Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet


Tsetang is the capital seat of Lhoka region and is in the southeastern Tibet Autonomous Region. It lies at an elevation of 3,515 meters above sea level and has a population of approximately 52,000. The distance from Lhasa to Tsetang is about 183km.

Tsetang situated on the middle and lower reaches of the Yarlung Valley, formed by the Yarlung Tsangpo River. The place is the birthplace of Tibetan civilization. It is bounded by the city of Lhasa to the north, Nyingchi to the east. It is also bounded by Shigatse on the west and the international border with India and Bhutan on the south. The valley measures 420 kilometers (260 mi) east to west and 329 kilometers (204 mi) from north to south. Its uniqueness stems from the fact that Tibet’s earliest agricultural farmland, its first palace and first Buddhist monastery are all located in Lhoka.

History & Mythology

A legend that attests to the position of Lhoka region in the annals of Tibetan history states that human beings are the creation of a union between a sacred father monkey and a mother ogress. According to archaeological findings and legends and ancient documents, people lived in this area up to four million years ago. A primitive civilization grew up in the Yarlung Valley and a field in the village of Sare near Tsetang Town. As per historical evidence, the place might the first farming field in Tibet. The first king in Tibetan history, Nyatri Tsenpo, was the de-facto chief of the Yalong tribe. And, he began ruling over the Yarlung valley at the beginning of second century BC. He founded the Fan Kingdom and established a hereditary monarchy.

During the reign of the ninth king, Budegong, agriculture flourished in this valley. Furthermore, he was able to mobilize the people to excavate canals, channeling water to irrigate the vast flatland. A formal farming system came into existence during the reign of Esho, the eleventh king. He devised standard measurement units for allocating farmland and counting livestock. The region between the rule of the ninth and fifteenth kings Six palaces built in.

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