Ledu district, also known as “Drotsang County“, is a municipal district under Haidong City, Qinghai Province. It is seat and downtown area of Haidong City. Ledu District is located in eastern part of Qinghai Province.
It is adjacent to Xining city to west, Minhe County to east, Hualong County to south, and Huzhu County to north. It is 34 kilometers long from north to south, 23 kilometers wide from east to west, with a total area of 2821 square kilometers.
Most of territory is mountainous area. District seat is Nianbo Town. It was called Huangshui County in ancient times, about 63 kilometers west of provincial capital Xining City, 168 kilometers east of Lanzhou City, capital of Gansu Province.
Best time to travel
From May to October
Inland semi-arid climate
Most popular sites
Qutan Temple, also known as “Drotsang Monastery“, is a national key cultural relics protection unit. It is one of few Chinese Buddhist temples in Qinghai. Annual flower event in Qutan Temple is a famous folk event in Qinghai. It is also a national key cultural relics protection unit. Qutan Temple is about 21 kilometers away from city. This large-scale Tibetan Buddhist monastery with Chinese architectural style was founded in 1392 AD.
Liuwan Cemetery, 15 kilometers east of Ledu District, on north bank of Huangshui River. This cemetery is located on white soil slope of mountain behind village. It covers an area of 112,500 square meters. It is a public cemetery in late primitive society. This group of Cemeteries is also a representative of Majiayao culture in Neolithic Age. More than 170 Neolithic and Bronze Age tombs have been excavated, such as Majiayao culture, Banshan type, Machang type, Qijia culture, Xindian culture, etc. Archaeological department of Qinghai Province carried out a large-scale investigation of tombs from 1974 to 1980. A total of 1,370 tombs of Neolithic and Bronze Age including Majiayao culture, Machang type, Qijia culture, Xindian culture and other Neolithic and Bronze Age tombs were excavated. Pottery, stone tools, bone tools, green forest stones, seashells were unearthed. 37529 such cultural relics have high archaeological and ornamental value.
Geography and climate
Mountains in Ledu are layered, and Huangshui River flows from west to east. Taking Huangshui as boundary, northern and southern are geographical constituent units of Qilian Mountains and Laji Mountains, and Ledu Basin is formed by Daxia Uplift in west and Laoyaxia in east. Overall terrain slopes from west to east, high in west and low in east, with a stepped distribution, with an altitude between 1850 meters and 4480 meters above sea level
Its area is a typical transition zone between Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and Loess Plateau, and it is divided into four types:
-1), From 3000 meters above sea level to below snow line (3700 meters), it is stone mountain forest grassland area, with deep valleys and steep mountains;
-2), Between 2800-3000 meters above sea level, it is Naoshan farming area, terrain is low, round, undulating, and gully is not deep;
-3), Between 2000 and 2800 meters above sea level, it is a shallow hilly loess hilly area with vertical and horizontal gullies, deep gullies and large slopes, serious soil erosion and sparse vegetation;
-4), Between 1850-2000 meters above sea level, it is River Valley Basin, with flat terrain and fertile soil, which is main farming area.
Because Ledu District is located on edge of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, which is inland, so that it is affected by Indian Ocean monsoon in summer for half a year and westerly circulation in winter for half a year, forming a continental climate with not hot in summer, dry and windy, four seasons are not distinct
Annual average temperature is 6.9℃. The highest temperature is in July, with an average of 18.6℃; January has the lowest temperature, with an average of -7.2℃; average annual temperature range is 25.8℃.
Annual average sunshine hours is 2665 hours. Rainfall in this area is small but concentrated and unevenly distributed. Average annual rainfall is 330 mm and frost-free period is 217 days.
Population and ethnic group
As of end of 2011, population was 360,200, and there were 15 ethnic groups including Tibet, Qiang, Tu and Han. Han nationality accounted for majority, and Han population was approximately 231,000.
Before Qin and Han dynasties, Ledu belonged to Qiang Rong region.
In 111 BC, Han’s army entered Huangshui Valley, and Ledu area was included in territory of Han Dynasty.
In 60 BC, Poqiang County was established and belonged to Jincheng County.
During Southern and Northern Dynasties, Nanliang ruled country and became capital of Ledu.
In 526 AD, Ledu County was changed to Shanzhou, and Xidu County was moved to Ledu.
In 598 AD, Xidu County was changed to Huangshui County, under jurisdiction of Shanzhou.
In 677 AD, Shanzhou Dudu Mansion was set up to supervise military and political affairs of four states of Shan, He, Lan, and Kuo.
In 714 AD, Tang Dynasty set Longyou Jiedu to Shanzhou and governed Longyou 12 prefectures, making Ledu political and economic center of northwestern region.
In Song Dynasty, it was called Miaochuan, Huangzhou, and Lezhou.
During Yuan Dynasty, Ledu belonged to Xining Prefecture.
In Ming Dynasty, Nianbowei and Xiningwei Nianboyou Thousand Households were established successively, and it was changed to Nianbo County in third year of Yongzheng of Qing Dynasty.
In 18th year of Republic of China (1929), Qinghai was established as a province, and Nianbo County was changed to Ledu County, which was subordinate to Qinghai Province.
In 1979, Haidong Prefecture was designated, and county seat was located in Nianbo Town.
In 2013, Haidong area was withdrawn to form a city, and Ledu was withdrawn from a county to form a district, becoming urban area of Haidong City