Hotan is an administrative district in the south of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the northwest of the People 's Republic of China with a total area of 248,946 km ² and a population of 1.77 million ( end of 2004). Its capital is also called Hotan. The city was the first to the 10th century AD the capital of the Kingdom of Hotan. By Hotan was the Silk Road, which led from China to Europe.
Main article: Kingdom of Hotan
The early history of Khotan is dark; later, Buddhist-influenced legends are without historical significance. The kingdom of Khotan appears for the first time to the birth of Christ in Chinese sources. It is reported that under Wudi a Khotanese embassy visited the Chinese court. During this time, Khotan had already hegemony over parts of the western Tarim Basin, King Guangde (广 德, Guǎngdé ) conquered in AD 61 even Yarkant. Due to the troubled political situation Guangde accepted 73 Chinese military protection in return gave Khotan centuries tribute to China. In the 3rd century AD ruled Khotan according to the report of the Weilüe still several kingdoms in the southwestern Tarim Basin to 400 described the Chinese pilgrim Faxian Khotan as a rich country with numerous Buddhist monasteries, similar descriptions provided on Songyun in 519 and Xuanzang ( 644 ). In the Tang Dynasty, China's interest in the Tarim Basin was larger again, why 648 a Chinese garrison was stationed as part of the "Four Garrisons of Anxi " in Khotan. 670 Khotan fell briefly under Tibetan rule, which was then replaced by 700 of China before it was conquered by the Tibetans against 790 again. In the following period Khotan was captured by the general decline of the Tarim Basin.
Ancient Khotan has left a large number of archaeological traces. Beginning of the 20th century first excavations were here by Aurel Stein and a little later a Japanese expedition carried out. In Khotan several archaeological complexes exist. The largest, the ancient capital Yotkan 8 km west represents the heugtigen Khotan; be in the area for several other complexes, including Farhad - Beg Yailaki with a stupa and a temple and the installation of Dandan Uiliq, where several residential buildings, worship facilities and major wrote on Saka and Sanskrit Buddhist texts and Chinese documents from the period of 781 -789 were found.
Administratively itself sets the administrative district composed of a circle-free city and seven counties. These are (population and square footage of 2006):
- City Hotan ( Hetian Shì和田 市), 466 km ², 270,000 inhabitants;
- Circle Hotan ( Hetian Xiàn和田 县), 41,403 km ², 280,000 inhabitants;
- Circle Karakax (墨玉县Moyu Xiàn ), 25,789 km ², 440,000 inhabitants;
- Circle Guma (皮 山 县Pishan Xiàn ), 39,742 km ², 230,000 inhabitants;
- Circle Lop (洛浦县Luòpǔ Xiàn ), 14,314 km ², 240,000 inhabitants;
- Circle Qira (策勒县Cele Xiàn ), 31,688 km ², 140,000 inhabitants;
- Circle Keriya (于田 县Yutian Xiàn ), 39,095 km ², 220,000 inhabitants;
- Circle Niya (民丰县Minfeng Xiàn ), 56,760 km ², 30,000 inhabitants.