Baqen County, also known as “Baqing County” OR “Bachen county“, is a county under Nagqu City.
“Baqen” means “big Yak hair tent” in Tibetan. It is located in the eastern part of Nagqu City on the Northern Tibetan Plateau and the upper reaches of Nu River.
Baqen County is bordered by Biru County and Sog County in south, Nyainrong County in west, Zadoi County of Qinghai Province in north, Dengqen County of Chamdo City in east,
It is about 268 kilometers from Nagqu City, 590 kilometers from Lhasa City, 458 kilometers from Chamdo City. It has jurisdiction over 3 towns and 7 townships, with a total of 156 administrative villages.
Best time to travel
From May to October
Plateau sub-frigid zone, semi-humid monsoon climate
The economy of Baqen County is dominated by animal husbandry, with a small proportion of planting. It mainly breeds yak, horse, sheep and goat. As there are many rivers, abundant rain, and good pasture growth, so that there are favorable conditions for the development of animal husbandry. The main wild plant resources are Cordyceps, Fritillaria, Anemarrhena, Rhubarb, etc.
The main wild animal resources include white-lipped deer, foxes, leftovers, bears, wolves, timber, etc. Among them, the white-lipped deer is a national-level protected animal. Heihe (Black River) – Chang (Chamdo) Highway is the main road in this county. It is connected to Qinghai-Tibet and Sichuan-Tibet Highways, reaching Lhasa City in south, Qinghai Province in north, and Chengdu of Sichuan Province in east.
There are many peculiar natural caves in the mountains in Baqen County. The most amazing is the Maimo cave which is called the fairy secret room.
Most popular sites
Maimo cave, the cave entrance is halfway up the mountain. There is a height of 9-12 meters from the ground to the top of the cave. There are many small caves in Maimo cave, and there are naturally formed stone ladders, and drooping icicles in the cave.
Longga monastery is located in Jiangmian Township about 30 kilometers away from the county seat. It is a Bon religion monastery, and being built in AD 1808. The assembly hall of this monastery is a two-story building. There are 16 red beams and pillars in the hall which enshrine the statue of Tonpa Shenrab that is nearly 3 meters high.
Hot springs, on the grasslands of Baqen , you can find large and small natural hot springs almost everywhere. The minerals contained in the hot springs can treat diseases such as skin diseases and arthritis.
Geography and climate
The terrain of Baqen County is high in the north and low in the south, with an average elevation of more than 4,500 meters and a total area of 20,000 square kilometers.
Baqen County is located at the northern end of the Tibet Plateau, with thin air, cold winter and cool summer, strong solar radiation, long sunshine hours, relatively large annual temperature differences, short frost-free periods, and heavy snowstorms in winter.
The annual sunshine hours are about 2400 hours and annual precipitation is about 500-600 mm. The number of snowfall days is about 150 days or more.
The ecological environment is fragile. Most areas belong to extremely fragile alpine meadow ecosystem, with short vegetation period, easy soil erosion, weak resistance to external influences, and extremely difficult to recover from damage.
Population and ethnicity
In 2010, Baqen County had a total permanent population of 48,284, of which Tibetans accounted for 98% of total population. Other ethnic groups include Han, Hui, Manchu, Mongolian, and Tujia.
Food The main food are tsampa, beef, butter tea, milk and dairy products.
Living The residences is generally tent, Living the life of a nomad,
Marriage With the development of society, marriage has gradually become a free marriage. Due to historical habits, there are still some phenomena of parental interference and some phenomena of polyandry, and it is taboo to marry between blood relations.
Festivals Traditional festivals include December in Tibetan calendar for Minor Tibetan New Year and January in Tibetan calendar for Tibetan New Year. There is a horse racing festival almost in every August of each year. There are also various festivals related with religion and national customs.
During the regin of Tubo kingdom, Baqen area was called Songbi Dongbuqiong.
During Yuan Dynasty(AD 1271-AD 1368), Baqen area was under jurisdiction of King Hor.
In Ming Dynasty(AD 1368 – AD 1644), Baqen area was under jurisdiction of Sichuan province.
During Emperor Guangxu of Qing Dynasty, Baqen area was under jurisdiction of Kashag regime
In 1941, Baqen Zong was established by the Tibetan local authority
In 1954, Baqen Zong was under jurisdiction of Chamdo Prefecture.
In 1959, Baqen County was established and the county seat was moved to Yita District.
In 1960, Baqen County was placed under jurisdiction of Nagqu prefecture.
In 2017, Nagqu Prefecture was abolished, and Nagqu City was established; Baqen County is under jurisdiction of Nagqu City until now