Tibet Destination

Attraction of Tsetang Area

Shannan Prefecture, the Birthplace of Tibetan Culture

Shannan is situated on the southern bank of the Yarlung Tsangpo River, at an elevation of 3,600 meters above sea level. It enjoys a temperate climate.

Sannan Prefecture is famous for its picturesque pasture lands, river valleys, the snow-capped mountains and glaciers, ancient religious sites and unique customs. It has a rich variety of flora, distributed vertically according to the elevation. The historical and cultural sites include the first palace in Tibet (Yambo Lhakhang), its first monastery (Samye), the first Buddhist hall (in Changzhug Monastery) and the tombs of the ancient Tibetan kings. In total there are some 40 scenic spots in the area.
Yambo Lhakhang Palace

The first palace in Tibetan history is situated eight Kilometres to the south of Tsetang town. It is said that the palace was built in the second century B.C by the first king Nyatri Tsanpo. It houses the statues of Buddha’s of the three world and kings from various historical periods including Nyatri Tsanpo, Lhatu Turi Niantsan, Rabajin, Songtsen Gampo and Trisong Detsen.

Samye Monastery
Located on the northern bank of the Yarlung Tsangpo River in Chanang County, Shannan Prefecture, Samye Monastery was built in 779 under the supervision of Guru Rimpoche (Master Padmasambhava) and the Tibetan king Trisong Detsen. It is the first monastery constructed in Tibet. The magnificent and unique Central Hall is three stories high. The first floor is in the Tibetan architectural style, the second in the Han style, and the third in the Indian style. The halls in the monastery contain many statues and murals. The monastery has bronze bells, carved marble lions and tablets that record the development of Buddhism in Tibet. All are valuable cultural relics.

Minzholing Monastery
The monastery was built in the late 10th century and had its current name when it was rebuilt in 1677. It is one of the three great monasteries of the Nyingmapa Sect. the monastery has paid attention to the research of Buddhist classics, astronomical calendar, calligraphy rhetoric and Tibetan medicines and is famous for its achievements in these fields. Over the years the recommendation of the "Chronology of the Tibetan Calendar" has been formulated by the monastery, and it is famous as the first academy of Lamaism in Tibet.

The Hot Springs in Oiga
In a small pastureland in the Oiga Town there are seven hot springs. Those springs water is considered medicinal for treatment of the stomach and eye diseases. Of these hot springs, the Choluka Hot Spring is exclusive for the Dalai Lamas of various historical stages. The hot spring in Oiga boasts beautiful sceneries and a unique local folklore. In the spring and summer, flocks of people come here for bathing.

Kanggardo Mountain
The Kanggardo Mountain in Cona County is 7,060 meters above sea level. Covered by snow year round, the topography is lower in southern section and higher in northern section. Its main peak is surrounded by dozens of peaks with an elevation of more than 6,000 meters. Its’ valley are filled with beautiful glaciers. The average rainfall (June to September) here is above 400mm. The mountain slopes and valleys are densely forested teeming with dozens kinds of wildlife such as the wild donkeys and Mongolian gazelles.

Changzung Monastery
Standing by the highway on the east bank of the Yalong River in Nedong County, Shannan Prefecture, this monastery was built in the seventh century and has been repaired in various historical periods. A legend says that after the establishment of its capital in Lhasa the Songtasan Gompo and Princess Wen Cheng came to stay here. It is believed that the willow trees around the monastery was who planted by the princess. The monastery contains a precious Thangkas painting of a Buddha inlaid with pearls and gems.

Tombs of the Tibetan Kings
This burial ground of the 29th-40th Tsanpos of the Tubo Kingdom is the only group of the tombs of the Tibetan kings in Tibet and has a history of more than 1,300 years. Today nine are visible, but only those of Songtsan Gambo and Trisong Detsen can be verified.

Lake Yamtso Yumtso
In Nagarze County in Shannan Prefecture, the lake is 4,400 meters above sea level. It covers an area of 800 square kilometres and is 30-40 meters deep. Yamtso means upper pasture and Yum means green jade in Tibetan. In a bird's-eye view, the lake is like a big piece of sapphire inlaid in the mountains and is very beautiful.

Its surface is more than 800 meters higher than the Yarlung Tsangbo River at the foot of the mountain. Also here stands the Yamtso Yumtso Power Station well know for its high elevation in the world. To its south stands the magnificent Samding Monastery where Doje Pangmo, the only woman Living Buddha in Tibet, stayed and presided.