Historically, Tingri was an important trading town for the local people, who would trade Tibetan wool, salt, and livestock for grain, rice, and iron from the Nepali Sherpas. To the north lies the upland basin known as the Tingri Plain, which was one of the best pasturelands in the area, at more than 4,500 meters above sea level. Fed by shallow, fast flowing snowmelt rivers that make it a lush grassland, it is ideal for grazing animals, and has long been the home to many nomadic herders. Once covered in gazelles, blue sheep, and antelopes, the plains were a major source of meat in the past, though many of the animals were hunted almost to extinction.