Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, referred to as Diqing Prefecture, is the only Tibetan autonomous prefecture under the jurisdiction of Yunnan Province. The capital of the autonomous prefecture is located in Shangri-La City (Jiantang Town or Gyeltang in Tibetan). It is about 608 kilometers away from the provincial capital Kunming
Diqing means “good luck and good place” in Tibetan; Shangri-La means “sun and moon in the heart”.
Diqing Prefecture is located in the northwestern part of Yunnan Province, at the junction of Yunnan, Tibet and Sichuan provinces.
It is in the hinterland of the national-level scenic spots, the Hengduan Mountains and the three parallel rivers (Jinsha River, Lancang River, and Nu River), which are arranged longitudinally from north to south on the extension of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the Lancang River and Jinsha River run through the entire territory from north to south, with a total area of 23,870 square kilometers.
Diqing Prefecture borders Lijiang City to the southeast, Nujiang Prefecture to the southwest, Linzhi City and Changdu City of the Tibet Autonomous Region to the northwest, and Garze Prefecture and Liangshan Prefecture of Sichuan Province to the northeast.
Diqing Prefecture was part of Kham in the history, it was also historically an important town of the “Ancient Tea Horse Trading Route”. It becomes a very attractive tourist attraction ever since it was regarded as of “Shangri-La” which is thought to be the paradise that the world has been seeking for a long time in the legend.
Diqing Tibetan Prefecture Tourism
As of 2014, Diqing Prefecture has 299 cultural relics protection units, including 3 at the national level and 13 at the provincial level. The ancient city of Dukezong is a provincial-level historical and cultural city, Yezhi Town is a provincial-level historical and cultural town, Niru Village in Luoji Township, Tangdui Village in Nixi Township, Baidi Village in Sanba Township, Cizhong Village in Yanmen Township, and Yunling Township Yubeng Village is a provincial-level historical and cultural village.
Diqing prefecture has the majestic Meili Snow Mountain (Kawagebo), the first peak in Yunnan; The steepest canyon in the world, the Tiger Leaping Gorge; The birthplace of the Dongba culture, The “Xianren Yitian” Baishuitai; and the lowest latitude in China, The modern glaciers of Mingyong glacier; Ganden Sumtsenling Monastery; Pudacuo National Park, Three Parallel Rivers Scenic Area; Haba Snow Mountain, Baima Snow Mountain, Bita hai lake, Napa hai lake, Shudu Lake, Dongzhulin Temple, Xiaozhongdian Grassland, Moon Bay Grand Canyon, Shouguo Temple, Cizhong Catholic Church, Feilai Temple…etc,
Diqing Prefecture has jurisdiction over 1 county-level city, 1 county, and 1 autonomous county.
Geography and climate
The terrain of Diqing Prefecture is high in the north and low in the south, and its territory is “three mountains with two rivers”. The three mountains are Meili Snow Mountain, Yunling Snow Mountain, and Zhongdian Snow Mountain, which are arranged in sequence from west to east. The highest elevation is 6740 meters from the Kawagebo Peak of Meili Snow Mountain, and the lowest elevation is 1486 meters at the “mouth” of the Biyu River into the Lancang River in Weixi County. Due to the influence of topography and climatic factors, three types of ecological environments are formed vertically, including Alpine regions: altitudes of 2800-6740 meters; mountainous areas: altitudes of 2200-2800 meters; valley areas: altitudes of 1486-2200 meters.
In Diqing Prefecture, there are Lancang River and Jinsha River running through the whole territory from north to south. The Jinsha River flows through Diqing for 430 kilometers, with a drainage area of 1,6810 square kilometers. The Lancang River flows through the prefecture for 320 kilometers with a drainage area of 7059 square kilometers. There are 221 large and small tributaries, distributed along the two rivers, forming a typical plume water system.
The climate in Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture is a temperate-cold-temperate climate, with an annual average temperature of 4.7°C-16.5°C, an annual extreme maximum temperature of 25.1°C, and a minimum temperature of -27.4°C. The three-dimensional climate is obvious, and there is a saying that “a mountain is divided into four seasons, and ten miles have different days.”
The climate of Diqing Prefecture is a cold temperate climate, with an average annual temperature of 4.7℃-16.5℃, an extreme maximum temperature of 25℃, and a minimum temperature of -27℃. The three-dimensional climate is obvious, and there is a saying that “a mountain is divided into four seasons, and ten miles have different climate”
Population and ethnic groups
As of the end of 2018, the total permanent population of Diqing Prefecture was 414,000. The Han population accounts for 11% of the total population; ethnic grops account for 89% of the total population. Among them: the Tibetan population accounts for 36% of the total population; the Lisu population accounts for 30% of the total population; the Naxi population accounts for 13% of the total population. As of the end of 2018, there are 5 ethnic groups with more than 1,000 people in Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, namely: Yi, Bai, Pumi, Miao, Hui
Diqing Tibetan Prefecture History
In the Han Dynasty, Diqing area was namod area.
In Jin Dynasty, Diqing area belonged to Maergan regime
In the Sui Dynasty, it belonged to Nanning Prefecture and part of it belonged Tubo kingdom
In the early Tang Dynasty, Diqing area belonged to Tubo kingdom
At the end of the Southern Song Dynasty, the Mongolian army conquered Dali kingdom, Diqing area became part of Mogol land
At the beginning of the Yuan Dynasty, Diqing area was under jusridiction of Lijiang
In the 5th year of Emperor Yongzheng in the Qing Dynasty (AD 1727), Weixi County was set up
In the 21st year of Emperor Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty (AD 1756), Zhongdian (Gyeltang) county was established,
In the 27th year of the Republic of China (AD 1938), Diqing area was under jusridiction of Yunnan
In 1951, Deqin Tibetan Autonomous Region was established
In 1955, Deqin Tibetan Autonomous Region was changed to Deqin Tibetan Autonomous County.
In 1956, The establishment of Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture was approved,
In 1957, Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture was formally established, with jurisdiction over 3 counties, Zhongdian, Weixi, and Deqin.
In 1985, Weixi County was changed to Weixi Su Su Autonomous County.
In 2001, Zhongdian County was renamed Shangri-La County
In 2014, Shangri-La County was abolished, and Shangri-La City was renamed.