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City Guide -- Shigatse

Travel Guide of Shigatse (Xigatse) in Tibet


Shigatse, also named as Xigatse, means "fertile land" and stands at the junction of the Yarlong Tsangpo and Nyangchu River. It covers an area of 182,000 sq km (about 4,497,319 acres). As the second largest city of Tibet, Shigatse used to be the capital of Tsang but now is the capital of Shigatse prefecture. About 300 kilometers from Lhasa, Shigatse is also an important stop between Lhasa and the west Tibet where pilgrims and tourists often wander. This city has a population of over 80,000, of which 97% are Tibetan.

The highlight of Shigatse is surprisingly high snow capped peaks. Most of the highest peaks in Tibet, including Mt. Everest, are around Shigatse, in Shigatse prefecture. Shigatse Region consists of one city, Shigatse City, 17 counties including Gyangtse County, Sakya County, and Tingri County, and a trading port, Zhangmu Town. Most of the people living here are Tibetans. Other nationalities such as Han, Hui, Mongolia, Manchu, and Miao have also lived here for centuries. There are also less than one thousand Sherpas living in and around Zhangmu, Tingri, and Dinggye.

The 600-year-old city is the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama, who is one of the two prestigious spiritual leaders in Tibet and the abbot of the Tashilunpo Monastery. The first Dalai Lama ordered the construction of the Tashilhunpo Monastery in 1477. Shigatse City then became the political, economic and cultural center of Tsang. As the seat of the Panchen Lamas, Shigatse City was also the sovereign place in Tsang. Palkhor Monastery , Shalu Monastery , Sakya Monastery in and around Shigatse City make the place a land of splendid art and culture based on strong feelings of devotion.

Although some parts of Shigatse Region are remote and still developing, the abundant cultural relics and majestic natural beauty of the area allure more and more visitors both from home and abroad every year.

Location: E 88.8° N 29°2′

Population: 662146

Area: 182000 Sqk

Average altitude: 3850 m (12631 ft)

IDD: 86 – 0892

Average temperature: 6.3℃ (13.3℉)

Average annual rainfall: 100 - 200mm




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