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Hindutash, also known as Hindu-tagh Pass, is the name of a historical mountain pass in the western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (formerly, Chinese Turkestan) of the People's Republic of Chinamarker. The pass cuts through the Kunlun Mountainsmarker connecting the now-deserted town of Kangxiwar, formerly Kengshewar, (36° 11' 58 N, 78° 46' 50 E) in the Karakash River valley to the town of Pusha, (36.3833° N, 79° E), formerly Bushia, in the Yurungkash River valley, and also connects to the road to the city of Hotanmarker, formerly Khotan. (See maps on right.)

History

In 1857, the explorer Robert Schlagintweit crossed this pass from camping grounds in Sumgal ("three fords"), on the banks of the Karakash river, approximately 7 miles upstream from Kengshewar and estimated its height to be . At the top of the pass (36° 16' 23 N, 78° 46' 50 E), there is a steep glacier with many crevasses. The eastern Kunlun range, which is in the southern region of the Hotanmarker prefecture of Xinjiang, is cut by two other passes: the Sanju Passmarker, near the small staging post of Xaidullamarker, formerly Shahidulla, northwest of Hindu-tagh, and the Ilchi Pass, southeast of Hindu-tagh, just north-east of the village of Dahongliutanmarker, itself just north of the now disputed Aksai Chinmarker area (see second map on right). The former pass had been much used historically, and provided the traditional means of entry from the south into the ancient Kingdom of Khotan. The latter was traversed in 1865 by W. H. Johnson of the Survey of India. "Hindu-tagh" means "Indian Mountain," and "Hindu-tash," "Indian stone" in the Uyghur dialect of Xinjiang.

Gallery

Image:Chain-of-kuenluen-from-sumgal1857a.jpg|"The Chain of the Kuenlúen, from Súmgal, in Turkistán (Lat North 36° 8', Long. East of Green. 78° 5', Height 13, 215 Engl. feet)" by Hermann Schlagintweit, August 1856. Lithographed by Sabatier, printed in oil-colours by Lemereier, Paris. The Hindu-tagh Pass is the break in the mountains on the right.Image:IMG_0542.jpg|Karakash River in the Western Kunlun Range, seen from the Xinjiang-Tibet Highway

Image:Kunlun_IMG_0541.jpg|View of Western Kunlun Range from the Xinjiang-Tibet Highway

Maps

Image:NWFP-Kashmir1909-a.jpg|A lower-resolution 1909 Map of the Princely State of Kashmir and Jammumarker. Sumgal at the base of the Hindu-tagh Pass, Chinese Turkestan, is shown in the top right corner.Image:China India western border 88.jpg|US State Department Map of Aksai Chin. Hindutash is just north of the town of Kangxiwar, Xinjiang shown at the top of the map, north of Aksai Chin.Image:Yangi-hindutash-aurel-stein-map-1911.jpg|Map of Aurel Stein (1911) based on that of the Survey of India showing the "Hindutash Dawan" in the Kunlun Mountains in Chinese TurkestanImage:Johnson-journey-ilchi1865-mapa.jpg|Map of W. H. Johnson showing the route of his trip to Khotan from Leh; in this map, Johnson refers to the pass as "Hindotak diwan Pass."He himself traveled through the Yangi diwan Pass, some 20 miles up-river from Hindutash, on his outward journey, and returned via the Sanju diwan Pass near Shahdula (modern Xaidulla).

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