Lhorong means “The valley in South” in Tibetan.
Lhorong County is located at southeastern end of Nyainqentanglha Mountain Range and the upper section of Nu River. The county seat Zituo Town is 3,640 meters above sea level, and 302 kilometers away from urban area of Chamdo City, 1,256 kilometers away from Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous Region.
Best travel time
From June to October
Plateau temperate semi-arid climate
Most popular sites
Karuo ruins are located in Jiakaruo village, about 12 kilometers southeast of Chamdoo County. So far, a total of about 1,800 square meters of ruins have been exposed, 31 houses have been discovered, and tens of thousands of cultural relics have been unearthed. Karuo site has been officially listed as a key cultural relic protection unit at Region level. This site can be divided into early and late phases. The early architectural relics have two cascading relationships, which are semi-crypted grass-mixed mud wall buildings. The late architectural site is a stone wall building. A large number of specimens of agricultural production tools and crops discovered from the ground show that agriculture was an important sector in the economic life of the residents of ancient Karuo Village. Through excavations, it is preliminarily believed that Karuo site is a primitive village where people lived in Neolithic Age, and the village layout has a certain scale that is located on banks of Lancang River. It is the hub of Sichuan, Yunnan, and Tibet, and one of the important transportation routes for ancient North and South ethnic groups.
Dolma Lang Tso Lake, which means Goddess Lake in Tibetan, is more than 20 kilometers away from the county seat. It is one of the larger freshwater lakes in Chamdo and it is known as “blue lake“. There are 21 large and small lakes around Dolma Lang Tso Lake, which naturally forms Dumu 21 beams. The surrounding of the lake is beautiful, with lush aquatic plants.
Badong Tso Lake, meaning Conch Lake in Tibetan, is 88 kilometers away from the county seat. It is located on the top of Bamei Mountain in Lajiu Township. It is the largest lake in Lhorong county with length of about 7 kilometers and width of 1.5 kilometers. This lake is milky white, so it is called “White Lake“.
Geography and climate
Lhorong County is located in southeastern of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Nyainqentanglha Mountain runs parallel to Tanyantaweng Mountain, and the middle reaches of Nu River runs between this two mountains.
Lhorong county is 129 kilometers from east to west, 110 kilometers from north to south, with a total area of 8,108 square kilometers and an average elevation of 3,700 meters.
Its terrain is high in north and south, and the middle part is low. It is fan-shaped and inclined to northeast and undulating. Ravines are vertical and horizontal, road conditions are steep. Snow peaks, dry-hot valleys, virgin forests and alpine meadows Co-exist.
There are more than 100 large and small rivers and more than 50 lakes, among of which, Nu River traverses from east to west through the whole county with a distance of 121 kilometers
Lhorong County has sufficient sunshine, thin air, uneven distribution of precipitation, low temperature with large temperature difference between day and night, distinct rainy season in dry season, and long and cold winter.
The area along Nu River valley in Lhorong County has higher temperature and more precipitation. Crops’ greening period is significantly earlier than that of other areas, and has significant microclimate characteristics. The area is affected by Nyainqentanglha Mountains and southeast wind is dominant. The seasonal frozen soil period begins from early October each year, and the seasonal thawing time starts from early April each year.
Annual average rainfall in Lhorong County is 424mm, which is concentrated from May to September. Frost-free period is about 110 days. Annual average temperature is 5.5℃, the highest temperature is 30.6℃, and the lowest temperature is -22.1℃. Annual average sunshine hours is 2560 hours
Population and ethnicity
As of 2014, Lhorong county has a total population of 50,000. Tibetan account for more than 99% of the county’s total population. There are 9 other ethnic groups including Han, Hui, Miao, Bai, Loba, Naxi, Pumi, and Nu Nationality,
Population density within the county is 4.95 persons per square kilometer.
Lhorong Folk customs
Marriage Most marriages in rural pastoral areas are arranged by parents, and children have no right to intervene whether it is to marry a wife or son-in-law. Before wedding, the two parties give gifts to each other or bring dowry. In addition to giving each other’s family a hada, most of them are cows, sheep, horses, saddles, Tibetan knives, etc. The man also gives the woman a dress and other clothing.
Funeral: Generally, it is a celestial burial. The family, children, and relatives of the deceased do not go to funeral. The celestial burial master will repair the burial’s appearance and then carry it on the celestial burial platform, divides the body into small peices and mixing with tsampa and feeds the vultures.
In Tang Dynasty(AD 618-AD 907), it was under jurisdiction of Tubo kingdom.
In Yuan Dynasty(AD 1271-AD 1368), it belonged to Tubo Itinerant Commandery Marshal Mansion.
In late Ming Dynasty(AD 1368-AD 1644), it belonged to Chamdo Jamaling Monastery
In 3rdyear of Emperior Yongzheng of Qing Dynasty (AD 1725), Lhorong Zong was bestowed Dalai Lama as the place of donation, which was directly under jurisdiction of local government.
In 1950, Lhorong Zong and Shuodu Zong Work-Committees were established respectively, both of which under jurisdiction of Chamdo Work-Committee.
In 1959, Lhorong Zong and Shuodu Zong merged to form Lhorong County, which was under jurisdiction of Chamdo Prefecture.
In 2014, Chamdo withdrew its prefecture and “Chamdo City” was officially established, and Lhorong County has been under jurisdiction of Chamdo City ever since