Muli Tibetan Autonomous County is in the Liangshan Cool Mountains prefecture of Sichuan province in China. It is a remote, mountainous and forested region with few roads. The highest peaks are nearly 6000 metres in height. The trio of the sacred Konkaling mountains - Shenrezig, Jambeyang and Chanadorje in Yading Natural Park - lie to the west in Daocheng County, barely accessible by rough jeep track from Chabulang in northern Muli County.
Until 1950 Muli was a semi-independent theocratic kingdom, ruled by a series of hereditary lama kings based at the trio of Yellow (Gelugpa) sect Buddhist monasteries at old Muli, Kulu and Waerdje. These lamaseries were overthrown by the new Communist rulers of China in the 1950s and destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. The monastery at old Muli, 120 km north of the county seat, once housed more than 700 monks. It was originally built in early Qing Dynasty, took 12 years to build and was completed in the 17th year of the reign of Qing Emperor Shunzhi, around 1600. It was modelled on important lamaseries in Tibet and is said to have contained an impressive golden statue of Gyiwa Qamba Buddha over 10 metres high.