Zhagyab means “the place in the rock depression” in Tibetan. In the historical materials of the Qing Dynasty, it was written as “Chagyab County” or “Drayab County”
According to legend, in the middle of 17th century, A lama of Gelug pa of Tibetan Buddhism came to practice meditation under the hanging rocks on the hill near Kegong Village, and then the later generations called the place where he practiced “Zhagyab”
Zhagyab County is located in the northern section of Hengduan Mountains. It is connected to Chamdo City to north, Gonjo County to east, Markam County and Zogang County to south, and Baxoi County to west.
The county seat of Yanduo Town is 88 kilometers away from Chamdo and 120 kilometers away from Bangda Airport. The lowest elevation in Zhagyab County is 2,900 meters, and the average elevation is 3,500 meters.
Zhagyab County is very well-known for its ethnic handicrafts, with high reputation in eastern Tibet for its unique local ethnic characteristics and exquisite craftsmanship.
Best travel time
From May to November
Plateau temperate semi-arid monsoon climate
Most popular sites
Youxi Hot Spring is located in Jitang Town,about 70 kilometers away from the county seat, and 74 kilometers away from Chamdo. There are many natural geothermal hot-springs in the scenic area, with different spring water temperatures, the highest spring temperature is about 80°C. The hot spring water is rich in a variety of minerals, and with medicinal and health care effects, and even can treat a variety of skin diseases and rheumatism. It is a well-known scenic spot for tourism, vacation and recuperation.
Luorong (Nyagre) Stone Carving valley is about 28 kilometers away from the east of the county seat, where the stone carvings are treasured. The main Buddha is ten-faced Guanyin, and the rest are Sakyamuni, Dari Tathagata, Princess Wencheng, Tang Dongjiebu. According to legend, the stone carving group has a history of nearly a thousand years. It cleverly uses the natural original shape of different stones and it is a rare masterpiece of stone carvings in Tibet.
Xiangkang Hall, also known as “Jamdun Ganden Shedrub Chokhor”, is 79 kilometers away from the county seat. The hall becomes popular for its “self-born” Maitreya Buddha.
Jorkhe nunnery, located in Jorkhe Village, is the largest nun monastery in eastern Tibet. It was built around 1894 AD. It was a place where monks from Gelug pa initially practiced. Later, nuns Increased, Jorkhe monastery was transformed into a nun monastery, with 700-800 nuns at most.
Renda Stone Carvings (Denma Drag) is located in Renda Village, Xiangdui Town. On the east cliff face of Latui Mountain. It is known as Vairocana Buddha Hall. In the middle of the hall statue of Vairocana Buddha. There are accompanying disciples and two flying goddesses on the left and right. Below are 31 lines of Tibetan language from Tubo period and 81 Chinese characters. The content relates to politics, religion, culture exchanges of Tibetan and Chinese in Tubo period, etc.,
A total of 38 statues with more than a dozen inscriptions in Tibetan and Chinese were found in the gorge of Latui Mountain, which is less than 200 meters long. Among of which the largest is 3.28 meters high and the smallest is only 20 cm. It is a good place to investigate and study Tibetan history and culture.
Saga Richu Pagoda Forest is located about six kilometers away from Zongsha Township and has a history of nearly two hundred years. There are more than 80 large and small pagodas. The large pagoda is in shape of a Bodhisattva, with a base width of 6 meters and a height of about 10 meters. The small pagoda is simple and in shape of square. What is more commendable are the gems inlaid around the large pagoda, and garden sculptures of animals and birds enshrined in front of the pagoda.
Cangqu Mani Zhuozhu (the giant six-character mantra), also known as Magic Princess Road, it is located in Zongsha Township. There is a legendary Magic Princess Road. According to legend, when Princess Wencheng passed by when she was married to the Tubo king of Songtsen Gampo, she used a horse whip to create a giant six-character mantra. Each character of the six-character mantra is about 100 meters high. Each font can hold 200 sheep.
Geography and climate
Zhagyab County is 182 kilometers long from east to west and 126 kilometers wide from north to south. With a total area of 8413 square kilometers, it is rich in natural resources. The minerals mainly include iron, copper, lead, coal mines, etc.
The landform types in Zhagyab County consists of a plateau in east and high mountains and deep valleys in west that can be divided into high mountain and deep valley area, mountain plain area and hilly plateau area.
-1), High mountains and deep valleys: Located in the western part of the county, including Jitang, Kagon, Chala, Xinka, Bari, Zesong and other townships, it accounts for 32% of the county’s total land area. The complex terrain leads to huge differences in climate, showing a clear vertical difference of weather. The shady slope is humid and the sunny slope is relatively dry.
-2), Mountain Plateau area. Distributed in the central part of Zhagyab, mainly in the Maiqu River Basin. Including Yanduo, Rongzhou, Xiangdui, Wangka, Gangka and other townships, accounting for 34% of the county’s total area, with altitude of 3000 meters-4000 meters above sea level. The river cut deepens, and the farmland at the bottom of the valley is usually 3700 meters above sea level.
-3), Hilly plateau area. Distributed in the eastern part of the county, including Azi, Zongsha, Wangbu, and Zhangjiao townships, accounting for 33% of the county’s total area, mostly above 4000 meters above sea level, with wide and shallow river valleys and gentle hills. The terrain is high, the climate is cold, and there is no forest distribution, agricultural use is dominated by animal husbandry.
There is plenty of sunshine in Zhagyab County with distinct dry and wet, and mild climate.
Annual average temperature is 11℃, average temperature in January is -1℃, and average temperature in July is 19℃.
Daily average temperature is above 5°C for a duration of 200 to 250 days, and daily average temperature is above 0°C for a duration of 300 to 330 days.
Average frost-free period is 180 days. Average annual rainfall is 350 mm, most of which are concentrated in July to September.
Lancang River runs through the western valley of Zhagyab county with approximately 90 kilometers in length. Maiqu River is the largest river in the county with a total length of about 138 kilometers. It originates from Angdi Mountain in the southeast of the county and merges into the upper river of Mekong river of Lancang River in Zhuka Village, which is with total length of the river is 1,428 kilometers
Population and ethnicity
As of 2010, the total population of Zhagyab County is 54,000, of which Tibetans account for 99% of total population, and other ethnic groups include Han, Bai, and Hui ethnic groups accounting for 1% of total population.
Tibetan opera in Zhagyab County is one of famous Tibetan operas in three counties in Chamdo. It has high historical research value, and it is also a kind of opera that people of Zhagyab County particularly like. It was listed as a district-level “intangible cultural heritage” protection unit in Tibet Autonomous Region in 2010.
Zhagyab Tibetan Opera was originally called “Xiangdui Tibetan Opera“, and it is one of the most famous “Blue Mask Sect” genre in Tibetan Opera. It is said that the Bugon Monastery, located in Xiangduikang Village, sent five monks to Juemulung Opera Troupe in Lhasa to learn Tibetan opera. After that, Tibetan opera was developed in Xiangdui Town and Rongzhou Township in Zhagyab County and it was well developed.
Kano Ruins, an ancient human site found about 70 kilometers west of Zhagyab County, confirms that people were active in this region and its vicinity during Neolithic Age more than 4,600 years ago.
Around 200-100 BC, primitive tribes began to appear in Zhagyab, and this tribal era lasted for more than 800 years.
In Tang Dynasty, it belonged to Tubo kingdom.
From the end of Tang Dynasty(AD 618-AD 907) to Song Dynasty(960 AD-1279 AD), it was under control of “Deba” forces.
In Yuan Dynasty(AD 1271-AD 1368), it was under the jurisdiction of Yisimargan Wanhu Mansion.
In the early Ming Dynasty(AD 1368-AD 1644), it belonged to Moer Kan Recruitment Division.
During Yongle period of Ming Dynasty, it was under jurisdiction of Hanjun Nange Ba Zangbu.
In 58th year of Emperor Kangxi of Qing Dynasty (1719 AD), Zhagyab was benefice of 4th living Buddha of Magun Temple
In 3rd year of Emperor Xuantong of Qing Dynasty (1911), Qing government set up directors in Zhagyab
In the 1styear of Republic of China (1912), Zhagyab established a county.
After 4th year of Republic of China (1915), Zhagyab came under jurisdiction of Kashag regime, and was renamed Zhagyab zong, and “Larrang” government was established.
In 1959, Zhagyab zong Liberation Committee was established,
In 1959, Zhagyab County was officially established
In 2014, Chamdo Region was abolished, and Chamdo City was established, and Zhagyab County has been under its jurisdiction since then