Ongren County is situated in the middle reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo River, and lies in the western part of Shigatse. It abuts Xeitongmoin County and Lharze County in the east, Tingri in the south, and Ngari of Coqen in the southwest. The northern part is a stretch of no-man’s land. It borders on Nepal taking Cangdese Mountain as the eastern boundary, and is close to Nagqu in the north, as well as being part of the Shigatse area. The county is 397km west of Lhasa and 160km West of Shigatse.
It was known as Ongren Zong before, but in 1959 this was changed to Ongren County, becoming subordinated to Shigatse, with a total area of 13.000 square km and a population of 35,000.
The topography is undulating and varied, with mountains, plain rivers, valleys, extensive grassland. It belongs to what it is called the “Dui area” (including Ngari) in Tibetan traditional history books. For example, the coterminous part of Ongren County and the Northern Grasslands was called “Lhaduichiang” or northern “Lhadui” in ancient times.
Since the 10th century, Ongren had been a small state named “Gungtang Zinho”. Both the research of Sperling and the records in history books show that the king ruling the small state was called “Changbo Daho”, meaning the Lord of the north. But they themselves claimed to be descendants of the Xixia royal family. In the Yuan Dynasty, Pagha of the Sagya Monastery divided the whole of Tibet into 13 I 0,000-Household Ollices”, and Changho Daho was granted the honorific title of the chief of the 10.000-Household Office. From then on, the place name of “Lhaduichiang” was found in the Chinese and Tibetan literature. What I am most interested in is the route by which the descendants of the Xixia royal family got here by and how they migrated.
We passed by the southern pan of Ongren. Along the Yarlung Zangbo River there are a lot of disturbed tombs of Beijing. The thesis for the first lime introduced systematically how the power of the Tuho Kingdom gradually disintegrated in the 9th Century and civil war broke out repeatedly alter Nam the Tubo Period. The Yarlung Zangbo River is the cradle of Tibetan culture. During a long stay, I took some photos and learned the structure and distribution characteristics of tumulus rock.
Ongren also is the hometown of Tangdong Gyibo (1385- 1464), the founder of Tibetan Opera. As a child he helped grave the herds. When he grew up, he was tonsured to a monastery, and traveled everywhere. He studied all the doctrines of the Gagyu, Sagya and Nyingma sects and was expert at both the open and secret Tantric schools, so he was called “Tangdong Gyibo”, meaning the superior person. Legend has it that he built countless bridges throughout his life. The oldest iron-chain bridge, the Riwochi Bridge in Ongren, is the first iron-chain bridge built by him. This bridge was, according to the historical records, built in the 15th century, though, legend has it that it was built in the 14th century. Some people said that lie also built the famous Luding Bridge in the Western part of Sichuan.
In order to build the Riwochi Bridge, he organized people to perform Tibetan Opera to raise the necessary money. A few years ago, I got to know a white-haired foreign scholar at an international seminar on Tibetan studies. He intended to specialize in the deeds of Tangdong Glyibo, and wanted to walk to all the places where he had built iron-chain bridges. At the seminar, he introduced the golden dagoba in the Riwochi Monastery in Ongren County. This dagoba is very famous, and looks exactly alike one in the Palkor Monastery in Gyangze County. Seen from a long distance, it looks much like a pyramid.
Local legend has it that this dagoba was built earlier than that of Palkor Monastery. Shortly after it was completed, a monk begging alms was very much attracted to the unique form and style of the structure, so be carved a radish into a model, took it to Gyangze, and used this to build the Dagoba there.
According to my knowledge, this is a monastery of the Gagyu Sect, inside which there is a figure of Tangdoflg Gyibo and some exquisite frescos. The third layer of the frescos, on which there is a dancing girl with the upper part of the body hare and wearing a skin that Sweeps the ground, not only has the style of the flying beauties at Dunhuang but also combines features of the Tibetan ethnic group. The others, like Buddhist warriors, are different in style, too. Their expressions are very rich, and whether they are angry, light-hearted, and peaceful or gentle, they display these emotions completely by movement and expression in their eyes.
In this area we also find the cliff carvings and statues alike that of Yushu of Qinghai and the Garma Monastery in Qamdo. It was pity that I just saw the excellent photos taken by a foreigner and could see them with my own eyes.
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I would be interrested to join a Lhasa to Kathmandu tour in November (26th novembre). Do you have other tourists on this tour and what would be the price of it for one or two person?
Dear Mr. Si***,
Thanks very much for your inquiry. We currently have one departure date on 26th November for Lhasa to Kathmandu group tour, but there is no person joining in at present. If you are two persons together, we are able to open this tour for you. If you are only one person, here we suggest that you can join our 8 days Tibet Mt. Everest group tour, the major scenic spots of this tour are almost the same as the Lhasa to Kathmandu tour, the difference is that you need to get back to Lhasa and fly from Lhasa to Kathmandu. I will send detailed itinerary to your email, please check it. Best regards.
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