When mentioning the Silk Road, most people would think of an ancient people named Zhang Qian. Who is Zhang Qian? And what is the relationship between Silk Road and Zhang Qian? There are some historical stories to help you better understand the famous Road and the man.
Emperor Wu of the West Han Dynasty （202BC-8AD） heard something about the Western Regions (Government of Han People was in the middle area of ancient China while some countries governed by minority nationalities distributed in the west regions) from the surrendered Huns that Rouzhi Country which was conquered by Huns Country escaped to the western and settled down there. It was inclined to seek revenge but lacking support and help. And Emperor Wu thought: Considering Rouzhi is at the west of Huns, what if China (it referred the ancient China in this passage) made an alliance with Rouzhi against Huns by cutting its connection with other western countries? It would let Huns suffer a heavy blow just as losing its hands.
Then Emperor Wu issued an order to ask capable people to seek connection and cooperation with Rouzhi. In that time, seldom people knew where Rouzhi was and how far from China to there. Only one dared to take this mission except a young official named Zhang Qian who regarded it as a significant assignment. Zhang Qian set an example and then some others took this mission, too. There was a Huns living in Chang’an named Tang Yi Fu would follow Zhang Qian to find Rouzhi Country.
In 138 B.C., Emperor Wu let Zhang Qian lead 100 warriors to find chance for military cooperation with Rouzhi. However, people would definitely pass the Huns if their destination was Rouzhi. Although they kept careful, the Huns soldiers found them. They were not killed by the Huns but controlled to live separately. Only Zhang Qian and Tang Yi Fu lived together and spent over ten years in the Huns. Over time they got a little freedom and rode two horses to escape from the unprepared Huns. They had suffered a lot for 10 days during the escape out of Huns but not find the Rouzhi, they came to a country called Da Wan (and ancient country in central Asia). Zhang Qian and Tang Yi Fu could speak Huns language, which allowed them a good communication with people in this country because they can understand Huns language due to the neighbor’s location. King of Da Wan admired the wealthy and power of China, treated them kindly and sent soldiers to guard them to Rouzhi.
Unfortunately, Rouzhi didn’t hold interest in war against the Huns as it had built a country in Da Xia (today’s north of Afghanistan) after they were conquered by the Huns and escaped away. The King refused to join in their proposal but still treated them respectably. Zhang Qian and Tang Yi Fu had lived in Rouzhi for one year and even came to Da Xia, witnessing lots of fresh things they had never seen before. Failed to persuade Rouzhi to cooperate with China, Zhang Qian decided to go home and was imprisoned again by Huns for some time. Luckily, there was a civil war in the Huns and they escaped out to Chang’an.
It was full 13 years that Zhang Qian was imprisoned out of his hometown. Emperor Wu recognized his contribution and gave him a higher official position as award. He reported his experience in the western countries and fresh things he seen detailed to the Emperor. He saw some goods produced in Shu area (today’s Sichuan province) in Da Xia and told by the people there that these goods was from India merchants, and supposed Shu area would never be far from Da Xia. Emperor Wu then let Zhang Qian take gifts to associate with India. Zhang Qian divided the team into four groups to find India and all of them failed to get the destination when all they went through 2000 miles. The group heading to south and was prohibited by Kunming. They bypassed Kunming and got to Dian Yue Country (east of Kunming province in today) which was originally Chu Kingdom and lost connection with the China for several generations. Although Dian Yue was willing to supply favor to Zhang Qian, Kunming had blocked their way.
Zhang Qian was rewarded again by Emperor Wu because he felt satisfied to the association with Dian Yue in spit that India were not found by him. When the time the famous generals like Wei Qing and Huo Qubing attacked against the Huns back to the far north of the desert. Witnessing the downfall of the Huns, many countries in the Western Regions refused to pay it tribute. Emperor Wu just thought it a good opportunity to make association with these countries. And then Zhang Qian came to the Western Regions again with so many rare and deliberate gifts. He visited many countries and got many envoys come to Chang’an. When Zhang Qian was dead, his fellows also came back to Chang’an and they found that they had been 36 countries in total. From then on, Emperor Wu had people to visit the Western Regions each year and built harmonious relationship with those countries. As return, endless business and envoys also came to China. Chinese goods, such as silks and teas, were transferred to the Europe by passing the West Regions and west Asia. Later, this channel was considered as “Silk Road”.
Zhang Qian had created this famous Silk Road thousands of years before, today it is revived today! China Silk Road Tour supplies various Silk Road tours to give our customers a real fantastic experience on this great Road to which Zhang Qian had devoted all his life.
China Silk Road Tours provides various Silk Road Tour to let you experience the ever Silk Road Zhang Qian and his partners stepped through, private Silk Road Tours, group Silk Road Tour, Silk Road Train Tours……As long as you hold the dream to explore the scenic views along this noble ancient channel, we will let it come true!