Gar County, also known as “Shiquanhe“, is under Ngari Prefecture. It means “tent” or “barracks” in Tibetan. Located in the westernmost of Tibet Autonomous Region, the county seat is Shi-quan-he Town. (Shiquanhe is the translation of “Senge Tsangpo” in chinese Pinyin)
Gar County is one of the 18 border counties of Tibet and covering an area of 17,197 square kilometers; it is surrounded by mountains, its middle part is low and flat with an average elevation of about 4,350 meters and a highest elevation of 6,554 meters.
There are three main roads meet in Gar County, including Yechengdu – Gar Highway, Rutok – Gar Highway and Nagqu – Gar Highway. In addition, Kunsa Airport has been officially opened to air services.
Gar County is sparsely populated, with a population density of 0.25 people per square kilometer in the pastoral area. The air is thin, and the oxygen content in the air is only 48% of the inland plains.
Best travel time
From May to October
Plateau sub-frigid arid climate
Most popular sites
Dunchu monastery, also known as “Demchok monastery“, is located in south of Menshi Township near the source of Xiangquan River (Langqen Tsangbo), about 42 kilometers away from Menshi Township, the monastery was founded in 13th century. Since the construction of the monastery, there are 7 reincarnated lamas, and the main worshipper is Dopa Sakyamuni
Gurujiang monastery, alos known as “Gurugyam monastery“, is a Bon religion monastery that is located in Kardong, Menshi Township. It is the only Bon monastery in entire Ngari area. Its founder, Qiong-Zhui, became the first person to reinvigorate Bon religion in Ngari in the second dissemination;
Barr Boiling Fountain is located in Ayila Mountain about 6 kilometers south of Menshi Township in the southwest of Gar County. Hamuqu, the left tributary of Gar River, crosses the 1.2-kilometer-long Amunabu Gorge from east to north. This is the largest boiling fountain ever discovered in China. The spray height of thick soda water column can reach 10 meters, and the range is more than 20 meters. The boiling spring water quickly cooled in the air after it was sprayed, and a crystal clear ice tower was gradually piled up on the river bank, emitting a blue brilliance under the sunlight.
Geography and climate
In the west of Gar County, there is Yilariju Mountain Range. Kailash Mountain Range is in central part of West Gar county, and Zemuri Mountain in north of West Gar county, with an elevation of 6051 meters and Lamela Mountain with an elevation of 4828 meters.
In the middle, there is Risaitian Mountain with altitude of 4802 meters above sea level, and Anongla Mountain, 6018 meters above sea level. Laga Mountain in the southwest is with altitude of 6,261 meters. Mount Robb in the east of Middle Gar is with 5603 meters above sea level.
Gar County belongs to plateau sub-frigid arid climate zone. Dry and cold, strong solar radiation, long sunshine hours.
Annual average temperature is 0.5℃. Among them, July is the highest at 13.8℃; the coldest month is January, with temperature of -12.7℃.
Except for July and August each year, frosts of varying degrees appear in other months. Annual precipitation is 73 mm. Shiquanhe Town has an extreme minimum temperature of -41 degrees in winter and an extreme maximum temperature of 21 degrees in summer.
The temperature difference between day and night is quite large, and annual temperature difference is small. The temperature varies vertically with altitude. Snow can fall throughout a year.
Population and ethnicity
As of 2014, the total population of Gar County is more than 42,000; about 95% are Tibetans, and the rest of ethnic groups live here, including Han, Hui, Uyghur, Tujia, Mongolian, Manchu, and Monba ethnic groups.