Sog County is located at the junction of northern Tibet plateau and the eastern Tibet’s alpine valleys . It is in Suoqu River Basin on the upper reaches of Nu River. It is one of “Three East Counties” of Nagqu City.
The county seat is Yala town with altitude of 3980 meters above sea level. Its total area is about 5600 square kilometers. Most people in Sog County believe in Bon religon OR Ningma pa. Once after Gelug pa took control of Tibet in early Qing Dynasty(1616 AD-1912 AD), Gelug pa became the main religion in this county. Currently the most popular monastery in Sog is Zandan monastery which belongs to Gelug pa of Tibetan Buddhism
Best time to travel
From June to September
Plateau sub-frigid monsoon climate
Most popular sites
Zandan Monastery is also known as “Tsanden Gompa“. it is built on the top of Yala mountain about 220 kilometers away from Nagqu City. The entire Zandan Monastery is of two parts, Red and White, which looks exactly like the Potala Palace from a distance. Zandan Monastery is the earliest Gelug pa monastery in northern Tibet and the largest ancient Buddhist building complex in northern Tibet. “Zandan” means “sandalwood”, originally referring to two rare sandalwood pillars in the hall. The Yala Township, west of Yala Mountain, where Zandan monastery is located, is the hometown of Zhumu, whom was concubine of Gesar King.
Geography and climate
Sog County is located at the junction of northern Tibet plateau and the alpine valleys of eastern Tibet, belonging to the Southern Qiangtang Lake Basin.
The terrain is dominated by mountains, and high in west, low in east, gradually sloping from west to east. Average elevation is of 3,572 meters. There are a few relatively open alpine grasslands in west, and the rest are alpine valleys.
Sog County has more rain and snow, low temperature, sufficient sunshine, large daily temperature difference, and strong winds in winter and spring.
Annual frost-free period is only about 40 days, the annual sunshine hours are 2477.2 hours, annual precipitation is 572.9 mm, annual average temperature is -2℃, average temperature in January is -9.9℃, and average temperature in July is 11.2℃.
Population and ethnicity
As of 2013, the total population of Sog County was 40,000, of which Tibetans accounted for 87% of total population. Other ethnic groups include Han, Hui, Mongolian, Miao and other ethnic minorities
During Yuan Dynasty(AD 1271-AD 1368), it was called “Sok”.
In Ming Dynasty(AD 1368-AD 1644), it was successively attached to Mongolian Tumote tribe, Ida Khan and Khalkha tribe, Quitu Khan.
In 10th year of Emperor Chongzhen of Ming Dynasty (1637 AD), the area of Sog was under jurisdiction of Gushi Khan of Mongolian Heshuote tribe
During the period of the 5th Dalai Lama, Gushi Khan gifted Sog to the 5th Dalai Lama as his territory.
During the period of Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty, The area of Sog was under jurisdiction of Qing Dynasty’s Minister office in Tibet.
In the 5th year of Republic of China (1916), Kashag regime in Tibet administered the area of Sog, and established Sog Zong
In 1956, Sog Zong was under jurisdiction of Dengqen county
In 1957, Sog Zong was revoked.
In 1959, The area of Sog was placed under jurisdiction of ‘Black River District“
In 1959, Sog County was established officially.
In 2017, Nagqu Prefecture was abolished, and Nagqu City was established; Sog County has been under jurisdiction of Nagqu City until now