Henan County is also known as “Sogwo County” in Tibetan, its full name is Hennan Mongol Autonomous County is the only Mongolian autonomous county in Qinghai Province, commonly known as “Henanmengqi”. Located in the southeast of Qinghai Province, it is adjacent to Xiahe County and Luqu County of Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Gansu Province in the east, Maqu County of Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Gansu Province to the south, and adjacent to Maqin County and Tongde County in the southwest. It is adjacent to Zeku County to the north, and is located at the junction of the three provinces of Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan. It is reagrded as the 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 June, July, August, September, 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 the alpine wetland ecosystem on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The total planned area of the wetland park is 38,393 hectares.
Lakha Gompa was established in 1924, it is located about 2 kilometers east of the 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 the temple now. This is a south-facing building complex; The Zequ River is on its front, and the Youganning Mountain is on its back. The monatery is surrounded by grasslands, which are vast and the 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 the foot of Ningmute Langqin Mountain, it was founded in 1937 by the mother of local chieftain. There are 1 assembly hall with 9 rooms, 105 houses. There are about 58 monks living in the monastery now
Xiangza monastery, also knwon as “Taklung Shingza Gompa” in Tibetan, is located 75 kilometers south of the county seat, it was founded in the 31st year of Emperor Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty (AD 1905). There are 1 assembly hall with 25 rooms, 1 Maitreya hall, and there are 130 houses, and there are now 68 monks. The monastery is closed to the 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 the county seat, on the 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. There are now about 81 monks. The monastery faces south, the Luqu River is in its front, the surrounding scenery is unique and beautiful.
The Holy Lake, 45 kilometers south of the county seat of Henan County. There is a land with an area of about 5,000 square meters on the Ga Beach at the northern foot of Jigang Mountain. In the slightly convex area in the 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. The local people call it “La Mao Lan Mucuo”, which means Fairy Lake.
Fairy Cave, 50 kilometers away from the county seat, at the foothills of Jigang Mountain on the 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. The depth of the hole is not yet known, and the depth that has been detected is 1500 meters. The entrance of the Immortal Cave is low, and it must be crawled to enter the cave, and it must be excavated and expanded to facilitate passage. More than 20 meters into the 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 the big cave, two of which are connected to each other, about 100 meters long. There are many small holes in the cave, forming a peculiar landscape with holes in the 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 the large hall, arriving at the Dragon King Hall, where the underground lakes are located
Henan County Geography and Climate
Henan County is located at the southern end of the chord of the first right-handed bend of the Yellow River. The county is 128 kilometers long from east to west and 94 kilometers wide from north to south. The total land area is 6,998 square kilometers. The county seat, Youganning Town, is 137 kilometers north of Longwu Town, the capital of Huangnan Prefecture, and 328 kilometers away from the provincial capital Xining.
The Henan County’s terrain is high in the northeast and low in the 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 the height difference of 1,317 meters.
The climate in Henan County is plateau continental climate, which belongs to the plateau sub-frigid humid climate zone. Due to the high altitude, the complex terrain and the influence of the monsoon, the 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. The spring and autumn seasons are short, the four seasons are unclear, and there is no absolute frost-free period. The 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 the local Tibetan compatriots for a long time after the Mongolian ancestors entered the Hequ area. The integration of Mongolian and Tibetan cultures has created a unique ethnic customs in Henan County
The ancestors of the Mongol in Henan had already converted to Tibetan Buddhism before entering the Henan area. After entering the Henan area, there were exchanges and integration with the local Tibetan people on the same religious beliefs, political, economic, and cultural. With vigorous advocacy, Tibetan Buddhist temples had been greatly developed. There are four monasteries in the county, including Lhaka, Quge, Xiangza, and Dacan, all belonging to the Gelug Sect. The monasteries all have unique architectural styles and preserve precious items of ancient Tibetan Buddhism.
As of 2011, the total population of Henan Mongolian Autonomous County is 40,000. Mongolians account for 93% of the total population, making it the 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 the Qin and Han dynasties, it belonged to the pastoral land of the Qiang people.
The nineteenth year of Jian’an by Emperor Xian of the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 214) belonged to the Han Dynasty.
In the Western Jin Dynasty, it was under the jurisdiction of Tuyuhun kingdom,
It was under the jurisdiction of Beizhoukuo Prefecture in the fifth year of Jiande in the Northern Zhou Dynasty (AD 576).
In the early period of the Sui Dynasty, it was under the jurisdiction of Tuyuhun, and in the 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 the period of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (AD 874 – 979), it was self-managed
It belonged to Song dynasty during the period of the Northern Song Dynasty (AD 960 – 1127)
It belonged to the Kingdom of Jin in the Southern Song Dynasty.(AD 1127 – 1279)
It was under the jurisdiction of Tubo kingdomg during Yuan dynasty
It was under the jurisdiction of the ancient Kham iin Ming dynasty
It was the pastureland of Heshuote during the Qing Dynasty.
In the 24th year of the Republic of China (1935), It wes directly under the jurisdiction of Qinghai province.
In 1954, the Henan Mongol Autonomous Region was established
In 1955, it was renamed as Henan Mongolian Autonomous County and was under the jurisdiction of Qinghai province.
In 1964, it was renamed as Henan Mongol Autonomous County.