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An Overview of Gar County

Gar (sgar) county is situated in the center of the northern region of Ngari (mnga' ris), at approximately 30.58-33.5 northern latitude  and 79.05-81.12 eastern longitude. Its altitude averages 4,350 meters (i.e. 14,271 feet). To the west is Ladakh (la dwags), which is under the jurisdiction of Kashmir (ka shi rmir), northern India. It shares a border with Rutok (ru thog) county in the northwest; in the northeast it traces the border of Gegyé county (dge rgyas rdzong); in the east it connects with Puhreng (spou hreng) county; to the south, it connects with the lower part of the grasslands. From its northwestern to southeastern edges, the county covers a large distance, while the area from south to north covers a short distance. The sum total extent of the county is little more than 12,115 square kilometers. Although quite high and dry, the line of the Tsangpo (gtsang po) and the Senggé Tsangpo (seng ge gtsang po) rivers run through it, and the area contains more than a few tamarisk tree forests, and even some willows grow there. Its northern and southern borders are encircled by a ring of snow-covered mountains, numbering a little more than two hundred in all, the tallest of which rise more than 6,700 meters (i.e. 21,981 feet) above sea level.

‘Gar’ signifies a military encampment. The end of the 17th century, during the rule of Senggé Namgyel (seng ge rnam rgyal), the king of Ladakh, occasioned the consolidation of political power over the territory traditionally controlled by the Tibetan government under one prefecture as a zone of control. In that land was located the military encampment of the high-ranking martial commander, Ganden Tsewang Pelzangpo (dga’ ldan tshe dbang dpal bzang po). In the end, subsequent to his campaigns there, after striking the tents of his military encampment, he established a center of government. Thus, did its name  - gar (‘encampment’) – arise. The name of the executive command is Garugur (sgar dbu gur) – literally, ‘tent at the center of the encampment’ – or the Töngari Garpön (stod mnga' ris sgar dpon) - literally, 'the military commander of Western Tibet’.  Their winter residence is called the Gargünsa (sgar dgun sa) – literally, ‘the site of the winter encampment’; and the summer residence is called the Garyarsa (sgar dbyar sa) – literally, ‘the site of the summer encampment’. In the Western year 1959, democratic reforms were launched. In 1960, the Gar County People’s Government was established; and while in the year 1969, the county of Gar was brought under the control of the revolutionary commission, in 1979 the Gar County People’s Government was restored. Its center of government was established at the winter residence, Gargünsa, a lush area of both water and grasses. During the summer of 1989, it was relocated to the steppe of Ting Drumtsé (rting grums rtse) near Ngari's central city, Senggé Khabab, [77] and has remained there until the present day.

In the past, its subordinate colonies included the following: Möntser (mon mtsher), a place in modern day Arunachal Pradesh, India. When the Bhutanese (Lhodrükpa, lho 'grug pa) Kagyü (bka' brgyud) administered government before the precious snow mountain (gang rinpoché, gangs rin po che) – Mount Kailash – the temporary residence or dwelling place of the Mön, as it was their nomadic region, it was named accordingly; it is the winter site which is located at Gargünsa, Trashi Gang (bkra shis sgang) which is located adjacent to Trashi Gang Monastery.

(Translated by Dominic Di Zinno)

An Overview of Gar County

Taken from url: http://places.kmaps.virginia.edu/descriptions/100.xml

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Author ཚེ་རིང་རྒྱལ་པོ། (Tsering Gyelpo)
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