The Southern Route
When people think of the Silk Road, they often think of the Northern Route that goes through Central Asia and Iran. However, there was another route that went in different direction from Changan (Xian) towards the south. This took the caravans down through the Karakoram Mountains directly into Pakistan, bypassing Central Asia completely. This route then turned slightly west, but still continued south crossing the Hindu Kush after entering Pakistan, and then further on into Afghanistan.
This route re-joined the Northern Route just before Merv and continued along the road taking the traders to the Mediterranean going through Iran, Iraq (then Persia and Mesopotamia) before going into Syria or Turkey.