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0036 Memoir on Maps of Chinese Turkistan and Kansu : vol.1
Memoir on Maps of Chinese Turkistan and Kansu : vol.1 / Page 36 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000215
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14   . HISTORY OF SURVEYS   [Chap. F

Having moved north to Pisha, I sent the surveyor to follow a new route to Khotan

skirting eastwards the slopes of the Tikelik-tagh ( 18,780 feet ), ¢0 while I myself proceeded there by the direct route, already surveyed in 1900, in order to gain time for multifarious preparations for the desert campaign

of the autumn and winter. On September 15th I set out for a series of ruined sites to the north-east and east of the Khotan oasis. At the same time Ram Singh was sent off independently to the foot of the main K'un-lun range south of Kenya in order to resume his survey work where it had stopped in December 1900 near Imamlar ( Tört-Imam ), 21 and to extend his triangulation along the northern main range of the K'un-lun as far as possible


Having gained Imamlar via Keriya, Rim Singh was able to utilize for his hill survey

to the south and south-east the points fixed by his triangulation of 1900 as well as a number of high peaks on the spurs above the gorges of Pôlur which Captain Deasy's triangulation had determined in 1898-99."

He then measured a base for triangulation above the hill village of Achchan further east (Sheet No. 14. D. 4.), connecting it with two of Captain Deasy's points. Information as to the determination of this base and the methods by which the triangulation there started was successfully extended to the east, first as far as Sur•ghak, south of Niya, and subsequently beyond Charchan to a peak in longitude 86° 46' (Sheet No. 27. B. 1), will be found in Major Mason's Appendix A. The total length of new triangulation work thus accomplished by Rim Singh along the K'un-lun range extended over five degrees of longitude.

After completing archœological explorations in the desert north of the Khotan-Keriya line, partly on ground not previously surveyed, I reached the Niya oasis

Explorations resumed by October 14th. There the surveyor rejoined me from his work near at Niya cite.

Sur•ghâk 23 and, being by chance favoured by clear atmospheric conditions was able to fix the position of the small market-town of Niya by means of triangulation from the K'un-lun. It is the first and so far only instance of an oasis on the edge of the great desert having thus been exactly located. From Niya he accompanied me to the ancient sand-buried site beyond the termination of the Niya river first visited by me in 1901. There

Preparation. for winter campaign.

Triangulation along
K un•lun east of Keriya.

for Johnson's'Naii Khan Pass' by which he made his way over glaciers to the head of a valley containing the grazing grounds of ' Brinjga'. as marked on his map to the south-east of Karanghu-tigh, at a direct distance of some 11 miles.

Now reliable information obtained by me at Pisha and recorded in Desert Cathay (see i. pp. 209 sq.) makes it certain that this name ' Brinjaga' is applied by the Karanghu•iiigh people to a valley which de-bouches on the left bank of the Yurung-ki$h some four miles above the confluence of the Kish river with the latter, as shown in Sheet No. 9. D. 4. The information I collected leaves no doubt that Brinjaga contains good grazing grounds visited by the flocks and yaks of Karaughn-tigh but accessible only before or after the summer months when the flood from the glaciers completely blocks the track leading up in its stream-bed. (Johnson who passed down from ' Brinjgg' by September 9th, 1865, describes the road as "particularly rocky and dangerous from passing over a succession' of steep and rugged lateral spurs, running down into the river from two high ranges on either side; the bed of the stream is therefore very contracted"). From Brinjaga down to Karangha-tigh Johnson's route sketch shows fair agreement with the actual configuration of the ground as seen in Sheet No. 9. D. 4 and the above quoted photo-theodolite panoramas.

I may add in conclusion that the obstinate pas. sive resistance which the Karaughn-tiigh people op. posed both in 1900 and 1906 to my efforts at tracing Johnson's route is fully accounted for partly by the

great natural difficulties which would have to be faced on it and still more, perhaps, by the fear of the hardships and exactions to which their small settlement would be exposed if that route were re-opened for traffic. According to Johnson (see para. 11 of his above quoted report) the Yangi-dawnn '• was said to have been only very recently discovered by Jumi Klan, the Khotan ambassador to the British Government, who was compelled to find his way over this part of the range, because the regular road from llchi to Leb, via Sanjû and the Kirflkoram pass, was in the hands of the Yirkandeee, who were then at war with the people of Khotan ". It was thus only des. penile necessity which brought about the use of this extremely, difficult route during the brief reign of the rebel ruler Hiji HaLibnliah (1863-66).

But there is reason to believe that it was known for centuries before to the wily hillmen as a track to be used in emergencies. Thus the difficult mountain track by which according to Mirzi Haidar's contemporary record Abi Bakr, the dethroned tyrant of Yirkand, after passing through Karaughn-tigh effec• tod his escape to safety in Ladik A. H. 920, could scarcely have been any other but the Yangi-dawnn. route; cf. Tärikh-i-Bashidi, transi. Elias-Row, pp. 323 sqq., 327 sq.. also Stein, Ancient Khotan, i. p. 130.

ss See Map Sheet Ni'. 14. A. 3, 4, B. 3, 4.

21 See Sheet No. 14. C. 4.

22 See Sheei No. 14, C, D. 4; also Map of Por. lions of Western China and Tibet, explored by Capt. H. H. P. Deasy. Sheet No. 4.

23 bee Sheet No. 19. B. 3.