Later Shambhalists would identify the ancient Uighur kingdom of Khocho, centered around the Turfan Depression, as one of the prime candidates for the physical location of Shambhala
Gaochang (Chinese: 高昌; pinyin: Gāochāng), also called Qara-hoja or Kara-Khoja (قاراھوجا in Uyghur), is the site of an ancient oasis city built on the northern rim of the inhospitable Taklamakan Desert in Xinjiang, China. The site is also known in published reports as Chotscho, Khocho, Qocho, or Qočo. During the Yuan and Ming dynasties, Gaochang was referred to as "Halahezhuo" (哈拉和卓) (Qara-khoja) and Huozhou.
"A busy trading center, it was a stopping point for merchant traders traveling on the Silk Road. It was destroyed in wars during the 14th century, and old palace ruins and inside and outside cities can still be seen today. The ruins are located 30 km southeast of modern Turpan. Nearby Gaochang is the site of the Astana tombs
"...... the tale of Shripala, although legendary in nature, does contain a curious detail which might pertain to the actual physical location of Shambhala. According to the Dro Tradition a young man, the son of two yoga practioners, heard that boddhisattvas themselves were teaching the Dharma somewhere to the north of India in the country of Shambhala. Eager to learn the Dharma he set out on a journey to find these teachers. Beyond India but before reaching Shambhala, we are told, he encountered a vast desert which would have taken four months to cross......One may speculate here that the desert in question is the Taklamakan Desert of western China. As noted earlier, the Uighur kingdom of Khocho, located at the northern edge of the Taklamakan, has often been posited as the "historical" Shambhala. To reach Khocho from the southern edge of the Taklamakan would indeed have taken four or more months, depending on what route the traveler took.
John Hopkins....Northern New Mexico