place we gained acquaintance with the westernmost part of that great belt of absolutely barren drift-sand desert known as the Taklamakin which extends throughout the whole length of the Tarim basin as far east as the Lop-new depression. From Kizil we were obliged to follow the caravan route to Khotan which, except where it passes through the rich district of Yirkand and the adjoining oasis of Karghalik, keeps close to the southern edge of the dune-covered Taklamakin. 11 Apart from rapid excursions in the last named oasis and visits to ruined sites near this ancient highway survey work had to be confined to the vicinity of the actual route line.18

Within a few days of our arrival at Khotan, October 13th, however, we set out for a

month's interesting geographical work in the mountains to the south, a


   hotel). S of   portion of the K'un-lun range hitherto practically unsurveyed. Five

long marches from the debouchure of the Yurung-kash river led over a succession of high spurs furnishing excellent plane-table stations. Then the deep-cut valley


Triangulation of
Mnz-tigh-atit range.

6 See Map of Muziagh-aid and Lake Little Karakul prepared by Lieut. F. B. Tillard, R. E., from photo-theodolite survey of M. A. Stein, Ph. D., Survey of India Offices. Calcutta, 1903.

6 For details on this peak and on other points of orographie interest, cf. Notes on Sheet No. 2.

7 For a description of the route, cf. Ruins of ,Shotan, pp. 99 sqq.

e The position ascertained for Kashgar refers in each case to the ground of the British Consulate

General (Chinibigh) which served as ' camp' for both our expeditions as well as for that of Captain Deasy. The ratter's longitude determination for the same peint was 76° 1' 2". De Filippi's station is situated in the old Muhammadan cemetery between the British and (former) Russian Consulates.

See Ruina of Ehotan, pp. 130 sqq.

10 See ibid. pp. 142 egg.; Sheet No. 6.

it See ibid. pp. 148 sqq.

12 Cf. ibid. pp. 167 egg.; Sheets Nos. 6, 9.