"Tohkta looked at the bridge suspended across the gorge of the Yurung-kash. After four years, the bridge hung
again, and now, at last, he could go to his betrothed, to Kushla.
In the timeless kingdom of their mountain valleys the bridge was their link to the future."
After many years a group of Tochari tribesmen complete the construction of a bridge connecting their isolated
mountain valleys to the rest of China. The bridge means trade for the tribe, love and marriage to a young
chieftain, and a connection to the wider world that they have been so long separated from. But changes have been
occurring in the country at the foot of the Kunlun mountains, the Communists have moved west, consolidating their
power, the Dalai Lama has fled Tibet, and a way of life that has lasted over a thousand years is coming to an end.
Tochari Territory in the Kun Lun Mountains China
including the cities of Khotan and Kargalik. Click for larger image.
“They respect nothing and they have no God. The mosques and lamaseries are closed and the lamas driven to work
in the fields. The prayer wheels are stilled and there is a curse on the land.”
And in the ancient oasis town of Kargalik, Kushla is waiting and along with her a series of
events that will change their lives forever.
“The forces of history are at work here,” Tola Beg mumbled. “And that is something to avoid.”
Tohkta and his bride to be must escape an ambitious Red Chinese commander and the Tochari must decide what road
they will take into the future … that of freedom or subservience.