Gyirong County， also known as “Kyirong County“, is a county under Shigatse City; it means “Happy Village” in Tibetan. The county seat is Zongga (Dzongka) Town which is with altitude of 4200 meters. It is 490 kilometers away from Shigatse City and 760 kilometers away from Lhasa City
Gyirong County is located in the southwest of Shigatse City. It is adjacent to Nepal in south and southwest with border length of 162 kilometers. It is bordered Saga County by Yarlung Tsangbo River to the north, and Nyalam County to the east. Yarlung Tsangbo River, Donglin Tsangbo River, and Gyirong Tsangbo River run through the whole territory, and there is an approximately 300 square kilometers Gyirong Basin.
Best travel time From June to October
Local climate Semi-arid plateau river valley monsoon climate zone & subtropical mountain monsoon climate zone
Most popular sites
Qiang Zhun Zubu Lhakhang, also known as “Jamtrin Gegye Lhakhang“, is located in Bangxing Village of Gyirong Town. The Lhakhang is a wooden pavilion-style building with a square tower and a maximum width of 22 meters at the bottom. The bottom layer of the tower is built with slabs of stone, and its outside is plastered with mud walls. The second, third, and fourth floors are all built with small bricks. The eaves of each layer are made of logs to form a beam frame rafter, which is covered with stone slabs.It was destroyed during the “10 Years Cultural Revolution”. Being rebuilt since 1986.
Phaba monastery, also known as “Riwo Pelbar Monastery“, is an ancient temple with a thousand years of history in Gyirong Town. It is located about 30 meters east of the current seat of Gyirong Town with altitude of 2850 meters above sea level. According to legend that when Songtsen Gambo married Princess Chizun of Nepal, Phaba monastery was one of the monasteries built to guard border at border towns by King Songtsen Gambo. Its architectural style mainly follows the format of Nepalese temples.
Zhuoma(Dolma) Lhakhang is located in the south corner of Gyirong County, in the middle of former Gongtang King City ruins, with an altitude of 4160 meters. Zhuoma Lhakhang was built in 1274 AD
Sandanlin monastery, also known as “Samtenling Monastery“, is about 40 kilometers north of Gyirong Town, is located in Danlinggou valley at an altitude of about 4500 meters. The monastery houses “Danzhuer”, “Kanzhuer” and other scriptures. It is a Gelug pa monastery of Tibetan Buddhism that has been around for more than 480 years. The monastery was destroyed during the “Cultural Revolution” in the 20th century, and the existing Sandanlin monastery was rebuilt to the north of its original site
Geography and climate
Gyirong County is about 300 kilometers long from east to west and about 200 kilometers wide from north to south, covering an area of 9,300 square kilometers. The county’s average elevation is above 4000 meters, and the county seat is about 4,200 meters above sea level. Gyirong is adjacent to Nepal to the south and southwest, its border is 162 kilometers long。
The northern part of Gyirong County is a plateau wide valley basin, and the southern part is a deep-cut alpine valley. It is roughly bounded by the Himalayas to the Xixiabangma peak to ridgeline. Its north flank is high in the south and low in the north, and its southern part is in the middle of the Himalayas.
The northern part of Gyirong is a cold semi-arid plateau river valley monsoon climate zone. The annual average temperature is 2℃, the average temperature of the warmest month is 10-18℃, the average temperature of the coldest month is -10℃, and the annual precipitation is 300-600.
The southern part of Gyirong is a subtropical mountain monsoon climate zone, with an average annual temperature of 10-13°C, the warmest month’s temperature is above 18°C, the annual precipitation is about 1,000 mm, and the annual number of frost-free days is more than 200 days.
Population and ethnicity
As of 2006, the total population of Gyirong county was 12,857. Tibetans accounted for more than 98% of the total population. There are also ethnic groups such as Han, Hui, Monba, Loba, Dong, Bai, Manchu, and Daman.
During the Yuan Dynasty, the area of Gyirong was under jurisdiction of Yuan Dynasty
From 1778 AD to 1781 AD, Qing Dynasty government sent troops to Gyirong to defend the border. There were four Zong including Zongga Upper Zong, Zongga Lower Zong, Gyirong East Zong, and Gyirong West Zong,
In 1960, The 4 Zong were merged to form Gyirong County, and it was under jurisdiction of Shigatse Prefecture
In 2014, Shigatse Prefecture was abolished and the prefecture-level Shigatse City was established, and Gyirong County has been under jurisdiction of Shigatse City since then