Hotan (hôˈtänˈ) [key] or Khotan kōˈtänˈ, city and oasis (1994 est. pop. 75,900), SW Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China, near the headstream of the Hotan River; the name sometimes appears as Ho-t'ien. It is the center of an area growing cotton, corn, wheat, rice, and fruit. Silk and cotton textiles and carpets are manufactured, and jewelry is made from the great quantity of jade in the area. Hotan is connected by road with Kashi (Kashgar) and Ürümqi (Urumchi).
On the southern part of the Silk Road, Hotan was an early center for the spread of Buddhism from India into China. It fell to the Arabs in the 8th cent., and grew wealthy on the proceeds of the caravan trade that traveled the route between China and the West. Its prosperity ended with the conquest of Hotan by Jenghiz Khan. After many political changes the region became (1878) permanently part of China. The city was the site of a Uigur uprising in 1954.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.