I. A province of East Turkis-tan, between lat. 36° 30' and 41° N, and Ion. 72° and 77° 30' E.; area, about 57,000 sq. m. It lies in the basin of the Kizil Darya and its tributaries. This river flows eastward 500 m. along the southern slope of the Thian-shan range, into the Yarkand river. Some parts of Kashgar are very fertile, and produce large crops of wheat, barley, rice, cotton, and hemp, while cultivated fruits are abundant. The province was anciently included in the great Tartar kingdom of central Asia. When that was dismembered, Kashgar, together with the rest of East Turkistan, came under the government of a local Mohammedan dynasty, whence sprang numerous factions which disputed the supremacy until the middle of the 18th century, when the Chinese conquered the country. It remained a part of the Chinese empire 108 years. About 1863 a revolt of the Tunganis or Dungenes, Mohammedan inhabitants of mixed Tartar and Chinese descent, broke out, and was followed by a rising of the Kirghiz Tartars, which in a few years resulted in the expulsion of the Chinese and the subjection of the provinces of Kashgar, Yarkand, Khoten, and Aksu to Mohammed Yakub Beg, a military chief from Khokan, who became sovereign of East Turkistan. (See Turkistan.) II. A city of East Turkistan, capital of that country and of the province described above, in lat. 39° 29' N., Ion. 76° 12' E., about 135 m.
N. W. of Yarkand; pop. estimated at from 60,000 to 70,000, mostly Tartars. It is situated in an angle between two branches of the Kazul river or Kizil Darya. The northern branch, called the Tumaun, runs close to the walls, and is crossed by a bridge of 55 boats; the southern branch, over which there is a bridge of eight boats, flows between Kashgar and the fortress. The latter, which is known as the Yang-shahr, and is sometimes called the new city, is about 5 m. from the old city. Its elevation above the sea has been variously stated, as low as 4,165 ft. and as high as 5,200 ft. Kashgar is built on a plain bounded N. and N. W. by lofty mountains, connected with the Pamir plateau, while level tracts stretch far toward the east. A fortified earthen wall of considerable height and thickness surrounds the city; it is pierced by five gates, and overlooked by numerous towers about 50 yards apart. There are said to be 28,000 houses within the enclosure, mostly flat - roofed and made of sun - dried bricks. The people are industrious, peaceful, and intelligent, and have attained a comparatively high degree of civilization.
They are Mohammedans. Kashgar has been notorious since the days of Marco Polo for the temporary marriages which the rules of Shiah Mohammedanism permitted, as perfectly lawful, between young women of the city and travellers, for a month, a week, or even a day. This practice has, however, lately been prohibited. There are eight colleges, eleven caravansaries, and many spacious bazaars. A considerable trade is carried on in tea, chintz, cloths, and Russian manufactured goods. A coarse gunpowder is manufactured. Fuel and timber are very scarce. The climate is dry in winter, and so cold that the rivers freeze over and snow falls frequently. The city was visited by Marco Polo, who describes it under the name of Cascar. The name is written and pro-nounced Kashkar by the inhabitants. - Among the first Europeans to explore the province in modern times were Adolf Schlagintweit, who was murdered there in August, 1857, and the English travellers Robert B. Shaw and George W. Hayward, who reached the new city in 1869. For accounts of these and other recent expeditions, see "Journal of the Royal Geographical Society," vols. xl. and xli. (London, 1870 and 1871), and Shaw's "Visits to High Tartary, Yarkand, and Kashgar " (London, 1871).