Zhuokeji, meaning “supreme” in Tibetan, was the former residence of the Zhuokeji chieftain. The Zhuokeji chieftain was granted the position after the first “Battle of Da-xiao-Jin-chuan” in the year of 1748 AD (13th year of the Qianlong reign of the Qing Dynasty). In the year of 1749 AD (14th year of Qianlong reign of the Qing Dynasty), the chieftain was given an official seal for the “Chang-guan Office.” The town has a total area of 298 square kilometers, consisting of three villages: Chami, Xisu, and Nazu.
The Zhuokeji chieftain’s residence is located at an altitude of 2700 meters, adjacent to National Highway 317, at the high ground where the Soma River and Xi-suo River meet. It is also the intersection of the roads from Barkam to Chengdu and from Barkam to Xiao-jin, 8 kilometers from the county town and 354 kilometers from Chengdu.
The chieftain’s residence, also known as the chieftain’s office or mansion, served as the official office of the chieftain and the living place for the chieftain and his family. It was the political center within the chieftain’s jurisdiction and a symbol of the chieftain’s power and status.
The start & current situation
The Zhuokeji chieftain was first appointed in the 23rd year of the Yuan Dynasty (1286 AD), with Si-ta-beng as the first chieftain. In the 15th year of the Qing Dynasty’s Qianlong reign (1750 AD), due to meritorious service in the Battle of Dajinchuan, the chieftain’s position was elevated to the Chang-guan Office. The chieftaincy lasted for 665 years and was succeeded by 17 generations.
The existing chieftain’s residence was initially built in 1918, destroyed by a fire in 1936, and rebuilt at the original site by the 16th chieftain, Suo-guan-ying, in 1938.
Architecture and structure
The Zoukexi Chieftain’s Residence was built in the Qing Dynasty (1616 AD – 1912 AD), with the buildings facing northeast to southwest, comprising four enclosed courtyard buildings in the east, west, south, and north. The floors all feature Han-style corridors, with Han-style floral windows and Jiarong-tibetan-style window decorations on the outside of the corridors.
The entire official residence covers an area of 1500 square meters, with a layout mimicking the structure of a Han-style courtyard. The main building in the north has a pseudo-six-story structure, while the east and west wing rooms are five stories high, with a courtyard in the middle. In total, there are 63 large and small rooms and exhibition halls.
The architectural scale is enormous, grand, and exquisitely constructed, incorporating the ancient architectural style of the Jiarong Tibetan stone towers. It features a bracketed structure without using a single nail or rivet, showcasing superb architectural artistry.
Within the official residence, the Jiarong cultural exhibition area is mainly concentrated in some buildings on the first and fourth floors, divided into 12 exhibition halls including a kitchen, prayer flag room, Sheji room, Yin Ting room, brewing room, and clothing room.
The second floor is mainly a red cultural exhibition hall, with a total of 11 exhibition rooms. The third floor mainly showcases the chieftain culture.
Some rooms on the fifth and fourth floors serve as a religious cultural exhibition hall, featuring eight exhibition rooms including a scripture hall, Red Temple, Yellow Temple, Longevity Temple, Lion-faced Kungkong Temple, fasting room, and monk’s residence.