The Silk Road derives its name from the lucrative trade in Chinese silk carried out along its length, beginning during the Han dynasty. Its is an ancient network of trade routes that were central to cultural interaction through regions of the Asian continent connecting the West and East from China to the Mediterranean Sea.
The Silk Road did not only promote commodity exchange but also cultural. Buddhism as one of the religions of the Kushan kingdom reached China. Together with merchant caravans Buddhist monks went from India to Central Asia and China, preaching the new religion.