Garzê Town

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Tibetan transcription(s)
 • Tibetan དཀར་མཛེས་
 • Wylie transliteration dkar mdzes
Chinese transcription(s)
 • Traditional 甘孜
 • Pinyin Gānzī
Skyline of Garzê
Garzê is located in Sichuan
Location in Sichuan
Coordinates: 31°38′4″N 99°59′7″E / 31.63444°N 99.98528°E / 31.63444; 99.98528Coordinates: 31°38′4″N 99°59′7″E / 31.63444°N 99.98528°E / 31.63444; 99.98528
Country China
Province Sichuan
Prefecture Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
County Garzê County
Population (2010)[1] 16,920
Time zone CST (UTC+8)

Garzê or Gānzī (Tibetan: དཀར་མཛེས་ Kandze),[2] is a town and county seat in Garzê County, Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in western Sichuan Province, China. Despite Garzê Prefecture being named after the town, the prefecture capital is actually Kangding, 365 km to the southeast. As of 2010, Garzê was home to 16,920 inhabitants. Garzê is an ethnic Tibetan township and is located in the historical Tibetan region of Kham. It contains the 15th century Kandze Monastery, home to over 500 Gelugpa monks.[3]


Garzê lies in the large Garzê valley at 3390 metres above sea level and is surrounded by rocky terrain and mountains.[4] The Yalong River's tributary Rongcha River passes through the town from norh to south.


The suspension bridge across the Yalong River

The traditional Tibetan customs of Garzê still remain despite now being part of Sichuan and the town and county contains many Tibetan villages and monasteries (gompas). The largest monastery is Garzê Monastery, an imposing monastery 540 years old as of 2008 which looms over the town from the north, and contains over 500 monks belonging to the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery was once partly destroyed by the Chinese during the Cultural Revolution but was rebuilt in the Han-Chinese-style and today displays a fusion of old Tibetan and Chinese architecture. It is located in the western Tibetan quarter of the town. Also of note is Den Monastery, which is much smaller but more traditional to the south of the town and Dontok Monastery, located some kilometres outside the town over a suspended bridge over the Yalong River. Dontok is a recent building under construction but displays notable white, grey and crimson stripes on the walls. Dingkhor Chorten is also located in the eastern suburbs of Garzê on a small hill which also contains a temple housing a Buddhist library.

The main street is Chuanzang Road. Small shops downtown provide typical Tibetan clothing and jewellery and accessories needed by the herdmen frequenting the town.A number of stores sell antiques, monk's garments and religious artefacts and traditional Tibetan hand-carved furniture. Supermarkets on the main street sell food and toiletries and bottles of beer and Chinese wine.



  1. ^ City Population. "Gānzī Zhèn (Gānzī Xiàn)". Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  2. ^ Dorje (1999), p. 496.
  3. ^ Mayhew and Kohn (2005), p. 254.
  4. ^ "Ganzi". Retrieved December 11, 2009. 


  • 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
  • Leffman, David, et al. (2005). The Rough Guide to China. 4th Edition. Rough Guides, New York, London, Delhi. ISBN 978-1-84353-479-2.
  • Mayhew, Bradley and Michael Kohn. (2005). Tibet. 6th Edition. Lonely Planet. ISBN 1-74059-523-8.

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