Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Shigatse Vacations




Shigatse officially Xigazê; (other spellings: Shikatse, Zhigatsey) is a county-level city and the second largest city in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) of the People's Republic of China. In 2008, Shigatse had a population of 92,000, and is located about 250 km (160 mi) southwest of Lhasa and 90 km (56 mi) northwest of Gyantse. It is the administrative centre of the modern Shigatse Prefecture, an administrative district of the TAR.
The city is located at an altitude of 3,840 metres (12,600 ft) at the confluence of the Yarlung Tsangpo (aka Brahmaputra) river and the Nyang River (Nyang Chu or Nyanchue) in west Tibet and was the ancient capital of Ü-Tsang province. Shigatse is also the name of the surrounding county.

History 

Shigatse was previously known as Samdruptse. In the 19th century, the "Tashi" or Panchen Lama had temporal power over Tashilhunpo Monastery and three small districts, though not over the town of Shigatse itself, which was administered by two Dzongpön (Prefects) appointed from Lhasa. Before military conflict between the PRC's People's Liberation Army and the Central Tibetan Administration, the Tibetan territory was divided into 53 prefecture districts called Dzongs.
There were two Dzongpöns for every Dzong—a lama (Tse-dung) and a layman. They were entrusted with both civil and military powers and are equal in all respects, though subordinate to the generals and the Chinese Amban in military matters.However, there were only one or two Ambans representing the Chinese emperor residing in Lhasa, directing a little garrison, and their power installed since 1728, progressively declined to end-up as observer at the eve of their expulsion in 1912 by the 13th Dalai Lama. In 1952, shortly after the PRC sent forces to the region, Shigatse had a population of perhaps 12,000 people, making it the second largest city in Tibet.

Geography and climate 

Shigatse lies on flat terrain surrounded by high mountains, and the urban area is located just south of the Yarlung Zangbo River, located in the south-central Tibet Autonomous Region. The city itself lies at an elevation of around 3,840 metres (12,600 ft), and within its administrative area there are five peaks higher than 5,500 metres (18,000 ft). The city's administrative area ranges in latitude from 29° 07' to 29° 09' N and in longitude from 88° 03' to 89° 08' E.
Shigatse has a monsoon-influenced, alpine version of a humid continental climate (Köppen Dwb), with frosty, very dry winters and warm, wet summers. Temperatures are relatively moderate for the Tibetan Plateau, as the annual mean temperature is 6.3 °C (43.3 °F). Barely any precipitation falls from November to March, when differences between day and night can frequently exceed 20 °C (36 °F). Nearly two-thirds of the annual rainfall occurs in July and August alone. Sunshine is abundant year-round, totaling 3248 hours annually