Takla Makan Desert

Takla Makan is a large, dry, sandy desert in western China. Pyramid-like sand dunes rise over 300 meters here the surrounding plain, and the violent storms can lift three times higher wall of sand. Takla Makan is about the size of New Zealand. Living in this area people have always considered her a dangerous place. Takla Makan name means go, and no longer go out.

On the eastern edge of the desert lies the great trough, called the Turpan Depression (154 m ppm). It is one of the hottest and lowest places on Earth. There is almost no rainfall and temperatures for weeks can be within the range of 40 ° C.

Near the oasis of Turpan, are the ruins of cities, founded around 200 BC. Those of the city lay on the famous Silk Road with a length of 6400 km, which until the fifteenth-century merchants traveling between the Mediterranean and China.


It is surrounded by the highest mountain ranges of the world, including Kunlun, Karakoram, Tienszan of altitude peaks over 7000 m above sea level (Eg, Pik Pobedy). Along the northern edge of the desert Tarym river flows, and the northeast’s (separated by a small mountain range Kuruktag) Turfanska Basin, which is the second-lowest point in Asia (154 m ppm).


Clarification of the origin of the name of the desert for unknown reasons, it became the subject of a variety of fantasy, especially from journalists, claiming that based on the information a tourist guide or “a Chinese scholar.” Meanwhile, it is quite simple (most recently, although it’s more than 10 years ago, on this subject – see. P. 447 in Jarring, G.: Central Asian Turkic Place-Names. Lop Nor and Tarim Area, Stockholm, 1997). This name comes from the Uighurs living in the area who are very strongly reducing the consonant-r at the end of the word – in other languages ​​turkijskich the first word of the name would sound tackler, and the Uighur is just Takla (plural of that) and it means’ bows (Architectural ) ‘(the variant form of the name of the desert, Taklimakan clearly indicates its Uighur descent, because the change in vowel-a-in-and-in this position is for a typical Uighur language). The second word Makan means ‘place’ (both as and Makan are ultimately words of Arabic origin). In total, the name of the desert to be understood as ‘a place arches’, because the local people noticed that there winds blowing from time to time odsypują sand so that it emerges from under the remains of ancient buildings, especially the fragments of arches to the nature of things stick out more than others preserved remains of the walls. However, any explanation of the importance of names Takla Makan ~ Taklimakan a ‘place of death’ or ‘go and not come out’ are completely nieetymologicznymi inventions, that conflict with knowledge of the Uighur language and etymology.


Takla Makan is the largest sandy desert of the world, with an area equal to 270 thousand.


Continental climate of moderately warm, extremely dry (average annual rainfall does not exceed 100 mm.) Strong winds and sandstorms.


Numerous short rivers (eg, Karak-Darya, Kerija, Czerczen Darya) flowing from the surrounding desert mountains penetrate up to 200 km and the “lost” water Takla Makan in the sands. Flows along the northern edge of the largest river in the desert – Tarym.