Khotan is surrounded by the Kunlun, Karakorum Mountains and Tibet of its south and stretches into the depths of the Taxkorgan Desert in the north. The prefecture of Hotan covers an area of 247800 square kilometers and has a 210 kilometers boundary line with the Indian and Pakistanií¬controlled Kashmir areas in the southwest. The city of Khotan, located at the northern foot of the Karakorum Mountains and on the southern fringe of the Taxkorgan Desert, occupies an area of 189 square kilometers with an average elevation of 1372 meters and lies 1987 kilometers from Urumqi.
The Khotan Prefecture is the place where the states of Pishan, Keriya, Yumin, Quie, Jingjue and Shule were established. In the Western Han Dynasty(64 BC), the Yutian State came officially under the jurisdiction of the Han Dynasty. In 675, the second year of the Tang Dynasty Emperor Shangyuan, the Pishan Superintendent's Office was established here. From 1279 to 1289, the sixteen to twenty-sixth year of Yuan Dynasty Emperor Zhiyuan, an office of the commander-in-chief in charge of the area was set up. In 1759, the Khotan Executive Minister's Office was set up in Khotan.
which was under the supervision of the Yarkant Executive Minister. In 1884, Khotan was established as a prefecture to be supervised directly by the court, with Yutian and Luopu counties under its administration. In the beginning of 1950, the prefecture office of Khotan Prefecture was established. In 1977, the Administrative Office of Khotan Prefecture was set up. The ancient Yutain was one of the famous Buddhist centers, the home?towns of the ethnic music, jade, carpet and the silk towns in the Western Region.
The prefecture has a population of l.68 million, of which the Uyghur nationality makes up 96. 43 percent and the Han3.33 percent. There are 24 different ethnic groups living in Khotan city, and the population is 186127, Uyghur occupies 84% and Han 15.3%.
Hotan Prefecture has under its administration one city( Khotan) and seven counties( guma, Karakash, Hotan, Lop, Qira, Keriya, Niya). There are also some state farms. Khotan city has under its jurisdiction onetownand three townships.
The climate of Khotan Prefecture slopes down from south to north. In the southern part of the prefecture lie
the Kunlun and the Karakorum Mountains, which are generally about 6000 meters above the level with the highest above 7000 meters. In the area north of these mountains is a desert with oasis on die alluvial fans of each of the rivers. The northern part of the prefecture extends into the depths of the Taklamakan Desert.
Located in a warm temperate zone, Khotan Prefecture is dominated by a dry continental desert climate. It is hot in summer and not too cold in winter. The temperature disparity between day and night is great with many hours of sunshine, small amounts of rainfall and a high evaporation rate. It is dusty with many sandstorm days in the spring and summer. The average temperature in the oasis plains is 11 to 12.1. The annual rainfall is 28.9 to 47.1 millimeters and the annual amount of evaporation is 2588 millimeters. The frost-free period is between 182 and 226 days a year, with an average sunshine time of 2470 to 2875 hours per year.