Shigatse, the second-largest city in Tibet, officially known as Xigazê. It is a prefecture-level city of the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. With an area of 182,000 kilometers and a population of about 50,000 people, it is located within the historical Tsang province of Tibet.
The administrative center of the prefecture-level city is the Samzhubzê District. It is roughly equivalent to the ancient Shigatse urban center. Located about 280 km southwest of Lhasa, It is a home to the massive and magnificent Tashilhunpo Monastery. It withholdsthe traditional seat of the Panchen Lama.
The oxygen content of the air is only 67 percent of that at sea level, while the average annual temperatures are 16 °C (61°F) in mid-summer and −5°C (23°F) in mid-winter. So, pilgrims who are about to visit mount Kailash must need to carry sufficient medications and arrangements in order to feel comfortable under such an extreme circumstances.
Shigatse is considered as one of the most fertile land of the Tibet region. Situating on the plains of river Yarlong, Tsangpo and Nyangchu, Shigatse has a profound importance to the fertile land. Besides the fertile land, it is a home to hundreds of minor nationalities that are found around the fertile rivers including Hui and Man, Tibet and many others. The city has sound population of 98700 majority of which are having Tibetian Nationality. It is considered as a historic city with almost 600 years of incorporating and with its importance as the traditional seat of Panchem Lama which is one of the spiritual leaders in Tibet. The city is also having a great importance with respect to its cultural, political and economic center for Tibetans.
The place has remained as the private state before the era of 1950 only because of the economic condition and lifestyle of its people. With the development of modern means of transportation and facilities, a series of highways have been built which help the city getting connected with the other cities and importance places of the region. Now, it is considered as one of the highest cities with beautiful plateau and picturesque landscapes. With the exploration of unseen and untouch beauty the city is considered as one of the hottest spots for Chinese tourism. Although the climate is not so pleasant with the cold weather and frequent wind and dry atmosphere, the city is however, visited by more than 1 million of tourists and pilgrims throughout the year. The number of tourists has increased in summer because of its dry climate; people tend to enjoy all the facilities of the city.
The magnificent Tashilhunpo Monastery has a beautiful building style with sparkling roof and resplendent buildings. It is considered as one of the major attractions of Shigatse. Dozens of monasteries belonging to different sects enhance the atmosphere of Buddhism. The city is also a special place for grand Buddha festivals like disclosing festival in the monasteries and many others.
Shigatse has a rich and cultural background. If you are interested in exploring Buddhism and its rich culture, then Shigatse should be one of the best places to visit. Apart from its tourist destination, it also has a sound importance while circumambulating Mount Kailash.