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Nagri Travel Guide

Tibet MapNgari, also called  Ali,is known as the "roof of the world" and the most "Tibetan" part of Tibet. Located in the western Tibet Autonomous Region, Ngari Prefecture borders India, Nepal and Indian Kashmir and is contiguous with Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China, to the north and Xigaze, Tibet to the south. Ngari has a total area of 310,000 sq. kilometers, accounting for one forth of Tibet.

Facts of Nagri ( Ali)

Chinese Name: 阿里 (ā lǐ)
Population: 86,300
Area: 345,000 square kilometers (133,205 square miles)
Nationalities: Tibetan, Han
Administrative Division: 7 counties (Gar, Burang, Zada, Rutog, Ge'gyai, Gerze, Coqen)
Seat of the city government: Wenhua Road, Shiquanhe Town, Gar County, Tibet

Geography of Nagri

Making the pilgrimage to Mt. Kailash (Gang Rimpoche in Tibetan) is a spectacular experience. Mt Kailash is deemed the spiritual center of Buddhism, Hinduism and the indigenous religion-Bon. Gang Rimpoche means the "treasures of the snow mountains" or the "sacredness of snow". It is said to be the place where the Buddhist patriarch Sakyamuni conducted the rites and it is the Sumeri Mountain in the Buddhism. It is also the temple of God Siva in Hinduism.

What to see in Nagri?

1.Clim Mt. Kailash. As the "roof of the world" and the most "Tibetan" part of Tibet, Ngari averages 4,500 meters. It's the place where the Himalayas, the Gangdise, the Kunlun Mountains and Karakorum Mountains meet. There are great mountains, beautiful lakes, vast grasslands and spectacular snow mountains in Ngari. Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarova in Ngari are symbolized as the "Sacred Mountain and Holy Lake" of the Buddhism and are the spiritual center of Buddhists.

Manasarovar LakeMt KailashBasumco Lake
             Manasarovar Lake                Mt Kailash                  Basumco Lake
Tholing Monastery Bangong LakeRuins of Guge Kingdom
            Tholing Monastery          Bangong Tso Lake         Ruins of Guge Kingdom

2. Visiting the sacred Lake Manasarovar (Mapham Yutso in Tibetan) surrounded by snowy peaks is also magnificent. There are over 80 rivers and 60 lakes in the prefecture.

3. Exploring the man-made tunnel through the mountain ruins of Guge Kingdom is interesting. Guge Kingdom is famous for its murals, sculptures and stone inscriptions. Forth, appreciating the well-preserved frescos in Donggar Village and Rutog County is also great.

4. Ngari is rich in its local culture and folk customs. There are some famous Buddhist monasteries in Ngari.

Climate & Weather

It is cold and dry in Ngari and it seldom rains. There is a major difference the day and night-time temperatures in the area with an altitude of above 5,000 meters. In August, the average temperature during the daytime is above 10 degrees. But it is below zero during the night. In Ngari, it is high in the north and south and low in the middle. It is relatively warm in the south in Burang and Zhada County, which are the major farm belt in Ngari. It is cold and dry in the area around Shiquanhe Town in the north.

The best time to visit Ngari: 

The appropriate time is May, June, September and October. It is not advisable to go there in July and August, which is the rainy season. Rains could ruin the road from Lhasa and Yecheng (which is in Xinjiang) to Ngari. It is sometimes the rainy season as early as in May in the Yecheng-part of the Xinjiang-Tibet highway. The conditions of the roads from Shiquanhe Town to the counties in Ngari Prefecture are not good. Since the Xinjiang-Tibet highway will be blocked by snow during winter and spring (from late October or early November to early April), it is impossible to go there during the time.

Featured Food

The Ngari diet belongs to the system of Chiang cuisine. The major materials are cheese, cow hoofs, acidophilus milk and ghee. Chiang cuisine tastes salty, light, fresh, sour and delicious and it can help people adapt themselves to the cold climate of the plateau.

Highland barley wine: Made from the highland barley, the main food produced in Tibet, Highland barley wine (also called Chiang in Tibet) is the wine favorite to Tibetan people and is a necessary part at festivals, marriage feasts and on some other important occasions.

Tu-Pa : Tu-pa is the food similar to Jiaozi (the Chinese dumpling), which is the favorite food in China, especially northern China. Method of making: put some chopped meat on a piece of flat round dough strip and roll up it, put the ends together, just as how Chinese people make Jiaozi. Tu-pa is the food for the family reunion dinner, usually held on December 29 of the Tibetan lunar calendar. Sometimes small pieces of stones, capsicums, charcoals or wool threads are put in Tu-pa, each representing a special meaning. Stone means that the people who happen to pick up this Tu-pa will be stonehearted in the next year. Woolen thread means a kind heart. Charcoal means the vicious mind. Capsicum means a loose tongue. Of course those special Tu-pas do not really mean those bad things. They are just for fun. No matter who happen to take that Tu-pa, they immediately spit it out. People laugh happily then. This habit really adds to the fun and happiness of the festival.

Buttered tea : It is the favorite drink of Tibetan people. It is made of boiled brick tea and ghee. Ghee, which looks like butter, is a kind of dairy product of fat abstracted from cow milk or sheep milk. Tibetan people like the ghee made of yak milk. When they make buttered tea, they mix boiled brick tea and ghee in a special can, add some salt, pour the mixed liquid into a pottery or metal teapot and finally heat up it (but not boil it). Different people have different tastes for the buttered tea. Some people like salty flavor, others prefer to light flavor. People who do manual labors, especially men, like the strong-tasted, cream-like buttered tea. Old people, children and women like light-flavored tea. People usually heat up the buttered tea because cold buttered tea is not easy to be digested and does harm to one’s stomach.

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