“Garze” is the name of the first Gelug pa monastery here, meaning “A white and beautiful place” in Tibetan, with a history of 1300 years of establishment.
The whole area of Garze was originally under jurisdiction of three chieftains of “Kongsa“, “Mashu“, and “Baili“, which was to establish Garze County in 1912 and has been inherited to this day.
The county seat of Garze Town is 3390 meters above sea level, about 752 kilometers away from provincial capital Chengdu, and 385 kilometers away from prefectural capital of Kangding, 95 kilometers east of Manigango town, and 105 kilometers northwest of Luhuo county.
It is located in northwest of Ganzi Prefecture, upstream of Yalong River, bordering Luhuo County to east, Dege County to west, Xinlong County and Baiyu County to south, and Sershul County, Sertar County, and Darlag County to north.
Best time to travel
Throughout a year
Plateau valley climate and alpine cold temperate climate
Most popular sites
Gesar King City Tourist Area is located in the southeast of Garze County, close to G317 National Highway, 59 kilometers away from Gesar Airport. The scenic spot includes two parts of Gesar King City and Yalong Bay Wetland Park.
Garze Monastery was built in 1657 AD. It is located on a hillside overlooking Garze County. The architectural style is a combination of Tibetan and Chinese Han. It is a Gelug pa Monastery which was severely damaged during “Cultural Revolution” and was rebuilt in 1980 with a main hall of four floors. The whole monastery is with a construction area of 197,000 square meters and an area of 285,000 square meters.
Baili Monastery was built in 1662 AD. It is located in Shengkang Township, about 10 kilometers west of Garze County, at the mountainside on the north bank of Yalong River. It covers an area of 19,000 square meters. It belongs to Gelug pa of Tibetan Buddhism
Dajin Monastery, also known as “”Dargye Monastery, is a Gelug pa monastery, located in Rongpatsa Township. Dajin means “prosperity” in Tibetan. Itwas moved to its current site in 1662 AD. Destroyed during war in 1932. It was rebuilt in 1940 and occupied an area of more than 150,000 square meters by 1956. It was severely damaged around 1967. After 1982, it began to be repaired one after another.
Donggu Monastery, founded in 1417 AD, is a Gelug pa monastery, located about 60 kilometers northeast of Garze town, with altitude of 3,500 meters above sea level. At the intersection of the east bank of Da-chu River and the west bank of Nailong River in Sitongda Township. There are a large number of cultural relics being well preserved especially the golden Buddha and Thangka paintings
Geography and climate
Garze County is located on northeastern edge of Hengduan Mountains. It is a transitional zone from hills to mountains. It is part of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
Bayan Har Mountain is in its north and Guola Lang Mountain is in its east. Shaluli Mountain stands in its southwest. The highest mountain in Ganzi county is 5688 meters above sea level and the lowest is 3325 meters above sea level.
Garze County is 164 kilometers from south to north and 117 kilometers from east to west, covering an area of 7,358 square kilometers.
The climate of Garze County is with long winter and short summer. The entire county has an alpine cold-temperate climate; while the county town of Garze has a plateau river valley climate.
Annual sunshine hours are 2640 hours, which is known as the “Little Sunny City”. Annual average temperature is 5.6℃, the highest temperature is 31.7℃, the lowest temperature extreme is -28.9℃, annual average precipitation is 636.5 mm, and the oxygen content is equivalent to 67% in the plain.
There are three main rivers, Yalong River (Yichu), Da-chu River and Ni-chu River in Garze County, which flow through along mountain ranges. There are more than 50 rivers and streams, forming dendritic-like waters. The three main rivers run 92 kilometers, 154 kilometers, and 42 kilometers respectively in Garze County.
Population and ethnicity
As of 2018, the total population of Garze County is 76,000, of which Tibetan population accounts for more than 95% of total population. Other ethnic groups include Han, Yi, Qiang, Hui, Bai, Naxi, Mongolian, Tujia, Manchu, and Miao. , Zhuang, Buyi,
How to get to Garze County
The quickest way is to use Garze Gesar airport, which has 3 flights from Chengdu each week, and in the near future, the flights between Chengdu and Garze could be over 7 flights a week
However, the and transportation is now still the major option which could be helpful for visitors to acclimatizing to the altitude during the drive
Garze Gesaer Airport
Address: Laima village
IATA Code: GZG
Altitude: 4,061 meters
Garze Bus Station
Address: No, 164, Chuan-Zang Road
Phone: +86 836 752-2353
Altitude: 3,780 meters
Distance from Garze to
- Xinlong County : 100 kilometers, about 2 hours’ drive
- Baiyu County : 230 kilometers, about 7 hours’ drive
- Manigango Town: 90 kilometers, about 1.5 hours’ drive
- Sershul County: 320 kilometers, about 6 hours’ drive
- Yarchen monastery: 110 kilometers, about 2.5 hours’ drive
- Kangding City : 360 kilometers, about 7 hours’ drive
- Sertar County : 150 kilometers, about 4 hours’ drive
During Warring States Period (475 BC-221 BC), Garze area was pasture land of Baili tribe
In Sui Dynasty (AD 581-AD 618), it belonged to Fu kingdom
During Tang Dynasty (618 AD-907 AD) and Song Dynasty (960 AD-1279 AD) , it was occupied by Tubo Kingdom
In Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-AD 1644), it was occupied by Mongolian Heshuote Gushi Khan
In 1862 AD, Mashuxun was set up in Garze area
In 1911, Garze Committe was set up
In 1912, Garze county was established
In 1939, It was under 4th administrative inspectorate of Xikang Province
In 1950, it belonged to Xikang Tibetan Autonomous Region.
In 1955, Xikang Tibetan Autonomous Region was changed Xikang Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture; in October of the same year, Xikang Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture was abolished, and Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province was established, since then Garze County was under its jurisdiction.