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Chamdo Guide

Time: 20-11-2018 This Article is Composed by BudgetTibetTour

Chamdo map Chamdo map

Chamdo (Qamdo), located in the Hengduan Mountains area in the eastern part of the Tibet Autonomous Region, lies near Jinsha River in the east and is separated from Dege, Baiyu and Batang of Sichuan Province by the river. It is bordered by Deqin County of Yunnan Province to the south, Nyingchi and Naquto the west, and Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Qinghai Province to the north. Chamdo is historically called "Eastern Tibet" due to its location in the east of Tibet. It is not only the political, economic, cultural and traffic centre of East Tibet, but also a vital passage that connects Tibet and other provinces. Chamdo covers a total area of 108,600 square km, which accounts for 8.9% of the total area of Tibet Autonomous Region. The administrative residence of this area is Chamdo County. Chamdo has a total population of about 650,000, including 21 ethnic groups such as Zang, Han, Hui, Zhuang, Naxi, Luba, Menba and Bai, among which Tibetan people make up 98.26% of the total population.

Jampaling Monastery Jampaling Monastery

As early as 5000 years ago human activities already appeared in this area and primitive villages were formed. The Chamdo Karuo cultural relics and Xiaoenda cultural relics of the Neolithic Age were discovered in this area. Chamdo, also named "Kham", was the site of Eastern Women-dominated Land and Supi Land during the reign of Tupo Kingdom. It still reserves the cultural relics of Eastern Women-dominated Land and Supi Land of Tupo Kingdom. In the 13th century, when Yuan Dynasty began its rule over Tibet, the Chief Military Command under the Pacification Commissioner's Office was established in Chamdo and Ganze of Sichuan. During Ming Dynasty, the rise of Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism facilitated the formation of several Tulku-living Buddha reincarnation systems in Chamdo area. The Do-kham Regional Military Commission was established here by the Ming Government, and administrated by chiefs and heads of local tribes and Lamas of local monasteries appointed by central government. By the end of Ming Dynasty, after Gushri Khan of Mongolia Khoshut eliminated the Baili Chieftain, Chamdo was under the rule of Gushri Khan. During Qing Dynasty, Chamdo was called "Chamuduo" and put under the joint administration by both grand ministers stationed in Tibet and Dalai Lama. Grain supply station was set up and civil and military officials such as grain supply official and You Ji were appointed to be stationed in Chamdo.  

Chamdo lies in the Hengduan Mountain area where Nu River, Lantsang River and Jinsha River flow from west to east parallelling with the Boshula Mountains, Taniantaweng Mountains and Damala Mountains-Markham Mountains. Since it is a valley region, the terrain is high in the northwest and low in the southeast, with the highest altitude being 5460 metres, the lowest being 3100 metres and an average altitude being above 3500 metres. The average oxygen level is 83%. The Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains and Danda Mountains are the main mountains here. The highest elevation of Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains is 6956 metres. Chamdo is in the plateau temperate semi-arid monsoon climate zone where summer is mild and humid while winter is cold and dry, and annual range of temperature is small but the daily range of temperature is big, with an average annual temperature of 7.6℃.The average annual rainfall is 400-600 millimetres and the rain mainly falls between May and September.

Rawok-tso lake Rawok-tso lake

Chamdo plays multiple roles such as the centre of Kangba culture, the east gate of Tibet and central distributing centre of the Ancient Tea Horse Road. Chamdo holds ancient traditional ethnic culture and abundant monastery relics and historical sites and architecture of various styles. Bon exerted great influence in Chamdo, but Sakya and Kagyu were the first Tibetan Buddhist schools that communicated and developed in this area. Karma Gon Monastery is the earliest sacred place for Karma Kagyu. After Ming Dynasty, Gelug established Galden Jampaling Monastery. Zezhol Monastery, Dingqing Monastery and Yongzhongbari Monastery are the well-known monasteries of Bon. Zezhol Monastery is one of the monasteries with the largest scale, most Buddhist believers and the most complete set of Bon religious rituals. The Karma Gon Monastery, Riwoche Monastery and Chagyima Great Hall built in the Later Propagation of Tibetan Buddhism play vital roles in Tibetan history and Tibetan Buddhism. The Shengqin Langzha Mountain, the No. 1 among 25 sacred mountains in Kam area, is the place where the famous Buddhist master Guru Rinpoche and master Chokgyur Lingpa and master Karma Pakshi of Nyingma and Kagyu practiced ad worshipped; therefore, this place is greatly worshipped by Buddhist believers who come from far and near to worship every 15th of June according to Tibetan calendar. The Karuo cultural relics within this area are relics of the Neolithic Age which enjoys a history of more than 4000 years. The Meili Snow Mountains, located in the junction of Zogong County, Markham County and Yunnan Deqin County, has an altitude of 6740 metres. It is regarded by local herdsmen as sacred mountain, and it is also a famous natural scenic spot.

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user portrait Mr. To*** from: What documents are required to travel from Nepal to Tibet?

Hello  I am planning a trip to Katmandu and on to Lhasa and Mt. Kalias. I am  pilgrim. Let me know costs and details I intend to fly or go overload from Katmandu Lhasa etc. Thx.

Answered by Helen

Dear Mr. To***,

Thanks very much for your inquiry. Travelling to Tibet from Nepal, you need to apply for Chinese Group Visa in Kathmandu. Firstly, we'll apply for visa invitation letter with copy of your passport. Next, we'll send visa invitation letter to you and our partner in Kathmandu. When you arrive in Kathmandu, you need to meet with our partner and give them your original passport, then they will go to Chinese embassy and apply for Chinese Group Visa for you. When you board plane from Kathmandu to Lhasa, they'll only check your passport and Chinese Group Visa. Apart from Chinese Group Visa, you also need Tibet Permit, we'lll apply for Tibet Permit for you in Lhasa, and our guide will pick you up at Lhasa airport with your permit. I will send detailed itinerary to your email, please check it. Thanks & Regards

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