Ganzi area and Ganzi monastery

Ganzi (Kandze) in Kham (NW Sichuan Province), as the town, is sitting by the Yalong River with an altitude of over 3581 meters and a population of over 53,500. Most of the people here is Khampas (Kham Tibetan), taking a acount of 95 persent of the total.

In the 21 century, this town still keeps its strong and typical sense of Tibetan history and culture. Strut Khampas and robust yaks can be seen everywhere in the town although modern Vedio CD and DVD copies are popular, and Mcdonlar's songs pernatrate the streets.

Ganzi (Kandze) is not only the name of administration area (Ganzi Tibetan auotonomous prefecture) but also the name of a town lying at the Northern route of Sichuan - Tibet highway, an important and transit town on the old trade route between Tibetan area and Han people area. Till today, drive to Tibet on road will still pass here.

Ganzi autonomous prefecture lies in the west of Sichuan province, it has a land area of over 153,000 square kilometers and a population of over 810,000. There are 18 counties in its administration. Ganzi county is (with Ganzi town as its township) one of them. The temples and monasteries in and around Ganzi town have belonged to the Gelugpa school ever since the Mongol forces of Gushri Khan managed to convert the residents by force of sword in the 1640s. Settling there, the invading Mongols intermarried with the local populace, from which time on the inhabitants have been know as the Trehor Khampans. The most prominent is the Ganzi monastery (Gelugpa sect), dominating the north end of town, which was built by the Mongols in 1642 above their castles of Mazur and Khangsar after they successfully subdued the area. It had a population 1500 monks, making it the largest in Kham alongside Chamdo. From here is a bird's eye view of Ganzi. Today home to a few hundred monks and monks - in - training, this is where they learn the trade - dancing, blowing the Tibetan long horn, etc. Along with Chamdo and Litang monasteries it still ranks as one of the largest Gelugpa establishments in Kham. The Den monastery, housing original woodblocks, is the oldest temple in the county, dating back to the 13 century. The 16 century Beri monastery (Gelugpa sect) is just outside of town. Castle ruins of Mazur and Khangsar lie below Kandze Monastery.

Notes: Ganzi monastery was once destroyed in the 1970s during the Cultural Revolution. Its renovation and rebuilding started in 1988, till now, it gets its original face.