Ngari Prefecture

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Ngari Prefecture
Ali Prefecture

阿里地区 · མངའ་རིས་ས་ཁུལ་
prefecture (orange) in Tibet (light-orange)
prefecture (orange) in Tibet (light-orange)
Country People's Republic of China
Region Tibet
Prefecture seat Gar County (Burang)
 • Total 304,683 km2 (117,639 sq mi)
 • Total 95,465
 • Density 0.31/km2 (0.81/sq mi)
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Website Ngari(Ali) Prefecture Government

Ngari Prefecture (also: Ali Prefecture) (Tibetan: མངའ་རིས་ས་ཁུལ་Wylie: mnga' ris sa khul; simplified Chinese: 阿里地区; traditional Chinese: 阿里地區; pinyin: Ālǐ Dìqū) is a prefecture of China's Tibet Autonomous Region. Its capital is Gar County. Its regional headquarters is in the town of Purang. The largest settlement is Ali. Ngari Prefecture includes part of the Aksai Chin area, a disputed region claimed by India but over which China exercises administrative control. The paved Xinjiang-Tibet Highway (新藏公路) passes through this area. There are well-known prehistoric petroglyphs near the far western town of Rutog.

The town of Ngari lies 4,500 meters above sea level in northwest Tibet, some 1,600 kilometers west of the autonomous region capital, Lhasa. The Ngari Gunsa Airport began operations on July 1, 2010, becoming the fourth civil airport on the "Roof of the World" (shortening the trip to Lhasa to one-and-a-half hours from three or four days by car). The other airports in Tibet are Gonggar Airport in Lhasa, Bamda Airport in Qamdo Prefecture and Nyingchi Airport.[1]

Ngari was once the heart of the ancient Tibetan Guge Kingdom. Later Ngari, along with Ü and Tsang composed Ü-Tsang, one of the traditional provinces of Tibet, the others being Amdo and Kham.

Ngari is best known for the holy Kangrinboqe (also called Sumeru and Kailash ) Mountain and Mapam Yumco Lake. Kangrinboqe is 6,714 m (22,028 ft) above see level, it's the main peak of the Kangdese Mountains (also called the Kailas Range or the Gangdisê Mountains). The holy mountain and lake are associated with a number of religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, and Bon (religion), among others, attracting numerous domestic and international religious pilgrims and tourists. Surrounding Kangrinboqe are four ancient and famous monasteries: Zhabura, Quigu, Zheri and Zhozhub. Mapam Yumco Lake lies 4,588 m (15,052 ft) above see level, covers an area of 412 km2 (159 sq mi) and reaches a maximum depth of 70 m (230 ft).


Ali Prefecture is subdivided into seven county-level divisions: seven counties.

Ali mcp.png
# Name Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin Tibetan Wylie Population (2010 Census) Area (km²) Density (/km²)
1 Gar County 噶尔县 Gá'ěr Xiàn སྒར་རྫོང་ sgar rdzong 16,901 13,179 1.28
2 Burang County 普兰县 Pǔlán Xiàn སྤུ་ཧྲེང་རྫོང་ spu hreng rdzong 9,657 24,602 0.39
3 Zanda County 札达县 Zhádá Xiàn རྩ་མདའ་རྫོང་ rtsa mda' rdzong 6,883 18,083 0.38
4 Rutog County 日土县 Rìtǔ Xiàn རུ་ཐོག་རྫོང་ ru thog rdzong 9,738 77,096 0.12
5 Gê'gyai County 革吉县 Géjí Xiàn དགེ་རྒྱས་རྫོང་ dge rgyas rdzong 15,483 46,117 0.33
6 Gêrzê County 改则县 Gǎizé Xiàn སྒེར་རྩེ་རྫོང་ sger rtse rdzong 22,177 135,025 0.16
7 Coqên County 措勤县 Cuòqín Xiàn མཚོ་ཆེན་རྫོང་ mtsho chen rdzong 14,626 22,980 0.63

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Bellezza, John Vincent: Zhang Zhung. Foundations of Civilization in Tibet. A Historical and Ethnoarchaeological Study of the Monuments, Rock Art, Texts, and Oral Tradition of the Ancient Tibetan Upland. Denkschriften der phil.-hist. Klasse 368. Beitraege zur Kultur- und Geistesgeschichte Asiens 61, Verlag der Oesterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien 2008.
  • Zeisler, Bettina. (2010). "East of the Moon and West of the Sun? Approaches to a Land with Many Names, North of Ancient India and South of Khotan." In: The Tibet Journal, Special issue. Autumn 2009 vol XXXIV n. 3-Summer 2010 vol XXXV n. 2. "The Earth Ox Papers", edited by Roberto Vitali, pp. 371–463.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°30′00″N 80°06′05″E / 32.50000°N 80.10139°E / 32.50000; 80.10139