He captured it in 1215, but it was not till 1284 that it was adopted as the imperial residence in lieu of Karakorum in the Mongol steppes by his grandson Kublai.
1246; and, after some stay, went on to the camp of the y great khan near Karakorum in central Asia, and returned safely in the autumn of 1247.
At nearly the same time Hayton, king of Armenia, made a journey to Karakorum in 1254, by a route far to the north of that followed by Carpini and Rubruquis.
On arrival at the supreme Mongol court - either that on the Imyl river (near Lake Ala-kul and the present Russo-Chinese frontier in the Altai), or more probably at or near Karakorum itself, south-west of Lake Baikal - Andrew found Kuyuk Khan dead, poisoned, as the envoy supposed, by Batu's agents.
Nothing came of either of these missions; but through them Europe first began to know the interior of Asia, for Carpini was conducted by the Mongols as far as Karakorum, the capital of the great khan, on the borders of China.
Near the upper Orkhon was the permanent camp of Karakorum, from the 8th century down to the end of the 13th the centre of the Mongol power, especially under the sway of Jenghiz Khan and his son Ogotai or Ogdai in the 12th and 13th centuries.
The latter range is separated from the Karakorum Mountains by the deeply trenched gorge of the Raskem or Yarkand-darya, while the deep glen of the Kara-kash or Khotan-darya intervenes between the upper (Sughet Mountains) and the lower (Kilian Mountains) border-ranges.
On the west East Turkestan is generally approached from India by the famous pass of Karakorum (18,300 ft.), from Ferghana and West (Russian) Turkestan by the passes of Kyzyl-art (14,015 ft.) and Terek (12,730 ft.), and 'the mountains on this side attain to altitudes of 25,780 ft.
Yarkand and Khotan communicate with India over the lofty pass of Karakorum (18,300 ft.) and through Leh in Ladak, and thence over the difficult pass of Zoji-la (11,500 ft.).