The modern Chinese
name is 喀什
(Kāshí), a shortened form of the longer and less-frequently used (simplified Chinese
; traditional Chinese
(AD 90-168), in his Geography
, Chapter 15.3A, refers to Kashgar as “Kasia”.
Its western and probably indigenous name is Kāš
, to which the East Iranian -γar
("mountain"; cf. Pashto
and Middle Persian gar/ġar
) was attached, while in the East it appears in Chinese as Shule
) and in Tibetan
Alternate historical Romanizations for "Kashgar" include Cascar
Variant names include the approved name Shule
the official transcriptions of the Uyghur K̂äxk̂är
as well as Jangi-schahr,
Kashgar Yangi Shahr,
and Еңишәһәр.Han Dynasty
In the Hanshu
(Book of the Former Han
), which covers the period between 125 BC and 23 AD, it is recorded that there were 1,510 households, 18,647 people and 2,000 persons able to bear arms. By the time covered by the Hou Hanshu
(roughly 25 to 170), it had grown to 21,000 households and had 3,000 men able to bear arms.
The Hou Hanshu
(Book of the Later Han
), provides a wealth of detail on developments in the region:
"In the period of Emperor Wu [140-87 BC], the Western Regions1 were under the control of the Interior [China]. They numbered thirty-six kingdoms. The Imperial Government established a Colonel [in charge of] Envoys there to direct and protect these countries. Emperor Xuan [73-49 BC] changed this title [in 59 BC] to Protector-General.
Emperor Yuan [40-33 BC] installed two Wuji Colonels to take charge of the agricultural garrisons on the frontiers of the king of Nearer Jushi [Turpan].
During the time of Emperor Ai [6 BC-AD 1] and Emperor Ping [AD 1-5], the principalities of the Western Regions split up and formed fifty-five kingdoms. Wang Mang, after he usurped the Throne [in AD 9], demoted and changed their kings and marquises. Following this, the Western Regions became resentful, and rebelled. They, therefore, broke off all relations with the Interior [China] and, all together, submitted to the Xiongnu again.
The Xiongnu collected oppressively heavy taxes and the kingdoms were not able to support their demands. In the middle of the Jianwu period [AD 25-56], they each [Shanshan and Yarkand in 38, and 18 kingdoms in 45], sent envoys to ask if they could submit to the Interior [China], and to express their desire for a Protector-General. Emperor Guangwu, decided that because the Empire was not yet settled [after a long period of civil war], he had no time for outside affairs, and [therefore] finally refused his consent [in AD 45].
In the meantime, the Xiongnu became weaker. The king of Suoju [Yarkand], named Xian, wiped out several kingdoms. After Xian’s death [c. AD 62], they began to attack and fight each other. Xiao Yuan [Tura], Jingjue [Cadota], Ronglu [Niya], and Qiemo [Cherchen] were annexed by Shanshan [the Lop Nur region]. Qule [south of Keriya] and Pishan [modern Pishan or Guma] were conquered and fully occupied by Yutian [Khotan]. Yuli [Fukang], Danhuan, Guhu [Dawan Cheng], and Wutanzili were destroyed by Jushi [Turpan and Jimasa]. Later these kingdoms were re-established.
During the Yongping period [AD 58-75], the Northern Xiongnu forced several countries to help them plunder the commanderies and districts of Hexi. The gates of the towns stayed shut in broad daylight."
And, more particularly in reference to Kashgar itself, is the following record:
"In the sixteenth Yongping year of Emperor Ming 73, Jian, the king of Qiuci (Kucha
), attacked and killed Cheng, the king of Shule (Kashgar). Then he appointed the Qiuci (Kucha) Marquis of the Left, Douti, King of Shule (Kashgar).
In winter 73, the Han sent the Major Ban Chao
who captured and bound Douti. He appointed Zhong, the son of the elder brother of Cheng, to be king of Shule (Kashgar). Zhong later rebelled. (Ban) Chao attacked and beheaded him."
Battle of Kashgar (1934)
36th division General Ma Fuyuan
led a Chinese Muslim
army to storm Kashgar on February 6, 1934, and attacked the Uighur
rebels of the First East Turkestan Republic. He freed another 36th division general, Ma Zhancang, who was trapped with his Chinese Muslim
and Han chinese troops in Kashgar New City by the Uighurs and Kirghizs since May 22, 1933. In January, 1934, Ma Zhancang's Chinese Muslim troops repulsed six Uighur attacks, launched by Khoja Niyaz
, who arrived at the city on January 13, 1934, inflicting massive casualties on the Uighur forces.
From 2,000 to 8,000 Uighur civilians in Kashgar Old City were massacred by Tungans in February, 1934, in revenge for the Kizil massacre
, after retreating of Uighur forces from the city to Yengi Hisar
. The chinese Muslim and 36th division Chief General Ma Zhongying
, who arrived at Kashgar on April 7, 1934, gave a speech at Idgah mosque
in April, reminding the Uighurs to be loyal to the Republic of China
government at Nanjing
. Several British citizens at the British consulate were killed by the 36th division.
People's Republic of China
In 2008, two Uyghur men carried out a vehicular, IED and knife attack
against police officers. In 2009, development of Kashgar's old town accelerated after the revelations of the deadly role of faulty architecture during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake
. Many of the old houses in the old town were built without regulation, and as a result, officials found them to be overcrowded and non-compliant with fire and earthquake codes. When the plan started, 42% of the city's residents lived in the old town.
With compensation, residents of faulty buildings are being counseled to move to newer, safer buildings that will replace the historic structures in the $448 million plan, including high-rise apartments, plazas, and reproductions of ancient Islamic architecture
. The European Parliament
issued a resolution
in 2011 calling for "culture-sensitive methods of renovation."
The International Scientific Committee on Earthen Architectural Heritage (ISCEAH) has expressed concern over the demolition and reconstruction of historic buildings. ISCEAH has, additionally, urged the implementation of techniques utilized elsewhere in the world to address earthquake vulnerability.
In 2011, a spate of violence
over two days killed dozens of people. By May 2012 two-thirds of the old city had been demolished, fulfilling "political as well as economic goals."
Kashgar features a desert climate
) with hot summers and cold winters, with large temperature differences between those two seasons: The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from −5.3 °C (22.5 °F)
in January to 25.6 °C (78.1 °F)
in July, while the annual mean is 11.8 °C (53.2 °F)
. Spring is long and arrives quickly, while fall is somewhat short. Kashgar is one of the driest cities on the planet, averaging only 64 millimetres (2.52 in) of precipitation per year. The city’s wettest month, July, only sees on average 9.1 millimetres (0.36 in) of rain. Because of the extremely arid conditions, snowfall is rare, despite the cold winters. Records have been as low as −24.4 °C (−12 °F)
in January and up to 40.1 °C (104.2 °F)
in July. The frost-free period averages 215 days.