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.
Ngari is known 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.
First, 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.
Second, 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.
Third, 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.
Fifth, Ngari is rich in its local culture and folk customs. There are some famous Buddhist monasteries in Ngari.
The population and the administrative division
Ngari Prefecture has the largest area, but the lowest population in China, with a density of only 0.23 people/sq. km. Of the 69,000 people, 66,000 are Tibetan, and 85% of the population are peasants and herders.
Ngari Prefecture administers 7 counties, namely Burang, Gar, Ge'gyai, Gerze, Coqen, Zhada and Rutog, 106 townships and 359 villages. Burang, Zhada, and Rutog, in the southwestern and middle parts of the prefecture, engage mainly in agriculture, supplemented by animal husbandry, while Coqen, Gerze and Ge'gyai, in the east, engage purely in animal husbandry. Shiquanhe Town, which is 4,200 in elevation and 1,655 kilometers from Lhasa, is the capital town and the center of politics, economics and culture in Ngari.