Sec. iv.] THIRD EXPEDITION, 1913-15 39
a route leads to the high Yulduz plateau. 83 From Kucha he proceeded again northwards and keeping throughout along the line of the highest localities with cultivation, many of them never surveyed before, made his way to where the Muz-art river debouches from the mountains into the basin-like district of Bai. He then ascended the river to its headwaters below the ice-clad Tien-shan in the vicinity of the great Tengri-khan peak. Notwithstanding the heavy winter snow still covering the glacier approach to the Muz-art-dawa.n he pushed up to within about a thousand feet of the top of the pass; the summit of it was quite impracticable at this early season. sa When coming to meet me at Ak-su he had to follow the route already surveyed in 1907, none other being available.
I myself after visiting a number of interesting Buddhist sites in the district of Bai away from the high road which crosses it, reached the 'Old Town' of
Surveys between Kuchà Ak-su on May 17th. At Kara-yulghun, two marches to the east, and Kiisbgar.
Afraz-gul had rejoined me. From Kucha he surveyed an old and more direct track through the scrub-covered desert belt along the foot of the barren hill range fringing the Bai basin. ss During my two days' halt at Ak-su I was able to secure the needful official help and the guidance which enabled Lai Singh to proceed to Kashgar by a new route leading over ground almost wholly unsurveyed. It took him through and along the utterly arid hill ranges which form the southern and outermost rampart of the '1"ien-shan, first to the small oasis of Kelpin and then past the Kirghiz winter grazing grounds of Karajol to Kalta-yailak, the north-eastern outpost of Kashgar cultivation. ss
I myself was obliged to proceed to Kashgar by forced marches in order to secure adequate time for manifold and urgent labours, and had hence necessarily to follow the main road via Maral-bashi. My regret at this necessity was tempered by the fact that this journey of close on 300 miles covered in eleven days made it possible to complete our survey of the northern main trade route of the Tarim basin right through to its western terminus. 87
I reached Kashgar on May 31st and was during the following five weeks kept incessantly busy at the British Consulate General with the careful
Stay at Kàsbgar. repacking of my collection of antiques (eighty heavy camel-loads in all)
for dispatch to India; I had also to prepare for my own journey across the Russian Pamirs to Bokhara territory and Persia. Within a week of my arrival I was rejoined by Lai Singh and after a fortnight also by Muhammad Yaknb who had safely effected his long journey along the left bank of the Tarim from west of the Inchike junction to above Abad. 88
The inundations caused by the spring floods had considerably impeded his progress and
confined his plane-table work, somewhat rough as was usually the case
when carried on by him independently, to the close vicinity of the track
followed from one riverine shepherd station to another. The defects
inherent to a plane-table traverse of such length from the accumulation of errors in distance estimates, etc., could fortunately be checked by reference to previously surveyed route lines which crossed or touched this traverse at a number of points between Shahyar and Merket. During the remaining weeks of my stay at Kashgar the surveyors were kept fully occupied by the preparation of tracings from the many plane-table sheets ( 157 in all) which our combined surveys had yielded.
The completion of all my arrangements allowed me by July 6, 1915, to leave Kashgar
Muhammad Yak fib's
survey along Tarim B.
88 See Sheet No. 20. A. 4; for Làl Singh's route from Korla to Knchà, see Sheets Nos. 21. A.D. 1; 17. C, D. 1.
ß4 See Sheet No. 11. A, B. 4. Lid Singh's route from Knchà to the Muz-art river is shown by sheets Nos. 17. A, B. 1; 16. A, B. 4; 12. B-D. 1.
85 For Afràz-gal's route, see Sheets Nos. 17. A. 1, 2; 12. B-D. 2; for my own between Kuchi and Ak-sn, see Sheets Nos. 17. A, B. 1; 12. A, B. 2, C, D. 1; 7. D.2.
ea See Sheets Nos. 7. A, B. 4, C. 3, D. 2, 3; 4. B-D.4; 5. A, B.1.
87 See Sheet No. 7. C. 3, 4, D. 2, 3; 8. A, B. 1; 5.
A. 2. B. 1, 2. C, D. 1.
I must regret that the rapidity of the journey and the difficulty about water at that advanced season rendered it impossible to search in the desert northward of the stages between Chilan and Chàdirkö1 (Sheet No. 7. B, C. 4) for remains of the line which the Chinese high road is likely to have follow. ed in ancient times; cf. above p. 26.
sa See Sheets Nos. 21. A-D.2,3; 17. A-D.2,3; 12. A. 4, B. 3, 4, C. 3, D. 3; 7. D. 4; 8. A. 1, 2, B, C. 1; 5.D.2,3.