Zo

A lot Packed into Two Letters Zo means “antelope” in Tibetan. It also signifies the city of Zo (or Hezuo in Chinese). As the capitol of Gannan Tibet Autonomous Prefecture, Zo is naturally the economic, political, educational, and cultural center of the prefecture. Zo lies on the northeastern edge of the Tibetan plateau at an average elevation of 3,000 meters. …

Pelyul County

Baiyu County Pelyul Gompa

Pelyul County (or Pelyul) is located in Kham Tibet and is one of eighteen counties of Ganzi Autonomous prefecture in Western Sichuan Province. In Tibetan, Pelyul means “a holy and happy place.” Pelyul is on the border with the Tibet Autonomous Region and is roughly 3,000 meters above sea level. There are over 50,000 people here with 94% being Tibetan …

TurJe Chen Po (Guanyin Temple)

entrance to Guanyin Temple (TuJa Chan Po)

Located in the Jinchuan County of the Rgyalrong Tibetan Region, one will find the TurJe Chen Po(ཁྲོ་སྐྱབས་ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཆེན་པོ།). Known in Chinese as Guanyin Temple(观音庙), this is the most pilgrimaged site in Amdo Tibet. The monastery is located at the top of Guanyin Mountain, and overlooks the Checen River as it flows through Guanyin Town. History of the Guanyin Temple In the …

Lhasa

Jokhang Temple from Lhasa's Barkhor Square

Lhasa (ལྷ་ས་) has been considered the capital of the Tibetan peoples since as early as the 7th century. After conquering several surrounding kingdoms and two significant political marriages with Chinese and Nepali princesses, Songtsan Gampo became the first leader of a unified Tibetan Empire. He began construction on a palace which formed the foundation and determined the design of the current …

Yulshul (Yushu)

Yushu

Mostly inhabited by Tibetans, Yushu (ཡུལ་ཤུལ།)  is located in the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in the southern Qinghai province of China. The town, also referred to as Jyekundo (སྐྱེ་དགུ་མདོ།), Gyêgu, Gyêgudo or Jiegu is a multi-ethnic town with Tibetan nomadic residents and Han Chinese traders. Yushu lies at an elevation of 4,000 meters and has the fountainheads of Asia’s three …

Yachen Monastery

History of Yachen Monastery Hidden away in a remote valley between Garze (Ganzi) town and Baiyu town, Sichuan, is the isolated Yachen Monastery ( ཡ་ཆེན་དགོན་པ།). Established in 1985 by a Nyingma Rinpoche, the current population of this monastic community is approximately 17,000 monks and nuns, with nuns holding the majority. Despite living conditions becoming more difficult and strains on supplies becoming …

Chaktreng (Xiangcheng)

Located in the Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Region of Sichuan province in China, the town of Xiangcheng (乡城) is in a scenic valley which stands at an altitude of 3,200 meters. Xiangcheng Town is also referred to as Chaktreng Town (ཕྱག་ཕྲེང་།) in Tibetan, which means ‘rosaries in Buddha’s hands’. From a Small Village to a Bustling Town Previously, Xiangcheng was a …

Rebkong (Tongren)

The town of Rebkong (རེབ་གོང་།) in the Huangnan Prefecture has much to offer travelers. Known throughout the years for its art, monasteries, agricultural and mining community, and even for its cultural revolution, visitors can spend days taking in all this historic town has to offer. While the town of Tongren is known as such in Mandarin (同仁). Its Humble Beginnings …

Lhagang (Tagong)

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 …

Sershul (Shiqu)

Shiqu Town (石渠), also known as Sershul (སེར་ཤུལ།), Serxu, Dzachuka, or Shiquis, is a town in Shiqu County in the Garze Autonomous Prefecture in the northern part of the Chinese Sichuan Province. Shiqu County is spread over 25,000 square kilometers and lies approximately 4,200 meters above sea level on average. Mostly covered by green pastures and grazing yaks, Shiqu is …

Shangri-La

SONGZANLIN MONASTERY

Shangri-La (སེམས་ཀྱི་ཉི་ཟླ།) is a name that conjures images of an idyllic paradise: cloud-carpeted sunrises with grassy outcroppings in a utopian society that lives in perfect harmony with nature. Zhongdian, Yunnan (now known as Shangri-La) is definitely some of those things. It has snow-capped mountains, clouds, sunrises (and sunsets), a mighty river, and remarkable gorges. It stands at an elevation of …

Sertar (Seda)

Seda (色达) is located at an elevation of about 4,000 meters in a remote valley on the Tibetan Plateau, in the Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in the western part of Sichuan province in China. The Tibetans know Seda by the name of Sertar (གསེར་ཐར།), which means Golden Horse. Though Sertar is located in the historical Kham region of the Garze …

Sertar Larung Gar (school & monastery)

Population Explosion at Sertar Larung Gar Known around the world as the largest school for Tibetan Buddhism, Sertar Larung Gar Tibetan Buddhist Institute and Monastery (གསེར་རྟ་བླ་རུང་དགོན་པ།) has caused the population of its surrounding town to grow exponentially in recent years. This monastic community is located in a remote and treeless valley of Garze Tibetan Autonomous Region, in Sichuan Province. The …

Rongwu Monastery

Rongwu Monastery

History of Rongwu Monastery Named for the Rongwu River, which it is located alongside, the Rongwu Monastery (རོང་པོ་དགོན་པ།)rests in Tongren County, Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and is less than 200 km from Xining, the capital of Qinghai Province. The Monastery first began as a site for three temples in 1341. Initially established by Rongwu Samten Rinpoche, his younger brother was …

Manigangou

Located in Ganzi Prefecture in Sichuan Province in southwest China, Manigangou (མ་ཎི་གད་མགོ།)is a small yet active town at an elevation of 3,950 meters. It is a town exhibiting typical nomad culture with Tibetan herdsmen riding on horses, Khampas on flashy motorcycles passing by and people enjoying drinks in wooden Tibetan houses. Manigangou is a single-street cowboy town at the edge …

Lithang (Litang)

Lying at the edge of a vast grassland valley, Lithang (ལི་ཐང་།) is the administrative hub of Litang County. Also known in Chinese as Litang town (理塘) , the town is situated in the southwest of Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province. Litang is a historic town at an altitude of around 4,000 meters above sea level, even higher than Lhasa, …

Lhamo Gompa(Langmusi)

Kirti Monastery Langmusi

Different Faiths in Langmusi The Sichuan-Gansu border runs right through the center of Lhamo (ལྷ་མོ།) town. Here, Islamic and Buddhist faiths live peaceably together in this monastic village that hosts two Gelugpa Tibetan Buddhist monasteries as well as an Islamic Mosque. Lhamo offers visitors a look into both religions and cultures. Although each is located in a different province, Kirti Monastery …

Gelugpa Sect

The Gelugpa Sect  (དགེ་ལུགས་པ།)of Tibetan Buddhism, despite being the youngest, is the largest and most important school of thought. Having emerged in the 15th Century through the reforming efforts of Tsongkhapa, adherance to the Gelugpa sect is considered to be purest form of Tibetan Buddhism. The sect achieved its peak in the 17th Century with huge support from Mongols and …

Garze (Ganzi)

Lying in the vast expanse of the beautiful Ganzi Valley (甘孜) at an altitude of 3,800 meters, surrounded by the majestic Chola Mountain, green hills dotted with yaks and rocky ridges, is the active Ganzi town. Ganzi town (also known as Garnze, Ganze, and Kandze (དཀར་མཛེས་རྫོང་།)) is the capital of Ganzi County situated in Garze Autonomous Prefecture in western Sichuan …

Derge (Dege )

Derge (སྡེ་དགེ ) in the native tongue which means land of mercy in Tibetan, is located in the Garze Tibet Autonomous Prefecture in the Kham area of the Tibetan Plateau. The town is regarded as the cultural hub of the Kham region in the northwest of Sichuan province, close to the border with the Tibetan Autonomous Region. The town of Dege sits in …