Gonghe County is also known as “Chabcha county” in Tibetan; It is capital town of Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, it is with a large population, vast area. Husbandry accounts for a relatively large proportion of county’s economy;
The name “Gonghe” was used since 18th year of Republic of China (1929) when this county was established, meaning “Republic of Five Ethnic Groups”. It is located on one of four overland routes to Lhasa, and it is also currently only place that must pass through by railway to Lhasa.
Best travel time From June to October
Local climate Plateau sub-frigid climate
Most popular sites
Qinghai (Korkonor) Lake, it is not only China’s largest inland lake, but also China’s largest saltwater lake. Qinghai Lake was included in list of important international wetlands in 1992, and was named top of “Five Most Beautiful Lakes in China” by China National Geographic. On August 29th, 2011, National Tourism Administration awarded Qinghai Lake Scenic Spot title of “National 5A Tourist Scenic Spot” ;
Heimahe Township, one of the best places to enjoy sunrise by Qinghai Lake
Rubber Mountain, with an altitude of more than 3,000 meters, overlooking and enjoying panoramic view of Qinghai Lake
Longyangxia Reservoir, the first estuary where Yellow River enters Yellow River Gorge after passing through Qinghai grassland; among them, Longyangxia Hydropower Station is the first large-scale cascade hydropower station in upper reaches of Yellow River. It becomes well-known in china for its the highest altitude, the highest dam and the largest single machine capacity. It was assessed as a AAA tourist attraction by National Tourism Administration in 2008
Fu Qi Ancient City Ruin “Fu Qi” is “Language of T’o-pa Wei” with meaning of “City of Kings”. Fu Qi City Ruin is located in Tiebjia Village. It was an important hub to connect east and west in ancient times. City Ruin was designated as 4th batch of cultural relics protection units by Qingghai Government in 1986.
In 540 AD, Tuyuhun Kwalu came to throne and called Khan, and his capital was settled here and named it as “Fu Qi City”. This ancient city wall is 220 meters long from east to west and 200 meters wide from north to south. The wall base is 17 meters thick, and a 10 meters wide door was opened on south wall. There is an axis from city gate to north. On both sides of central axis, there are three interconnected building foundation sites with a length of 50 meters and a width of 35 meters. There is also a small square courtyard (also called a small square city) in west, which is 70 meters long from east to west and 68 meters wide from north to south with a door on its east; Its north, south and east walls are slightly higher than current ground. The west wall coincides with west wall of Fu Qi city.
There is a rammed-earth platform between small square city and southern city wall of Fu Qi with length of 15 meters and width of 9 meters. There are relics of houses on platform, and there are roads in small square city, which go in same direction as Fu Qi city wall. The east-west and north-south directions are interwoven into a chessboard layout. A large number of relics such as broken tiles and pottery were found in small square city
Sun Moon Mountain , it is well-known for story of Princess Wencheng of Tang dynasty marrying Tibetan king Songtsan Gampo and passing through here. The highest spot of this mountain is 4877 meters, and the lowest is 3452 meters above sea level. Because of color of soil is red, it was called “Chi Hill” in ancient times (“Chi” in chinese means red ). Sun-Moon Mountain is a must pass of “Tangbo Ancient Road” and “Silk Road”. During Kaiyuan period (AD 713-741) , Tang Dynasty and Tubo Kingdom erected Chinese Han-Tibetan Harmony Monument on top of Sun Moon Mountain together. Tibetan and Chinese peoples lived in harmony with Sun Moon Mountain as boundary, and used Sun Moon Mountain as a site for trading chinese tea and Tibetan horse
Population and Ethnic groups
As of 2012, Gonghe County has a total population of more than 134,000 people, including 22 ethnic minorities including Tibetan, Han, Hui, Salar, and Mongolian, among which, Tibetans account for 60% of county’s total population.
Gonghe County Geography and Climate
Gonghe County is located in northeast of Qinghai Province, with a terrain high in northwest and low in southeast. It borders Qinghai Lake in north and Guinan County in southeast with county boundary by Longyangxia Reservoir. It covers an area of 16 square kilometers and about 145 kilometers away from Xining.
Its northern part is Sun Moon Mountain and Qinghai Lake Basin, central part is Gonghe Basin, and southern part is Era Mountains and Yellow River Valley. It is with an average elevation of 3,200 meters. The highest point is Chelonggang in Era Mountains, with an elevation of 5,290 meters; the lowest point is estuary of Longyang Gorge in Yellow River Valley, with an elevation of 2,460 meters.
Gonghe County has a plateau continental climate, with aridity and less rain, a cool climate, sufficient sunshine, large temperature difference between day and night, annual average temperature of 4.1 ℃, and annual average precipitation of 250-450 mm. There are Daotang River and Yellow River in Gonghe County, and Yellow River runs 90 kilometers in this county. The average temperature in January is -14℃, the average temperature in July is 18.3℃, the extreme maximum temperature is 34℃, and the extremely low temperature is -23.8℃.
Gonghe County Brief History
There had been human settlements in Paleolithic period.
In Zhou and Qin Dynasties, “Qiang” tribes lived a nomadic life centered on Qinghai Lake.
In 6th year of Datong of Liang Dynasty, Tuyuhun established Fu Qi City, and made it to be capital.
At the end of Western Han Dynasty, King Wang Mang was in power and used money and property to lure “Qiang” people to offer land of Xihai (now Qinghai Lake).
In 4th year of Emperor Ping of Han Dynasty (AD 4), Xihai County was established to rule Longyi, also known as Longqi (triangular city site of Haiyan County), which governed present Gonghe County area.
In 4th year of Emperor Xin Mangdi (23 AD), Wang Mang regime collapsed, Xihai County was abolished, and Gonghe area returned to Qiang people.
In the 1st year of Long’an in Eastern Jin Dynasty (397 AD), Yifu tribe of T’o-pa moved to shore of Qinghai Lake and claimed that Gonghe was under its jurisdiction.
In 10th year of Yixi (AD 414), Yifu tribe surrendered to Western Qin Dynasty, and most of Gonghe belonged to Western Qin Dynasty.
During Southern and Northern Dynasties, in 6th year of Emperor Wen of Southern Song Dynasty and 2nd year of Shenjia of Northern Wei Dynasty (AD 429), Tuyuhun troops came to area around Korkonor lake, Yifu T’o-pa descended and joined Tuyuhun, and Gonghe became Tuyuhun’s land.
In 6th year of Liang Datong, also 6th year of Western Wei Dynasty (AD 540), Kwalu – king of Tuyuhun, established his capital in Fu Qi City
In 5th year of Sui Dynasty (AD 609), Emperor Sui Yang conquered Tuyuhun kingdom and set up Heyuan County and Xihai County. southern part of Gonghe belongs to Yuanhua County. Northern area belonged to Xuande County.
In 10th year of Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty (AD 636), Tang’s army defeated Tuyuhun kingdom. From then on, Tuyuhun Kingdom, centered on Hainan region, including Gonghe county, became a vassal of Tang Empire.
In the first year of Xianheng (AD 670), Tang’s army failed to counter Tubo invasion, Tuyuhun kingdom collapsed, and entire Gonghe county fell into Tubo. In 13th year of Tianbao (AD 754), Tang’s army conquered an area along Yellow River in southeast of Gonghe, and set up Jintian Army at west entrance of Longyangxia, and soon re-occupied by Tubo.
In Song Dynasty, Gonghe area was under jurisdiction of Hehuang Tubo regime. It was once under jurisdiction of Song Jishi Army (ruling Heyin Town of Guide today).
In Ming Dynasty, southern part of Gonghe belonged to Guide county, and northern part belonged to Xihai Mongolia.
In Qing Dynasty, in 3rd year of Yongzheng (AD 1725), western part of Gonghe was Heshuote Pasture; central and western part was Nanyoumo Pasture; eastern part was Huite Department pasture.
From 3rd to 17th year of Republic of China (AD 1914-1928), Gonghe was under jurisdiction of Qinghai province.
In 18th year of Republic of China (AD 1929), Gonghe County was established in Qugou, which means “republic of five ethnic groups”. Soon, Xhangguomi, Xiaguomi,and Chabqa were placed under jurisdiction of Gonghe County.
In 1949, Gonghe County was established, directly governed by Qinghai Provincial Goverment