Selection of place names lists of KNAB

EKI KNAB, 2018-06-03

Tibet Autonomous Region (China)

Geographical names

The list contains names of 8542 geographical features covering the Tibet Autonomous Region, China, produced from the Place Names Database (KNAB) of the Institute of the Estonian Language.

Main list
Includes references from Tibetan (pinyin) variant names. NB! 5.9 MB.

Name lists grouped by counties (under each prefecture):
Lhasa | Lhoka/Shannan | Nagqu | Ngari | Nyingchi | Qamdo | Xigazê

Chinese names | Russian names | Other names | Sources



The list has been compiled based on several public sources, mainly a listing dated approximately 2010 (CN_54_2010n, for abbreviations see the list of sources) and a map of 1981 (CN_54_1981k). The origin and status of the 2010 listing is unknown, it seems to be a retyping and subsequent combining of administrative names in Tibetan and Chinese. Six counties (Amdo, Bangoin, Baqên, Biru, Lhari, Sog of Nagqu prefecture) and two townships (Tongmoin township of Xaitongmoin county, Gêla township of Zhongba county) were missing in the 2010 listing. Besides, data that originate only from the 2010 listing should be used with some caution as there are some obvious typing errors in it.

In China names of administrative units often represent in maps the centres of the units, suppressing the centre names if these are different. With the transfer of a centre the name of the administrative unit also ’moves’. In the present KNAB list names of counties (ADM3) have been kept apart from the names of their respective centres but on the township level (ADM4) the names of units and their centres have been combined into one record, adding a note on different names where appropriate. Names of administrative (official) villages (村 cun) might also appear in maps in locations that are known under different names. Due to the lack of data not all of these cases are properly reflected in the list. Another complication is the layer of commune (公社 gongshe) names which is present in the 1981 map (often with another name in brackets) but not always visible in modern maps.

Spelling of geographical names

Tibetan names have been romanized according to the official scheme, the so-called Tibetan pinyin. The romanization is based on actual pronunciation and is not always predictable if only written form is known. Tibetan romanized names may be considered as verified if the following sources are mentioned: BGN, CN_54_1995s. In all other cases Tibetan names are romanized directly from the Tibetan script by default rules. Additionally Tibetan names are given in an alternative transcription which might be called simplified Wylie.

Note should be taken of the fact that in China, names are officially romanized always based on the spelling in Chinese characters. If the name is considered fully Chinese, this name is used officially, e.g. Shannan (Tibetan Lhoka), Yadong (Tibetan Chomo). Parts of the name that might be considered as Chinese rendering of the Tibetan original name are romanized from Tibetan script. This results in a linguistic mix of Tibetan and Chinese spellings, e.g. if the generic terms are Chinese, like 县 xian ‘county’, then only the specific parts are romanized from Tibetan, e.g. 索县 Suo Xian is rendered as Sog Xian (cf. Tibetan སོག་རྫོང → Sog Zong). If the name in Chinese is partly translated, like 下长所 Xiachangsuo (下 xia ‘lower’) then the translated part is preserved in romanization: Xia Chamco (cf. in Tibetan, གྲམ་མཚོ་སྨད → Chamcomai). In Chinese, Tibetan names are rendered variously, sometimes transcribing the whole name including generic terms (窝尔巴错 Wo’erbacuo → Orba Co, cf. Tib. འོར་པ་མཚོ), sometimes adding Chinese generic terms (珠穆朗玛峰 Zhumulangma Feng → Qomolangma Feng, cf. Tib. ཇོ་མོ་གླང་མ → Qomolangma), even duplicating Tibetan terms (雅鲁藏布江 Yaluzangbu Jiang → Yarlung Zangbo Jiang, cf. Tib. ཡར་ཀླུང་གཙང་པོ → Yarlung Zangbo, where zangbo means ‘river’).

Interpretation of entries

Name. Spelled in romanization and in the original-script form if that has been available. Romanization tables are published separately. # marks features that are considered obsolete. Glossary of words frequent in Tibetan geographical names:
caka (ཚྭ་ཁ) – salt lake
cam (མཚམས) – border, line, corner
cang (ཚང) – household, home
cêr (འཚེར) – house
chag (pag), zhag (བྲག) – cliff, rock
chong (གྲོང) – house, village, town
chongco (གྲོང་ཚོ) – village
chongkyêr (གྲོང་ཁྱེར) – city
co (མཚོ) – lake
da (མདའ) – lower part of valley
dêng (སྟེང) – on, upon
do (མདོ) – lower part of valley; crossing
do (རྡོ) – stone
doi (སྟོད) – upper
dong (གདོང) – face, in front of
dün (བདུན) – seven
gang (སྒང) – high place, top, mountain (range)
gar (དཀར) – white
gar (སྒར) – camp, encampment
go (སྒོ) – gate, door
goinba (དགོན་པ) – monastery
günsa (དགུན་ས) – winter residence
gyi (སྐྱིད) – happy
gyi (དཀྱིལ) – centre, central
jag (ལྕགས) – iron, metal
kanbab (ཁ་འབབ) – snowfall, river
kang (ཁང) – house, building
kangri (གངས་རི) – (snow) mountain
kar (མཁར) – fort
kongma (གོང་མ) – higher
kug (ཁུག) – corner, mouth
kü (ཁུལ) – district
kyagrom (འཁྱག་རོམ, འཁྱགས་རོམ) – glacier
la (ལ) – pass
lam (ལམ) – path, road, way
lhai (ལྷས) – (enclosure), pasture
lhakang (ལྷ་ཁང) – temple
lho (ལྷོ) – south
ling (གླིང) – island; large monastery
mai (སྨད) – lower
mar (དམར) – red
nag (ནག) – black
nai (གནས) – place, land, location, dwellings
nam (གནམ) – heaven, sky
ngo (སྔོ), ngoin, ngoinbo (སྔོན་པོ) – blue
nub (ནུབ) – west
nyi (གཉིས) – two
nyiba (གཉིས་པ) – second
nying (རྙིང) – old
ogma (འོག་མ) – lower; base
par, bar (བར) – between, middle
pozhang (ཕོ་བྲང) – castle, palace
pu (ཕུ) – upper part of valley
qang, jang (བྱང) – north
qên (ཆེན) – big
qoidên (མཆོད་རྟེན) – stupa, pagoda
qu (ཆུ) – river, water
qucain (ཆུ་ཚན) – hot spring
qumig (ཆུ་མིག) – spring, fountain
qung (ཆུང) – small
ra (རྭ) – horn, peak of a mountain
ri (རི) – mountain
ri’gyü (རི་རྒྱུད) – range, chain of hills
rong (རོང) – narrow pass, canyon
sar (གསར) – new
sênggê (སེང་གེ) – lion
sêr (གསེར) – gold
sib (སྲིབ) – dark, dim
sum (གསུམ) – three
tang (ཐང) – plain
tangbo (དང་པོ) – first
tê, tiu (དེའུ) – hill, mound
ti (མཐིལ) – middle, centre
to (མཐོ) – high, tall
tog (ཐོག) – upper
wü (དབུས) – centre, midst
xang (ཤང) – township (Ch. 乡 xiang)
xar (ཤར) – east
xi (བཞི) – four
xing (ཞིང) – land, province
xoi (ཤོད) – lower part, bottom
xoi (ཞོལ) – lower
xung (གཞུང) – course (of a river)
yarsa (དབྱར་ས) – summer residence
yü (ཡུལ) – country, region
yumco (གཡུ་མཚོ) – turquoise lake
zangbo (གཙང་པོ) – large river
zê (རྩེ) – top
zhaxi (བཀྲ་ཤིས) – auspicious, fortunate, successful, lucky
zhog (འབྲོག) – highland pasture, nomad camps
zong (རྫོང) – county

Language and other labels (in italics after the name). ISO 639 codes have been used, incl.:

Additional symbols have been used to denote status, style, etc. (the symbol is followed by standard label used in the online database):
₠ – ABBR (abbreviation)
✛ – ADD (additional name in a source, might denote a different place)
∀ – ALT TR (alternative transcription)
⎔ – AS ADM UNIT (name used for the feature as administrative unit, not e.g. populated place)
‼ – CONF (confusing; wrongly located name)
☜ – ERR (erroneous name form, probably with a typing mistake, etc.)
∞ – HIST (historical name)
ℒ – LOC TR (local transcription)
‡ – OBS (obsolete name form)
§ – OFF (official name)
≡ – PAR (parallel name)
∈ – PARTLY (the name applies only to part of the feature)
¿ – QUEST (questionable; not sure if the name denotes the same feature)
⋈ – RARE (rare name)
∷ – SUPP (supposed name form, not verified)
≈ – UNCLEAR (name not clearly legible in a source)
✹ – UNOFF (unofficial name)

Source (in square brackets). Source abbreviation used in KNAB (see the list) and page number (after a colon) if appropriate. Additional symbols that are sometimes used after source abbreviations: # (the name form is secondary, not first in the source), ~ (the spelling in KNAB has been slightly modified, esp. regarding capitalization or hyphenation), ^ (the spelling has been based on name form in the source).

Type of the feature. KNAB codes apply with some extensions to cover specific types:
@1 – centre of ADM1 unit
@2 – centre of ADM2 unit
@3 – centre of ADM3 unit
a1zz – autonomous region (Chinese 自治州 zizhizhou)
a2 – ADM2 unit (in China: prefecture /地区 diqu/)
a2sh – ADM2 unit, city (in China: prefecture-level city /市 shi/)
a3 – ADM3 unit (in China: county /县 xian/)
a3qu – ADM3 unit (in China: district /区 qu/)
a4 – ADM4 unit (in China: township /乡 xiang/)
a41 – ADM4 unit (in China: town /镇 zhen/)
a4jd – ADM4 unit (in China: city district /街道 jiedao, or 办事处 banshichu/)
c3 – pasture
h2 – lake
h4 – river, stream
h6 – spring
o1 – mountain
o1" – mountains
o11 – mountain range
o14 – plateau
o2 – valley
o21 – pass
o8 – glacier
p0 – populated place
p31 – locality
p34 – abandoned populated place
r3 – natural area
r5 – region
u02 – neighbourhood
x16 – mines
x2 – construction, facility
x21 – religious facility (monastery, temple, etc.)
x22 – architectural monument
x26 – ruins
x32 – bridge

Administrative unit(s) where the feature is situated. Numbers refer to provinces or autonomous regions (53 – Yunnan, 54 – Tibet, 63 – Qinghai, 65 – Xinjiang), followed by ADM2 and ADM3 units

Geographical coordinates. Coordinates have been taken based on Google Maps satellite images. In case of ADM1, ADM2 and ADM3 units, coordinates have been replaced by names of administrative centres (underlined). If coordinates have not been determined, question marks appear instead. Some features have been given only approximate coordinates (as a rule, rounded to full minutes).

Other name variants, notes and comments. Name variants are listed, ordered by languages. Names with the same origin (various spellings of the same name) are usually grouped together.