Tongde County, also known as “Kawasumdo County” in Tibetan, is located in the southeast of Qinghai Province. It is the junction of the three Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures of Hainan, Huangnan and Guoluo of Qinghai province, and under jurisdiction of the Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. The provincial highway Xning-Jiuzhi Highway runs through the whole territory from north to south, and the Yellow River circulates around the county in a semi-circular loop from east to west.
Best travel time June, July, August and September
Local climate Plateau continental climate
Most popular sites
Rabgya Monastery, Located at the foot of Ani Gong Mountain in Lajia Township on the north bank of the Yellow River in the northeastern part of the county, it faces west and the Yellow River. There is a bridge on the Yellow River linking to the west bank. It is the most well-known Gelug pa monastery along the Yellow River in Qinghai
Tsanggar Monastery, Located in the south east of the county, in the Shima area, 12 kilometers east of Hebei Township. It was first built in the 30th year of Qianlong (AD 1765) of Qing Dynasty.
Tu’ertan Ruin, Located on the south side of Tuanjie Village. It is about 150 meters long from east to west and 80 meters wide from north to south. It was discovered by villagers of Tuanjie Village in the mid-1970s and and was excavated by the Qinghai Provincial Archaeological Team in 1983. After the excavation, it was confirmed to be the Ma-jia-yao cultural half-mountain type. In July 1986, it was listed as a provincial key cultural relics protection unit by Qinghai province.
The ruins of the ancient city of Douhousuo, Located on the north bank of Gaurigan River, about 10 kilometers east of the county seat. It is the ruin of Tang-wang culture. In 1983, it was listed as a key cultural relics protection unit by local county government.
Tongde County Geography and Climate
Tongde County is located in the second bend of the nine bends of the Yellow River. It is high in the southeast, low in the northwest and flat in the middle, which is a beach grassland. The county has a total area of 4758 square kilometers, the highest elevation in the county is 4671 meters, the lowest elevation is 2648 meters, and the average elevation is 3660 meters.
The county seat of Kawasumdo Town is 3060 meters above sea level. It is about 282 kilometers away from Xining and borders with five counties of Guinan County, Zeku County, Henan County, Maqin County and Xinghai County. The atmosphere is thin, drought and less rain, long hours of sunshine, strong solar radiation, cool and cold climate, small annual temperature range and large daily range. Spring is dry and windy, summer is short and cool, autumn is wet and rainy, and winter is long and dry. The annual average temperature is 0.4 ℃-0.6 ℃, the total annual precipitation is about 430 mm, and there is no absolute frost-free period
Culture and Ethnic Groups
Tongde County is also known as the hometown of Zong Ri Culture. With the ancient Yellow River as the cultural background and Zongri culture as the keynote, a large-scale “Zongri Culture and Art Festival” is held every year. The important carrier of Zongri culture is the Zongri site. The Zongri site is located near Tuanjie Village. It covers an area of more than 50,000 square meters. It is a Neolithic cultural site discovered earlier, with the largest area, and extremely rich content in the upper reaches of the Yellow River.
The county seat of Tongde County is Gabasunduo Town with a permanent population of about 9,000 people. In 2009, the county had a total population of 61,000, the ethnic groups such as Han, Tibetan, Hui, Mongolian, Tu, and Salar. The Tibetan population accounted for 90% of the total population. In 2004, Tongde County was listed as the Sanjiangyuan Nature Reserve by Qinghai province.
Tongde County Brief History
Tongde County was the Xiqiang area in the pre-Qin period. It was the place where the Shaodang Qiang lived at the end of the Han Dynasty
In the last year of Yongjia in the Western Jin Dynasty (313 AD), it was the area that Tuyuhun made a lot of moves. In the 5th year of the Sui Dynasty (AD 609), it belonged to Chishui County.
In the 3rd year of Longshuo (AD 663) of Tang Dynasty, it was under jurisdiction of Tubo and Dushan troop was set up to contend with Tang army.
From Wudai Dynasties (AD 907 – 979) to Song Dynasty (AD 960－1279), it was still under the jurisdiction of Tubo kingdom
From the 31st year of Yuan Shizu to Yuan Dynasty (1294 AD), it belonged to Linxia City, Gansu Province, and was controlled by Guide.
After the 48th year of Ming Shenzong Wanli (AD 1620), it became the Mongolian noble Gushi Khan and Shuote pasture.
In the third year of Emperor Yongzheng in the Qing Dynasty (1725 AD), the central goverment divided the Qinghai Mongolian tribes into 29 tribes. Tongde was the Heshuote Middle Banner. It was dominated by Mongolian herdsmen and Mongolian and Tibetans live together. Later, some of the Mongolians moved to other places, some were Tibetanized, and later some Tibetan herdsmen moved in from Gannan and northern Sichuan.
At the end of the Qing Dynasty, some Tibetan herdsmen moved in from Jianzha and Hualong, and the ethnic group was mainly Tibetan.
In the second year of the Republic of China (1913 AD), Guide County was relocated, and Tongde belonged to it.
In the 24th year of the Republic of China (AD 1935), Guide County was separated and set up as Tongde County, which means “the frontiers should serve the Central Dehua”, and the county government was stationed in Rabgya Monastery.
In July 1950, the Tongde Tibetan Autonomous Region was established under the Qinghai Province.
In 1953, Tongde Tibetan Autonomous Region was renamed as Tongde County, and under jurisdiction of Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture