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Known as Yutian in ancient times, Hotan was one of the earliest centers of Buddhism in the Western Regions. It had been visited by eminent monks such as Fa Xian and Xuan Zang.

The city ahs a long history of silkworm breeding, silk reeling and making silk textiles, being once the silk center on the Silk Road. It is also famed far and wide for its production of jade and jasper, especially the pure white nephrite, opaq jade and jade of brilliant green color.

According to historical records, Hotan was the birth place of the famous Xinjiang carpet. In those days, Xinjiang carpets were carried through the Silk Road eastward to the central Plains of China and westward to Central Asia and even to the Mediterranean. Their unique designs are also a mixed product of oriental and western cultures of the past 2,000 years.

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