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Home Travel in Qinghai Bayan Har Mountains
Bayan Har Mountains
Travel in Qinghai

 Bayan Har Mountains

The Bayan Har Mountains (bā yán kā lā shān mài 巴颜喀拉山脉) are situated on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau in remote Qinghai Province (qīng hǎi shěng 青海省). Reaching altitudes of 5,700 meters, these pristine glacial peaks form the source of China’s mighty Yellow River (huáng hé黄河), known as the “Cradle of Chinese Civilization”. As a name with Mongolian roots, Bayankala means “Mountain of Abundance”. To us, it represents a journey to the source of purity and the epicenter of Chinese curative wisdom.


Bayankala MountainsThe Bayan Har mountains, situated in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, also named Bayankala Mountains are a mountain range in Golog (or Guoluo) Tibetan autonomous prefecture (guǒ luò zàng zú zì zhì zhōu 果洛藏族自治州), Qinghai Province, China. This mountain divides the drainage areas of the upper stream of Yellow river and Yangtze River (cháng jiāng 长江). the Yellow River sources from the yuguzonglie (yuē gǔ zōng liè 约古宗列) basin which is at the foot of northern slope of the Bayankala Mountain range. The highest peak reaches 5267 m above sea level. The picture below shows that the northern side of the Bayankala Mountains. Rivers flow into two lakes which are not far away from the source of the river, these two main lakes are, the NgoringHu (è líng hú 鄂陵湖) and Gyaring Lake (zhā líng hú 扎陵湖), separated to each other about 20 kilometers.


In Chinese history, Princess Wencheng (wén chéng gōng zhù 文成公主) went into Tibet and passed through the Bayan Har mountains. The story can be traced more than 1000 years ago, the Princess Wencheng strongly moved by the dragon of Tongtian River (tōng tiān hé 通天河) which is sourced from Bayankala Mountain. One day, Princess Wencheng and King Songtsen Ganpo (sōng zàn gàn bù 松赞干布)  met at the lakeside of Gyaring and walked along the way over the grandeur Bayankala Mountains, they smoothly crossed the Tongtian river and went to frontier of Yushu (yù shù 玉树), which is another Tibetan inhabited prefecture in Qinghai Province and close to Golog. Princess Wencheng thought that it was must be help of supernatural of Tibetan Gods, from then on, she grew her believing in Tibetan Buddhism.

Princess WenchengShe personally carved many statues of Buddha and many pagodas here. It is said that the next day, the princess and Songtsen met at the lakeside of Gyaring and following the way over the grandeur Bayankala Mountain, crossed the torrent Tongtian River and came to the Cai groove in Yushu. Princess Wencheng happy for their people and his party through the natural barrier Bayankala Mountain and dangerous Tongtian river, she thought it was the result of supernatural help, the princess grew believing in Buddhism, in order to express the pious for gods, personally led the craftsmen carved many statues of Buddha and many dozens of pagodas on the lake side to thank the gods. Then Princess Wencheng climbed on the Peak and the mountain god welcome her with, the mountain god cut down Birch and cypress, weaving them to at rainbow door.

Every Mountain in Tibet has a god or goddess. Tibetan People believe that they will be protected by these gods or goddesses. Bayankala Mountain is one of them.


The Bayan Har Mountains belong to continental climate with thin air. The chill weather there possess eight or nine months in a year. And there snows continuously. The lowest temperature in winter reaches up to - 35degrees Celsius and many 5000m around the mountains, not to melt the snow and not year-round permafrost. The warm season is relatively short, generally only three months’ time. The Bayan Har Mountains have low temperatures, even in summer season. The highest temperature is only 10 degrees Celsius.

Location: In south-central part of Qinghai Province
Tel: 0971-6122987
Opening Hours: The whole day
Admission Fee: Free
Recommended Golden Season: May to October
Travel Tips: There is only a management office which is built with a brick gate and tent in Nyenbo Yurtse, the mountain peak of Bayan Har Mountains. Generally there does not provide visitors with accommodation. If you plan to spend the night on the hill, the tent, sleeping bag and moisture-proof pad is a must.

Nyenbo Yurtse

Nyenbo Yurtse (nián bǎo yù zé shān 年保玉则山),  main Peak of Bayan Har Mountains, iis a holy mountain in Golog Plain, Qinghai. Its main peak is at an elevation of 5369 meters above sea level. Nothing is better than the changeable weather can show the mystery of Nyenbo Yurtse. This mountain sees very few foreign travelers, but is possibly the most beautiful place in all of the northern Tibetan Plateau. A deep fresh water lake sits at the base of the mountain. Several rivers run into the lake. The area around Nyenbo Yurtse is excellent for hiking.

Nyenbo Yurtse Nyenbo Yurtse is a holy mountain in Golog Plain, Qinghai. Its main peak is at an elevation of 5369 meters above sea level. Nothing is better than the changeable weather can show the mystery of Nyenbo Yurtse. You may also appreciate the change of the four seasons in July and August. In the starry dawn, the heavy snow falling in succession and the pressing algidity make a prospect of deep winter. While the red sun is rising gradually from the east, the whole mountain is filled with heavy fog. Soon the full earth is showered under the golden sunshine and the sky is a limpid blue, as if swept clean of everything. In the morning, the thick cloud spreads over the mountain densely and it begins to rain pouringly. At noon, the dispersed clouds, lifted fog, and the scorching sun bring us to the hot summer at its height. In the afternoon, the sun falls to the west and the plain restores its former serenity completely. Nyenbo Yurtse uncovers its mysterious veil and stands there slimly and gracefully. Its kind and sweet countenance reemerges before us. Nyenbo Yurtse, the holy mountain, is well known for its folded mountain chain, silvery snowy mountain range, thunder in the severe winter, and snow in the midsummer, ringing stone in the wind, bright moon and brilliant stars.

Location: In the southwest of Maduo Country, Qinghai Province
Tel: 0971-6122987
Opening Hours: The whole day
Admission Fee: Free

Attractions Nearby

Princess Wencheng Temple

Princess Wencheng TemplePrincess Wencheng was a niece of the powerful Emperor Taizong of China's Tang Dynasty, who left China in 640, according to records, arriving the next year in Tibet to marry the thirty-seven year old Songtsän Gampo (605?–650 CE) the thirty-third king of the Yarlung Dynasty of Tibet, in a marriage of state as part of a peace treaty along with large quantities of gold. She is popularly known in Tibet as Gyasa, or 'Chinese wife'. The princess is portrayed as a Buddhist and, along with Songtsän Gampo's Nepalese wife, Bhrikuti Devi, is said to have introduced Buddhism to Tibet. The details regarding Wencheng are scarce and there is uncertainty amongst historians as to whether she truly existed.

Location: Princess Wencheng Temple is found 20km south of Yushu.
Tel: 0976-8822521
Transportation: Pick up a car in Yushu and drive to Princess Wencheng Temple
Opening Hours: The whole day
Admission Fee: CNY15

Tongtian River

Tongtian RiverKnown as Yak River (máo niú hé 牦牛河) in ancient times, Tongtian River is a big river which run across Qinghai region. It is famous for a myth novel which is called the Journey to the West (xī yóu jì 西游记) written by Wu Cheng'en (wú chéng ēn 吴承恩), a novelist in Ming Dynasty. There is a huge rock which is called Shaijingshi (shài jīng shí 晒经石) on the south bank of Tongtian River Bridge (tōng tiān hé dà qiáo 通天河大桥). Rumor has it as that Tangseng (tang sēng 唐僧, an eminent Chinese monk in history) was sent to India to obtain Buddhist scriptures with his disciples. They forgot to live up to the expectations of the old tortoise that lives in Tongtian River. As a result, they are turned over into the water when the old tortoise carried them across the river. Tangseng had to unfold all the Buddhist scriptures on the Shaijingshi to let them dry in the sun. There is still writing in that rock despite this story originated from a myth.

Location: In the center of Qinghai-Xizang Plateau
Transportation: Take the coach or jeep in Skye dgu mdo
Recommended Golden Season: Summer
Admission Fee: Free

Source of Three Rivers

Source of Three RiversThe Source of Three Rivers (sān jiāng yuán 三江源) is situated in Qinghai Province (qīng hǎi shěng 青海省) which is located in the northeast of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (qīng zàng gāo yuán 青藏高原), with an average altitude of 4,000 meters. It covers the headstreams of China's three most known rivers: Yangtse River (cháng jiāng 长江), Yellow River (huáng hé 黄河) and Lancang River (lán cāng jiāng 澜沧江), hence the name. There are 16 countries and one town in this area, with a gross area of 36.3 square kilometers, which account for 50.4% of the whole province area. Sanjiangyuan Nature Reserve (sān jiāng yuán zì rán bǎo hù qū 三江源自然保护区) was established in May, 2000. The State Council of China formally approved it as a national nature reserve in January of 2003.

Location: In the south of Qinghai Province
Tel: 0971-8250294
Opening Hours: The whole day
Admission Fee: CNY80 for Sanjiangyuan Nature Reserve