Samzhubze District is a municipal district of Shigatse City. It was originally called Shigatse, also known as Nyangme. Samzhubze means “get what you want” in Tibetan. It covers an area of 3,700 square kilometers with altitude of 3,840 meters above sea level. It is 93 kilometers away from Gyantse County, 261 kilometers away from Yamdrok Lake, and 272 kilometers away from Lhasa City
Samzhubze District is adjacent to Xaitongmoin County in the northwest, Namling County in the north, Rinbung County in the east, Lhatse County in the southeast, Bainang County in the south, and Sagya County in the southwest.
Best travel time From April to October
Local climate Plateau mountain climate
Most popular sites
Samzhubze Palace, also known as “Samzhubze Zong Castle”, is the palace fort of Samzhubze Zong (one of the 13 Zong in Eastern Tsang). This magnificent mountaintop palace was built in 1360 AD and is a landmark of Shigatse. It is located on the Zongshan Mountain, and is known as the Little Potala Palace in Shigatse. There are 4 floors and there are more than 300 rooms in this palace. Historically, it was a complex of monastery and government offices, and it is now Shigatse Museum.
Tashilhunpo Monastery, one of the six great monasteries of the Gelug pa, was founded by one disciple of Tsongkhapa. It is the residence of the Panchen Lama. The Jampa Buddha statue that is enshrined in the temple is the largest gilt bronze statue in Tibet
Shalu monastery, was built in the Song Dynasty. It is located about 20 kilometers southeast of Shigatse with altitude of 4000 meters above sea level. It is the only monastery in Tibet that retains the Han-Tibetan structure of Yuan Dynasty. It is popular for its long history and rich and exquisite murals.
Geography and climate
Samzhubze District is located between the middle section of the Himalayas and the middle section of the Gangdise-Nyainqentanglha Mountains. The south and north are higher, with the southern Tibet plateau and the Yarlung Tsangbo Valley in between. The entire terrain consists of mountains, wide valleys and lake basins, with an average elevation of more than 4000 meters
The valley plains of the Yarlung Tsangbo River and Nyangchu River Basin in the upper part of the southern Tibet valley are the largest plains in the Samzhubze District. These valleys are flat, with deep soil and abundant water sources. These are the main agricultural areas of Shigatse City.
The annual average temperature of Samzhubze District is 6℃, the precipitation is 420 mm, and the dry and wet seasons are distinct. From October to April of the following year, it is dry and windy, with low temperature and less rain and snow. The precipitation is less than 10% of the annual precipitation, which is the dry season or wind season. The rainy season is from May to September, the climate is mild, the air is humid, and the precipitation accounts for more than 90% of the annual precipitation.
The frost-free period is short and the snowfall intensity is small. Agriculture mainly includes highland barley, wheat planting and yak husbandry, etc. The handicraft industry is relatively developed.
Population and ethnicity
As of 2013, the population is 110,000, of which the Tibetan population accounts for 95% of the total population. In addition to the Tibetans, there are more than a dozen ethnic groups such as Han, Hui, Mongolian, Tujia, Manchu, Miao, and Zhuang, accounting for about 5% of the total population, and a small number of Sherpas.
According to legend, in 8th century, the Indian monk Padmasambhava passed by here, predicting that it would become a city second only to Lhasa.
During Sakya regime in 11th century, the town had already taken shape.
During Yuan Dynasty, Pazhuo regime was established, 13 Zong (administrative area of old Tibet) were setup, the last one was called Samzhubze
At the beginning of 14th century, Pazhuo regime built a city here, named “Shiga Samzhubze”, or “Shigatse” for short. It means “the most beautiful manor” in Tibetan, and its Chinese translation is Rigaze. It was the capital during Karma regime, in which the city had been greatly developed.
In 1360 AD, Samzhubze Palace began to be built on Zongshan
In 1447 AD, the 1st Dalai Lama, the leader of the Gelug pa, presided over the construction of the Tashilhunpo Monastery which indeed laid the foundation for the development of Samzhubze District, and the city gradually expanded with Tashilhunpo Monastery as the center.
During Tsangpa Desi Regime, Shigatse City was the capital of Tibet, Samzhubze Palaceon Zongshan was expanded, making Zongshan to be one of the most majestic buildings as well as political, economic, and cultural center in Tibet
In 1643 AD, Mongolian Gushi Khan ruled the entire Tibet. Later, Samzhubze Palace was demolished, and the building materials were transported to Lhasa in order to expand Jokhang Temple and rebuilding Potala Palace, and later, the capital was moved to Lhasa.
Since 1643 AD, Tashilhunpo Monastery has been the seat of Panchen Lama.
In 1960, Shigatse County was established,
In 1986, it was awarded the title of National Historic and Cultural City. In the same year, Shigatse county was abolished ; the county-level Shigatse City was established under the jurisdiction of the Shigatse Prefecture
In 2014, Shigatse Prefecture and Shigatse City (county-level) were both abolished, and the prefecture-level Shigatse City was established; the original county-level Shigatse city was changed to Samzhubze District, and the administrative area of the original county-level Shigatse City was the administrative area of Samzhubze District