Zeku County is also known as “Tsekok County” or “Zekog County” in Tibetan. It is located in the south-central part of Huangnan Prefecture, Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. It is adjacent to Xiahe County of Gansu Province to the east, Henan Mongol Autonomous County to the south, Tongde County of Qinghai Province to the west, and Tongren county to the northeast. It is 97 kilometers away from Longwu Town, the state capital, and about 285 kilometers away from Xining, the 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
Local climate plateau climate
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 the early years. The Great Assembly Hall in the temple enshrines the 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. The words and Buddha statues carved on the peice of stone were completed by monks and folk artists in 28 years from 1923 to 1951. The alive artists still teach the 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). The 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. The stone tablets are about 3,000 cubic meters and the number of words is about 2 billion. The 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. The total area of the temple 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 the Manjusri statue made of copper, white conch, sapphire, coral and so on. There is a cave behind the 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
The whole area of Zeku County is long and narrow from east to west, and the terrain slopes from east to west. The average elevation is 3700 meters, the highest point is the 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 the influence of terrain, regional differences and vertical changes of vegetation, soil and climate at different altitudes in the 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.
The oxygen content of the atmosphere in Zeku County is only 60% of the plain area. There are 13 main rivers in the territory, among which the Zequ River is the largest river in the county, and finally it merges into the 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. The annual average temperature is between -2.4 to 2.8℃, and the average annual frost-free period in the county is 12 days.
Population and Ethnic group
As of 2019, the total population is 66,900, with Han, Tibetan, Mongolian, Hui, Salar, Tu and other ethnic groups. The population is mainly Tibetan, which accounts for 98% of the county’s total population.
In the Zeku area, celestial burials are basically used for infants who die. At dawn on the day of the celestial burial, the relatives carried the body to a fixed celestial burial platform. The relatives simmered the mulberry for sacrifice, and then the celestial burial master split the body apart for vultures to eat. In the curling mulberry smoke, vultures that smelled will fly from all directions. All the family members are not sad, but hope that the body can be eaten cleanly by the vultures at this moment, which is regarded as a good start of reborn for the next life.
A traditional Tibetan folk drama, referred to as Tibetan Opera. It is a very old national drama. The performance of Hori Tibetan operas is usually divided into three steps: “opening”, “main play”, and “ending ceremony”. Among of which, the formal part is consistent with the end, regardless of the number of performances. Music is played before the actors go on stage. Once the actors appear on stage, there is no music, just stage performances, which is difference from the 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 (the elevation has increased in recent years), among which Cordyceps production areas above 4,500 meters is regarded as the “high-quality” area.
In Yuan Dynasty, it was under under the jurisdiction of Tubo kingdom.
In Ming Dynasty, it was under the jurisdiction of Guide county
In the eighteenth year of the Republic of China (1929), it was under the jurisdiction of Tongren county
In the 29th year of the Republic of China (1940), it was under the jurisdiction of Qinghai province
In 1953, Zeku County was established, and it is administrated by Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture