Literally the “Northern Plains,” this is a Tibetan way of referring to the vast high plateau extending across northern and western parts of Tibet. Its environment consists of vast hilly plains, large salt lakes, and a steppe-like environment mostly above the tree line. It is renowned for its high-altitude wildlife, while its limited population consists entirely of nomadic groups. Nowadays the region is divided between China and India: the largest part belongs to the Tibet Autonomous Region (China), while a portion of it belongs to Ladakh (Jammu & Kashmir, India). It appears to have supported a pre-Buddhist civilization prior to the rise of the Tibetan empire in the seventh century, and during that time was presumably a more hospitable environment that has changed over the centuries due the gradually rising elevation of the Tibetan plateau.
Feature Type Cultural Region