An ethnic blend of Uyghurs, Tajiks, Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, and Han Chinese, some things in the Old Town of Kashgar haven’t changed since medieval times....
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Day 1: It was D-Day. All the ragada and today were the day everyone was waiting for. I woke up early, it was still dawn with a strange chill in the air. I sorted my stuff and started wrestling with my rucksack to fit all the stuff inside it. A half hour crazy battle with first the sleeping bag and then the rucksack, I was finally ready to go. We loaded our rucksacks on the truck and jumped on it which would take us to our staging area from where we would start our trek. That staging area is the O.P. Baba Mandir. It is believed that O.P. Baba protects our troops against any mishaps in the glacier and would also slap a soldier if he gets drowsy or sleeps while he is on guard duty. Hence nothing moves on the glacier without taking permission from O.P. Baba and for that very purpose, our starting point was the mandir.
Exotic. Mysterious. A pulsating maze of colors, sights and smells, more Middle Eastern than Chinese. How do you begin to describe this mesmerizing 3000 year old oasis and trading mecca along the Silk Road?? An ethnic blend of Uyghurs, Tajiks, Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, and Han Chinese, some things in the Old Town of Kashgar haven’t changed since medieval times. Every narrow lane beckons you to explore the bazaars full of shimmering silk, knives, jewelry and carpets all moving to the rhythmic beat of metalworkers, cobblers, and weavers producing quality wares by hand; trades passed from generation to generation.