About Ngari

Category:
Overview

Tucked away at an elevation of 4,500m in the west of Tibet, Ngari is known for its remoteness.  The Prefecture borders India, Nepal and Indian Kashmir and is contiguous with Xinjiang within China. Ngari has a total area of 310,000 sqkm, accounting for 1/4 of Tibet.

Ngari is known as the “roof of the roof of the world” and the most “Tibetan” part of Tibet. It’s the place where the Himalayas, the Gangdise, the Kunlun Mountains and Karakorum Mountains meet.

The region boasts towering mountains, beautiful holy lakes, vast grasslands and spectacular snow mountains. Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarova in Ngari are symbolized as the "Sacred Mountain and Holy Lake" of the Buddhism and are the spiritual center of Buddhists.

Ngari has the largest area but the lowest population in China, with a density of only 0.23 people/sqkm. Of the 69,000 people, 66,000 are Tibetan, and 85% of the population are peasants and herders.

Ngari is a land full of wonders, including the ruins of the Guge Kingdom palaces, Clay Forest in Zhada, holy mountains and holy lakes, rock paintings and murals...which witness the wisdom of human beings and force of the great nature.

Shiquanhe Town, which 1,660km from Lhasa, is the capital town and the center of politics, economics and culture in Ngari.

Transportation

There are 4 highways leading to Ngari. One is the Xinjiang-Tibet Highway. The road starts from Yecheng, Xinjiang, and winds south 1,179km to the Shiquanhe Town. The road stretches through 10 snow-capped mountains of the Kunlun Ranges. It is the highest road in the world. Almost 1,000km of the road is at an elevation 4,000m and 130km of the road at an elevation of 5,000meters. However, due to the harsh circumstances, it is still a difficult journey to Ngari along the road.

Starting from Lhasa and stretches west along the China-India highway. The road joins the Xinjiang-Tibet highway (the Yecheng-Lhaze part) until it enters the Ngamring County, where the road is splitted into the northern route and southern route. The 1,750km northern route [Coqen-Sang road] passes Gerze, Ge'gyai and finally reaches Shiquanhe Town. The 1,300km southern route starts from Lhaze, passes by Zhongba and reaches Burang (the Lhaze-Burang Road), through Mt. Kailash and Mapham Yutso Lake region and winds westwards to Mentu and reaches Shiquanhe Town.

The road condition of the southern route is much better, but there is no regular bus running. One can only travel by chartering a vehicle or hitchhiking. The northern route is much longer with worse road conditions, but it passes by the Yamtrok Yum-tso in Lhokha, where you can have a good stop.

Due to the long distance to Ngari region, it's impossible to reach without a few stops on the way. Travelers usually start from Lhasa and make stops at the key scenic sites along the route for visiting the reputed places, which makes the journey more enjoyable and desirable rather than just hurrying on the distance.

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