Jigzhi County, also known as “Jigdril County” in Tibetan, is under the jurisdiction of Guoluo Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and one of the animal husbandry production bases in Qinghai Province. It is located in the east of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, southeast of Guoluo Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, at the junction of Qinghai, Sichuan, and Gansu provinces. It is adjacent to Aba County in Sichuan Province in the southeast, Banma County in the south, Darlag County in the west, the northwest is adjacent to Gade County and separated by the Yellow River. The northeast borders Maqu County of Gansu Province. The total area is 8757 square kilometers.
Jigzhi County has a long-standing Tibetan Buddhist culture. There are 11 Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the county, including Nyingma, Jonang, Gelug sects. Among those, there are 7 Nyingma monasteries in the county, one of which is Baiyu monastery that is with a high reputation and a long history.
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Baiyu Monastery, also known as “Tarthang Monastery”, is an ancient Nyingma monastery of Tibetan Buddhism, located about 40 kilometers away from the sacred site of the Eighth Great Ascetic Department of Nianbao Yuze (Nyenpo Yurtse) Holy mountain. The land is a plateau with an altitude of about 3780 meters. Here comes the green grass in spring, and the gurgling water in autumn, legend has it that this place has the reputation of the three main practice sites of Manjusri, Vajra and Avalokiteshvara. The terrain is very peculiar, like the spitting rat spirit lying peacefully, it is really a land of auspiciousness where all fortunes gather.
Taklung Gompa is located along the De-he-long-gou Majiu Highway in Kangsai Township, 6 kilometers east of Jiuzhi County. It is a monastery of the Nyingma School. It was built in 1865 that combines the three schools of Gelug, Ningma and Jolong. In AD 1939, the branch of the Gelug Sect was moved to Ye-he-qiong valley in Mentang, and the Nyingma and Jonang Sects still operated together as one temple. In the 1950s, the Kangsai tribe was divided into two townships, Kangsai and Mentang, so that this monastery was separated into two monasteries.
Nyenpo Yurtse National Geopark is with a total area of 2,238 square meters. Nyenpo Yurtse, also known as Guoluo Mountain, is located in the eastern part of Banma County. It belongs to the Bayan Har Mountain and is a sacred mountain in the Guoluo Grassland. It is 40 kilometers long and 25 kilometers wide. It is composed of countless peaks that are above 4000 meters above sea level. The main peak is 5,369 meters above sea level, with a glacier area of 7-8 square kilometers, and over 360 glacial lakes, all of which have different landscapes. According to legend, it is the birthplace of the different Guoluo tribes. (Due to ECO-protection, this national geopark is temporarily suspended on business)
Geography and Climate
Jigzhi County is about 136 kilometers long from east to west and 126 kilometers wide from north to south. It is located in the eastern part of Qingnan Plateau, with overlapping mountains and undulating peaks. The Nianbao Mountain of the Bayan Har Mountains traverses the whole territory. The southern part of the mountain are canyons mostly going from north to south, and the northern part of the mountain is wide valleys and basins. Bayan Har Mountain stretches from northwest to southeast, and Nyenpo Yurtse Mountain traverses the entire territory to form the topographical framework of the county. The terrain gradually decreases from the south and northeast to the northwest, and the altitude is between 3568 meters and 5369 meters.
Jigzhi has a typical plateau continental climate. There are no four seasons throughout the year, only cold and warm seasons. The annual average temperature is 0.1℃, and the cold period below 0℃ lasts for 184 days, of which the severe cold period below -10℃ reaches 131 days. The annual sunshine hours are 2084.5-2510 hours, which is the region with the least sunshine hours in Qinghai Province. The precipitation is abundant, with an average of 171 rainy days per year and a precipitation of 764.4 mm, which is the highest in Qinghai Province.
Population and Ethnic Groups
As of 2020, Jigzhi County has a population of 30,000, of which Tibetans account for more than 98% of the total population, and herdsmen account for 87% of the total population. There are mainly Tibetan, Han, Hui, Mongolian, and Tu tribes.
Culture and Custom
Jiuzhi County has a long-standing Tibetan Buddhist culture. The Amdo Tibetan clothing is the traditional Tibetan clothing of the county. It has a wide collar, fat waist, long sleeves, long hem and no buttons. Men and women like to wear sheepskin Tibetan robes. In terms of its texture, it is divided into lambskin Tibetan robes and old sheepskin Tibetan robes, but the styles of the two Tibetan robes are basically the same. There are obvious differences in trimming between male and female Tibetan robes. Generally, 7 old sheepskins or 40 lambskins are used to sew a medium-height Tibetan robe for men or women.
Jigzhi County Tibetan Festivals
Tibetan New Year Festival: The first to 15th day of the first month of the Tibetan calendar is the Spring Festival of the Tibetan people, commonly known as the Tibetan New Year.
Worship of Padmasambhava Festival The first to the tenth day of the third month of the Tibetan calendar is the anniversary of the death of Master Padmasambhava.
Mountain God Festival The fourth day of the fifth month of the Tibetan calendar is the Mountain God Festival. Tibetans regard mountain gods as local protector.
Horse-racing festival The seventh month of the Tibetan calendar is for Horse-racing.
Tsongkhapa’s anniversary: December 25th of the Tibetan calendar is the anniversary of the pass-away of Tsongkhapa, the creator of the Gelug pa.
Banish evil Festival The 29th of December in the Tibetan calendar is the Banish evil Festival.
Jigzhi County Brief History
In ancient times, it was Qiang people area.
It was part of Jimizhou of Tang Dynastyy, later belonged to the Tubo kingdom.
In Song dynasty, it belonged to Tubo kingdom.
In Yuan dynasty, it belonged to Lu Xuan Mansion of Tubo kingdom
In Ming dynasty, it was under the jurisdiction of the ancient Kham
In Qing Dynasty, it was part of Songpan county, Sichuan Province.
In 1928 September, Qinghai Government was established by the Republic of China, and at the same time the administration of Jigzhi was established.
In 1955 March, Jiuzhi County was established officially