|BADAKHSHAN WITH ITS PAMIR
MOUNTIAN AND ITS LAAL
bÃ¤dÃ¤khshÃ¤n, bdkhshÃ¤n, autonomous region (1991 est. pop. 167,100), c.24,600 sq mi (63,710 sq km), E Tajikistan, in the Pamir. It is bordered by China on the east and by Afghanistan on the south and west and is separated from Pakistan and Azad Kashmir by a narrow strip of Afghan territory. The eastern section (East Pamir) is a high plateau, and the western part (West Pamir) is cut by high ranges and deep, narrow valleys. Khorugh is the capital. The population is mainly Tajik, with small Kyrgyz and Russian minorities. Gold, salt, mica, limestone, and coal are mined. In the east livestock is raised (yaks, sheep, cattle, and goats), and in the western valleys grain, vegetables, and beans are grown. Formerly under the control of the Mongols and the Arabs, the region passed to Russian control in 1895. The area became the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region in 1925. It was sometimes formerly known as Mountain-Badakhshan.
PAMIR THE TOP OF THE WORLD
The Kunlun and Pamir mountain ranges.
also called Pamir, highland region of Central Asia. The Pamir mountain area centres on the nodal orogenic uplift known as the Pamir Knot, from which several south-central Asian mountain ranges radiate; these include the Hindu Kush, the Karakoram Range, the Kunlun Mountains, and the Tien Shan. Most of the Pamirs lie within Tajikistan, but the fringes penetrate Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, and Kyrgyzstan. The core is situated in the highlands of Tajikistan with the highest mountains in the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous oblast (province).
Kyrgyz mosque in the Pamirs, western Uighur Autonomous Region of Sinkiang, China.
The word pamir in the local Turkic language denotes the high undulating grasslands that are a feature of the eastern portion of the mountains, especially where they abut Afghanistan and China. Deep river valleys mark the boundaries of the Pamirs in the north beyond the ridges of the Trans-Alay Range, and the Vakhan region (Wakhan Corridor) of Afghanistan defines the southern extent. The Sarykol pamir in the Uighur Autonomous Region of Sinkiang in western China bounds the eastern margin, and a series of southwestern-aligned valleys that eventually drain into the Vakhsh and Panj rivers serrate the western boundary
Pronounced As: pmr, pÃ¤- or Pamirs, mountainous region of central Asia, located mainly in Tajikistan and extending into NE Afghanistan and SW Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China; called the "roof of the world. Many peaks rise to more than 20,000 ft (6,096 m); Communism Peak (24,590 ft/7,495 m) and Lenin Peak (23,508 ft/7,165 m) are the Pamir's highest. The region forms a geologic structural knot from which the great Tian Shan, Karakorum, Kunlun, and Hindu Kush mountain systems radiate. Snowcapped throughout the year, the Pamir experiences long cold winters and cool summers. Annual precipitation is c.5 in. (12.7 cm), which supports grasslands but few trees. Several large glaciers, including the 144-mi-long (231-km) Murghab Valley glacier, are in the Pamir. Coal is mined in the W Pamir, but nomadic sheep herding in the upland meadows is the main economic activity. Terak Pass, used by Italian traveler Marco Polo on his way to China in 1271, is one of several high passes used by routes passing through the Pamir. The French explorer Pierre Bonvalot made the first European north-south crossing of the Pamir in 1886.
semiprecious stone valued for its deep blue colour. The source of the pigment ultramarine (q.v.), it is not a mineral but a rock coloured by lazurite (see sodalite). In addition to the sodalite minerals in lapis lazuli, small amounts of white calcite and of pyrite crystals are usually present. Diopside, amphibole, feldspar, mica, apatite, titanite (sphene), and zircon may also occur.
Because lapis is a rock of varying composition, its physical properties are variable. It usually occurs in crystalline limestones and is a product of contact metamorphism. The most important sources are the mines in Badakhshan, northeastern Afghanistan, and those near Ovalle, Chile, where it is usually pale rather than deep blue. Much of the material that is sold as lapis is an artificially coloured jasper from Germany that shows colourless specks of clear, crystallized quartz and never the goldlike flecks of pyrite that are characteristic of lapis lazuli and have been compared with stars in the sky