Henan County is also known as “Sogwo County” in Tibetan. Its full name is Hennan Mongol Autonomous County is only Mongolian autonomous county in Qinghai Province, commonly known as “Henan Mengqi“. Located in southeast of Qinghai Province,
it is adjacent to Xiahe County and Luchu County of Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Gansu Province in east, Maqu County of Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Gansu Province to south, and adjacent to Maqin County and Tongde County in southwest. It is adjacent to Zeku County to north, and is located at junction of three provinces of Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan. It is reagrded as southern gate of Qinghai Province.
The county has a total area of 6998 square kilometers and an average altitude of 3,600 meters. There are four Tibetan Buddhist monasteries.
Best time to travel From June to October
Local climate Continental plateau climate
Most popular sites
Taoheyuan National Wetland Park is located in Saierlong Township, Henan County. It is a typical representative of alpine wetland ecosystem on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Total planned area of wetland park is 38,393 hectares.
Lakha Gompa was established in 1924, it is located about 2 kilometers east of county seat of Henan, next to Yangpo Kedai valley of Youganning Mountain. There are 1 large assembly hall with 25 rooms, 102 monks’houses. There are about 50 monks living in this gompa now. This is a south-facing building complex; Zequ River is on its front, and Youganning Mountain is on its back. Lakha Gompa is surrounded by grasslands, which are vast and aquatic plants are abundant. It is an excellent pasture with a great nature view.
Quge Si, also known as “Chogar Tashi Chodzong” in Tibetan, is located 31 kilometers west of Henan County, at foot of Ningmute Langqin Mountain, it was founded in 1937 by mother of local chieftain. There are 1 assembly hall with 9 rooms, 105 houses, and about 58 monks living in this monastery now
Xiangza monastery, also knwon as “Taklung Shingza Gompa” in Tibetan, is located 75 kilometers south of county seat, it was founded in 31st year of Emperor Guangxu of Qing Dynasty (AD 1905). There are 1 assembly hall with 25 rooms, 1 Maitreya hall, and 130 houses. There are now 68 monks living in this monastery. Its location is closed to ancient Yellow River ferry in its south which leads to Maqu county of Gansu Province.
Daseng Gompa, also known as “Datsengon Tashi Gandenling” in Tibetan, is located 61 kilometers east of county seat, on southwest side of Yadangtan of Saierlong Township. It was founded in 1924. There are 1 assembly hall with 25 rooms, monks’ house of 143 rooms and housing 81 monks. It faces south, Luchu River is in its front, surrounding scenery is unique and beautiful.
The Holy Lake, 45 kilometers south of county seat of Henan County. There is a land with an area of about 5,000 square meters on Ga Beach at northern foot of Jigang Mountain. In slightly convex area in central part, there is a small lake that is as flat as a mirror, sapphire as a jewel, with a clear bottom, and a depth of about 1 meter. Local people call it “La Mao Lan Mucuo”, which means Fairy Lake.
Fairy Cave, 50 kilometers away from county seat, at foothills of Jigang Mountain on north side of Fairy Lake, there are 51 natural caves. Among them, there is a large natural cave in Nikang Gully, which is deep and mysterious. Depth of hole is not yet known, and depth that has been detected is 1500 meters. Entrance of Immortal Cave is low, and it must be crawled to enter this cave, and it must be excavated and expanded to facilitate passage.
More than 20 meters into cave, there is a large hole with 45 meters long from east to west, 40 meters wide from north to south, and 35 meters deepth which can hold for hundreds of people. There are three side caves around big cave, two of which are connected to each other, about 100 meters long. There are many small holes in cave, forming a peculiar landscape with holes in cave. The cave is dim, with different sceneries, some are like palaces, and some are like arches. Behind a winding tunnel with a length of more than 200 meters, there is a large cavern. After abother 200 meters from large hall, arriving at Dragon King Hall, where underground lakes are located
Henan County Geography and Climate
Henan County is located at southern end of chord of the first right-handed bend of Yellow River. This county is 128 kilometers long from east to west and 94 kilometers wide from north to south with total land area of 6,998 square kilometers. County seat, Youganning Town, is 137 kilometers north of Longwu Town, capital of Huangnan Prefecture, and 328 kilometers away from provincial capital Xining.
Henan County’s terrain is high in northeast and low in southwest. Most areas are above 3,600 meters above sea level, with the highest elevation of 4,539 meters, the lowest elevation of 3,168 meters, and height difference of 1,317 meters.
Due to high altitude, complex terrain and influence of monsoon, plateau continental climate features are more obvious. It is warm and rainy from May to October each year, and cold, dry, and windy from November to April. Spring and autumn seasons are short, four seasons are unclear, and there is no absolute frost-free period. Annual average temperature is 9.2℃-14.6℃,
Culture and Ethnic groups
Henan Mongolian Autonomous County is surrounded by Tibetan areas. Due to factors such as history, geography, religion, marriage, etc., they lived in harmony with local Tibetan compatriots for a long time after Mongolian ancestors entered Hequ area. Integration of Mongolian and Tibetan cultures has created a unique ethnic customs in Henan County
Ancestors of Mongol in Henan had already converted to Tibetan Buddhism before entering Henan area. After entering Henan area, there were exchanges and integration with local Tibetan people on same religious beliefs, political, economic, and cultural. With vigorous advocacy, Tibetan Buddhist temples had been greatly developed. There are four monasteries in county, including Lhaka, Quge, Xiangza, and Dacan, all belonging to Gelug pa. Monasteries all have unique architectural styles and preserve precious items of ancient Tibetan Buddhism.
As of 2011, total population of Henan Mongolian Autonomous County is 40,000. Mongolians account for 93% of total population, making it a county with the highest proportion of Mongolian population in Qinghai province. In addition, there are other ethnic groups such as Mongolian, Tibetan, Han, Hui, and Tu people.
Henan County Brief History
Before Qin and Han dynasties, it belonged to pastoral land of Qiang people.
In 19th year of Jian’an by Emperor Xian of Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 214), it belonged to Han Dynasty.
In Western Jin Dynasty, it was under jurisdiction of Tuyuhun kingdom,
In 5th year of Jiande of Northern Zhou Dynasty (AD 576), it was under jurisdiction of Beizhoukuo Prefecture
In early period of Sui Dynasty, it was under jurisdiction of Tuyuhun, and in later period it belonged to Chishui County of Xinhai County.
It was ruled by Tubo kingdom since Emperor Gaozong of Tang Dynasty (AD 649 – 683)
During period of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (AD 874 – 979), it was self-managed
During period of Northern Song Dynasty (AD 960 – 1127), it belonged to Song dynasty
In Southern Song Dynasty (AD 1127 – 1279), it belonged to Kingdom of Jin
During Yuan dynasty, it was under jurisdiction of Tubo kingdomg
In Ming dynasty, it was under jurisdiction of ancient Kham
During Qing Dynasty, it was pastureland of Heshuote
In 24th year of Republic of China (1935), it wes directly under jurisdiction of Qinghai province.
In 1954, Henan Mongol Autonomous Region was established
In 1955, it was renamed as Henan Mongolian Autonomous County and was under jurisdiction of Qinghai province.
In 1964, it was renamed as Henan Mongol Autonomous County