Qinghai On The Tibetan Plateau Is A Place To Discover

Wish to discover the sparse plateau highland of the country? Qinghai, also known as Kokonur in English, lies in the northwestern part of the country. It is a province by its size and it lies on the Tibetan plateau. Known to have the third smallest population in the country, this region has a distinct culture created by several ethnic communities such as the Mongols, Tu, Hui, Tibetans, Han and Salars. The place centers on the largest lake in the country, Qinghai Lake.

Being in the Tibetan plateau and part of the ancient kingdom of Tibet, this place located on the roof of the world, has many wonders to offer visitors without restrictions.

The capital of this region is Xining, which has Islamic mosques as well as Buddhist monasteries. You can hear the Islamic call to prayer or find the monks walking the streets in orange robes and market bazaars that come alive with bright lights after sundown.

Kumbum is a monastery located in Xining, where pilgrims lie prostrate when they come in sight of the temples with golden tiles which are known to house treasures. These comprise of miniature Buddhas as well as sculpture in yak butter that number in the thousands. This monastery is one of the most important places outside Tibet for the Tibetan Buddhist community. For visitors the traditional embroider and sculptures of yak butter are worth stopping by here for.  It is also known as Ta’er monastery and marks the birthplace of Tsong Kha-pa who is founder of the Gelugpa sect. It is home to 400 monks today and visitors can get a glimpse into their lives when they come by to visit.

Tongren is another place to visit where Tibetan art specimens can be found. Here, monks can be found working on Tibetan paintings known as Thangka by candles made of yak butter. There are mausoleums of the Xunhua Muslim community here as well as a former home of the Dalai Lama.

The other must visit location here is the Qihai Lake which any local would tell you. It is also known as Kuku Nor or Koko Nor. This saline lake, known to be largest in China, lies in a depression in the Tibetan plateau by the Amdo province and several streams and rivers empty into this lake.