Mt. Namcha Barwa

Rising about 7,782 meters (25,531 feet) above sea level, Namcha Barwa is the highest mountain in Nyingchi, Tibet and ranks as the 28th highest peak in the world. It’s also the holy mountain for Bonismo, the oldest form of Tibetan Buddhism. In 2005, it was honored as the most beautiful snow mountain in China by Chinese National Geography.
In Tibetan, Namcha Barwa means 'a flaming thunderbolt', 'a lance piercing into the sky' or 'a rock falling from the sky'. With white snow resting on the mountaintop all year round, the mountain always hides in the clouds, giving it another name 'Shy Lady Peak'.
Mt. Namcha Barwa is located at 95°E and 29.6°N, on the eastern side of the Great Canyon of the Yarlung Tsangpo River. On the western side of the canyon and about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Mt. Namcha Barwa is Mt. Gyala Peri, around 7,294 meters (23,930 feet) above sea level.
Legend has it that Namcha Barwa and Gyala Peri were two brothers sent from heaven to guard southeast Tibet. The younger brother Gyala Peri was diligent, studious and capable. More importantly, he grew taller than his elder brother Namcha Barwa. The elder brother became so jealous that he killed his younger brother and threw his head into Mainling County in Nyingchi. When his crime was discovered later, he was punished to guard the Yarlung Tsangpo River and accompany his younger brother. This legend explains the features of these two mountains. Mt. Gyala Peri looks round on the top because it lost its 'head'. Mt. Namcha Barwa hides himself in the clouds because he feels guilty.
Reputed as the Museum of Natural Vegetation, Namcha Barwa has the most intact vertical vegetation zone in China. Evergreen and semi-evergreen tropical rainforests are scattered in the river valley at a low altitude of 1,100 meters (3,610 feet) on the southern slope. Between 1,100 meters and 4,000 meters (3,610 and 13,123 feet) above the sea level are subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest, temperate coniferous forest and dark coniferous forest. The cold meadow and shrubs are distributed between 4,000 and 4,700 meters (13,123 and 15,420 feet) above sea level. Above the high altitude of 4,700 meters (15,420 feet) is permanent ice and snow.
Because of the high altitude and low precipitation, the vegetation on the northern slope of the mountain is different from that on the southern slope. There are no diversified forests.
Until Oct. 30, 1992, Mt. Namcha Barwa was the highest virgin peak in the world. A Sino-Japanese expedition team started to conquer the mountain on Sept. 11, 1992. Eventually, they reached the summit at 08:30, Oct. 30, 1992.


How to get to Mt. Namcha Barwa from Lhasa

Take a bus from Lhasa Dongjiao Bus Station to Baiyi Town and the bus fare is around CNY 200. After getting there, take a bus to Paizhen Town and then hire a local car to Mt. Namcha Barwa.

Best locations to see the mountain

1. Sejila Mountain Pass located near the China National Highway 318, Lulang – Bayi section
Visitors need to charter a car to reach the highway.
2. Sightseeing terrace in the Great Canyon of the Yarlung Tsangpo River
It can be reached from Paizhen. However, visitors are required to buy the entrance tickets at the price of CNY 150 per person. There are some sightseeing buses. They can take a bus to reach Zhibai Village or Suosong Village, where they can have a close look at the mountain.

When to visit

The best time to visit is between October and April. The rain is absent and the air is dry during this period so that the visibility is good.
Entrance Fee Free, but visitors need to pay CNY 150 for entering the Great Canyon of the Yarlung Tsangpo River.
Sightseeing Bus CNY 90
Opening Hours 8:00 - 20:30

 Top 10 Things to Do in Tibet
- Last updated on Dec. 17, 2018 -
Questions & Answers on Mt. Namcha Barwa
Asked by Jeffrey Evans from USA | Jan. 10, 2018 00:32Reply
Namcha Barwa Sightseeing terrace
Is the sightseeing terrace in the Great Canyon of the Yarlung Tsangpo River closed to foreigners?
Answers (1)
Answered by Reina from GERMANY | Jan. 10, 2018 19:42

It is true. Foreigners are not allowed to enter and visit that area.
Ask a Question
Question Summary (100 characters)
Details (optional) (2,000 characters)