Gyala Peri

Gyala Peri | Gyalha Bairi Feng (加拉白垒, Jiālābáilěi)

Yarlung River in Zhongba County

Located north of the bend of the Yarlung Tsangpo River of southeastern Tibet, China, Gyala Peri is the highest peak of the Nyenchen Tanglha Shan subrange of the Transhimalaya range, although it is also included in Namcha Barwa Himal of the Himalayas. The mountain’s nearby Yarlung Tsangpo River flows into India’s Brahmaputra. Also south of the mountain is the world’s deepest canyon, Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon, aka Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon.

The closest neighboring peak to Gyala Peri is Namjagbarwa Peak, also to the south-southwest of Gyala Peri. According to legend, Gyala Peri and Namjagbarwa were brothers sent from heaven to guard southeast Tibet. Namjagbarwa grew jealous of his taller and smarter brother, so Namjagbarwa decapitated Gyala Peri. This explains the mountain’s rounded top, however the top is usually obscured by fog, and it is believed that it is hidden because Gyala Peri is ashamed of his peak. Local lore suggests that visitors who can catch a glimpse of Gyala Peri’s peak will have good luck. The end of story goes that God punished Namjagbarwa by placing the Yarlung Tsangpo River under Namjagbarwa’s care and having him stay with Gyala Peri forever.

Country: China

State/Province: Tibet

Mountain Range: Namcha Barwa Himal, Assam Himalaya

Parents: Nyenchen Tanglha Shan

Elevation: 23,930 feet / 7,294 meters

Prominence9,652 feet / 2,942 meters

First Ascent: October 31, 1986 by Y. Hashimoto, H. Imamura, and Y. Ogata, via the South Ridge.

Fun Fact: Gyala Peri is the 84th highest peak in the world.

Plant Life:  The river valley of Gyala Peri and Namjagbarwa is rich with evergreens.

Animal Life: The river valley and Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon area is home to many rare animals, including the clouded leopard, golden cat and golden jackal, Bhutan takin, large Indian civet, and Himalayan serow.

Bird Life: Birds common to the area include the Himalayan monal and red goral.

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