Chalachigu Valley or Karachukur Valley is a valley in Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County, Kashgar Prefecture, Xinjiang, China. It borders Afghanistan to the west, Tajikistan to the north and Pakistan to the south. It borders Taghdumbash Pamir to the east, Gojal to the south, and Little Pamir to the north and west. The name of the valley is from Kyrgyz meaning "black cave".
|Location||Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County, Kashgar Prefecture, Xinjiang, China|
The valley is part of the Taxkorgan Nature Reserve. The protected Marco Polo sheep is only found around this area. The Chalachigu River or Karachukur River (Chinese: 喀拉其库尔河) flows through the valley and is a tributary of Tashkurgan River. The region is often referred by Chinese as the Chinese portion Wakhan Corridor. There is an ethnic Kyrgyz village call Bayik (Chinese: 排依克村 or Chinese: 阿特加依里村)
The entire Chalachigu Valley is closed to visitors; however, local residents and herders from the area are permitted to access.
The valley was a significant thoroughfare of the Silk Road during ancient times. Around the valley are numerous passes connecting to other countries:
- Tajikistan - Beyik Pass
- Afghanistan - Wakhjir Pass, Tegermansu Pass
- Pakistan - Kilik Pass, Mintaka Pass
Of the above passes, it is believed that the famous Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Xuanzang traveled through Wakhjir Pass on his return trip back to China around 649 AD. Some Chinese historians argue that he also used Beyik Pass on his way to India.
- 姬文志; 王宝福; 王飞 (2015-07-30). "坚守在帕米尔高原上的边防军人" (in Chinese). photo.81.cn. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
- J. N. Price Wood (1910). "Travel & Sport in Turkestan". D. Appleton and Company. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
Descending the Killik Pass we emerged into the Karachukur Valley, here about two miles wide ... forms a wedge of Chinese territory driven in between Russia and India, and joins at its western end a similar narrow tongue of Afghanistan.
- USFWS (1990-10-05). "Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Threatened Status for Argali" (PDF). Federal Register. USDOI. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-02-25. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
consisting of fewer than 150 animals, was confined to the western part of the Chalachigu Valley, a finger of land extending between Afghanistan on the north and Pakistan to the south.
- "Taxkorgan Nature Reserve". icimod.org. International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
Basically flat and in places more than 5km wide, the Taxkorgan Valley (the Taghdumbash Pamir on old maps) was part of the ancient Silk Route known viable population of Marco Polo sheep in China was confined to the western part of Chalachigu Valley
- Green, Michael J. B. (1993). "Nature reserves of the Himalaya and the mountains of Central Asia". Oxford University Press. p. 121. ISBN 0195629221. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
The western part is drained by the Chalachigu River, a branch of the Taxkorgan River which meets the Yarkant River north of the reserve.
- "新疆边境行：记者抵达瓦罕走廊中方最西端(图)" [Xinjiang Border Tour: Reporter arrived at the Chinese westernmost point of Wakhan Corridor]. Sina News (in Chinese). Global Times. 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
- 杨雪梅 (2016-09-09). "穿越瓦罕走廊（且行且思）" [Through the Wakhan Corridor]. people.gov.cn (in Chinese). People's Daily. Archived from the original on 2017-02-05. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
- 赵戈 (2016-06-13). "瓦罕走廊转场日记". xj.xinhuanet.com (in Chinese). Xinhua News Agency. Archived from the original on 2017-02-05. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
- "军事纪实" [Documentary for Military]. CCTV-7. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
- 兵守瓦罕走廊①连长眼中的边关. 军事纪实 (Documentary for Military). CCTV-7. Mar 6, 2017. Retrieved 23 December 2019 – via YouTube.
- Stein, M. Aurel (1903-06-30). "Exploration in Chinese Turkestan". United States Congressional Serial Set. No. 748. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution. p. 752. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
- 于淑娟 (2014-12-24). "访谈︱侯杨方：追寻玄奘，在帕米尔复原丝绸之路". The Paper (thepaper.cn) (in Chinese). Retrieved 2017-02-02.