Head of the Karakash River between Leh (Jammu & Kashmir, India) and Yarkand (China). January 1869
Artist: Leighton, Stanley (1837-1901)
Medium: Pencil on paper
The Karakash or Black Jade River originates near Sumde on the northern slopes of the Karakorum Mountain range on the Tibetan Plateau and flows for 808 kilometres until it reaches the Takla Makan desert. The river is famous for the jade from eroded mountain deposits which it carries along in boulders and pebbles. An ancient caravan route ran along the Karakash valley conveying trade between Yarkand in the north and Leh to the south.