The Northern Route – The Fergana Branch
After Kashgar, the route divided into two branches again – making up the Northern and the Southern Routes, but even the route going into Central Asia took different directions and detours.
The main branch on the Northern Route crossed up into the Pamir Mountains, mostly in Tajikistan, and then towards Kokand in the Fergana Valley, in modern day Uzbekistan. This route then continued to the great Silk Road cities of Samarkand and Bukhara, before reaching Merv in Turkmenistan, which was one of the largest cities in the world at the time. From here, the branch going through Bactria reconvened with the Fergana Branch, and also joined up the Southern Route.