Nagqu Overview

Nagqu Overview introduces basic information, location, attraction, best time to visit, culture and transportation, etc, for people who want to travel in Nagqu. Located in the north of Tibet-between Tanggula Mountains and Nyenchen Tangula MountainsNagqu get its name from the Nagqu River(upstream of Nujiang River). Nagqu features in its protected wildlife, unpolluted grassland, bright snow mountains, azure blue lakes and unsophisticated Tibetan life. Especially in August, the famous Horse Racing Festival will be held in Nagqu.

Basic Information


Located in the north of Tibet-between Tanggula Mountains and Nyenchen Tangula MountainsNagqu get its name from the Nagqu River(upstream of Nujiang River). Nagqu features in its protected wildlife, unpolluted grassland, bright snow mountains, azure blue lakes and unsophisticated Tibetan life. The area is highlighted by grassland plateaus and towering mountains in the background. The splendid scenery adds to the travelers' list of things to see. Since the region is rather large, settle in one area and focus on the sites there.


Nagqu belongs to the sub-frigid zone, with extremes of cold and wind, is an area prone to extremely dry air and violent storms. Throughout the year, there is no period where there is no frost in Nagqu, and the land is under a state of semi-permanent permafrost, even in the summer months. The average temperature for the year in Nagqu is 30.0°F (-1.1°C). The warmest month, on average, is July with an average temperature of 48.0°F (8.9°C). The coolest month on average is January, with an average temperature of 8.0°F (-13.3°C).

Nagqu is affected by monsoon climate, plate geology movements, and complex terrain and other disaster-causing factors, it is a natural disaster-prone, contiguous and frequent region. The annual average temperature is −2.1 °C (28.2 °F), while the coldest temperatures can reach minus −40 °C. The annual sunshine hours are more than 2,886 hours. It is relatively warm from May to September in the middle of the year, and from November to March there is a dry windy period. Nagqu had an average annual rainfall of 477.1 mm (18.78 in) between 1956 and 2010. The southeastern part of the prefecture is wetter, with annual precipitation exceeding 580 mm. while the northwestern part is driest with an average annual rainfall below 440 mm. The effects of global warming increasingly pose a problem in the region, with record highs in 2019.

Best Time to Visit Nagqu

From May to September is the best time to visit Nagqu. Nagqu is sub-arctic climate zone, cold and oxygen deficit. The climate is dry, windy, with the annual average temperature of -0.9 ℃ to -3.3 ℃. Every year from November to March is arid windy period, dry climate, low temperature, hypoxia wind, long duration. May to September is relatively warm. It is the best time to visit Nagqu.

Administrative Divisions

As of December 2017, Nagqu has jurisdiction over 1 municipal district, 10 counties, 89 townships, 25 towns, and 1,283 villages. Seni District is the seat of government of Nagqu.


Nagqu appeared clearly in the earliest historical materials, it was part of the ancient Zhangzhung and it was called Yangtong (羊同) in Chinese historical records. In Tibetan historical records, the place was called "Zhuodai"(卓岱), meaning "nomadic tribe", and the inhabitants here were called "Zhuoba"(卓巴), meaning "nomads"; or "Qiangba"(羌巴), meaning "northerner"; or "Changri", it means the northern tribe. In the era of the ascendancy of Zhangzhung, as its inhabitants divided their territory into the inner, outer and middle three parts. The modern Nagqu roughly is the territories of middle Zhangzhung and outer Zhangzhung. The dzong architecture of Dangnuoqiong was the center of middle Zhangzhung, it was located round the lake of Tangra Yumco in the southwest of Nagqu. As the Zhangzhung Regime was weakened, its territory shrank to the west.

More about Nagqu History


Nagqu Dagring Airport (Chinese: 那曲达仁机场) is a planned airport that will serve in Nagqu of Tibet. At present, the train and long-distance bus are the main methods to get to Nagqu. Due to the construction of Qinghai-Tibet Railway. Lhasa can be reached by train from gateway cities-BeijingXianShanghaiGuangzhouChengdu, Chongqing, etc. Some trains connecting Lhasa and the above gateway cities will stop in Nagqu Railway Station, so you can easily get to Nagqu by train from Lhasa or these major cities from China.

Things to Do in Nagqu

Nagqu, a place with long history, is always a heaven for many people all over the world. Nagqu is also a perfect destination for people who want to seek for antiquity, explore the fascinating natural sceneries. When you come to Nagqu, the top attractions in Nagqu are must-visit.

Matters need attention

  • Take care of your luggage and important things, such as passport and visa.
  • Check out the weather report before your travel. Do not go sightseeing in bad weather.
  • Respect and follow local custom and avoid conflicts.


In 2017, the total production value of Nagqu City was 11.982 billion yuan, and the investment in fixed assets was 18.549 billion yuan. The per capita disposable income of urban and rural residents reached 31,252 yuan and 9,782 yuan respectively. The total retail sales of social consumer goods was 2.127 billion yuan, and the tax revenue exceeded 1 billion yuan.

Natural Resources

Water Resources

Nagqu is extremely rich in water resources, with a total surface water resources of about 54 billion cubic meters, groundwater resources of about 25.1 billion cubic meters and a further 8.8 billion cubic meters in glacial ice storage. The region contains 81% of Tibet's lakes, covering a total area of over 30,000 square kilometers (12,000 sq mi). There are 11 lakes with an area of over 100 square kilometers (39 sq mi) and 121 lakes with an area of more than 5 square kilometers (1.9 sq mi). Purugangri Glacier is located about 560 kilometers (350 mi) from Nagqu town within Qiangtang Nature Reserve, at 6,000 to 6,800 meters above sea level. Covering an area of 423 square kilometers(163 sq mi), it has been confirmed to be the world's third largest.

Mineral Resources

The mineral reserves of iron, chromium, gold, antimony, lead and zinc, copper, boron, lithium, rock salt and gypsum in Nagqu are large, and the resource advantages are obvious. Petroleum, natural gas, oil shale and other potential resources are abundant. By the end of 2009, 55 minerals were discovered in Nagqu, and 338 mineral deposits, ore deposits were discovered. There are 9 kinds of minerals with resource reserves, including 1 kind of energy minerals, 5 kinds of metal minerals, 3 kinds of non-metallic minerals.

Plant Resources

The wild plants in Nagqu are mainly Chinese caterpillar fungus, Fritillaria, Snow Lotus, and a small number of shrubs. The annual output of Chinese caterpillar fungus is 2000kg, and the output of Fritillaria is 500 kg.

Animal Resources

There are mainly wild goats, blue sheep, river deer, lynx, kiang, black bear, fox, wolf, etc. in Nagqu. Birds mainly include Tibetan Rosefinch, brown-backed crow, pheasant, bald eagle, etc. In addition, wild duck, swan, black-necked crane, and red-crowned crane come here in summer. In order to better protect wildlife resources and protect the ecological environment, seven wild animal sanctuaries have been demarcated in Seni District.

Climate Resources

Nagqu is rich in energy, especially water power, geothermy and solar energy. The installed capacity of Chalong Power Station is 10,800kW, and the installed capacity of geothermal power station is 4,000 kW.