Lhasa, the Holy City was traditionally known as the capital city of Tibet and now it has become a prefecture level city in Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR), China. This prefecture level city is divided into 5 rural counties and 3 partially urban counties. The culture and tradition of this region has great influence by it’s practices of Tibetan Buddhism. This traditional city is situated around the Lhasa Kyichu River (Lhasa Happy River) and the tributry of Yarlung Tsangpo (Barmaputura River). To this day, the people of Lhasa has not stopped of herding Yak, Goats and sheeps at the Northern grasslands. The rivers of Kyichu and Yarlung valleys support agriculture with crops such as barley, wheat and vegetables. Wildlife is not so common to spot yet the rare snow leopard and black necked cranes are existing in and around Lhasa. Each counties of Lhasa has it’s own different attractions;
Chengguan District is the wider part of the Lhasa city. It consists the most culturally significants as Tibetan Buddhist sites such as the magnificent Potala Palace, mystic Jokhang Temple, busy Barkhor Street and Norbulingka the summer palaces of the successive Dalai Lamas.
Duilongdeqen District is covering the Western area of Lhasa city. The valley of Duilong river and the bank of Lhasa river blessed this district with a wide range of vegetation area for the people and grasslands for the animals. This region is also rich in minerals as coal, iron, clay, lead and zinc. The main cultural reserve for this region is Tsurphu monastery which is built in 1189 and it is also home for Nechung Oracle founded by 5th Dalai Lama.
Dagze District is the East of Lhasa city and the main occupation of this region is farming. The landmarks of this district are Ganden Monastery and Yerpa. Gaden Monastery was founded in 1409 by Je Tsongkhapa Lobsang Drakpa, the founder of Gelugpa sect in Tibetan Buddhism. From the many religious activities of Ganden Monastery, Shoton Festival attracts many visitors around the world.
Dra Yerpa is situated in the hillside of the county and it is known for it’s monastery and the ancient meditation caves of the great Philosophers of Tibetan Buddhism. There are number of temples and hermitages around the Yerpa and it is also believe that Lhalung Pelgyi Dorji the assasinator of King Lang Dharma who was against to Tibetan Buddhism has hidden himself in one of the caves and meditated at this place for almost 22 years.
Lhunzhub County is also known as Lhundrup or Linzhi County which covers the Northeast metropolitan city of Lhasa. The occupation of this region is both non-agricultural and agricultural. Pengbo valley is also located in this county which produces the major grain production in Lhasa. This county consists 27 monasteries and 12 nunneries. Reting Monastery is one of them which was built in 1065 by Dromton who was one of Atisha’s students. It is one of the earliest Kadampa monasteries.
Maizhokunggar County or Meldro Gungkar County is the East county of Lhasa. People of this region are mainly engaged in agriculture and herding animals. There are many tourist attractions including Drigung Monastery a Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism monastery which was founded in 1179 by Lingchen Repa, a disciple of Phagmo Drupa. The Dezhong Hotspring is popularly believes to have special healing power among both the locals and tourists. The ruined of Gyama Palace founded by King Namri Songtsen, the father of great king Songtsen Gampo in 6th century.
Nyemo County is the main center of West of Lhasa which is located in the Northern part of Brahmaputura. Nyimo in Tibetan means “wheat”. The main occupation of this county too lies on agriculture and herding domestic animals. It is also quite rich in wildlife both floral and fauna. There are leopards, bears, lynx, river deer, black-necked cranes, and pheasant as faunae and Fritillaria, Cordyceps, berberine and lotus as florals. By historically, Nyemo is the birthplace of the great translator Vairocana and it is where his teacher Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche to subjugated local spirits while he was travelling from Nepal to Tibet.
Quxu county is the main center of Southwest of Lhasa. It is also called as Qushui or Chushur or Chushul. This is also known in other name as “Yarlung Tsangpo Valley”. The Northwest of Chushul is lightly elevated by Nyenqenthangla mountans otherwise, it is almost flat with surrounded by Lhasa river and Brahmaputura. In this county, people are mostly engaged in agriculture or animal husbandry. This county is also home for many rare wildlifes as Himalayan blue sheep, pheasants, deer, leopard and brown bear. There are also medicinal plants as Chinese caterpillar fungus (Yar-tsa-gun-bu), Fritillaria and Codonopsis. One of the most dedicated temples for Tara or Drolma, Nyenthang Drolma Lhakang Temple is located in this county. It is believe that the the mall yet unique architecture temple is founded by Dromton in 1055, a pupil of Atisa or Atisha.
Want to read more, you can read our blog at HERE!