Ancient Hexi Corridor Road
This was an old road scattered with historical sites. What we saw were the endless Gobi Desert and layer upon layer of hazy mountain peaks in the distance.
The earliest settlers of this area came from the east, filled with a
western dream. What they found was an area of vast deserts with high and
Ancient beacon towers, broken and dilapidated through years of
storms and stress, stood lonely on the Gobi. There were extensions of the
Great Wall of the Han Dynasty, like an old man, fatigued and spiritless.
However, they tell you the ancient and brilliant history of the Qin and
Zhang Xian, entrusted by the emperor of the Han Dynasty, went to the west as a royal envoy. Zhang Xian dispatched his subordinates to Afghanistan, Iran and India and finally built up the silk road, an artery of exchange between the east and the west of the day.
Emperor Hanwu established four prefectures in Wuwei, Zhangye,
Qiuquan and Dunhuang and two passes of defence in Yangguan and
Yumen in the Hexi Corridor in 111 B.C.
Dunhuang was first established as a prefecture, it was a commercial hub
on the road from Chang'an, the capital of the Han Dynasty, to the west and
the center of the traffic network between the north and the south
entering central China.
The Han royal princesses such as Xi Jun and Jia You who were married off
to Xiongnu kings regarded Dunhuang as home. It was also the gate of
protocol to meet the kings from western states, calling on the Han
emperor. It was also home to officials who were sent to the west in exile.
The Magao Caves in Dunhuang contain hundreds of Buddhist images cut into the sandstone cliff.
In 400, border defence official Li Gao established a political power
called Xiliang in Dunhuang. He expanded his territory and attached
great importance to agriculture and education. Great numbers of scholars
and artists came from central China. They showed outstanding achievements in classical studies and arts.
Dunhuang was the first place that came to know Indian Buddhism
whose teachings and tenets served as a tranquilizer to the people who were
tired of long wars and social disturbances. Buddhism became a
prevailing religion in Dunhuang for more than a thousand years.