Gonghe County is also known as “Chabcha county” in Tibetan; It is the capital town of Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, it is with a large population, vast area. The husbandry accounts for a relatively large proportion of the county’s economy; The name “Gonghe” was used since the 18th year of the Republic of China (AD 1929) when this county was established, meaning “the Republic of Five Ethnic Groups”. Gonghe County is located on one of the four overland routes to Lhasa, and it is also currently the only place that must pass through by the 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 the list of important international wetlands in 1992, and was named the top of the “Five Most Beautiful Lakes in China” by China National Geographic. On August 29th, 2011, the National Tourism Administration awarded the Qinghai Lake Scenic Spot the title of “National 5A Tourist Scenic Spot” ;
Heimahe Township, one of the best places to enjoy the sunrise by Qinghai Lake
Rubber Mountain, with an altitude of more than 3,000 meters, overlooking and enjoying the panoramic view of Qinghai Lake
Longyangxia Reservoir, the first estuary where the Yellow River enters the Yellow River Gorge after passing through the Qinghai grassland; among them, Longyangxia Hydropower Station is the first large-scale cascade hydropower station in the upper reaches of the 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 the National Tourism Administration in 2008
Fu Qi Ancient City Ruin “Fu Qi” is the “The Language of the T’o-pa Wei” with meaning of “City of Kings”. The Fu Qi City Ruin is located in Tiebjia Village. It was an important hub to connect east and west in ancient times. The City Ruin was designated as the fourth batch of cultural relics protection units by Qingghai Government in 1986.
In 540 AD, Tuyuhun Kwalu came to the throne and called Khan, and his capital was settled here and named it as “Fu Qi City”. The 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 the south wall. There is an axis from the city gate to the north. On both sides of the 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 the west, which is 70 meters long from east to west and 68 meters wide from north to south with a door on its east; The north, south and east walls are slightly higher than the current ground. The west wall coincides with the west wall of the Fu Qi city.
There is a rammed-earth platform between the small square city and the southern city wall of Fu Qi with length of 15 meters and width of 9 meters. There are relics of houses on the platform, and there are roads in the small square city, which go in the same direction as the 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 the small square city
Sun Moon Mountain , it is well-known for the story of the princess Wencheng of Tang dynasty marrying the 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 the color of the soil is red, it was called “Chi Hill” in ancient times (“Chi” in chinese means red ). Sun Moon Mountain is a must pass through of the “Tangbo Ancient Road” and the “Silk Road”. During the Kaiyuan period (AD 713-741) of the Tang Dynasty, the Tang Dynasty and the Tubo Kingdom erected the Chinese Han-Tibetan Harmony Monument on the top of Sun Moon Mountain together. The Tibetan and Chinese Han peoples lived in harmony with Sun Moon Mountain as the 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 the county’s total population.
Gonghe County Geography and Climate
Gonghe County is located in the northeast of Qinghai Province, with a terrain high in the northwest and low in the southeast. It borders Qinghai Lake in the north and Guinan County in the southeast with county boundary by the Yellow River Longyangxia Reservoir. It covers an area of 16 square kilometers and about 145 kilometers away from Xining. It is an important husbandry base in Hainan Tibetan Prefecture.
The northern part is the Sun Moon Mountain and the Qinghai Lake Basin, the central part is the Gonghe Basin, and the southern part is the Era Mountains and the Yellow River Valley. It is with an average elevation of 3,200 meters. The highest point is Chelonggang in the Era Mountains, with an elevation of 5,290 meters; the lowest point is the estuary of the Longyang Gorge in the 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 the Yellow River runs 90 kilometers in the 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 the Paleolithic period.
In Zhou and Qin Dynasties, the Qiang tribes lived a nomadic life centered on Qinghai Lake.
In the 6th year of Datong in the Liang Dynasty, Tuyuhun established Fu Qi City, and made it to be the capital.
At the end of the Western Han Dynasty, King Wang Mang was in power and used money and property to lure the Qiang people to offer the land of Xihai (now Qinghai Lake).
In the 4th year of Emperor Ping of the Han Dynasty (AD 4), Xihai County was established to rule Longyi, also known as Longqi (the triangular city site of Haiyan County), which governed the present Gonghe County area.
In the 4th year of Emperor Xin Mangdi (23 AD), the Wang Mang regime collapsed, Xihai County was abolished, and the Gonghe returned to the Qiang people.
In the first year of Long’an in the Eastern Jin Dynasty (397 AD), the Yifu tribe of the T’o-pa moved to the shore of Qinghai Lake and claimed that Gonghe was under its jurisdiction.
In the 10th year of Yixi (AD 414), Yifu tribe surrendered to the Western Qin Dynasty, and most of the Gonghe belonged to the Western Qin Dynasty.
During the Southern and Northern Dynasties, in the 6th year of Emperor Wen of the Southern Song Dynasty and the 2nd year of Shenjia in the Northern Wei Dynasty (AD 429), Tuyuhun troops came to the area around the lake, Yifu T’o-pa descended and joined Tuyuhun, and Gonghe became Tuyuhun’s land.
In the 6th year of Liang Datong, the 6th year of Western Wei Dynasty (AD 540), Kwalu, the king of Tuyuhun, established his capital in Fu Qi City
In the 5th year of the Sui Dynasty (AD 609), Emperor Sui Yang conquered Tuyuhun kingdom and set up Heyuan County and Xihai County. The southern part of the Gonghe belongs to Yuanhua County. The northern area belonged to Xuande County.
In the 10th year of Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty (AD 636), the Tang army defeated Tuyuhun kingdom. From then on, the Tuyuhun Kingdom, centered on the Hainan region, including Gonghe county, became a vassal of the Tang Empire.
In the first year of Xianheng (AD 670), Tang army failed to counter the Tubo invasion, Tuyuhun kingdom collapsed, and the entire Gonghe county fell into Tubo. In the 13th year of Tianbao (AD 754), Tang army conquered the area along the Yellow River in the southeast of the Gonghe, and set up the Jintian Army at the west entrance of Longyangxia, and soon re-occupied by Tubo.
In the Song Dynasty, the Gonghe area was under the jurisdiction of the Hehuang Tubo regime. It was once under the jurisdiction of the Song Jishi Army (ruling Heyin Town of Guide today).
In the Ming Dynasty, the southern part of the Gonghe belonged to Guide county, and the northern part belonged to Xihai Mongolia.
In the Qing Dynasty, in the 3rd year of Yongzheng (AD 1725), the western part of the Gonghe was the Heshuote Pasture; the central and western part was the Nanyoumo Pasture; the eastern part was the Huite Department pasture.
From the 3rd to the 17th year of the Republic of China (AD 1914-1928), Gonghe was under the jurisdiction of Qinghai province.
In the 18th year of the Republic of China (AD 1929), the Gonghe County was established in Qugou in July, which means “a republic of five ethnic groups”. Soon, XShangguomi, Xiaguomi,and Chabqa were placed under the jurisdiction of Gonghe County.
In September, 1949, the People’s Government of Gonghe County was established, directly under the Qinghai Provincial People’s Government.