The "Silk Routes" (collectively known as the "Silk Road") crossed Eurasia from China to Europe, and served as the main vehicle of trade and communication for thousands of years. Anyone interested in learning about the scientific and cultural developments of today needs to gain knowledge about the civilizations that existed at the crossroads of caravans. During your travels, or while preparing for your trip along the regions of the Silk Routes, you may come across words with which you are not familiar. To better understand and appreciate the culture, history and traditions which thrived for millennia across the Silk Routes, it is important that you familiarize yourself with as many words as possible.
There is more than one route of the Silk Road. The routes vary due to their different destinations in the west in the different dynasties. But there are three main routes. The route along the north side of Tianshan Mountain is the North Tianshan Route; that along the south side of Tianshan Mountain, the South Tianshan Route and that along Kunlun Mountain the South Western Region Route. These three routes are called, respectively from north to south, the north route, the middle route, and the south route.
The above three routes are actually one route before they reach Loulan, Xingjiang, that is from Xi’an---Lanzhou---the Hexi Corridor---Wuwei---Zhangye---Jiuquan---Dunhuang---Yumen Guan (Yang Guan)---Loulan.
The north route runs from Loulan---Turfan---Hami---Urumqi---Yining---Yili--west to coast of the Caspian Sea.
The middle route runs from Loulan---Kuche---Aksu---Kashi---west to Iran and to Rome along the coast of Mediterranean Sea.
The south route runs from Loulan---Qiemo---Yutian---Shache---south to India and Southeast to the direction of Afghan.