Amdo is a northeastern Tibetan region that spans the modern Chinese provinces of Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan. It is called together with Kham as one of the three former provinces of Tibet, but has never been an administrative unit. Until the 19th century, the term does not appear individually, but in combination with Kham as Dokham ( mdo khams ) and called Eastern Tibet.


Geographically, Amdo Kham raises roughly outlined by the catchment area of ​​the upper reaches of the Yellow River from - with wide, used by nomads highland steppes in the west and southwest and arable valleys to the east and northeast. In rural areas Amdos the Yellow River has created great canyon scenery, the multiple for large hydropower projects ( Longyang Xia, Liujia Xia, Lijia Xia ) were used and the power that has become one of the main export products of Qinghai Province.

To designate as Amdo province is in the sense of a cultural province properly, the Tibetan cultural area Amdos also one of the most significant and most diversified in the highlands of Tibet.


The inhabitants call themselves accordingly Amdos not Böpa ( bod pa ) as the Tibetan term for Tibetans is, but Amdowa (a mdo pa). These regional designation of the population still extends only to Tibetan dialects speaking groups that make up except in the main valley between Xining and Lanzhou in Gansu ( the valley of the Huang Shui, Tsong Chu ) and neighboring regions as well as in and around some other major cities, the majority. Other non - Han Chinese ethnic groups - in addition to the many Hui Muslims - Mongols, Monguor ( tuzu ), salt lakes, Bonan ( Baoan ), Dongxiang, inter alia, (see Qinghai and Gansu ) Accordingly, most administrative units under the provincial level are labeled " Tibetan" in their name: Tibetan / r autonomous district / Prefecture ( TAP), Golog TAP, TAP Huangnan, Hainan TAP, etc.


Famous monasteries of the region are, inter alia,

  • Kumbum Champa Ling (Chinese: Tar Si) in Qinghai,
  • Labrang Tashi khyil in southern Gansu,
  • Qutan Si ( Gotamde ) Youning Si ( Rgolong ) Rongwo Gönchen ( Wulong Si) and
  • Rakya produced Gompa in Qinghai,
  • Dzamthang Chode Chenpo, the main monastery of the Order in Jonang Dzamthang and the Buddhist monastery Academy of Jigme Püntsog, Larung Gar, in Sertha (both in Sichuan ).

Historically significant, even very small monasteries may be as Shadzong Ritrö in which the subsequent great Tibetan Buddhist reformer Tsongkhapa was ordained as a three year old from 4th Karmapa, and Shyachung Gompa ( Jachung Monastery, bya khyung ), begun in this his monastic education has.

Tibetan culture in Amdo

In addition to the strong monastic culture folk customs and cultural assets have been revived or get in Amdo in large numbers, that are not so often seen in central Tibet. In particular, the Lhatos, stone circles, which are set up as a sacrifice to the gods, with their lush prayer flags jewelery and oversized wooden arrows that are dedicated to the Mountain Gods, can be regarded as a characteristic of Amdo.