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Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon

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Title: Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Yarlung Tsangpo River, Nyingchi, 2008 Tibetan unrest, Tibet, Thothori Nyantsen
Collection: Canyons and Gorges of China, Landforms of the Tibet Autonomous Region, Rivers of the Tibet Autonomous Region
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon

Tsangpo Gorge, in center is Mount Namcha Barwa

The Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon or Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon (Arunachal Pradesh and eventually becomes the Brahmaputra.[2][3]


  • Canyon depth 1
  • Ecosystem 2
  • The Everest of Rivers 3
  • Yarlung Tsangpo Hydroelectric and Water Diversion Project 4
  • References in media 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • Books 8
  • Videos 9
  • External links 10

Canyon depth

As the canyon passes between the peaks of the Namcha Barwa (Namjabarwa) and Gyala Peri mountains, it reaches an average depth of about 16,000 feet (5,000 m) around Namcha Barwa. The canyon's average depth overall is about 7,440 feet (2,268 m), the deepest depth reaches 19,714 feet (6,009 m). This is one of the deepest canyons on Earth. This part of the canyon is at . Namcha Barwa, 25,531 feet (7782m) high, is at , and Gyala Peri, at 23,733 feet(7234m), is at .[4]


The gorge has a unique ecosystem with species of animals and plants barely explored and affected by human influence. Its climate ranges from subtropical to Arctic. The highest temperature in Tibet is 43.6 °C (110.5 °F) and is recorded near the border of India at an elevation of approximately 600 meters above sea level. The rare takin is one of the animals hunted by the local tribes.

The Everest of Rivers

The Yarlung Tsangpo Canyon is located at the great bend of the river before entering the Indian State of Arunachal Pradesh

Western interest in the Tsangpo began in the 19th century when British explorers and geographers speculated where Tibet's east-flowing Tsangpo ended up, suspecting the Brahmaputra. Since British citizens were not allowed to enter Tibet they recruited Indian “

  • Into the Tsangpo Gorge (Outside Online)
  • IKONOS Satellite Image of "Rainbow Falls" and "Hidden Falls"
  • Douglas Gordon at University of Utah
  • Touristic information

External links

  • Scott Lindgren (2002), "Into the Tsangpo Gorge". Slproductions. ASIN B0006FKL2Q.
  • Gorge DocumentaryInto the Tsangpo


  • Wick Walker (2000). Courting the Diamond Sow : A Whitewater Expedition on Tibet's Forbidden River. National Geographic. ISBN 0-7922-7960-3.
  • Todd Balf (2001). The Last River : The Tragic Race for Shangri-la. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-609-80801-X.
  • Michael Mcrae (2002). The Siege of Shangri-La : The Quest for Tibet's Sacred Hidden Paradise. Broadway. ISBN 0-7679-0485-0. ISBN 978-0-7679-0485-8.
  • Peter Heller (2004). Hell or High Water : Surviving Tibet's Tsangpo River. Rodale Books. ISBN 1-57954-872-5.
  • Ian Baker (2004). The Heart of the World : A journey to the last secret place. Souvenir Press. ISBN 0-285-63742-8.
  • F.Kingdon Ward (Author), Kenneth Cox (Editor), Ken Storm Jr (Editor), Ian Baker (Editor) Riddle of the Tsangpo Gorges: Retracing the Epic Journey of 1924–25 in South-East Tibet (Hardcover) Antique Collectors' Club Ltd (1 Jan 1999) ISBN 1-85149-371-9


  1. ^
  2. ^ Yang Qinye and Zheng Du. Tibetan Geography. China Intercontinental Press. pp. 30–31.  
  3. ^ Zheng Du, Zhang Qingsong, Wu Shaohong: Mountain Geoecology and Sustainable Development of the Tibetan Plateau (Kluwer 2000), ISBN 0-7923-6688-3, p. 312;
  4. ^ a b First Descent of the Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet
  5. ^ Allen, Charles (1982...2002). A Mountain in Tibet: The Search for Mount Kailas and the Sources of the Great Rivers of Asia. London: Abacus. 
  6. ^ Press release of successful kayak run
  7. ^ Wickliffe W. Walker: "Courting The Diamond Sow : A Whitewater Expedition on Tibet's Forbidden River", National Geographic, 2000
  8. ^ Liquid Thunder, Outside, June 28, 2004
  9. ^ First Descents of the Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ Discovery of "Hidden Falls"
  12. ^ Ian Baker (2004). The Heart of the World. Penguin Books. 
  13. ^ The falls can be seen more clearly in an IKONOS image from here taken May 9, 2000, which is oriented with south up.
  14. ^ Analysis of Tsangpo Hydroelectric Project, page 21
  15. ^ Indian criticism of hydro-dam project
  16. ^ R.B. Cathcart, Tibetan Power: A unique hydro-electric macroproject servicing India and China, Current Science 77: 854 (10 October 1999)
  17. ^ Terry S. Reynolds. "A Narrow Window of Opportunity: The Rise and Fall of the Fixed Steel Dams". Retrieved 13 April 2014. 
  18. ^ N. Sasidhar (March 2007). "Fixed steel dams". p. 3. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  19. ^ Satellite photo and facts


See also

  • In the fighting game

References in media

Steel dam is more advantageous and economical in this high altitude and remote hilly terrain for diverting the run off water of the river to power generating units.[17][18]

However, another type of dam, the inflatable, is possible that would obviate any necessity for a huge concrete structure. R.B. Cathcart, in 1999, first suggested a fabric dam—inflatable with freshwater or air—could block the Yarlung Tsangpo Canyon upstream of Namcha Barwa. Water would then be conveyed via a hardrock tunnel to a point downstream from that mountain, affording the generation of tens of thousands of megawatts—power which would have to be distributed internationally and equitably through a Himalayan power grid.[16]

While the government of the India and Bangladesh.[14] The project is criticized by India because of its potential negative impact upon the residents downstream.[15]

Yarlung Tsangpo Hydroelectric and Water Diversion Project

The largest waterfalls of the gorge (near Tsangpo Badong, Chinese: 藏布巴东瀑布群[10]) were visited in 1998, by a team consisting of Ken Storm, Hamid Sarder, Ian Baker and their Monpa guides.[11] They estimated the height of the falls to be about 108 feet (33 m). The falls and rest of the Pemako area are sacred to Tibetan Buddhists who had concealed them from outsiders including the Chinese authorities.[12] In 2005 Chinese National Geography named them China's most beautiful waterfalls. There are two waterfalls in this section: Rainbow Falls (about 70 feet high) at and Hidden Falls just downstream at (about 100 feet high).[4][13]

[9][8] The area was closed after China invaded Tibet and disputed the location of the

In 1913, Frank Kingdon-Ward started an expedition in 1924 in hopes of finding a major waterfall explaining the difference in altitude between the Tsangpo and the Brahmaputra. It turned out that the gorge has a series of relatively steep sections. Among them was a waterfall he named “Rainbow Falls”, not as big as he had hoped.


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