Kangding City is located in eastern of Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. It is the political, economic, cultural, commercial and transportation hub of Garze prefecture. It is also the capital of Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
Kangding is Chinese Pinyin, “Kang” means the area of Kham; “Ding” means stability and peace; Kangding means that the area of Kham is to be stable and safe. The earliest use of “Kangding” was in 30th year of Emperor Guangxu of Qing Dynasty (1904 AD)
Note: The vast region in between east of Danda Mountain and west of Kangding is “Kham” .
Danda Mountain is 5298 meters above sea level, also known as “Xia Gong-la Mountain”, which is located in south of Banbar County of Chamdo City in Tibet Autonomous Region. Danda Mountain means the snow mountain to the east in Tibetan”
In Tibetan, Kangding is called “Dartsedo“, which means the confluence of Da-chu (Yala River) and Zhe-qu (Zheduo River). It was once translated as “Dardo“, and later translated as “Dartsedo“,
Kangding is about 288 kilometers away from the provincial capital of Chengdu.
Kangding borders Baoxing County, Tianquan County, Luding County and Shimian County to east, Jiulong County and Muli County to south, Yajiang county to west, and Xiaojin County, Danba County and Dawu County to north.
It is a city dominated by Tibetan, where Han, Hui, Yi, Qiang and other ethnic groups live in together, and became a well-known city across China because of a Love-Song, which is a huge hit about this town and the Paoma mountain. A monument is to be built with the lyrics of this “Love Song” carved in Tibetan, Chinese and English in the center Square of this city.
Mt. Zheduo (4,323 meters) geographically separates Tibetan plateau and mainland of China. It is also an important post of the old Tea-Hosre Trading Route, which begins from Ya’an
Best time to travel
Throughout a year
High plateau continental monsoon climate
Most popular sits
Mugecuo Scenic Area, a national key scenic spot in China. The scenic area constitutes a beautiful and colorful landscape with plateau lakes, virgin forests, hot springs, and snowy peaks.
Xinduqiao is about 85 kilometers away from Kangding City and about 3360 meters above sea level. There is no outstanding landmark landscape, but there are more than 10 kilometers of roads along the route, with beautiful scenery. The magical light, the endless grassland, the crooked creek, the golden cypress, the rolling hills, the scattered Tibetan villages, cattle and sheep are scattered among them
Tagong means “the place that Bodhisattva likes” in Tibetan. It is located in Tagong Town about 113 kilometers northwest of Kangding City, on a plateau at 3730 meters above sea level. Tagong Scenic Area is composed of Yala Snow Mountains(Zhara Lhatse), undulating grassland and the magnificent “Muya Golden Pagoda” on the grassland.
Tagong Grassland covers an area of 712 square kilometers, cattles and sheeps are scattered in the grassland which is about 3000 to 4000 meters above sea level, which is a typical hilly plateau. Winter is severely cold, summer is cool, spring and autumn are short, sunshine is abundant, and the temperature difference between day and night is large.
Tagong monastery, also known as “Lhagang monastery”, is a Sakya pa monastery. It has a history of more than a thousand years. There is a statue of Sakyamuni that is the same as the one in Jokhang Temple in Lhasa. According to legend that Princess Wencheng passed by here and stayed here temporarily when she entered Tibet.
A statue of Sakyamuni which she took to Lhasa was copied according to the original appearance and left here for locals to worship. Tagong monastery now has been listed as a national second-class cultural relics protection unit in China, and it is listed as a national tourist attraction.
Hailuogou Scenic Area, Hailuogou is located on east slope of Gongga Mountain, Luding County. It is popular for its low-altitude modern glaciers, which is 2850 meters above sea level. It is the highest ice waterfall ever discovered in China with size of 1080 meters high and 0.5 meters to 1100 meters wide. Hailuogou valley contains a large flow of hot and cold mineral springs, and a large area of virgin forest and extremely high icy mountain peaks.
Paoma Mountain means “A mountain that horses run”, It was originally named “Lamtse”, which means Fairy Mountain in Tibetan. It was called “Paoma Mountain” because Kangding Mingzheng chieftain ran a horse to worship the ancestors on this mountain. It was an important town of the Ancient Tea Horse Trading Road. Every year on the eighth day of the fourth month of lunar calendar, the “Kangding April Eighth Mountain Festival” is held on this mountain
Jingang Monastery, also known as “Dordrak Gompa“, originally built in 1272 AD, is a Nyingma pa monastery. It was then renovated and expanded by Mingzheng Chieftain of several generations, and the construction scale was magnificent. It is an important branch monastery of Dorje Drak monastery, one of the Six Dojos of Nyingma School.
A huge thangka with a height of 30 meters and a width of 10 meters well-preserved in this monastery has a history of more than 200 years. It has been identified as a national second-class cultural relic
Gongga monastery, it is a kagyu pa monastery, located at the foot of main peak of Gongga Mountain (7556 meters), was built in the middle of the 13th century by the 1st Gongga Renpoche, the disciple of the 2nd Karmapa. It has a history of more than 600 years and is a holy place for the practice and retreat of living Buddhas of Gongga.
Gongga Mountain, located at the boundary of Kangding City and Luding County, is main peak of Daxue Mountain of Hengduan Mountains. It is 7556 meters above sea level and is also the highest peak in Sichuan Province. Gongga Mountain is one of the most developed glaciers in China. There are hundreds of glaciers covering an area of 300 square kilometers.
Anjue Monastery, also known as “Ngachu Monastery” in Tibetan, located in the center of Kangding city. It is a Gelug pa monastery, and being built in 1652 AD. The monastery is a Tibetan-style wooden structured courtyard building surrounded by stone walls. It houses the Tsongkhapa main hall, Maitreya and Dharma guardian halls, and more than 20 monks’ dorm rooms
Geography and climate
Kangding City is located in the transitional zone between the mountains on western edge of Sichuan Basin and Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and the east of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.
Kangding is 140 kilometers from east to west and 180 kilometers from north to south, covering an area of 11,600 square kilometers.
Haizi Mountain, Zheduo Mountain, and Gongga Mountain in the middle section of Daxue Mountain (Minyak Rabgang Range) run through the county from north to south, dividing Kangding City into two parts, the east and the west.
The west and northwest of Kangding are hilly plateaus, high mountains and deep valleys, and the terrain slopes from west to east.
The highest point of Kangding is the main peak of Gongga Mountain (7556 meters), the lowest point is in the east, with an elevation of 1390 meters, and the elevation of Kangding city is 2560 meters.
The climate of Kangding is cold in winter and cool in summer. Due to the influence of monsoon, it is rainy in summer and dry in winter.
According to the geographical latitude, Kangding should have a subtropical climate,however, with obvious vertical differences due to altitude and topography that forming a unique plateau continental monsoon climate
Annual precipitation is 800-950 mm, and frost-free period is 150-250 days. The extreme low temperature is -14.7 degrees, the extreme high temperature is 28.9 degrees, and annual average temperature is 7.1 degrees.
Population and ethnicity
As of 2018, the total population of Kangding was 133,606, of which 77,951 Tibetans accounted for 72.47% of total population, 27,955 Hans accounted for 25.99%. In addition, there are other ethnic groups including Hui, Yi, Mongolian, Miao, Zhuang, Buyi, Manchu, Yao, Bai, Tujia, Naxi, etc.
How to get to Kangding
Transportation to Kangding has been tendentiously improved in recent years; the are two ways that you can use to get to Kangding easily, which are by flight, or vehicle
By flight: there are three daily flights from Chengdu to Kangding,
By long distance bus: there are more than 4 buses departure from Chengdu Xin Nan Men bus station; there are another departures from Chengdu Cha Dian Zi Bus station, Chengdu Bei Men Bus station and Shi Yang Chang Bus station
The third way is by train, which is planned to be open in the end of 2025;
Contact: +86 836 282 7811
IATA Code: KGT
Altitude: 4,238 meter
Kangding Bus Station
Add : Qingge Ave
Contact : +86 836 282-2211
Altitude : 2,650 meters
Distance from Kangding to
- Chengdu: 288 kilometers, about 4 hours’ drive
- Luding: 46 kilometers, about 1 hour’ drive
- Bamei : 120 kilometers, about 3 hours’ drive
- Danba : 140 kilometers, about 3.5 hours’ drive
- Garze (Kanze) : 365 kilometers, about 7.5 hours’ drive
- Litang: 290 kilometers, about 6 hours’ drive
- Daocheng: 438 kilometers, about 8.5 hours’ drive
From pre-Qin period(Paleolithic period – 221 BC), Kangding area was land of “Qiang Tribe”
During Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD), “Ze Dou county” was established in the area of Kangding
In three Kingdoms period (220 AD-280 AD), Kangding area was called “Dartsedo”
During Sui Dynasty(AD 581-AD 619), it belonged to Jialiang region
During Tang Dynasty (AD 618-AD 907) , Two counties of Jialiang and Dadu were established in the land of kangding, and west of Kangding was occupied by Tubo kingdom
During Song Dynasty (960 AD-1279 AD), East Jiliang county and West Jialiang county were set up in the land of Kangding
During Yuan Dynasty (1271-AD 1368), it followed Song Dynasty’s administrative settings, however, “chieftain system” was implemented
In 5th year of Emperor Yongle of Ming Dynasty (AD 1407), Kangding area was under jurisdiciton of Changhe-xiyu-tongningyuan Pacification Commissioner’s Office
In 42nd year of Emperor Kangxi of Qing Dynasty (AD 1703), Mingzheng Chieftain was set up
In 8th year of Emperor Yongzheng of Qing Dynasty (1730 AD), Dartsedo County was established
In 30th year of Emperor Guangxu of Qing Dynasty (1904 AD), Dartsedo County was named as “Kangding Mansion”, which was the beginning of the use of “Kangding”.
In 32nd year of Emperor Guangxu of Qing Dynasty (1906 AD), the policy of “Gaitu Guiliu” was implanted, the chieftain system was abolished,
Gaitu Guiliu, also known as “conversion of chieftain system” or “conversion of abandoning chieftain system”, refers to abolition of chieftain who originally ruled ethnic minorities. Instead, officials appointed by the central government. It began in Emperor Yongle’s period at the beginning of Ming Dynasty and was implemented on a large scale during Emperor Yongzheng’s period of Qing Dynasty.
In 2nd year of Republic of China (1913), Kangding County was established, which belonged to Chuan Bian Special Administrative Region.
In 28th year of Republic of China (1939), Xikang province was established, and Kangding was set as provincial capital
In 1950, it belonged to Tibetan Autonomous Region of Xikang Province; Kangding was set as regional capital
In 1955, Tibetan Autonomous Region of Xikang Province was changed to Xikang Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, in the same year, it was renamed as “Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture”, and Kangding county was under its jurisdiction
In 2015, Kangding County was abolished and the county level – Kangding City was established, with former administrative area of Kangding County as administrative area of Kangding City.