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Ngari Guide

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

Ngari Prefecture, located in the west of Tibet, is bordered by Naqu to the east, India, Nepal and Kashmir to the southwest, Shigatse to the southeast, and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to the north. The borderline totals 1,116 kilometres. It stretches 600 kilometres from east to west and measures 550 kilometres from north to south, covering a total area of 345,000 square km. Ngari has a total population of about 100,000, with a density of about 0.25 people per square km, which makes Ngari the largest prefecture in area with the lowest population density in Tibet.

Ngari map Ngari map

In ancient times, Ngari used to be one of the "twelve city-states" in Tibetan area. The Zhang Zhung Kingdom established between 4th and 5th century divided the area into three parts: inner Zhang Zhung, middle Zhang Zhung and outer Zhang Zhung. Inner Zhang Zhung was generally where Ngari resided. In the 7th century, Songtsen Gampo sent troops to conquer Zhang Zhung. As a consequence, Zhang Zhung was annexed to Tubo, which made Tubo realize its unification. In the middle of 9th century, after the death of the last Tsenpo of Tubo regime, the fight for throne happened inside the royal family. The descendant named Nyima Gon failed and escaped to Ngari and established a small kingdom. Nyima Gon divided the Ngari area into three parts and enfeoffed to his sons, among which Guge Kingdom was the fief of the third son. In the 13th century, Ngari, along with Tibet, was under the administration of Yuan Dynasty. After the establishment of Ganden Phodrang by the Fifth Dalai Lama, Ngari gradually became under the rule of Tibetan local government, and the Governor-general for Ngari was created.

Guge Kingdom in Ngari Guge Kingdom in Ngari

Ngari, located in the core area of Changtang in the northern part of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, is where the Himalayas, Mt. Transhimalaya and Mt. Karakoram converge. The terrain is high in the north and south and low in the middle. Ngari averages 4,500 meters in altitude, which makes it known as the "roof of the roof of the world". There are more than 80 rivers and over 60 lakes within the area, with the flow path totaling 9,500 kilometres and the flow area covering nearly 60,000 square kilometres. The four large rivers--- Shiquan River, Xiangquan River, Maquanhe and Konqi River---originated from Gangdisê Mountains and the Himalayas and flows respectively to northwest, southwest and southeast into India and Nepal, becoming Indus River, Sutlej River, Brahmaputra River, Ghaghra River---the tributary of Ganges River, and finally flowing into Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. The weather in Ngari is extremely cold, with average annual temperature being 0℃. It has long winters and short springs and autumns but no summers. Ngari belongs to wind zone II, with average annual wind velocity being 3.2 metres per second and about 149 windy days per year. The ecological environment in Ngari prefecture is well preserved, almost in original conditions. There are dozens of wild animals including kiangs (Tibetan Wild Ass), golden wild yaks, Tibetan antelopes and argalis in the northeast of Ngari, and more than 20 kinds of birds such as bar-headed goose, brown-headed gull, black-necked crane and ruddy shelduck in Pangong Tso.

Mt. Kailash in Ngari Mt. Kailash in Ngari

Tourist attractions within this area include Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar which were respectively regarded as Sacred Mountain and Sacred Lake by Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Bon, and Tholing Monastery, Khorzhak Monastery, Rutog Cliff Carvings, Guge Kingdom Ruins,   Natural Reserve and Pangong Tso. The site Guge Kingdom Ruins and Zhada Soil Forest Natural Reserve submitted to UNESCO the application for both World Culture Heritage and World Natural Heritage in 2003.

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