Sertar County is a county under jurisdiction of Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. This is a pure animal husbandry county dominated by Tibetans.
Before 2002, the roads here were not smooth, so the original living condition had been kept here. However, it has been improved a lot after the completion of the new road in 2018
Sertar is also spelled as “Seda” in Chinese Pinyin, known as “Serthar” or “Sertal” in Tibetan.
“Sertar” means “Gold Horse” in Tibetan. It is named after a horse-shaped piece of gold was unearthed in Sertar county. Nowadays, Sertar is still a place that is rich in gold.
Sertar County is at junction of Sichuan Province and Qinghai Province, and the intersection of Aba Prefecture, Garze Prefecture, and Golog Prefecture. It is also the junction of Zamthang County, Garze County, Luhuo County, Sershul County, Darlag County, and Banma County
It borders Zamthang County of Aba Tibetan Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in east, Banma County and Darlag County in north, and Garze County and Luhuo County in west and south respectively.
The county seat, Gogentang town, is 3,894 meters above sea level and covers an area of 1.8 square kilometers. It is 410 kilometers away from Kangding City and 622 kilometers from provincial capital Chengdu via Barkham City, or 724 kilometers from provincial capital Chengdu via Kangding City. It is the political, economic and cultural center of Sertar county,
Sertar County is a place where Tibetan Buddhist monasteries are relatively concentrated, most of which belong to Nyingma pa of Tibetan Buddhism; Among them, Larung Gar is the largest Buddhist academy across Tibet Plateau which was established in 1980 in a side valley about 20 kilometers from Gogentang town
Best time to travel
From May to October
Continental plateau monsoon
Most popular sites
Larung Gar is also known as “Larung Gar Five Sciences Buddhist Academy” which is located in Larung valley of Loro(Nubzur) county, about 20 km east from Serta County. It was founded in 1980 in a uninhabited side valley
Khenleb Gompa is about 65 kilometers away northwest from Sertar County. It was built in 1146 AD and belongs to Nyingma pa of Tibetan Buddhism, and houses nearly 200 monks nowadays
Zhuri Holy mountain, it is said that this mountain was originally a purple wild yak. In search of a beautiful and fertile place, he fled to Gold Horse Grassland from a remote place and turned into a great mountain to bless the local people; For thousands of years, local Tibetan have regarded this mountain as their common patron saint,
Dungkar Monastery is 6 kilometers away from Sertar County. Founded in 1686 AD, it is one of the monasteries of Nyingma pa of Tibetan Buddhism. The building area of the main hall is about 800 square meters and the height is about 10 meters.
Gogen Chorten means “Pagoda that Subdue demons“, it is 1.5 kilometers away from the county seat. The tower was built in 1913. Its base is about 100 meters long, 52 meters high, a total of 9 floors, it is stone and wood structure. It is the highest Tibetan Buddhist pagoda in Sichuan Province
Nila Lake is located in Niduo Township about 240 kilometers in the northwest of Sertar County. The lake is 500 meters wide and about 5 meters deep. It is a freshwater lake. In summer, the lake is blue like a mirror, surrounded by flowers and grassland, this is a bredding land of gray cranes
Se’erba(Serwa) Tibetan Village, the traditional Se’erba Tibetan Village uses stones, soil, and wood as the main building materials. The roof does not use tiles, and all of them are made of soil. It takes 2-4 months or more to build. There are strict regulations on the number of floors of houses, generally 3-4 floors, no less than 3 floors, and no higher than 4 floors.
The shape of the Tibetan village is completely anthropomorphic, with a peculiar appearance. The upper part and the lower part are inverted, like a general wearing armor and a shirt; the upper porch of the house is surrounded by high mountain wicker hangings.
Geography and climate
Sertar County is located on southeastern edge of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the northwestern of Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Se’erba(Serwa) District in the south is a river valley platform, with a small amount of arable land, suitable for agriculture and animal husbandry.
Sertar County is high in northwest and low in southeast. The entire terrain slopes from northwest to southeast, with an average elevation of 4127 meters. A few peaks protrude from the plateau surface at 700-900 meters. The plateau above 4000 meters is a typical hilly plateau landform, with a relative height of 500- 1000 meters;
There are many streams and rivers in the northwest, dense swamps, and Se’erba(Serwa) valley below 3500, the rivers are deep and severely eroded by flowing water
Sertar County has a total area of 9,339 square kilometers, of which the plateau area accounts for about 84%; the mountain plains account for 15%; and flat field area accounts for 1%.
The climate in Sertar County is long winter and no summer. Frost and snow can appear in all four seasons. The oxygen content of the atmosphere is less than 60% of the standard. Annual average sunshine time is 2451 hours.
Annual average temperature is -0.16℃, average temperature in January is -11.1℃, average temperature in July is 9.9℃, the extreme minimum temperature is -36.3℃, and the extreme maximum temperature is 23.7℃.
Average precipitation is 654 mm, the monsoon lasts for 7 months, and strong winds above level 8 reach 68 days a year on average. The multi-year average frost-free period in the whole territory is 21 days. The area below 3700 meters above sea level is slightly longer, and there is no absolute frost-free period in high-altitude areas.
Population and ethnicity
As of 2011, Sertar County has a total population of 45,661, among which Tibetans account for 95.7% of total population. Other ethnic groups include Han, Hui, Qiang, Mongolian and Miao.
Sertar Major Event
Event Name : Gold Horse Festival
Event date : The 4th day on the 5th Month of Tibetan Calendar
Century Grand Hotel
Add: No.54, Jin Ma Road
Contact : +86 836 893-6666
Crown Boutique Hotel
Add: No. 25, East , Jie Fa Rd
Contact: +86 836 8528999
Add: No. 36, Ying Bin Avenue
Contact: +86 836 893-3133
Jin Ma Grand Hotel
Add: No. 26, Jin Ma East Road
Contact: +86 836 8528111
Add: No. 32, Jinma Avenue
Contact: +86 836 893-6888
Nian Long Shambala Hotel
Add: No. 4, Tuan Jie North Road
Contact: +86 836 8527888
Larung Gar Guesthouse
Add: within Larung Gar Top of the hill overlooking the whole valley
Seda Grand Hotel
Add: No.69, Jin Ma Road
Contact : +86 836 260-8888
Shengdi Lianhua Hotel
Add: The east section, Jia Fang Rd
Contact: +86 836 852-5666
How to get to Sertar
The most popular way is to take overland journey to this town. There are two airports Kangding airport and Gesar airport that near this site, however, the distances are all over 300 kilometers
Sertar Bus Station
Address: The east Section, Jie Fang Road
Phone: +86 836 8522115
Altitude: 3,880 meters
Working hours: 06:00 am – 17:30 pm
The appearance of Sertar Bus Station is kind of old, and it is not obviously easy to be found, it situated in the “old” yard across the street from Sertar Tourism Board
Distance from Sertar to
- Barkham City: 280 kilometers, about 5.5 hours’ drive
- Kangding City: 410 kilometers, about 8 hours’ drive
- Garze County : 150 kilometers, about 4 hours’ drive
- Luhuo County : 155 kilometers on paved road, about 3 hours’ drive
- Chengdu : 622 kilometers, about 11 hours drive
From pre-Qin period(Paleolithic period – 221 BC), Sertar area was land of “Qiang Tribe”
During Tang Dynasty (AD 618-AD 907) , It was occupied by Tubo kingdom
During Yuan Dynasty (AD 1271-AD 1368), it was under jurisdiction of Tubo High Pacification Commissioner’s Office
During Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-AD 1644), It was occupied by Dbus-Gtsang, and under jurisdiction of Dbus-Gtsang Itinerant High Commandery
At the end of Ming Dynasty(AD 1368-AD 1644), a part of Waxiugu tribe moved to Sertar Duke, nomadic in the upper reaches of Seke river
In the Qing Dynasty (AD 1616-AD 1912), the policy of “Gaitu Guiliu” was implanted in the entire region of Kham, and The Qing government failed many attempts to place Sertar area under jurisdiction of the central government. So that the area of Sertar was a place where “political power was not captured“, and there was no change during the period of Republic of China.
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 1952, Xikang Provincial Government established Sertar County which belonged to Tibetan Autonomous Region of Xikang Province
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“, since then Sertar county has been under its jurisdiction