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Message-ID: <000b01beb071$c2dfea40$644bffd0@nikko>
Date: Sun, 6 Jun 1999 16:10:26 -0700
Sender: CENASIA Former Soviet Republic - Central Asia Discussion <CENASIA@LISTS.MCGILL.CA>
Subject: Buddhist Ruins along Silk Road?
Comments: To: Frederik Coene <fcoene@ACE.ULYSSIS.STUDENT.KULEUVEN.AC.BE>

Buddhist Ruins along Silk Road?

A dialog from the CenAsia list
6 June 1999

Date: Sun, 6 Jun 1999 16:10:26 -0700
From: Nikko Odiseos <nodiseos@EARTHLINK.NET>

Could anyone please let me know about any places along the Silk Road (both Northern and Southern routes) in China, Kyrgistan, or Uzbekistan where Buddhist ruins exist. My understanding is that the Niya site is totally inaccessible.

? nodiseos@earthlink.net

Date: Mon, 7 Jun 1999 01:25:11 +0100

Pretty broad question. As there are tons of printed material on areas outside of Xinjiang, I will limit my response to the lesser known areas.

Khotan area: Niya requires a permit from the town nearest it, and some days on a camel into the desert, but can be arranged, believe it or not. Plan on about 10 days out & back, and access fees by the relevant authority. Best to get details on Niya from Khotan CITS or the Archeology museum, they'll tell you who to visit to arrange it. They were shockingly helpful and honest as of May 99. Rawaq requires a permit as well, get it in the Khotan Archeology Museum) (I was just there this May) and Aksipil are also possible, as are a couple of the other sites excavated by Stein. Just cities in the sand, nothing much there, so don't go expecting to see Buddhist murals or sculptures -- see the British Museum for that. You get more if you bring Stein's "On Khotan" with you, as he's still the most detailed writer on this stuff, after almost 100 years.

Kucha area: Qizil and Qizil Qagha caves (Kyzil, sometimes, excavated mostly by von Le Coq but also by Stein) are both accessible. Qizil is the best preserved, and access to the caves is well-regulated. There are tons of abandoned cities as well around Kucha -- just get a map and talk to a travel service or someone with a jeep. Most cabs will refuse to take you to any place outside of the usual 20 km radius.

Kashgar: pretty disappointing for Buddhist remains. The Three Immortals cave is a non-event.

Turpan is well-documented. Enjoy.

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