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Karakorum (ruined city, Mongolia)

Karakorum (kä´rəkō´rəm), ruined city, central Republic of Mongolia, near the Orkhon River, SW of Ulaanbaatar. The area around Karakorum had been inhabited by nomadic Turkic tribes from the 1st cent. AD, but the city itself was not laid out until c.1220, when Jenghiz Khan, founder of the Mongol empire, established his residence there. As capital of the Mongols, Karakorum was visited (c.1247) by a papal mission under Giovanni Carpini. The city was abandoned (and later destroyed) after Kublai Khan, grandson of Jenghiz, transferred (1267) the Mongol capital to Khanbaliq (modern Beijing). The noted Lamaist monastery of Erdeni Dzu was built near Karakorum in 1586. The ruins of the ancient Mongol city were discovered in 1889 by N. M. Yadrinstev, a Russian explorer, who also uncovered the Orkhon Inscriptions (see Orkhon). Karakorum is also the name of a nearby site, which in the 8th and 9th cent. was the capital of the Uigurs.

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Karakorum (mountain range, Kashmir)

Karakorum or Karakoram, mountain range, extending c.300 mi (480 km), between the Indus and Yarkant rivers, N Kashmir, S central Asia; SE extension of the Hindu Kush. It covers disputed territory, held by China on the north, India on the east, and Pakistan on the west. Karakorum's main range has some of the world's highest peaks, including K2 (Mt. Godwin-Austen; 28,250 ft/8,611 m), the second highest peak in the world. Karakorum also has several of the world's largest glaciers. Its southern slopes are the watershed for many tributaries of the Indus. The mountains, the greatest barrier between India and central Asia, are crossed above the perpetual snow line by two natural routes. Karakorum Pass (alt. 18,290 ft/5,575 m), the chief pass, is on the main Kashmir-China route. Another important pass, Khunjerab (Kunjirap) Pass (alt. 15,420 ft/4,700 m), is on the Pakistan-China route.

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Karakorum

Karakorum an ancient city in central Mongolia, now ruined, which was the capital of the Mongol empire, established by Genghis Khan in 1220. The capital was moved by Kublai Khan to Khanbaliq (modern Beijing) in 1267, and Karakorum was destroyed by Chinese forces in 1388.

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Karakorum

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