The three major Grasslands in the northwest of Sichuan province
1 Nuo’ergai Grassland
Nuo’ergai Grassland is the biggest one among the three major grasslands. It lies at the northwest of Songpan County and 250 kilometers far from Gannan prefecture, Gansu province, 531 kilometers from Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province. Therefore, Nuo’ergai is the thoroughfare to Northwest China and to the Silk Road. Besides, it is also the thoroughfare from Northwest China to Jiuzhaigou. Nuo’ergai County is divided into east and west part according to its natural landform.
The west of Nuo’ergai is the natural farming land, which is rich in grass. The whole area occupies over 800,000 hectares. On this grassland, millions of sheep and yaks are farmed by Tibetan people. Moreover, there are red-crowned cranes, black necked cranes, white swans, plateau marmots, etc. Horses from Heiqu are one of the three famous horses in China. The west part of Nuo’ergai belongs to the areas of high hills and valleys. This part is rich in miners, such as mud charcoal, gold, uranium, etc. They are of large reserves and high quality. The major scenic spots on Nuo’ergai Grassland are the First Bay of the Yellow River, Jiangzha hot spring, the meeting relic of “Meeting on August 7th”, the Tourist Village of Heihe, Ge’erdi Temple, etc.
2 Aba Grassland
Aba Grassland is located at the westernmost among the three major grasslands. It was the capital of Aba Prefecture in ancient time. The grandest festival here is “Zhacong Festival”.
The festival starts on every 5th, June, and lasts three days. “Zhacong” in Tibetan language means the market of clay potteries. Besides the exhibition of clay potteries, there are kinds of competitions and shows on the festival. Ge’erdeng Temple lies at the right of the main road of Aba prefecture. It is the biggest Lamasery Temple in the area of Aba Prefecture. The Buddhist pagoda in the temple looks very special and lonely with the foil of the blue sky and the white clouds.
3 Hongyuan Grassland
Hongyuan County is located at the northwest of Aba Tibetan and Qiang autonomous prefecture. It is a Tibetan county. People live on pure animal husbandry. It was set as a county in 1960, in order to memorize the development and construction by the Red Army during the Long Marches. The areas around Hongyuan County are all grasslands. On those grasslands, there are tents and groups of sheep, cows, horses, etc. The natural farm land here occupies over 7400 square kilometers. Although it is not as vast as Nuo’ergai Grassland, visitors always want to travel here, because it is the center of all grasslands. The most famous places here are Maiwa Temple and Dageze Temple. The two temples are several kilometers far from Hongyuan County. The most famous festival here is “the Horse Competition” on every 1st, July. Countless horses and people will gather together on the green grassland at that time.