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This article is about the town and seat of Kangding County. For the county, see Kangding County.
Lucheng (Darzêdo)
炉城镇 · དར་རྩེ་མདོ་རྡལ།
View of Kangding Town
View of Kangding Town
Lucheng (Darzêdo) is located in Sichuan
Lucheng (Darzêdo)
Lucheng (Darzêdo)
Location in Sichuan
Coordinates: 30°03′19″N 101°57′53″E / 30.05528°N 101.96472°E / 30.05528; 101.96472Coordinates: 30°03′19″N 101°57′53″E / 30.05528°N 101.96472°E / 30.05528; 101.96472
Country People's Republic of China
Province Sichuan
Autonomous prefecture Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
County Kangding
Elevation 2,560 m (8,400 ft)
 • Major Nationalities Han
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 610000
Website www.kangding.gov.cn
Lucheng / Dartsedo
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 炉城
Traditional Chinese 爐城
Alternative Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 打箭炉
Traditional Chinese 打箭爐
Postal Map Tachienlu / Tatsienlu
Tibetan name
Tibetan དར་རྩེ་མདོ།
Kangding / Dardo
Chinese name
Chinese 康定
Tibetan name
Tibetan དར་མདོ།

Officially Lucheng (Chinese) or Darzêdo (Tibetan) synonymous referred as Kangding (English) after Kangding County, is a town and the location of the seat of Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in western Sichuan province of Southwest China. The town occupies an area which is administratively part of Kangding County, and it has around 100,000 inhabitants.


Kangding (Chinese: 康定; pinyin: Kāngdìng; Wade–Giles: K'ang-ting) is also known in Tibetan as Dartsedo (Tibetan: དར་རྩེ་མདོ།Wylie: dar-rtse-mdo, ZYPY: Darzêdo) or Dardo (Tibetan: དར་མདོ།Wylie: dar mdo, ZYPY: Dardo). Historically, the town was known as Tachienlu or Tatsienlu (simplified Chinese: 打箭炉; traditional Chinese: 打箭爐; pinyin: Dǎjiànlú) from the Chinese transliteration of the Tibetan name Dartsedo until it was simplified as Lucheng (simplified Chinese: 炉城; traditional Chinese: 爐城; pinyin: Lúchéng).


Dartsedo or Dardo (Tibetan) had been historical border between Tibet and China, from Dardo to the west lies Tibetan civilization where as to the east Chinese cultural centre. Dardo has witnessed many conflicts between Tibetan Empire and Chinese dynasties. Kangding was for many centuries an important trading town where Chinese brick tea was carried by porters from Chengdu and other centres to trade for Tibetan wool.[1] A dispute involving the sovereignty over the town between Tibet and the Qing was resolved when the Manchu forces took the town by storm in the Battle of Dartsedo in 1701.

On July 1, 1786 an earthquake of 7.75 on the Moment magnitude scale ruined nearly the entire town.[2]

"Tachienlu is surely sui generis; there can be no other town quite like it. Situated eight thousand four hundred feet above the sea, it seems to lie at the bottom of a well, the surrounding snow-capped mountains towering perhaps fifteen thousand feet in the air above the little town which, small as it is, has hardly room to stand, while outside the wall there is scarcely a foot of level ground. It is wedged into the angle where three valleys come together, the Tar and the Chen rivers meeting just below the town to form the Tarchendo, and our first view of the place as we turned the cliff corner that here bars the gorge, was very striking, grey walls and curly roofs standing out sharply from the flanking hillsides."[3]

During time of the Republic of China administration, Kangding was the capital of the now-defunct province of Xikang.


Kangding is located in a valley of the Tibetan Plateau about 210 kilometres (130 mi) west-southwest of Chengdu, the provincial capital, and 100 kilometres (62 mi) west of Ya'an. It is a town populated by significant proportions of both Tibetans and Han, and is part of the historical Tibetan region of Kham. A raging river splits the town, thus the constant sound of water reverberates throughout much of the town. The town features a sizable square where young and old alike gather in the early hours of the morning to do Tai Chi, play badminton, or socialise. This square comes alive on the weekends as well, when families tend to fill it. Traditional Tibetan and Sichuanese restaurants are easily found throughout the town. A Tibetan Buddhist monastery sits on the mountains overlooking the town, and is accessible by cable car. As of October 2006, a stone amphitheatre is under construction at the upper monastery.

It is a fast-growing town, with a rapidly developing tourist infrastructure, including a scenic cable car imported from Germany.

In 2008 the PRC government opened an airport at Kangding in the province of Sichuan, with a 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) runway, announcing that it would be the second-highest in the world, at 4,280 metres (14,040 ft) above sea level.[4][5]

The folk song Kangding Qingge enjoys popularity throughout China.

Kangding contains some notable Buddhist monasteries, including Nanwu Si Monastery, Anque Monastery and Jinggang Monastery. It was from 1857 the siege of Roman Catholic Diocese of Kangding, administered by Paris Foreign Missions Society. The Catholic church was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution.


Kangding has a monsoon-influenced climate, lying in the transition between a humid continental (Dwb) and a subtropical highland climate (Cwb) on the Köppen system. Despite the elevation of 2,560 metres (8,400 ft), the diurnal temperature variation averages at most 10.5 °C (18.9 °F) in any month. From April to September, rain is a very common occurrence, with around two-thirds of the days receiving some rainfall; in addition, 77% of the annual precipitation is delivered from May to September. Monthly daily average temperatures range from −2.2 °C (28.0 °F) in January to 15.5 °C (59.9 °F) in July; the annual mean is 7.09 °C (44.8 °F). Over the course of the year, the frost-free period lasts 177 days and there are 1,738 hours of sunshine.

Climate data for Kangding (1971–2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 3.5
Average low °C (°F) −5.9
Precipitation mm (inches) 5.5
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 6.5 9.8 12.5 17.4 20.4 23.1 21.8 19.7 20.1 14.8 7.7 5.2 179.0
Source: Weather China




  1. ^ Leffman, et al (2005), p. 946.
  2. ^ http://bssa.geoscienceworld.org/content/73/2/537.abstract "Source processes of large earthquakes along the Xianshuihe fault in southwestern China"
  3. ^ Kendall (1913), pp. 122-123.
  4. ^ Aviation Week & Space Technology Vol 169 No 17, "Second-Highest Airport", p. 26
  5. ^ "World's second highest airport opens in SW China" Kham Aid Foundation. Oct. 22, 2008


  • Dorje, Gyurme (1999). Footprint Tibet Handbook with Bhutan. 2nd Edition. Footprint Handbooks, Bath, England. ISBN 1-900949-33-4.
  • Forbes, Andrew ; Henley, David (2011). China's Ancient Tea Horse Road. Chiang Mai: Cognoscenti Books. ASIN: B005DQV7Q2
  • Kendall, Elizabeth (1913). A Wayfarer in China: Impressions of a trip across West China and Mongolia. The Riverside Press, Cambridge. Boston and New York.
  • Leffman, David, et al. (2005). The Rough Guide to China. 4th Edition. Rough Guides, New York, London, Delhi. ISBN 978-1-84353-479-2.

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