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Dingri County

---Population: 45,638. Area: 14,156 sq km.

The westernmost parts fo Tsang province are traditionally known as Lato, the “highland” region of
Tibet; and this vast area is divided into North Lato and South Lato. The former comprises the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra and Raga Tsangpo, corresponding to present day Ngamring, Saga, and Drongpa counties, and the latter comprises the Bum-chu (Arun), Matsang Tsangpo (Sunkosi), and Kyirong Tsangpo (Trishuli) valleys, the whole of South Lato, along with neighbouring Tingkye county, has been incorporated into the vast Jomolangma National Nature Reserve (area 33,819 sq km).


Among these, Dingri county occupies the upper reaches of the Bum-chu (Arun) River, and the lateral valleys formed by its tributaries, the foremost of which are: the Lolo-chu, Shel-chu, Rongpu-chu, Trakar-chu, Kharda-chu, Ra-chu Tsangpo, and Langkor Gya-chu, It also includes the valleys of the Rongshar Tsangpo and Lapchi Gang Tsangpo, which flow southwest into Nepal to join the Sunkosi River. The county is bordered on the south by the formidable barrier of the high Himalayan range, including Mount Everest (Jomolangma/Jomo Gangkar),

Makalu, and Cho Oyo (Jowo Oyuk).



The heavily rutted Highway 318 runs southwest from Lhartse, across th high Gyatso La pass (5,220 m), and then descends steeply into the barren Lato plains, following the Lolo-chu downstream. On the descent, the Everest range can be seen in the distance, and the Lolo hot springs are visible by the roadside, 38 km below the pass.


Below Pelbar (4,350 m) 12 km further on, a turn-off on the right leads into Shelkar, following the Shel-chu tributary upstream (7 km). The ruined fortress and monastery are prominent on the upper slopes of Mount Shelkar Dorje Dzong, overlooking the town. The area headquarters of the Jomolangma Nature Reserve is located here. Since its inception in 1989 it has assumed some responsibility for the maintenance and ecology of the entire Everest region.



The Tsibri mountain range, true to its name, resembles a series of protruding ribs. During the 11th century, the remote crags of Tsibri were inhabited by Padampa Sangye, the Indian master tho introduced the lineages of Chod and Zhije into Tibet. Subsequently, Gotsangpa Gonpopel of the Drukpa Kagyu school founded his hermitage on the southeast cliff-face. His own student, Yangonpa Gyeltsenpel was born locally at Lhadrong; and his successors effectively established many Drukpa foundations around the mountain.


Lake Tingmo Tso

Below Shelkar, the highway from Lhartse intersects the roads leading east to Tingkye and west to the Nepal border. Taking the Tingkye road, after about 48 km you will reach Dramtso township on the north shore of Lake Tingmo Tso. Tsogo township lies south of the lake and on the south bank of the Bum-chu.


Dingri Langkor

Drive west from Dingri along the highway for 12 km as far as Tsamda, where there is a hot spring bathing facility (10 per person), and an excellent Amdo Restaurant. From here there is a motorable cart road leading to Langkor Monastery. Avoid driving in the summer months when the LangkorGyachuRiver bursts its banks. Otherwise hire a horse and cart from Dingri Gangkar. Langkor village and monastery are located inland from the highway on a suth-facing ridge, in full view of Mount Jowo Oyuk.


A festival is held here each year on the 14th day of the sixth month of the lunar calendar. The temple is located within the village of Langkor. The track follows the contour of the hillside, passing a medicinal spring said to have been brought forth by Padmasambhava. The temple, which retains its original pillar and beam structure, contains images of Phadampa Sangye and Tangtong Gyelpo,and partially faded murals depicting Padmasambhava and Milarepa.



A three-day trek from Langkor also leads to Nyalam via the Tong La pass. This was the traditional trading route between Dingri and Central Nepal prior to the construction of the motor road.

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