From its source), and the Nyang Chu (the river of Shigatse and Gyantse), are both also of glacial origin.
From Janglache (13,800 ft.) to Shigatse the river is navigable, the channel being open and wide and the course straight.
From Shigatse, which stands near the mouth of the Nyang Chu, to the Kyi-chu, or Lhasa river, there is no direct route, the river being unnavigable below Shigatse.
At Shigatse it flows in a wide extended bed with many channels, but contracts again at Chushul, where it is no wider than it is at Janglache, i.e.
The northern portion of Tibet is an arid and wind-swept desert; but in the southern portion the valleys of Lhasa, Shigatse, Gyantse and the Brahmaputra are covered with good soil and groves of trees, well irrigated, and richly cultivated.
The Tashi lama or head of the monastery of Tashilhunpo near Shigatse is inferior to the Dalai lama in secular authority, of which, indeed, he has little - much less than formerly - but he is considered by some of his worshippers actually superior to him in religious rank.
The great trade routes are, first, that which, starting from Cheng-tu, the capital of the Chinese province of Szechuen, passes by way of Tachienlu or Dartsedo, Litang, Batang, Chiamdo, Larego, Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse, reaches the Nepalese Routes, &C. frontier at Nielam and goes thence to Katmandu.
In their first journey the travellers set out from Jongri in Sikkim, and traversing the north-east corner of Nepal, crossed into Tibet by the Chatang la, and travelled northwards to Shigatse and Tashilhunpo.
Travelling by way of Khamba jong directly to Gyantse and Shigatse, he turned eastwards at the latter town, finished the survey of the Yamdok t'so, and crossed the Himalaya into the valley of the Lobratsangpo or Upper Manas river.
After a journey of half a year Hedin reached Shigatse; on leaving it he turned north again, intending to explore the large sacred lake Dangra-yumso, west of Ngantse t'so, but when within sight of it he was prevented by Tibetans from approaching it.