Maizhokunggar County, also known as “Meldro Gungkar County“, means “the white ground in the middle where the Maizho Seqen Dragon King lives”
It is a county under Lhasa City, located in the upper reaches of Lhasa River. It is adjacent to Gongbo Gyamda of Nyingchi City in east, Sangri County, Nedong District, and Zhanang County of Shannan City in south, Dagze District and Lhunzhub County in west, and Lhari County in north.
In September 1959, Maizhokunggar Zong and Zhikong Zong were merged and officially to establish Maizhokunggar County with county seat of Gongka Town which is 68 kilometers from Lhasa City, 130 kilometers from Lhasa Gongga Airport, and 87 kilometers from Lhasa Railway Station.
Best time to travel
From June to October
Temperate semi-arid monsoon climate
Most popular sites
Jiama Scenic Area, also known as Jiamagou Scenic Area, is located in Jiama Township in Maizhokunggar County. Jiamagou is located next to National Highway N318 and it is the hometown of Songtsen Gampo, the Tibetan king of Tubo kingdom.
Drigung monastery, is located in Drigung valley in Maizhokunggar County. Drigung monastery is the major monastery of Drigung Kagyu Sect of Kagyu Pa. It is located on the bank of the Xuerong River on a hillside about 4 kilometers away from Menba Township at an altitude of 4400 meters above sea level. It was built in 1179 AD, and now it is a cultural relics protection unit of Tibet.
Geography and climate
Maizhokunggar County is located in Lhasa River Valley Plain with many river valleys, grasslands in its territory, and the terrain is high in east and low in west, with an average elevation of more than 4000 meters above sea level.
Mila Mountain in Maizhokunggar county is more than 5018 meters high and stands in east of Lhasa city, although Mila Mountain is not a big mountain to compare with so many high mountains in Tibet Plateau.
However, it forms a north-south watershed together with Potala Mountain in south, lying across Yarlung Zangbo Valley, which goes from west to east, to become an important boundary mountain for landform, vegetation and climate on the east and west sides of the Yarlung Zangbo Valley.
Lhasa River flows through Maizhokunggar County. It is a large tributary in the middle reaches of Yarlung Zangbo River, with a total length of 551 kilometers and a drainage area of 31,760 square kilometers; its maximum flow rate is 2835 cubic meters per second, the minimum flow rate is 20 cubic meters per second, and annual average flow rate is 287 cubic meters per second. Its altitude is from 5500 meters at its source descending to 3582 meters at when it joins into Yarlung Zangbo River.
The climate of Maizhokunggar County is cold and dry weather, thin air, strong winds in winter and spring, small annual temperature difference and large temperature difference between day and night.
Annual average temperature is 5.1～9.1℃, the extreme maximum temperature is around 30℃, which occurs in June. Average maximum temperature is 20～24℃ in summer, and the extreme minimum temperature in winter is -16～-23℃, which occurs in January.
Annual frost-free period is about 90 days, annual sunshine hours is 2814 hours. Annual precipitation is 516 mm, which is concentrated from June to September each year.
Population and ethnicity
As of end of 2013, Maizhokunggar County has a population of 41,000 and consists of 4 ethnic groups: Tibetan, Han, Hui and Monba, among which Tibetans account for 98% of total population.
“Wangguo Festival” in Maizhokunggar County has a history of more than a thousand years and it is very popular in rural areas of Tibet. Every year before the crops are ripe and ready to be harvested, Tibetan farmers wear festive costumes, holding “Chema” (Wu Gu Dou) which indicates a good harvest of grains and highland barley wine, coming to the farmland to sing and dance to celebrate the harvest.
With continuous improvement of agricultural producing and living standards, the content of “Wangguo Festival” has also undergone great changes, which was initially a purely religious festival for praying a good harvest, and it has now evolved to be a festive event integrating of horse racing, archery, singing and dancing, Tibetan opera, and goods trading
In 7th year of Emperor Wenzong of Qing Dynasty (1857 AD), Maizhokunggar Zong was established. It was originally affiliated with Jiangjiabu and later it was under jurisdiction of Kashag Regime
In 1956, Maizhokunggar Zong Office was established.
In 1959, Maizhokunggar County was established, and it has been under jurisdiction of Lhasa city since then.