Gyantse County, also known as “Gyangze County”, is the third largest city in Tibet. It was awarded a title of “National Historic and Cultural City” in 1994.
Gyantse was originally called “Gye kar tse“, and Gyantse is diacritic of Tibetan pronunciation of “Gye tse” , meaning “the supreme palace” in Tibetan.
Gyantse is a hub connecting “U” and “Tsang“. In 9th century, the descendants of Tubo Royal family believed that the terrain here was unusual and auspicious, so they built a fortress on the hill within the core area of Gyantse, and called it “Zong Hill“.
Best time to travel
From July to October
Plateau temperate semi-arid monsoon climate zone
Most popular sites
Palcho Monastery was built at the end of the 14th century. There are many monastic schools in the monastery, which belong to the three major sects of Tibetan Buddhism, Sakya, Kadam, and Gelug, which are extremely rare.
Pala Manor, the main manor of the Pala family, a great Tibetan nobleman, is located 2 kilometers west of Gyangtse County. It is the only eight noble manor house in old Tibet that has been fully preserved;
Karola Glacier is located at junction of Langkazi County and Gyangze County in Tibet. The minimum ice height of Carola Glacier rises and falls slightly with temperature changes every year. Melted water of Carola Glacier is the eastern source of Nyangchu River.
Gyantse Carpet Factory, founded in 1973, covers an area of 15,000 square meters, located in the northwest of Gyantse County. The “Zongshan” brand carpets produced by Gyangze Carpet Factory are all made by hand.
Geography and climate
Gyantse is located in valley between Himalayas and Gangdis Mountains in south-central Tibet. Nyangchu River, a tributary of Yarlung Tsangbo River, flows through the county.
The topography of Gyantse County is high in north and south, and low in central and western regions, with a total area of 3,771 square kilometers and an average elevation of about 4,000 meters. Both banks of Nyangchu River are valleys, with the highest elevation of 7191 meters.
The county has a mild climate, abundant sunshine and abundant products. The economy is dominated by agriculture, mainly producing highland barley, peas, wheat, rape, etc. It is one of the most important grain production bases of Tibet, and is known as “Tsang’s granary“. Locally woven Tibetan carpets are very popular and have been popular for 1200 years
Gyantse County has distinct dry and wet seasons, with abundant concentrated rain in summer; warm and humid. It is dry and cold in winter, sufficient sunshine, strong solar radiation, large daily temperature difference but small annual temperature difference, and short frost-free period.
Annual sunshine hours are 3190 hours, annual frost-free period is about 110 days, and annual precipitation is 291 mm.
Population and ethnicity
As of 2006, Gyantse County has a total population of 67,000. Tibetans dominate the territory, accounting for 98%. Other ethnic groups include Han and Hui.
Recommended hotels in Gyantse
How to get to Gyantse
Gyantse is with altiude of 3890 meters, it is about 215 kilometers from Lhasa airport, which may take 4 hours’ drive; Gyantse city is well connected with Lhasa by direct long distance bus, or Via Shigatse to Lhasa
Lhasa Gonggar Airport
Address: Jia Zu Lin Town, Gongga Xian
IATA Code: LXA
Altitude: 3,600 meters
Contact: +86 891 6216465 / 6827727
Gyantse Bus Station
Address: Ying Xiong Middle Road
Contact: +86 892 874-2350
Altitude: 3,890 meters
Working hours: 06:30 am – 18:30 pm
Distance from Gyantse to
- Shigatse Peace Airport : 140 kilometers, about 2.5 hours drive
- Lhasa Gongga Airport : 215 kilometers, about 4 hours drive
- Lhasa City: 265 kilometers, about 5 hours drive
- Tsetang Town: 310 kilometers, about 5 – 6 hours drive
- Shigatse City: 94 kilometers, about 2 hours drive
- Zhangmu County: 565 kilometers, about 11 hours drive
- Darchen County: 1,030 kilometers, about 16.5 hours drive
Because Nyangchu River flows here, people in history call Gyangze area “Nyang”.
In Qing Dynasty(AD 1616-AD 1912), it was Gyantse Zong, under jurisdiction of Kashag regime
In 1904, British army invaded Tibet. Although Tibetan and Chinese lost in the war, however they did not fear the spirit of power, which made Gyangtse popular for the “Hero City” ever since.
In 1952, Gyantse region was established.
In 1964, Gyantse region was abolished, Gyantse county was established, and it was placed under jurisdiction of Shigatse Prefecture
In 2014, Shigatse Prefecture was abolished and the prefecture-level Shigatse City was established, Gyantse County has been under jurisdiction of Shigatse City since then