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Litang County


Litang County

Litang County
Chinese transcription(s)
 • Simplified 理塘县
 • Traditional 理塘縣
 • Pinyin Lǐtáng Xiàn
Tibetan transcription(s)
 • Tibetan script ལི་ཐང་རྫོང
 • Wylie li tang rdzong
 • THL Litang Dzong
Yaks in the Ganden Thubchen Choekhorling monastery courtyard
Yaks in the Ganden Thubchen Choekhorling monastery courtyard
Litang County (red) in Garzê Prefecture (yellow) and Sichuan
Litang County (red) in Garzê Prefecture (yellow) and Sichuan
Litang is located in Sichuan
Location of the seat in Sichuan
Country China
Province Sichuan
Autonomous prefecture Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
County seat Litang Town
Elevation 3,954 m (12,972 ft)
Population (2001)
 • Total 47,500
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Website .cn.govlitang

Litang or Lithang County (Wylie: ལི་ཐང་རྫོང; Chinese: 理塘县) is in southwest of Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan, China. In 2001 it had a population of 47,500.

Before the Battle of Chamdo, Lithang was part of Kham, Tibet, and several famous Buddhist figures were born here, including the 7th Dalai Lama, the 10th Dalai Lama, the 11th Tai Situpa, four of the Pabalas, as well as the 5th Jamyang Zhépa of Labrang Monastery. Düsum Khyenpa, 1st Karmapa Lama, returned here and built two monasteries, Kampo Nénang Monastery next to the Genyen Massif, where he trained the important Kagyu teacher, Drogön Rechen (Wylie: 'gro mgon res pa chen po, 1148-1218) who recognised his tulku, and the Pangphuk Monastery, founded in 1169.

It also has strong connections with the eponymous hero of the Epic of King Gesar,[1]

Litang Town in the 1840s.


  • Modern history 1
  • Administrative divisions 2
  • Climate 3
  • Transport 4
  • Notes 5
  • External links 6
  • Further reading 7

Modern history

During the 1950s, the region around Litang was one of the main areas of Tibetan armed resistance to the presence of the People's Liberation Army. A resistance group called the Chushi Gangdruk was active in the area. In 1956 the monastery in Litang was bombed by the PLA.

Litang Town (the seat of the county) itself is located at an altitude of 4,014 metres. It is on open grassland and surrounded by snow-capped mountains and is about 400 meters higher than Lhasa, making it one of the highest towns in the world.[2]

In August, 2007, a horse-racing festival at Litang was the scene of an impromptu anti-government political speech by Runggye Adak, which was followed by protests calling for his release. A crackdown officially described as "patriotic education campaign" followed in autumn of 2007, including several politically motivated arrests and attempts to force local Tibetans to denounce the 14th Dalai Lama.[3]

Modern Tibetan home on road Kangding to Litang

Administrative divisions

Litang County administers one town and 23 more rural townships:


With an elevation of nearly 4,000 metres (13,000 ft), Litang has an alpine subarctic climate (Köppen Dwc), with long, cold, dry winters, and short, cool summers with very frequent rain. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from −5.8 °C (21.6 °F) in January to only 10.6 °C (51.1 °F) in July; the annual mean is 3.25 °C (37.8 °F). Over 80% of the 722 mm (28.4 in) of annual precipitation is delivered from June to September. With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 38% in July to 83% in December, the county seat receives 2,643 hours of bright sunshine annually, with winter by far the sunniest season.

Climate data for Litang (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) −13.3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 1.4
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 2.1 4.1 8.0 11.9 14.2 20.7 24.6 22.8 20.1 9.8 4.4 2.2 144.9
Average relative humidity (%) 40 43 47 54 55 67 75 76 74 63 51 44 57.4
Mean monthly sunshine hours 259.7 231.8 248.4 228.2 235.1 186.4 161.9 168.3 177.7 233.4 251.0 261.0 2,642.9
Percent possible sunshine 81 74 67 59 56 45 38 41 48 66 79 83 60
Source: China Meteorological Administration



  1. ^ Mayhew, Bradley and Kohn, Michael. (2005). Tibet. 6th Edition, p. 260. Lonely Planet. ISBN 1-74059-523-8.
  2. ^ Buckley, Michael and Straus, Robert. (1986) Tibet: a travel survival kit, p, 219. Lonely Planet Publications. South Yarra, Victoria, Australia. ISBN 0-908086-88-1.
  3. ^ "Crackdown in eastern Tibet."

External links

  • Official website of Litang County

Further reading

  • Tsering Shakya: The Dragon in the Land of Snows. A History of Modern Tibet Since 1947, London 1999, ISBN 0-14-019615-3
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