It is 97 kilometers away from Longwu Town, prefecture capital, and about 285 kilometers away from Xining, provincial capital. Zeku County is 142 kilometers long from east to west, 85 kilometers wide from north to south, with a total area of 6550 square kilometers.
Best time to travel
From June to September
Most popular sites
Hori Gompa is also known as “Hor Tashiling Gompa” or “Terton Chogar Monastery”; it is a Nyingma pa monastery, and it was a tent-monastery in early years. Great Assembly Hall of Hori Gompa enshrines statue of Master Padmasambhava.
Hori Mani Wall, it is located on a hillside over 3,500 meters above sea level behind Hori Gompa. It is the largest carved stone group found so far. Holy Words and Buddha statues carved on peice of stone were completed by monks and folk artists in 28 years from 1923 to 1951. Alive artists still teach stone carving technique. It was listed as a Qinghai provincial cultural relics protection unit in 1984. Maintenance and restoration from 2004 to 2005 were donated by former Swiss Ambassador to China Mr. Erwin Schurtenberger (Su Ai Wen – Chinese name). Mani Stone Wall is 3 meters wide and 200 meters long. It is made up of stone tablets engraved with scriptures, patterns and Buddha statues. Stone tablets are about 3,000 cubic meters and number of words is about 2 billion. Stone carvings of Buddha statues, patterns, folk customs, and figures are up to more than 5000 statues.
Dorje Ddzong, also known as “Guan Xiu temple” in Chinese; it is Gelug pa moastery affiliated with Longwu monastery. Total area of moastery is about 36,860 square meters. There are various Buddhist scriptures and historical materials, as well as nearly a hundred kinds of valuable religious objects such as Manjusri statue made of copper, white conch, sapphire, coral and so on. There is a cave behind monastery， which is called “Dzikar Caves”, also known as “Fairy Cave”. In this cave, there are 16 Arhats and Yamantaka statues that are naturally generated, which was a holy meditation place for Tibetan monks in ancient times.
Geography and climate
Zeku County is long and narrow from east to west, and terrain slopes from east to west. Average elevation is 3700 meters, the highest point is northern Zamarigang Mountain, 4971 meters above sea level, and the lowest point is 2800 meters above sea level, with a relative elevation difference of 2171 meters. Due to influence of terrain, regional differences and vertical changes of vegetation, soil and climate at different altitudes in county have been formed. There are five major areas: alpine zone, subalpine zone, beach land, valley terraces, and low hills. There are five major areas: alpine zone, subalpine zone, beach land, valley terraces, and low hills.
Oxygen content of atmosphere in Zeku County is only 60% of plain area. There are 13 main rivers in territory, among of which Zequ River is the largest river in county, and finally it merges into Yellow River. It is with abundant and concentrated precipitation; low temperature, insufficient heat, short-term frost-free, long sunshine time and strong solar radiation; cold seasons are long and dry and cold with strong winds; warm seasons are short and cool. Annual average temperature is between -2.4 to 2.8℃, and average annual frost-free period in county is 12 days.
Population and Ethnic group
As of 2019, total population is 66,900, with Han, Tibetan, Mongolian, Hui, Salar, Tu and other ethnic groups. Population is mainly Tibetan, which accounts for 98% of county’s total population.
In Zeku area, celestial burials are basically used for infants who die. At dawn on day of celestial burial, relatives carried body to a fixed celestial burial platform. Relatives simmered mulberry for sacrifice, and then celestial burial master split body apart for vultures to eat. In curling mulberry smoke, vultures that smelled will fly from all directions. All family members are not sad, but hope that body can be eaten cleanly by vultures at this moment, which is regarded as a good start of reborn for next life.
A traditional Tibetan folk drama, referred to as Tibetan Opera. It is a very old national drama. Performance of Hori Tibetan operas is usually divided into three steps: “opening”, “main play”, and “ending ceremony”. Among of which, formal part is consistent with end, regardless of number of performances. Music is played before actors go on stage. Once actors appear on stage, there is no music, just stage performances, which is difference from traditional Tibetan opera.
Cordyceps, it mainly distributes in Tibet, Qinghai, Sichuan, Gansu and Yunnan at high altitudes between 3,500 meters and 5,500 meters (elevation has increased in recent years), among which Cordyceps production areas above 4,500 meters is regarded as “high-quality” area.
In Yuan Dynasty, it was under under jurisdiction of Tubo kingdom.
In Ming Dynasty, it was under jurisdiction of Guide county
In 18th year of Republic of China (1929), it was under jurisdiction of Tongren county
In 29th year of Republic of China (1940), it was under jurisdiction of Qinghai province
In 1953, Zeku County was established, and it is administrated by Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture