For over 2000 years, SILK ROUTE has been the nerve center for silk road economic belt countries between ASIA and EUROPE. As the name suggests, SILK ROUTE has been used by caravans for bringing the much coveted Chinese Silk to Rome. It was also a connecting link between many cultures and civilizations. Buddhism is known to come to China from India through Silk Route. And so did Islam.
The most famous journey over Silk Route has to be the travels of Marco Polo, the Venetian explorer. The writings of Marco Polo describing the journey has been a major subject of study by historians for many generations. Marco Polo, travelled from Venice and reached China, to visit the court of Kublai Khan, the great Mongol ruler. Silk Route is not actually a single long road, connecting Europe to China, but a collection of intersecting trade routes, passing through diverse landforms.
The silk route starts in China from the city of Xian. From here the route moves west to Lanzhou and along the so called Hexi Corridor to the city of Dunhuang. After this lies the great Taklimakan Desert where the road branches off into a number of trails called the Northern, Middle and Southern silk routes. All these routes end in the city of Kashgar from where the route moves on.
Northern Silk route starts from Dunhuang to Hami, then to Turfan, Korla and finally Kashgar. Middle Silk Route moves from Dunhuang to Cherchen and then reaching Korla and finally ending in Kashgar. The southern route, from Dunhuang to Cherchen, Khotan, Yarkand and finally, Kashgar. All three routes rejoin at Kashgar. From here, the route is divided into a number of branches reaching different parts of Central Asia, South Asia and Iran (the mighty kingdom of Persia in ancient times).
Some of the most popular routes taken from here can be towards southwest to Turkmenistan and reaching Iran, west towards Baghdad, then Damascus and then Istanbul(Turkey) or towards Lebanon, or South from Xinjiang into Pakistan and then to India via the breathtaking Ladakh through the Srinagar-Leh highway (very popular among tourists, specially bikers).