It is an important feature as affording foothold for the Janglam (the great high road of southern Tibet connecting Ladakh with China), which is denied by the actual valley of the Brahmaputra.
Yarkand is surrounded by a number of smaller towns, the chief of which are - Yanghi-hissar, which has about 600 houses, Tashkurgan on the Pamirs, Posgam (1600 houses), Kargalyk, at the junction of the routes leading to Ladakh and Khotan (2000 houses), Sanju (2000), Tagarchi, Kartchum, Besh-taryk (1800) and Guma (3000).
The Ladakh chain, partly north and partly south of the Indus - for that river breaks across it about 100 m.
On the southern or Indian side the routes to Tibet and Ladakh follow the levels of Himalayan valleys with no remarkably steep gradients till they near the approach to the water-divide.
At one locality in north-western Ladakh there is a continuous mass of snow and ice extending across a snowy ridge, measuring 64 m.