Rutog County () is a county in Ngari Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. The county seat is Rutog, located some or 700 miles west- northwest of the Tibetan capital, Lhasa. Rutog County shares a border with India. The county has a rich history of folk tales, myths, legends, proverbs and folk songs and has many caves, rock paintings and other relics. The Xinjiang-Tibet Highway runs through the Rutog County for . The county, established in March 1961 covers but has a very low population density with a population of just over 10,000.


'Rutog' is Tibetan for 'at the foot of the mountain shaped like a firearm rack' ().


Rutog was part of the Maryul kingdom in medieval Tibet. Although when the county was established in 1961, it was part of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, in 1978 it became a part of the Tibet Autonomous Region, under the jurisdiction of the Ngari Prefecture. In October 1983, the county seat was moved from Rutog to Derukunzi (). At around 11 AM on July 17, 2016, nine people, 350 sheep and 110 yaks were buried in an avalanche about from Rutog Town (at ). The avalanche fell on a grazing area and the snow was as much as deep. The local government dispatched rescuers and equipment to the site of the avalanche. The avalanche was described by NASA as one of the largest avalanches in history. On September 21, 2016, another similarly large avalanche occurred just to the south.

Geography and climate

Rutog County is located in northwestern Tibet, Ngari northwest with a number of territorial borders. It is divided into 12 townships and 30 village committees. The Karakoram Mountains go through the county. The average altitude of with a maximum altitude of . Lakes in Rutog County include Bangda Lake, Guozha Lake, Longmu Lake, Lumajangdong Co, Wo Erba Lake and Pangong Tso. Overall Rutog County has a rough subarctic climate with long, very cold, sometimes snowy winters and short, cool, humid summers (''Dfc'') owing its extreme altitude. To the north, Rutog County shares borders with Hotan County (Hetian), Qira County (Cele) and Keriya County (Yutian) in Hotan Prefecture (Hetian), Xinjiang. To the east, the county borders Gêrzê County.

Administrative divisions

The only town is Rutog Town (Ritu; , ) Townships * Tungru Township (Dongru; , ), Domar Township (Duoma; , ), Risong Township (Risum; , ), Rabang Township (Rebang; , ).


, the residents of the county were Tibetan.


Rutog County's economy is based around farming and animal husbandry. Aside from wool, butter, hides, cattle cashmere, etc. are produced. In Rutog County, the main growing crop is barley and yaks, sheep, goats, horses and other livestock are important to the economy. Rutog County has many wild animals and plants, including the black-necked crane, goose, wild yak, Tibetan antelope, Mongolian gazelle, black sheep, kiang, and bear. A number of rare animals are protected by the government and are of high value. Known mineral resources are gold, lead, chromite, borax, and salt. In the five years from 2006–2011, Rutog County produced 72 tons of cashmere wool worth 16 million yuan ($2.5 million USD in 2011). China produces 75% of the world's cashmere wool. In 1984, the average per capita income of Rutog County residents was 478 yuan.


The China National Highway 219 passes through Rutog County.

Historical maps

Historical maps including Rutog: File:China West 1906-08 Sven Hedin.jpg|Map of the expeditions of Sven Hedin (1906-8) including Rutog (labeled as Rudok) (RGS, early 20th century) File:Txu-oclc-6654394-ni-44-3rd-ed.jpg|Map including Rutog (labeled as Rudok) (AMS, 1950) File:Operational Navigation Chart G-7, 6th edition.jpg|Map including the Rutog County area (DMA, 1980) File:Txu-pclmaps-oclc-22834566 g-7d.jpg|Map including Rutog (Jih-t'u) (DMA, 1995)

See also

* Aksai Chin * 2020 China–India skirmishes



External links

"China Tibet Information Centre" {{Ngari Prefecture Category:Counties of Tibet Category:Ngari Prefecture