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Additional resources for The Silk Road Journey With Xuanzang
Most probably he also visited Jiaohe, six miles west of Turfan town, a natural fortress that stands on a high bluff between two rivers. A stroll across a dusty plain would take him to an unusual stupa with a tall central round pillar surrounded by four towers. Ten years after Xuanzang visited the Turfan oasis, Jiaohe became the main base for administering the western regions of the Chinese empire. m bed in the foothills of the Tian Shan Mountains, passing by the famous Flaming Mountain, so called because of its reddish hue.
He presented Xuanzang with fifty pieces of silk, and a set of clothes of crimson satin. Like the kings of Turfan and Kucha before him, the khan and his officers, with true courtesy, accompanied Xuanzang a few miles to start him on his Journey. Xuanzang set out again for the western regions. He crossed the plain on the north of the Alexandrian mountains where the nine rivers that feed the Chu, and the ten rivers that feed its tributary, the Kuragati, have their source. Even today this area eighty miles west of Tokmak is called "The Land of One Thousand Springs" (Bing-yul).
Xuanzang reports that there were some tens of Buddhist monasteries and several thousand monks who were adherents of a rare Hinayana school, whose chief tenet was that the Buddhas are above earthly laws, an idea that is perhaps an approach to the conception of the transcendent Buddha of the Mahayana pantheon. 1s Together they visited the chief monastery at Bamiyan with its world-famous Buddhas. Long before Bamiyan was known to the whole world, modern art historians quoted Xuanzang's eyewitness account: On the declivity of a hill to the north-east of the capital was a standing image of Buddha made of stone, I40 or I 50 feet high, of 46) THE CROSSROADS OF ASIA a brilliant golden color and resplendent with ornamentation of precious substances.