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0061 Ancient Khotan : vol.1
Ancient Khotan : vol.1 / Page 61 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000182
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is understood by Sarikolis, and is apparently a dialect of the latter's tongue. If this information should prove to be correct, our presumption in favour of the Pakhpos being another remnant of a Galcha population, formerly more widely spread, would become an established fact 13.


The important position occupied by Sarikol in respect of the routes leading across the Pamir region accounts for the ample information to be gathered from early Chinese records regarding its historical topography. The narrative of the pilgrim Hsüan-tsang, who on his return journey from India to China traversed Sarikol, supplies most of the details. It was in his itineraries that the old name of this mountain chiefship, which the Chinese transcriptions variously render as Chieh-p`an-t`o, Han-p`an-t`o, &c., was first correctly identified by General A. Cunningham 1. But for a systematic review of all available data we shall find it convenient to take as a basis the official description of the territory which the Tang Annals furnish, and which has now become accessible in M. Chavannes' translation.

This account records for the Sarikol tract the several names Ho-Ian-1'o 16

j n /   or

Han-t`o   , or K`o-koan-fan   ~ or K`o-to-to ig   lit, and indicates its position

with unmistakable clearness. The kingdom was reached by proceeding from Su-/g or Kashgar to the south-west through the gorge of Chien-mo, which must correspond to the present Gez defile, and lay at a distance of 600 li, or approximately six days' march. This estimate agrees remarkably well with the route which leads from Tashmalik, at the south-western edge of the Kashgar oasis, along the Gez or Yaman-yar river, and past Murtagh-Ata to the head of the Tagharma Valley, and which I myself followed in the opposite direction on my journey from Tash-kurghan to Kashgar. HoFan-i`o is correctly described as being situated directly to the west of Chu-chü fto, which is represented by the modern Karghalik ; in the north it touched the territory of Su-/g or Kashgar, in the west Hu-mi or Wakhan, while to the north-west there adjoined the territory of Pan-han in which, with M. Chavannes, we may recognize Farghana. The administrative centre of the territory lay in the middle of the Ts`ung-ling or ` Onion mountains ', which are said to encircle the whole of the kingdom 2. This designation has been generally applied by the Chinese to the meridional range or ranges which buttress the Pamir region on the east 3, and divide it from the Tarim Basin. The position of the Ho-p`an-t`o capital, as here marked with reference to them, fits exactly the present Tash-kurghan. The river Si-to, on which the capital is stated to have stood, can, in view of Hsüan-tsang's account to be noticed below, be no other than the river of Tash-kurghan.

Of the people of Ho-p`an-t`o the Annals record, as already stated, that their appearance and language were identical with those of the people of Yü-t`ien or Khotan. They are further described as strong and given to violence. Murder and brigandage were alone liable to be

16 It deserves to be noted that Sung Yün distinctly mentions the language and customs of the people of Chu-chu po as closely resembling those of the Khotan people ; see Chavannes, Voyage de Song Yun, p. 20. Chu-chü-po corresponds to the present district of Karghalik, including the valleys towards the headwaters of the Yarkand river, in which the Pakhpo settlements are found ; see Chavannes, Turcs occid., pp. 123 note, 31 I.

j See his paper in J.A.S.$., 1848, vol. xvii, referred to by Yule, J.R.A .S., 1872, Notes on Hwen Thsang's Account of Tokhâristân,' p. 117.

2 See Chavannes, Turcs occid., p. 124.

3 It will be seen below that the term Tsung-ling was used during the Tang period as a special designation of the Sarikol territory itself; as to the meaning and origin of the name, comp. Richthofen, China, i. p. 221.

Sarikol in Tang Annals.

The people of Sarikol in the Tang period.

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