The Gyantse County government is situated at Gyantse Town on the northern bank of the mid-Nyang Qu River. The town is at 4040 meters above sea level. Gyantse was the third largest city in Tibet before being overtaken by Chomdo It is often referred to as the "Hero City" because during the British Younghusband expedition of 1904, the 500 soldiers of the Gyantse fort held the fort for several days before they were overcome by the British forces. Gyantse has a long history. Long before Shigatse flourished, Gyantse had been the political, economic and cultural centre of Rear tibet.
Gyantse is notable for its magnificent tiered Kumbum of the Palcho Monastery. The Kumbum was commissioned by a Gyantse prince in 1427 and was an important centre of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism. This religious structure contains 77 chapels in its six floors, and is illustrated with over 10,000 murals, many showing a strong Nepali influence which have survived pretty well intact. They are the last of this type in Tibet. Many of the restored clay statues are of less artistry than the destroyed originals-but they are still spectacular.
For tourists, the attractions of Gyantse include the famous battle site where Tibetans fought the British invading troops in 1904, the Palcho Monastery, the old Pharla Manor, the pasture view at the Nyang Qu River and the famous Gyantse carpet. The carpets here have bright colours with complicated patterns and have been sold overseas. Tourists either from home or abroad travel long distance buy or book carpets from Gyantse.