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 Tibet. Its capital is Gar County. Its regional headquarters is in the town of Purang. The biggest town is Ali. It includes part of the Aksai Chin area, a disputed region claimed by India but over which China exercises administrative control. The Xinjiang-Tibet Highway (新藏公路) passes through this area. There is a famous pre-historic culture site near the town of Rutog.
Ngari sits 4,500 meters above sea level in the northwest of Tibet, 1,600 kilometers from the 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 3 or 4 days by car). The other airports in Tibet are Gonggar Airport in Lhasa, Bamda Airport in Qamdo Prefecture and Nyingchi Airport.
The heart of the ancient Tibetan Guge kingdom was once here. 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 emblazoned with its holy Kangrinboqe (also named as 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 connected to different religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Bon (religion) (popularly called Black Religion), etc. That attracts numerous domestic and international religious followers and tourists. Surrounding Kangrinboqe are four small, ancient and famous with many stories and legends monasteries: Zhabura, Quigu, Zheri and Zhozhub. Mapam Yumco Lake is 4,588 m (15,052 ft) above see level, covers an area of 412 km2 (159 sq mi) and has a maximum depth of 70 m (230 ft).
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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.