Tibet - download topographic map set
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Tibet is an area in Central Asia, which is located on the Tibetan Plateau. The elevated plains of Tibet are bounded by the Himalaya Range in the south and the Kung Lung ridge in the north. Traditionally, the territory of Tibet is divided into the provinces of U-Tsang, Kham and Amdo. The total area of Tibet is 1.2 mln sq km, while the average height is 4,000 m above the sea level.
Lhasa (Lasa) is the historic capital of Tibet, which is also the traditional residence of Dalai Lama. The city is situated at an altitude of 3,650 m, and its population is about 200,000 people. Lhasa is translated from the Tibetan as “the place of gods”.
Relief. Geographically Tibet can be divided into three main regions: the east, the north and the south. The eastern part is a woody area which covers approximately a quarter of the whole territory. The northern part covers about half of the Tibet region and consists of open plains where nomads graze yaks and sheep. The southern and central parts of the region are agricultural areas.
Cities and towns.
- Lhasa is the historical capital of Tibet. The important sights of the city include Jokhang Temple, Potala Palace, Norbulingka Palace, Chjaibung Temple, Drepung Monastery, Seta Monastery and Ganden Monastery;
- Shigatse is the second largest city in the Tibet Autonomous Region and it is the home to Tashilunpo Monastery and Shalu Monastery;
- Chandu is an important communication centre in Eastern Tibet and the main passage from the Sichuan province to the Tibet Autonomous Region;
- Shitsjuanhe is one of the main communications, cultural and trade centres in Western Tibet;
- The historic town of Tsjantse;
- The town of Siaosima;
- The village of Chjanmu.
Rivers. The vast land is also the cradle of several great rivers such as the Yarlung Zangbo (the Brahmaputra), Ma[chu] (the Yellow River), the Dru[chu] (the Yangtze), the Senge Khabab (the Indus), the Phung [chu] (the Indian Arun), Nu Jiang (the Burmese Salween) and the Za[chu] (the Mekong).
Lakes. The largest lakes in Tibet include: Tsongonpo, Namtso, Yamdrok Yu[tso], Mipham[tso] (Lake Manasarova).
Sightseeing. Tibet has a wealth of sights:
- The holy lake of Jamdrok Tso (Turquoise Lake), situated at an altitude of 4,408 m, is marvellously beautiful. It is hook-shaped and has nine islands. In ancient times, it was the home for yogis, who sought to live in seclusion, away from worldly vanity;
- Palkhor Chode and Kumbum Monastery has stupas with a hundred thousand of Buddha statues and is one of the greatest monuments of Tibetan art;
- Tashilumpho Monastery is the home to the biggest bronze statue – a 26-metre gilded image of the Maitreya Buddha;
- Sakya Monastery is one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism;
- Lhababri is a mountain, onto the top of which the first king descended from heaven;
- Jumbulagang is the castle of the earliest king dynasty;
- Chongne is the site of secret tombs of ancient kings in the Jarlunga;
- Trandruk is the first Buddhist temple in Tibet;
- The Everest base camp at an altitude of 5,200 m;
- A 1,080-metre railway to Lhasa, which was open for passenger transportation in 2006.
Climate. Typical night and daytime July temperatures in the Tibet region are +9°C and +23°C, while the January average temperature is -4°C. Bounded from all sides by extremely high mountain ranges, Tibet has an insufficient amount of precipitation, so the air in the region is very dry. The biggest annual rainfall is registered in the eastern part of the region and is 400-500 mm, while in some northern areas the rainfall is not more than 10 mm.