Home Tibet Travel Guide Tibet Attractions Lhasa River – The Lifeline of the Highest City in the World

Lhasa River – The Lifeline of the Highest City in the World

Lhasa River runs in the south central part of Tibetan region, originating from the Nyainqentanglha Range. Its Tibetan name is “Kyi River”, sharing the meaning of “happy river”. Flowing through Maizhokunggar County, Dazi County and Lhasa City lastly as well as meeting with the Yarlung Tsangpo River at the south suburban of Lhasa eventually, Lhasa River covers 31,760km2, stretching from northeast to southwest for 568km in a “S” shape, famous as one of the 5 largest branches of Yarlung Tsangpo River. It also is one of highest river in the world as the mountains at the both side of Lhasa River keep 3,600m to 5500m higher than the sea level.

Corresponding to its Tibetan meaning, Lhasa River had brought the prosperity to the Lhasa City in the history when the Srongtsen Gampo had moved the Tibetan Capital to the Valley of Lhasa River after he unified the Tibetan tribes. The river had nourished the development of the new Lhasa City with its good resource and climate, which leads Lhasa to grow into the center of Tibetan highland regarding its politic, economy, culture, transportation and religion as well.

Lhasa River witnessed the first Bathing Festival which takes place from 6th to 12th of July in Tibetan calendar in each year and has enjoyed a long history of more than 800 years. According to the legendary, a very famous Tibetan doctor who always cared about and helped people when he was alive, came into a Tibetan women’s dream to try to help curing the people in the highland when he had gone to the paradise but the people of Tibet suffered with a terrible disease again. That woman told the doctor’s words to others that a bath in the Kyi River (Lhasa River) would remove all disease from the patients when there appeared a bright star in the southeast of sky. As expected, the all people jumping into the river were magically cured soon. Everyone thought that the doctor became into that star to help them again. And the star just kept in the sky for seven days which was regarded that the doctor was allowed to have seven days to do the favor by God. From then on, people have kept the custom that take a bath in the Lhasa River and other lakes in the days from 6th to 12th of July would get rid of all disease and even bad things from their bodies.

Lhasa people love this river and like to spend some leisure time at the banks of it. Going for a walk, fishing, bathing, having a picnic meal and enjoying the warm sunshine, people just show their love and joy for this river by all these activities.

Open Time: all days

Entrance Charges: free

Travel Tips:

  1. It would be cold in the night, even of summers, thus travelers who plan camping here need to prepare thick cloth to prevent catching colds.
  2. Travelers should keep the environmenthere clean and neat but not leave any rubbish here when you spend your joyful time here.

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