Karakash River

Karakash River

The Karakash or Black Jade River, also spelled "Karakax" (Chinese: 黑玉河; pinyin: Hēiyù hé), is a river in the Xinjiang autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, which lies partially in the disputed Aksai Chin region. The river originates near Sumde on the northern slopes of the Karakoram Range in the Aksai Chin region of the historical Kashmir region. It flows north to Sumnal (15,540 ft), then turns sharply northeastwards (skirting the Soda Plains of Aksai Chin) until just beyond Palong Karpo, when it turns sharply northwestwards, and crosses into Xinjiang proper. It flows past the towns of Sumgal, Fotash, Gulbashem, until it reaches Xaidulla.

The river then turns sharply northeastwards again near Xaidulla, and, after passing through Ali Nazar crosses the Kunlun mountain range near the Sanju Pass, passing east of Khotan, running parallel to the Yurungkash River, which it joins near Koxlax (some 200 km north of Khotan, coord|38.08|N|80.56|E), from where it continues north as the Khotan River passing Piqanlik (coord|40.05|N|80.89|E), and seasonally crossing the desert, joining the Tarim River at coord|42|29|N|80|56|E.

The Karakash River is famous for its white and greenish jade (nephrite) carried as river boulders and pebbles toward Khotan, as does the nearby Yurungkash (or 'White Jade') River. This river jade originates from eroded mountain deposits of which the most famous one is near, Gulbashen, in southwestern Xinjiang (formerly Chinese Turkestan).

The Karakash Valley was also a caravan road for the north-south trade between Yarkand (China) and Leh over the Karakoram Pass now in Leh District of India.

ee also

* List of rivers in China
*Indian subcontinent
*Geography of Ladakh

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