Kashgar is oasis city in the Uyghur Region of . Kashgar lies at the far western end of the Tarim Basin, in a fertile oasis of loess (silt deposited by the wind) and alluvial soils watered by the Kashgar River and by a series of wells. The climate of the area is extremely arid, with variable rainfall averaging about 4 in. (100 mm) a year; most of the rain falls during the hot summer months. Average temperatures range from 21F (-6C) in January to 79F (26 C) in July. Kashgar’s historical importance has been primarily as a trading centre. Situated at the foot of the Pamirs (mountains), where the ranges of the Tengri tagh and the Qara Qorum Mountains join, Kashgar commanded historic caravan routes to the Fergana Valley in Uzbekistan (west), to Jammu and Kashmir (south), and to Urumchi and the Ili River valley (north).