Banma County, also known as “Padma County” in Tibetan, is a county in southeast of Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province. It is located in southeast of Golog prefecture and the upper reaches of Dadu River.
It is about 137 kilometers from east to west and 96 kilometers from north to south witht an area of 6,452 square kilometers
Best time to travel June, July, August and September
Local climate plateau climate
Most popular sites
Baizha monastery, is also known as “Jiangritang monastery”, is located in Jiangritang Township in southeast of Banma County. It was rebuilt by Lama Baizha in 1936 and belongs to Kathok tradition. Baizha monastery is composed of three parts including Zuigong Temple, Doka Temple and Sky Burial Platform. It is one of the oldest Kathok monasteries in Golog area
Banma Tibetan Watching Tower Group is one of the best-preserved Tibetan Watching Tower groups in China. It is divided into three types: stone blocks, wooden blocks, and mixed blocks. Among of which, the stone block is the most distinctive. Its outer walls are all made of stone, according to a structure similar to mortise and tenon joints, interlocking in size and staggered horizontally and vertically, so that the wall is evenly stressed and not easy to crack or tilt.
Make River Forest Area is located in southeast of Banma County, which belongs to upper reaches of Dadu River and borders Zamthang County in Sichuan Province. It is regarded as an important “biological species bank” in China’s Alpine forest area.
There are 466 species of plants in 67 families in this forest. There are 11 national first-level protected wild animals such as white-lipped deer, leopard, snow leopard, pheasant, and golden eagle. There are also 29 national second-level protected wild animals such as brown bears, macaques and red pandas, and more than 10 provincial-level protected animals .
Banma County Geography and Climate
Banma County is a mountainous region. There are mountains, overlapping peaks, with rivers, deep valleys as well as, small grasslands and narrow river valleys.
The altitude is about 4000 – 5000 meters. The main peak of Duoniang Mountain is 5,050 meters above sea level. Its terrain is relatively large, with a slope of 40-60 degrees, and even 80 degrees at the maximum, the air is thin, making it difficult to climb.
Ren Yu shan is located on banks of Marko River in eastern part of this territory, with an east-west orientation, extending 50 kilometers into Sichuan from west to east. Its altitude is about 3500 – 5000 meters.
Banma County has a continental plateau climate, and temperature decreases with increase in altitude.
Regarding annual temperature changes in Banma County, July is the highest, with an average monthly temperature of 11℃, and at the end of January, with an average monthly temperature of -9.8℃.
However, there is a notable feature of rapid heating, rapid cooling, and temperature drop is greater than temperature rise.
Average annual precipitation in Banma County is between 665 mm and 767 mm. Annual average wind speed is 1.7 m/s. Among those, average wind speed from March to April is relatively high, above 2.0 meters per second, and from July to January about 1.5 meters per second.
Population and Ethnic Groups
As of 2018, Banma County has a population of 30,000, mainly Tibetans, accounting for more than 95% of total population, as well as ethnic groups such as Han, Hui, and Tu.
Banma County Brief History
In 8th year of Zhenguan of Tang Dynasty(AD 618-AD 907), Banma County was included in Tang Dynasty’s territory.
In 10th years of Zhenguan, the army of Tubo Kingdom entered southern of Qinghai, and Banma County was occupied by Tubo kingdom.
In AD 842, civil strife broke out in Tubo Kingdom, and heads of various tribes in southern Qinghai, including Banma County, were in their own hands.
In AD 1239, Mongolian army marched into Tibet, Banma area together with southern Qinghai Province were occupied by Mongolian Khanate.
In AD 1260, Banma was under jurisdiction of “Marshal’s Mansion of Tubo, “chieftain system” began to be implemented.
In AD 1644, Gushi Khan of Oerut Mongolian Heshuote Tribe led Qinghai Mongolian army into Kham and Tibet. Banma was Qinghai-Mongolian Rright Wing.
In AD 1721, Banma was under jurisdiction of Songpan, Sichuan.
In 24th year of Republic of China, Banma area was under jurisdiction of Golog Administrative Prefecture
In 1955, Banma County was established
In 1955, Golog Tibetan Autonomous Region was changed to Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Banma County has been under its jurisdiction since then