A small, picturesque town located in the Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of western Sichuan Province, Lhagang (ལྷ་སྒང་།) is home to scenic grasslands, devoted monks and Tibetan nomads with their thousands of thick-coated yaks. Lhagang, also known as Tagong (塔公) in Chinese, is situated in the ancient Kham region in southwest China at an altitude of 3,700m. This treasured place in the foothills of the Tibetan plateau is around 110 kilometers from Kangding city. The town of Tagong features traditional Tibetan-style houses built from stone.
As a tourist attraction, Tagong is a Wild West town offering an insight into the local Tibetan Buddhist culture with its monasteries, as well as horse riding, hiking, and Tibetan homestays.
Tagong, meaning ‘favorite place of bodhisattva’ in the local language, is home to Tagong Monastery and Lhagang Monastery. The historic Tagong Monastery (Lhagang Gompa) is right in the town center while the Lhagang Monastery is at a ten minute walk south of the town center.
Tagong Monastery (Small Jokhang Temple)
The famous Tagong Monastery was built during the Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1911) to honor the journey of Princess Wencheng on her way to Lhasa for her wedding to Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. It houses the replica of the sacred statue of Jowo Sakya-muni Buddha at Jokhang Temple in Lhasa along with scriptures of the Sakya Buddhist sect and other cultural relics more than 10,000 years old. A major three-day Buddha event is held at the end of June every year at the Monastery.
At the foothills of the sacred snowcapped mountain lies the Lhagang Monastery. The Lhagang Monastery consists of the Muya Golden Pagoda, which was built in 1997. The Muya Golden Pagoda was gifted by a Living Buddha of Zhuqing Monastery. It has a 100-kilogram pure gold roof in the center of the monastery’s four towers and honors the Living Buddha 10th Panchan.
Tagong Grasslands are a vast expanse of meadow covering an area of 712.37 square kilometers. These beautiful grasslands are home to Tibetan nomads grazing their herds of yaks and living in traditional black yak wool tents. A Horse Race Festival is held in the grasslands every year at the beginning of the eight month of the lunar calendar. Local Tibetan herdsmen in great numbers get together to watch the sport and attend the Tibetan opera. These festivities are witness to the authentic Kham Tibetan culture.
Mount Yala is located at an altitude of 5,820m in the midst of Danba, Kangding and Daofu and is covered with snow all year round. With the magnificent Golden Padoga and captivating grasslands, Mount Yala presents spectacular views and hiking opportunities. Mount Yala is worshiped by Tibetan people as the area’s patron saint. The Yala river sprouts from the Yala Mountain and merges with the Dadu river up ahea.