The full name of Xunhua County is Xunhua Salar Autonomous County, which also known as “Dowi County“;
Xunhua County has dense forests, fertile farmland, and luxuriant pasture. Cultural landscape is rich in connotation and ethnic customs is very unique. It is one of the best tourist areas in Qinghai Province. Three scenic spots of Mengda Tianchi, Camel Spring, and Wendu Temple are listed for “Top Ten Scenic Spots of Qinghai”. Among them, Wendu Great Temple is second largest mosque in Qinghai, which has collection of only manuscript of “Quran”
Xunhua County is located in eastern of Qinghai Province. It borders Jishishan County and Linxia County of Gansu Province to east, Xiahe County of Gansu Province and Tongren County of Qinghai Province to south, Jianzha County to west, and neighbors of Hualong Hui Autonomous County and Minhe Hui Autonomous County of Qinghai Province to north.
Xunhua County is 68 kilometers long from east to west, 57 kilometers wide from north to south, covering an area of 2,100 square kilometers. The county seat is Jishi Town, 165 kilometers away from provincial capital Xining
Best travel time
From May to October
Plateau continental climate
Most popular sites
Mengda Tianchi, is a plateau lake with an area of about 300 acres. Main protection object of this lake is forestconservation ecosystem. It is located in east of Xunhua County, about 110 kilometers southeast of Xining City. Total area is 17,290 hectares, altitude is between 1780-3356 meters, average altitude is above 2500 meters, and main peak is 4178 meters high. It is in transitional zone between northeastern edge of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and Long-Loess Plateau, and mountains basically runs north-south.
Camel Spring is located near Great Mosque in Jiezi Village, 4 kilometers west of Jishi Town. Although it is a small clear spring, it is related to origin of Salars. According to folklore, ancestors of Salars were originally a small tribe living in Samarkand in Central Asia. Heads of Salars were two brothers, who were forced to leave their homes and wander around. Two of them took 18 people of same family, led a white camel, carried water and soil of their hometown and “Quran”, looking for new musicians to east. When they came to foot of Jishi Mountain, they unexpectedly lost white camel in dark night. On next day, they found a clear spring and a lost white camel (turned into a white stone lying beside spring) on sand slope east of street, so they lived here and named clear spring Camel Spring.
Wendu Monastery, located in Ladai Village, Chuwendu Township, belongs to Gelug pa of Tibetan Buddhism. It is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Xunhua area and a large-scale Tibetan monastery complex.
Geography and climate
Xunhua County is located on east edge of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, it is high in south and low in north, surrounded by mountains. Altitude is 1780 meters-4636 meters above sea level. Relative elevation difference is 2855 meters. This county has an average elevation of 2200 meters, which is one of lower elevations in Qinghai Province. Yellow River flows 79 kilometers through Xunhua County. Landforms are mid-elevation mountains.
It is adjacent to Yellow River flat area to north, low mountains and hills in middle and northeast, and middle and high mountainous areas in south. Wide valley area of Yellow River gradually increases in elevation to south, and vertical difference is obvious. It can be divided into four types of landforms: valley, middle high mountains in middle-eastern area, high mountains in middle-western, and high mountains in east
Climate of Xunhua County is: mild climate, no hot days in summer, not very cold in winter, long sunshine time, strong solar radiation, and great temperature difference between day and night. There is little rainfall, large evaporation; the extreme maximum temperature is 34.1℃, the extreme minimum temperature is -19.8℃, and average annual temperature is 8.5℃. Difference between day and night is big,
Population and ethnic group
As of 2011, total population of Xunhua Salar Autonomous County was 126,900. Among them, 78,900 Salars, accounting for 62% of total population, accounting for 81% of total population of Salars of China;
There are 29,600 Tibetans, accounting for 24% of total population of Xunhua county; in addition, there are and Hui, Han, and other ethnic minorities
In 27th year of Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty (AD 1762), Xunhua area was established.
In 16th year of Republic of China (1927), Xunhua area was under jurisdiction of Gansu Province
In 19th year of Republic of China (1930), part of Xunhua area was under jurisdiction of Minhe County
After October 1949, administrative ownership of Xunhua autonomous counties was changed several times. It was directly governed by province until 1958
From 1959 to 1979, it was placed under management of Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
Since 1986, it has been under jurisdiction of Haidong City