Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Historically, Dzungaria was a Mongolian kingdom of Central Asia. It derived its name from the Jüün Ghar (or Dzungar, Dsongar), who were so called because they formed the left wing (dson, left; gar, hand) of the Mongolian army. It was raised to its highest pitch by Kaldan or Bushtu Khan in the latter half of the 17th century, but completely destroyed by Chinese invasion about 1757-1759. It has played an important part in the history of Mongolia and the great migrations of Mongolian stems westward.
Its widest limit included Kashgar, Yarkand, Khotan, the whole region of the Tian Shan, and in short the greater proportion of that part of Central Asia which extends from 35 to 50 N. and from 72 to 97 E.
As a political or geographical term Dzungaria has practically disappeared from the map; but the range of mountains stretching north-east along the southern frontier of the Land of the Seven Streams , as the district to the south-east of the Balkhash Lake is called, preserves the name of Dzungarian Range.
The Dzungarian Alatau is a mountain chain that lies on the boundary of Xinjiang and Kazakhstan. At the eastern end of the chain, on the Kazakhstan-Chinese border, lies the Dzungarian Gate, a pass which for centuries was used as an invasion route by conquerors from Central Asia.
Dzungaria is a largely steppe and semidesert basin surrounded by high mountains: the Tian Shan in the south and the Altai in the north.
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