Dengqen means “big platform” in Tibetan, and it was called “Jongbo” or “Gyamotang” in ancient times.
The highest peak in eastern Tibet is located in Dengqen County, the sacred mountain of Bon religion — Buja Snow Mountain. On the same mountain, you can enjoy the different natural scenery of spring, summer, autumn and winter at the same time.
The most famous scenic spot in Dengqen is the largest Bon monastery – Zi Zu Monastery (Ritrol Lhakhang). It is one of the largest existing monasteries in the eastern Tibetan area with the largest number of followers and the best preserved Bon rituals.
Dengqen new town is situated in a wide cultivated valley. It faces the old village crossing the river. The inhabitants of this county display a remarkable sense of religious tolerance. The entire region of this county is one well connected with Bon tradition which is thought to be the largest Bon tradition stronghold in addition to the east Tibet of Kham, in which Bon tradition monasteries still remain and well developed
The ethnic handicraft industry in Dengqen County is relatively developed, mainly producing weaving, pottery, carpet, pulu, Tibetan clothing, boots, horse gear, silverware, etc.
Best travel time May, June and September
Local climate Plateau cold zone climate
Most popular sites
The hot spring is located on both sides of the 317 national highway. There are dozens of large and small underground hot springs. The water temperature is between 38 and 50 ℃. The spring water contains a variety of trace elements that are beneficial to the human body, which have a certain therapeutic effect to kinds of skin diseases and other diseases
Buja Snow Mountain, located in the west of Dengqen County, is about 180 kilometers away from the county seat, with an elevation of 6,328 meters, and it is the highest peak in eastern Tibet. Buja Snow Mountain is the most famous sacred place of Bon religion in Tibet. It has peculiar topographical features, and it has different shapes when viewed from different directions.
Zi Zu monastery is located on Zi Zu Mountain, a famous sacred mountain in Dengqen County. It is about 4800 meters above sea level. It is one of the highest monasteries in Tibet and one of the oldest and most important monasteries of Ben religion. Zi Zu monastery was built approximately three thousand years ago, initiated by the second Tibet king Mukhri Tsanpo, and being founded by the first great master Mubangsadong, so far it is the 43rd.
Geography and climate
Dengqen County is 152 kilometers from east to west and 146 kilometers from north to south with total area of 11562 square kilometers. The terrain belongs to the undulating alpine valleys in the eastern Tibet Gorge.
The topography of Dengqen County is high in northwest and low in southeast, and it is at the transition area from grasslands of northern Tibet to Hengduan Mountains, constituting unique natural landscape of river valleys, flat basins, and high mountains.
Among those, there are more than 10 peaks witht altitude over 5000 meters above sea level, The highest point is Buja Snow Mountain at 6,328 meters. The lowest elevation is more than 3,500 meters, the relative elevation difference is more than 2,000 meters.
Its climate is cold and dry in the winter, mild and humid in the summer, annual temperature difference is small, daily temperature difference is large, sunshine time is long, annual sunshine time is 2457 hours, annual precipitation is 641 mm, and there is no obvious frost-free period.
Annual average temperature of Dengqen County is 3.4℃, the highest temperature is 27℃, the lowest temperature is -25℃, and the maximum frozen soil layer reaches 111 cm.
Population and ethnicity
As of 2014, the total population was 84,774; among them, Tibetans accounted for 95%; other ethnic minorities accounted for 5%, including Han, Kazak, Naxi, Hui, Bai, Manchu, Yi, Tujia, etc.
Reba Dance Dengqen County is the hometown of Reba dance. There are three Reba dance schools in the county, which are divided into Oto Reba, Doro Reba, and Janna Reba. Dengqen County was awarded the “Hometown of Reba Art” by the Tibet Autonomous Region Government in 2002.
Polyandry The East Women’s Kingdom (Matrilineal society) in history, located in eastern Tibet which included Dengqen county. In the concept of locals in Dengqen County, monogamy is a very common marriage relationship. Its fatal flaw is that it cannot make family prosperous.
The polygamy system is even more unreasonable. They think that the more wives, the more children, the poor the family. On the contrary, polyandry is the most ideal form of marriage and it is most highly recommended. This is mainly due to a fact that a few brothers married a wife together, there are many people in family, there is no need to separate family, labor force is strong, family property will not be scattered, and family becomes more and more prosperous. In other words, protecting wealth and productivity of family as a unit has become fundamental reason why locals agree with form of polyandry marriage. Moreover, in this kind of family, there is no obvious phenomenon of female superiority or male superiority
However, such family relationships and marriage patterns have been maintained in modern society. With development of information, concept of family members has changed and family’s economic situation has improved rapidly, making them increasingly unreliable. Nowadays, there may be still few Polyandry exist, but all in remote villages in the mountains.
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Distance from Tengchen to
- Chamdo City : 250 kilometers, about 5.5 hours drive
- Nagqu City : 490 kilometers, about 11 hours drive
- Lhasa City: 820 kilometers, about 18 hours drive
- Tsetang Town : 950 kilometers, about 20 hours drive
- Damxung County: 650 kilometers, about 14.5 hours drive
- Derge County : 590 kilometers, about 13 hours drive
In Tang Dynasty(AD 618-AD 907), it belonged to Tubo kingdom.
During Yuan Dynasty(AD 1271-AD 1368), it was under jurisdiction of Tubo Mansion of Marshal.
During Ming Dynasty, it was under Mongolian rule. The original sixty tribes were later allocated 25 to Qinghai Yuqiao, and the remaining thirty-five gradually evolved into 42 tribes. After the death of Mongol King, his wife dedicated the three tribes of Sog Zong to the Dalai Lama, and the rest was called the 39 tribes of Hor.
From 4th year of Emperor Shunzhi of Qing Dynasty (AD 1647), it was under jurisdiction of Qing Dynasty
In 16th year of Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty (1751 AD), it was directly managed by Minister Office of Qing Dynasty in Tibet.
In 1st year of Republic of China (1912), Kashag regime divided the area into Upper and lower 39 ethnic groups. The upper 39 tribes are under the jurisdiction of Heihe (Black River), and the lower 39 tribes are under jurisdiction of Chamdo. Since then, the territory of the lower 39th tribes had become part of Xikang Province.
In 4th year of Republic of China (1916), it returned to jurisdiction of local government of Tibet.
In 28th year of Republic of China (1940), local Tibetan government divided the regions of upper 39 ethnic tribes into 10 Zongs. Implementing “Zong-ben (Chief)” system, Zong ben (Chief) was directly appointed by Lhasa Gaxia regime
In 1951, the first office in 39 Tribe’s Region of the People’s Liberation Committee of Chamdo Region was established
In 1959, three Zong of Dengqen, Sezha, and Chitu were merged to establish Dengqen County
In 2014, Chamdo region was withdrew, Chamdo City was established, and since then Dengqen County has been under its jurisdiction