Sangri County, also known as “Zangri County“, is a county under Shannan City, which means “Copper Mountain” in Tibetan
Sangri County is located in southeast of Tibet Autonomous Region, north of Shannan City, and the middle reaches of Yarlung Tsangbo River valley
Sangri County is adjacent to Gyaca County to east, Qusum County to southeast, Nedong District to west and south, Maizhokunggar County to north, and Gongbo Gyamda County to northeast
The county seat, Sangri Town, is 3980 meters above sea level, about 189 kilometers away from Lhasa City, 125 kilometers away from Lhasa Gonggar Airport, and 38 kilometers away from Tsetang Town
Best time to travel
From May to October
Temperate plateau monsoon climate
Most popular sites
Dansati Monastery, also known as “Densatil Monastery“, is located at the Pamuzhu Ferry Port on north bank of Yarlung Tsangbo River to south of Sangri County. It was built in 1158 AD and belongs to Pazhu Kagyu Sect. This monastery covers an area of more than 300,000 square meters. The building complex is lined up and scattered along slope of mountain. There are mainly halls, sutra halls, shrines, pagodas and other buildings. The main hall covers an area of 1,570 square meters and the roof is a Chinese-style tower structure. There are a lot of murals in this monastery.
Qulong Monastery, also known as “Olka Cholung Monastery“, located to south of Woka Township. It is one of the early monasteries of Gelug pa. There are two stones with Tsongkhapa handprints in this monastery, which are the most important treasures of Qulong Monastery. During the “Cultural Revolution”, it was completely demolished. In 1986 Qulong monastery was restored which is similar to original one. The entire monastery is a two-story flat roof building, On the left side of main gate is scripture hall with a patio on which are painted murals of the three masters and disciples of Tsongkhapa and the holy Buddha. There is a shrine in northwest, which houses a statue of Tsongkhapa and a stone slabs used for its thirty-five prayers. The murals are painted with a thousand-arms Guanyin and Tara. There is another shrine in north. Inside of which, there are murals of “Tsongkhapa Five Body Appearance” and other statues of Dharma-protecting gods worshipped by Gelug pa.
Zengqi Monastery, also known as “Dzingchi Monastery“, is located in Zengqi village, some 50 kilometers away from Tsetang Town. “Zengqi” in Tibetan means “outside the pond“. It is named after the monastery which was built in a pond in this village, so the village where the monastery is located is also called Zengqi Village.
Zengqi monastery was founded in 10th century and belongs to Kadam Sect. It has obvious characteristics of early Tibetan monastic architecture. For example, the gate of main hall is very similar to the main hall of Samye monastery built during Tubo period, with a “Door frame” and a corridor in Buddhist hall. Around 1393 AD, a large-scale repair was carried out to Zengqi monastery by Tsongkhapa whom reformed religion and founded Gelug Pa, then, Zengqi Temple was changed to Gelug Pa. After that, Zengqi monastery has not undergone major changes and maintenance. During the “Cultural Revolution”, Zengqi monastery was preserved as a regional granary, but the scripture hall and the corridors of Buddhist hall were demolished and the cultural relics in the temple were mostly lost. In 1986, it was rebuilt with the fund from the central goverment
Chaga Chode Monastery, also known as “Chagar Monastery“, located at west of Rong Township, on the south bank of Yarlung Tsangbo River, it was built in 1577 AD and belongs to Gelug Pa with a total area of 2,000 square meters. There are wooden Buddha statues, bone statues and murals in this monastery.
Dagu Canyon Scenic Area, located in Yajiang Canyon at junction of Sangri County and Gyaca County, is the second largest canyon in Tibet. The canyon is surrounded by mountains, the snowy peaks are high, the climate is humid, and the vegetation is lush,
Sangri Red Deer Nature Reserve covers 42 administrative villages of Sangri County, covering an area of about 180,000 hectares. Tibetan red deer are only distributed in Gongbula Mountain. The adult red deer weighs about 110 kilograms and has a height of about 1.2 meters at the shoulder. In addition to red deer, there are many wild animals such as wild yak, rock sheep, and deer in this nature reserve.
Geography and climate
Yarlung Tsangbo River divides Sangri County into two parts: Himalayas in south and the east extension of Gangdise Mountains in north. The overall terrain is high in west and north, and low in east and south. It is in a trend of “two mountains and one river“.
The canyon gradually rises from both sides of the river to north and south, and there are more than 40 peaks above 5000 meters. The southern mountains are part of north slope of Himalayas east-west trending fault block mountain. The slope angle of the mountain slope is 5°-10°, and it slopes gently to Yarlung Tsangbo River;
There is no clear boundary between mountain and plateau, and northern slope of the mountain is part of the plateau. Most of the mountains in this territory are in north-south direction, and a few are northeast-southwest and northwest-southeast.
Sangri County is 61 kilometers from east to west and 62 kilometers from north to south, with a total area of 2,633 square kilometers. The mountain area in the territory is about 1841 square kilometers, accounting for 69.94% of the county’s total area; Valleys and lake basins are 755.95 square kilometers, accounting for 28.67% of the total area; The water area is 36.75 square kilometers, accounting for 1.39% of total area.
The highest elevation in the territory is 6220 meters, the lowest elevation is 3143 meters, valley elevation is between 3100-3800 meters, the relative height difference is about 1042 meters, and average elevation is 4065 meters.
There are three major types of landforms in Sangri County: alpine landforms, river valley landforms and aeolian landforms.
–Alpine landforms: It is the most distributed in Sangri. The relative height of high mountains is above 1000 meters. Modern glaciers are developed around some peaks at an altitude of about 6000 meters. The rivers in high mountains are deep, the valleys are steep, and the vertical drop is large.
–River valley landforms: mostly distributed along rivers below 4000 meters above sea level, roughly divided into wide valleys with width of 1-3 kilometers, narrow valleys with average width of 500m to 1 km, and canyons with average width of 100 to 200 meters
–Aeolian landform: Mainly distributed in the slope and depression area below 4200 meters in middle and wide valley section of Yarlung Tsangbo River. This section of the river valley is dry and windy, with few vegetation, loose surface material, and relatively open terrain, so aeolian landforms such as aeolian sandbags are formed. Among them, dunes are the most common, often covering river beaches, terraces, and hillsides with a relative height of 200-300 meters
The temperature in Sangri County is low, with no summer but long winter, and four seasons are not obvious; strong solar radiation and long sunshine hours, the ground heats up sharply during the day, and the temperature rises.
The air insulation effect at night is weak, and temperature drops rapidly, resulting in large daily temperature difference. With distinct dry and wet seasons, less precipitation, and obvious differentiation between “Yin” and “Yang” slopes.
Most of this area north of Yarlung Tsangbo River is plateau temperate monsoon semi-humid climate zone, and its south and river valleys are plateau temperate monsoon semi-arid climate zone.
Annual average temperature in Yarlung Tsangbo Valley is 8.2℃, average temperature in July is 15.4℃, the extreme maximum temperature is 29℃, average temperature in January is -0.9℃, and the extreme minimum temperature is -17.6℃.
The frost-free period is 150 to 180 days. Annual average precipitation is 429 mm, which is concentrated from June to September. The dry and wet seasons are distinct. There are many night rains, and annual night rain rate is over 80%;
The temperature in northern mountainous grassland is lower than that in valley areas, with an average annual temperature of 5-8℃, an average temperature of 13-15℃ in warmest month (July), and an average temperature of -2℃ in the coldest month (January).
The frost-free period is about 60 days. Average annual rainfall is about 370 mm, which is mainly from June to September. Annual average sunshine hours is 2770 hours
Population and ethnicity
As of 2013, the total population of Sangri County was approximately 18,000, of which Tibetan population accounted for 97.16% of total population; Han population accounted for 2.68% of total population. In addition, there are the Hui, Tujia, Nu, Manchu and Yao ethnic groups.
About 2000 years ago, Sangri realm was territory of the “Six Yak Tribe”
During the period of 12 small states of Tibet, Sangri realm was ruled by Voka Banga Regime
During Tubo period, Sangri area was under jurisdiction of “Yo Ru”
At the end of 9th century, Sangri area was governed by Lagari（Lhagyari）regime.
In 1235 AD, Pamu Guru Wanhu (later called Pamu zhuoba Wanhu) was established, and Sangri area was under its jurisdiction
In the middle of 14th century, Phagmo Drupa Regime established two Zong in Sangri area, which were called Voka Zong and Qiaga Xi
From late 14th century to early 15th century, Kada Zong was established, and previously Sangri Pozhang Gang was changed to Sangri Zong
In 1432 AD, Qiaga Xi was reformed to be Qiaga Zong
In 1640 AD, Kada Zong was abolished
In 1643 AD, Gaden Photsang Regime was established by the 5th Dalai Lama, which governed three Zong (Qiaga Zong, Voka Zong, Sangri Zong) of Sangri area
In 1721, after the 7th Dalai Lama came to power, Sangri Zong became the manor of Sangpo family, as well as an administrative agency of Tibetan local government.
In 1912, Kashag regime set up Lhoka(Shannan) Jiqiao to govern Sangri area
In 1959, Sangri County was established, and it was under jurisdiction of Shannan Prefecture
In 2016, Shannan Prefecture was abolished, and prefecture-level Shannan City was established, and Sangri County has been under jurisdiction of Shannan City