Lhorong County was established in 1959 when the original Lhorong zong and Shuodu zong were merged; It is located in the east of Tibet Autonomous Region, southwest of Chamdo; Lhorong means “The valley in the South” in Tibetan. It borders Baxoi County to the east, Bome County to the south, Banbar County to the west, and Dengqen County and Riwoqe County to the north.
Lhorong County is located at the southeastern end of the Nyainqentanglha Mountain Range and the upper section of the Nu River. The county seat Zituo Town is 3,640 meters above sea level, and 302 kilometers away from the urban area of Chamdo City, 1,256 kilometers away from Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region.
Best travel time from June to October
Local climate plateau temperate semi-arid climate
Most popular sites
Karuo ruins are located in the village of Jiakaruo, 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 the Tibet Autonomous Region level. The 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 the Karuo site is a primitive village where people lived in the Neolithic Age, and the village layout has a certain scale that is located on the banks of the Lancang River. It is the hub of Sichuan, Yunnan, and Tibet, and one of the important transportation routes for the 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 the “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 the county with length of about 7 kilometers and width of 1.5 kilometers. The lake is milky white, so it is called “White Lake”.
Geography and climate
Lhorong County is located in the southeastern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Nyainqentanglha Mountain runs parallel to Tanyantaweng Mountain, and the middle reaches of the Nu River runs between the two mountains. The county is 129 kilometers long from east to west, 110 kilometers wide from north to south, with a total area of 8,108 square kilometers and an average elevation of 3,700 meters.
The terrain of Lhorong County is high in the north and south, and the middle part is low. It is fan-shaped and inclined to the northeast. The terrain is 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, the 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 the Nu River valley in Lhorong County has higher temperature and more precipitation. The crops’ greening period is significantly earlier than that of other areas, and has significant microclimate characteristics. The area is affected by the Nyainqentanglha Mountains and the southeast wind is dominant. The seasonal frozen soil period is early October each year, and the seasonal thawing time is early April each year.
The annual average rainfall in Lhorong County is 424mm, and the rainfall is concentrated in May to September. The frost-free period is about 110 days. The annual average temperature is 5.5℃, the highest temperature is 30.6℃, and the lowest temperature is -22.1℃. The 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, the population density within the county is 4.95 persons per square kilometer.
Lhorong County Folk customs
Marriage: Local marriages are unique. 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 the 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 the 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.
Lhorong County Brief History
In the Tang Dynasty, it was under jurisdiction of Tubo kingdom.
In the Yuan Dynasty, it belonged to Tubo Itinerant Commandery Marshal Mansion.
In the late Ming Dynasty, it belonged to the Chamdo Jamaling Monastery
In the third year of Emperior Yongzheng of Qing Dynasty (AD 1725), Lhorong Zong was bestowed Dalai Lama as the place of donation, which was directly under the jurisdiction of the local government.
In 1950, Lhorong Zong and Shuodu Zong Work-Committees were established respectively, both of which under the jurisdiction of Chamdo Work-Committee.
In 1959, Lhorong Zong and Shuodu Zong merged to form Lhorong County, which was under the jurisdiction of Chamdo Prefecture.
In 2014, Chamdo withdrew its prefecture and The “Chamdo City” was officially established, and Lhorong County is under the jurisdiction of Chamdo City ever since