Litang County

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Litang or Lithang County (Tibetan: 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.

Litang County

理塘县ལི་ཐང་རྫོང་།
Landscape of Litang County
Landscape of Litang County
Litang County (red) in Garzê Prefecture (yellow) and Sichuan
Litang County (red) in Garzê Prefecture (yellow) and Sichuan
Litang is located in Sichuan
Litang
Litang
Location of the seat in Sichuan
Coordinates (Litang County government): 29°59′39″N 100°16′09″E / 29.9942°N 100.2692°E / 29.9942; 100.2692Coordinates: 29°59′39″N 100°16′09″E / 29.9942°N 100.2692°E / 29.9942; 100.2692
CountryPeople's Republic of China
ProvinceSichuan
Autonomous prefectureGarzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
County seatLitang Town
Area
 • Total13,677 km2 (5,281 sq mi)
Elevation
3,954 m (12,972 ft)
Population
 (2001)
 • Total47,500
 • Density3.5/km2 (9.0/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+8 (China Standard)
Websitelitang.gov.cn
Litang County
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese理塘县
Traditional Chinese理塘縣
Tibetan name
Tibetanལི་ཐང་རྫོང་།

Lithang is part of Kham in the Tibetan cultural zone, 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 (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]

HistoryEdit

 
Litang Monastery and town below it in the 1840s

For nearly all of the county's recorded history, Litang's greatest concentration of population and center of political power has been Lithang Monastery, known formally as Ganden Thubchen Choekhorling. The town that is today the Litang County seat is adjacent to the monastery, which was originally a temple for worship of Bon. In A.D. 1580 it was converted to Gelug Buddhism by the 3rd Dalai Lama. In the centuries since, Litang Monastery has been damaged and rebuilt several times. [3]

During the 1950s, the region around Litang was one of the many areas of Tibetan armed resistance to rule of the Chinese Communist Party. A resistance group called the Chushi Gangdruk was active in the area. In 1956 the monastery was bombed by the PLA.[4] The October 5, 1956 edition of the Tibet Mirror newspaper printed a witness' drawing of this bombing of the Litang monastery, Jamchen Chokhor Ling and others by aircraft of the People's Liberation Army. The photo's caption in its original English is:

"They are killing several thousand of our freedom-loving, brave, ill-armed Khampas, with modern weapons; and distroying monasterees [sic]. The world is protesting the aggressor in Europe and W. Asia, but alas! There is no voice for Tibet."[5][6][7][8]

In August, 2007, the Litang Horse Festival 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.[9]

In 2013, one major temple of Lithang Monastery burned to the ground in an accidental fire.[10]

Administrative divisionsEdit

Litang County administers one town and 23 more rural townships:

ClimateEdit

 
Yaks in the Ganden Thubchen Choekhorling monastery courtyard

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 −4.9 °C (23.2 °F) in January to only 11.0 °C (51.8 °F) in July; the annual mean is 3.65 °C (38.6 °F). Over 80% of the 765 mm (30.1 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 (1981−2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 17.4
(63.3)
16.3
(61.3)
21.6
(70.9)
21.1
(70.0)
23.3
(73.9)
24.4
(75.9)
25.9
(78.6)
22.9
(73.2)
23.1
(73.6)
20.5
(68.9)
17.1
(62.8)
15.4
(59.7)
25.9
(78.6)
Average high °C (°F) 4.1
(39.4)
5.3
(41.5)
8.0
(46.4)
11.1
(52.0)
15.2
(59.4)
17.4
(63.3)
17.2
(63.0)
16.7
(62.1)
15.4
(59.7)
12.6
(54.7)
7.9
(46.2)
4.6
(40.3)
11.3
(52.3)
Daily mean °C (°F) −4.9
(23.2)
−3.1
(26.4)
0.1
(32.2)
3.5
(38.3)
7.9
(46.2)
10.7
(51.3)
11.0
(51.8)
10.4
(50.7)
8.7
(47.7)
5.0
(41.0)
−0.8
(30.6)
−4.7
(23.5)
3.7
(38.6)
Average low °C (°F) −12.4
(9.7)
−9.9
(14.2)
−6.0
(21.2)
−2.4
(27.7)
1.8
(35.2)
5.8
(42.4)
6.8
(44.2)
6.3
(43.3)
4.4
(39.9)
−0.4
(31.3)
−7.2
(19.0)
−12.0
(10.4)
−2.1
(28.2)
Record low °C (°F) −27.2
(−17.0)
−21.6
(−6.9)
−18.9
(−2.0)
−11.3
(11.7)
−7.5
(18.5)
−3.7
(25.3)
−0.6
(30.9)
−2.5
(27.5)
−4.0
(24.8)
−10.5
(13.1)
−19.7
(−3.5)
−30.6
(−23.1)
−30.6
(−23.1)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 1.4
(0.06)
4.3
(0.17)
13.7
(0.54)
27.3
(1.07)
52.6
(2.07)
141.7
(5.58)
190.1
(7.48)
168.3
(6.63)
121.4
(4.78)
33.0
(1.30)
7.9
(0.31)
2.8
(0.11)
764.5
(30.1)
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 49 54 55 67 74 76 73 62 51 44 57
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 (precipitation days and sunshine 1971–2000)[11][12]

TransportEdit

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  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. ^ https://www.pamela-logan.com/history/lithang-monastery-cycles-of-destruction-and-renewal/"Lithang Monastery: Cycles of Destruction and Renewal"
  4. ^ Li, Jianglin (2016). Tibet in agony : Lhasa 1959. Wilf, Susan. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. pp. Photo# 11 between pages 82 and 83. ISBN 9780674088894. OCLC 946579956.
  5. ^ Li, Jianglin (2016) [5 October 1956]. Tibet in agony : Lhasa 1959. Translated by Wilf, Susan. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. pp. Photo# 11 (of original drawing) between pages 82 and 83. ISBN 9780674088894. OCLC 946579956. They are killing several thousand of our freedom-loving, brave, ill-armed Khampas, with modern weapons; and distroying monasterees [sic]. The world is protesting the aggressor in Europe and W. Asia, but alas! There is no voice for Tibet.
  6. ^ Tharchin, Dorje (1956). Yul phyogs so soʾi gsar ʾgyur me loṅ (Tibet Mirror) (in Tibetan and English). Columbia University Libraries. Kalimpong, India: The Tibet Mirror Press. pp. Volume XXIII, Number 11, page 4.
  7. ^ Li, Jianglin; 1956-, 江月 (2010). 1959 Lasa! (in Chinese) (Chu ban ed.). Hong Kong: Xin shi ji chu ban ji chuan mei you xian gong si/ New Century Media & Consulting Co. Ltd. pp. 4th page of photos before the text. ISBN 9789881943019. OCLC 671634540.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ Li, Jianglin; 1956-, 李江琳 (2010). 1959 Lasa! : Dalai Lama ru he chu zou (in Chinese) (Er ban ed.). Taipei City, Taiwan: Linking Publishing Company. pp. from photo gallery nested within text. ISBN 9789570848090. OCLC 972336063.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ "Crackdown in eastern Tibet."
  10. ^ https://www.rfa.org/english/news/tibet/blaze-11172013105231.html "Tibetan Monastery Suffers ‘Massive Damage’ in Blaze"
  11. ^ 中国气象数据网 - WeatherBk Data (in Chinese). China Meteorological Administration. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
  12. ^ 中国地面国际交换站气候标准值月值数据集(1971-2000年). China Meteorological Administration. Archived from the original on 2013-09-21. Retrieved 2010-05-25.

External linksEdit

Further readingEdit

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