Gyangze County Overview
Gyantse, which means "winning a battle at the summit and the heavenly king resides here" in Tibetan, covers an area of 3,595 sq km and has a population of 61,839. It is a mid-sized town located 260kms southeast of Lhasa and lies along the southern route of the Sino-Nepal Friendship Highway linking Lhasa with Kathmandu, capital of Nepal. Gyantse sits at an elevation of 4,000m or 13,125 feet.
Gyantse is honored with a history of 1400 years. It was the father of Songtsen Gampo, the first emperor of the Tubo Empire, who established Gyantse about 600 years ago. Gyantse area has a relatively good climate with fertile soil, therefore, since old times, it has been an excellent business city of southern Tibet also a transportation hub to Bhutan and Sikkim. Gyantse County is known throughout Tibet and the world for making the best Tibetan wool carpets. The carpets made in this city have over 600 years of history and they are as good as those made in Iran and Turkey.
Highlights of Gyangze County
The Palkhor Chode Monastery: Palkor Monastery, which is also known as the "100,000-Buddha Dagoba", the monastery was built in the early 15th century, and included the Sakya, Gdams and Gelug sects of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery and the stupa set off each other, reflecting the unique charm of architectures.
Gyantse Kumbum (Pelkor Chorten): Located within Pelkor Choede, eight story structure with Buddhist images and statues with extremely detailed features. The second floor is the most interesting floor!
Gyangze Old Street: Gyangze Old Street is located in Gyangze County.
Dzong Fortress(Gyantse Dzong, 江孜宗山抗英遗址): Gyantse Dzong Zongshan Anti-British site is located at No.1 Zongshan Mountain on the city. 1903 (Guangxu period twenty-ninth year) British army invaded Tibet from the east of Asia and resisted by the Tibetan people.
Manla Reservoir: The color of the lake is wonderful. Everywhere there are colorful flags and the scenery is fascinating.
Pala Manor: Pala Manor is a well-preserved serf manor, located in Gyangze County of Shigatse as the epitome of Tibet’s past.
Sangzhu Zizong Castle: There is a small plaque near the top commemorating the Tibetans who refused to surrender to the British (in 1903/1904) and leaped to their death.
Gyantse is notable for its restored Gyantse Dzong or fort, and its magnificent tiered Kumbum of the Pelkor Chode Monastery, originally a compound containing 15 monasteries from 3 of Tibet's 4 main sects of Buddhism. The Kumbum was commissioned by a Gyantse prince in 1427 and was an important centre of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism. This religious structure contains 77 chapels in its six floors, and is illustrated with over 10,000 murals, many showing a strong Nepali influence, which have survived almost entirely intact. They are the last of its kind to be found in Tibet. Many of the restored clay statues are of less artistry than the destroyed originals - but they are still spectacular.
Most people only stay in Gyantse for a day and honestly, that's really all you need in order to see all the sights. Gyantse can be visited all year long. Summer brings in a lot of tourists while winter is quite slow. Gyantse has several good hotels to choose from and several good restaurants with English menu's.
Gyangze's agricultural production was quite well developed even during the time of the Tubo Kingdom more than a thousand years. ago. At present, it is one of the most important counties in terms of commodity grain production in Tibet. The county’s cultivated land totals 8,933 hectares, 55 percent of which is found in the Nyang Qu River Valley.
Major crops include highland barley (qingke), spring wheat, winter wheat, rape and peas. The gross grain and oil-bearing crop production of the county accounts for 10 % of the total of the Tibet Autonomous Region, and 25 % of that of Shigatse.
From there, it is 260 km to Lhasa in the east, while Gonggar Airport, the largest airport in Tibet, is 230 km away. Yadong, a small border town, is 215 km away in the south.