This important city sat along the banks of the Kuruk Muren river where the Silk Road passed through the western border of the country. Alashan was nestled into a pass where the steep Katakoro Shan mountains broke.
Alashan's position along the Silk Road caused great wealth to flow through the city. Many merchants and craftsmen called this city home.
Alashan's location offered strong natural defenses. In addition to these, strong fortifications were built, sheltering the city within from raiding horse bandits. A large gate house was complimented by towers located at each corner of the city, and a fortified palace dominated the center.
A walled gate built across the Silk Road made collecting tolls and defending the pass an easier ordeal.
Some 3,000 soldiers were assigned to guard the pass, and an additional 4,000 were kept in reserve guarding the palace and patrolling the countryside. These soliders were mostly footmen, armed with spears and longswords, with cotton padded armor, and large wicker shields.
During his conquest, Yamun Khahan wisely chose to ignore Alashan, striking instead at Manass to the north. By doing this, Yamun Khahan was able to flank Alashan and all of her defenses, which unfortunately only protected the city from the west. This prompted Prince Ogandi to make peace terms with the Great Khan.