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{{about|ethno-cultural Tibet|the administrative region|Tibet Autonomous Region|other uses}}{{Distinguish|Tiber}}{{pp-semi-indef}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{short description|Plateau region in Asia}}{{Use mdy dates|date=June 2011}}{{coord|31.2|88.8|display=title}}{| class="infobox" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="clear:right; width:360px; border-collapse:collapse; font-size:85%; background:#eee;"
File:Tibet-claims.jpg|360px|Cultural/historical, (highlighted) depicted with various competing territorial claims.{|
       | "Greater Tibet" as claimed by Tibetan exile groups
 Autonomous administrative divisions of China>Tibetan autonomous areas, as designated by China
 | Tibet Autonomous Region, within China
| Chinese-controlled, claimed by India as part of Aksai Chin
| Indian-controlled, parts claimed by China as (South Tibet]]
|Other areas historically within the Tibetan cultural sphere
       | "Greater Tibet" as claimed by Tibetan exile groups
 Autonomous administrative divisions of China>Tibetan autonomous areas, as designated by China
 | Tibet Autonomous Region, within China
| Chinese-controlled, claimed by India as part of Aksai Chin
| Indian-controlled, parts claimed by China as South Tibet
|Other areas historically within the Tibetan cultural sphere

|j = Sai1-zong6|y = Sāi-johngs1z6}}|poj = Se-chōng|buc = Să̤-câung|teo = Sai-tsăng|h = Sî-tshông|mc = Sei-dzangབོད་}}|wylie = Bod|zwpy = Poi}}{{SpecialChars| image = Standard Tibetan name.svg| special = Tibetan alphabet| fix = Help:Multilingual support (Indic)| characters = Tibetan charactersmojibake>question marks, boxes, or other symbols}}Tibet ({{IPAc-en|audio=En-us-Tibet.ogg|t|ɪ|ˈ|b|É›|t}}; {{bo|t=བོད་|l=/pʰøː˨˧˩/|p=Bod}}; {{zh|s=西藏||p=XÄ«zàng}}) is a region covering much of the Tibetan Plateau in Tibet Autonomous Region, China. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpa, Tamang, Qiang, Sherpa, and Lhoba peoples and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han Chinese and Hui people. Tibet is the highest region on Earth, with an average elevation of {{convert|5000|m|sigfig=2|abbr=on}}.WEB,weblink Geology of the Tibetan Plateau, Wittke, J.H., 24 February 2010, 29 March 2019, The highest elevation in Tibet is Mount Everest, Earth's highest mountain, rising 8,848 m (29,029 ft) above sea level.The Tibetan Empire emerged in the 7th century, but with the fall of the empire the region soon divided into a variety of territories. The bulk of western and central Tibet (Ãœ-Tsang) was often at least nominally unified under a series of Tibetan governments in Lhasa, Shigatse, or nearby locations; these governments were at various times under Mongol and Chinese overlordship. Thus Tibet remained a suzerainty of the Mongol and later Chinese rulers in Nanjing and Beijing, with reasonable autonomy given to the Tibetan leaders.NEWS, Ram, N, TIBET – A REALITY CHECK,weblink 15 September 2017, 18, Frontline, 2 September 2000,weblink" title="">weblink September 15, 2017, no, mdy-all, The eastern regions of Kham and Amdo often maintained a more decentralized indigenous political structure, being divided among a number of small principalities and tribal groups, while also often falling more directly under Chinese rule after the Battle of Chamdo; most of this area was eventually incorporated into the Chinese provinces of Sichuan and Qinghai. The current borders of Tibet were generally established in the 18th century.Goldstein, Melvyn, C.,Change, Conflict and Continuity among a Community of Nomadic Pastoralist: A Case Study from Western Tibet, 1950–1990, 1994: "What is Tibet? – Fact and Fancy", pp. 76–87Following the Xinhai Revolution against the Qing dynasty in 1912, Qing soldiers were disarmed and escorted out of Tibet Area (Ãœ-Tsang). The region subsequently (:wikisource:Proclamation of Independence of Tibet|declared its independence) in 1913 without recognition by the subsequent Chinese Republican government.Clark, Gregory, "In fear of China", 1969, saying: ' Tibet, although enjoying independence at certain periods of its history, had never been recognised by any single foreign power as an independent state. The closest it has ever come to such recognition was the British formula of 1943: suzerainty, combined with autonomy and the right to enter into diplomatic relations. ' Later, Lhasa took control of the western part of Xikang, China. The region maintained its autonomy until 1951 when, following the Battle of Chamdo, Tibet became incorporated into the People's Republic of China, and the previous Tibetan government was abolished in 1959 after a failed uprising.NEWS,weblink Q&A: China and the Tibetans, 2011-08-15, BBC News, 2017-05-17, en-GB,weblink July 16, 2018, no, mdy-all, Today, China governs western and central Tibet as the Tibet Autonomous Region while the eastern areas are now mostly ethnic autonomous prefectures within Sichuan, Qinghai and other neighbouring provinces. There are tensions regarding Tibet's political statusWEB
, Tibet's only hope lies within
, Peter
, Lee
, Peter Lee (journalist)
, 2011-05-07
, The Asia Times
, 2011-05-10
, Robin [alias of a young Tibetan in Qinghai] described the region as a cauldron of tension. Tibetan people, Tibetans still were infuriated by numerous arrests in the wake of the 2008 protests. But local Tibetans had not organized themselves. 'They are very angry at the Chinese government and the Chinese people,' Robin said. 'But they have no idea what to do. There is no leader. When a leader appears and somebody helps out they will all join.' We ... heard tale after tale of civil disobedience in outlying hamlet (place), hamlets. In one village, Tibetans burned their Chinese flags and hoisted the banned Tibetan Snow Lion flag instead. Authorities ... detained nine villagers ... One nomad ... said 'After I die ... my sons and grandsons will remember. They will hate the government.'
,weblink" title="">weblink
, December 28, 2011
, no
, mdy-all
, and dissident groups that are active in exile.NEWS,weblink BBC News, Regions and territories: Tibet, 2010-12-11, April 22, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink April 22, 2011, no, mdy-all, Tibetan activists in Tibet have reportedly been arrested or tortured.NEWS,weblink China Adds to Security Forces in Tibet Amid Calls for a Boycott, Wong, Edward, 2009-02-18, The New York Times, 2017-05-17, 0362-4331,weblink" title="">weblink June 16, 2017, no, mdy-all, The economy of Tibet is dominated by subsistence agriculture, though tourism has become a growing industry in recent decades. The dominant religion in Tibet is Tibetan Buddhism; in addition there is Bön, which is similar to Tibetan Buddhism,NEWS,weblink Bon, ReligionFacts, 2017-05-17, en,weblink" title="">weblink May 9, 2017, no, mdy-all, and there are also Tibetan Muslims and Christian minorities. Tibetan Buddhism is a primary influence on the art, music, and festivals of the region. Tibetan architecture reflects Chinese and Indian influences. Staple foods in Tibet are roasted barley, yak meat, and butter tea.


The Tibetan name for their land, Bod {{Bo-textonly|བོད་}}, means "Tibet" or "Tibetan Plateau", although it originally meant the central region{{Citation needed|reason=Please, provide a source for this statement|date=June 2017}} around Lhasa, now known in Tibetan as Ü. The Standard Tibetan pronunciation of Bod, {{IPA-bo|pʰøʔ˨˧˨|}}, is transcribed Bhö in Tournadre Phonetic Transcription, Bö in the THL Simplified Phonetic Transcription and Poi in Tibetan pinyin. Some scholars believe the first written reference to Bod "Tibet" was the ancient Bautai people recorded in the Egyptian Greek works Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (1st century CE) and Geographia (Ptolemy, 2nd century CE),Beckwith (1987), pg. 7 itself from the Sanskrit form Bhauṭṭa of the Indian geographical tradition.Étienne de la Vaissière, "The Triple System of Orography in Ptolemy's Xinjiang", Exegisti Monumenta: Festschrif in Honour of Nicholas Sims-Williams, eds. Werner Sundermann, Almut Hintze & François de Blois (Wiesbaden, Germany: Harrassowitz, 2009), 532.The modern Standard Chinese exonym for the ethnic Tibetan region is Zangqu ({{zh|s=(Wikt:藏区|藏区)|hp=Zàngqū|links=no}}), which derives by metonymy from the Tsang region around Shigatse plus the addition of a Chinese suffix, 区 qū, which means "area, district, region, ward". Tibetan people, language, and culture, regardless of where they are from, are referred to as Zang ({{zh|s=(Wikt:藏|藏)|hp=Zàng|links=no}}) although the geographical term Xīzàng is often limited to the Tibet Autonomous Region. The term Xīzàng was coined during the Qing dynasty in the reign of the Jiaqing Emperor (1796–1820) through the addition of a prefix meaning "west" (西 xī) to Zang.{{citation needed|date=April 2019}}The best-known medieval Chinese name for Tibet is Tubo ({{zh|s=(Wikt:吐蕃|吐蕃)|links=no}} also written as or ; {{zh|hp=Tǔbō|links=no}} or ). This name first appears in Chinese characters as in the 7th century (Li Tai) and as in the 10th-century (Old Book of Tang describing 608–609 emissaries from Tibetan King Namri Songtsen to Emperor Yang of Sui). In the Middle Chinese spoken during that period, as reconstructed by William H. Baxter, was pronounced thu{{Smallcaps|x}}-phjon and was pronounced thu{{Smallcaps|x}}-pjon (with the {{Smallcaps|x}} representing tone).WEB,weblink An Etymological Dictionary of Common Chinese Characters, Baxter, William H., 2001-03-30, 2011-04-16, yes,weblink" title="">weblink April 11, 2011, Other pre-modern Chinese names for Tibet include Wusiguo ({{zh|s=烏斯國|hp=Wūsīguó|links=no}}; cf. Tibetan dbus, Ü, {{IPA-bo|wyʔ˨˧˨|}}), Wusizang ({{zh|s=烏斯藏|hp=wūsīzàng|links=no}}, cf. Tibetan dbus-gtsang, Ü-Tsang), Tubote ({{zh|s=圖伯特|hp=Túbótè|links=no}}), and Tanggute ({{zh|s=唐古忒|hp=Tánggǔtè|links=no}}, cf. Tangut). American Tibetologist Elliot Sperling has argued in favor of a recent tendency by some authors writing in Chinese to revive the term Tubote ({{zh|s=图伯特|t=圖伯特|hp=Túbótè|links=no}}) for modern use in place of Xizang, on the grounds that Tubote more clearly includes the entire Tibetan plateau rather than simply the Tibet Autonomous Region.WEB,weblink Tubote, Tibet, and the Power of Naming, Tibetan Political Review, Dr. Elliot Sperling, July 31, 2018,weblink March 28, 2016, no, mdy-all, The English word Tibet or Thibet dates back to the 18th century.The word "Tibet" was used in the context of the first British mission to this country under George Bogle in 1774. See Clements R. Markham (ede.): Narratives of the Mission of George Bogle to Tibet and the Journey of Thomas Manning to Lhasa, reprinted by Manjushri Publishing House, New Delhi, 1971 (first published in 1876) Historical linguists generally agree that "Tibet" names in European languages are loanwords from Semitic {{transl|ar|ALA|Ṭībat}} or {{transl|ar|ALA|Tūbātt}} (, ), itself deriving from Turkic , literally: "The Heights" (plural of ).Behr, Wolfgang, (1994). "Stephan V. Beyer The Classical Tibetan Language (book review)", Oriens 34, pp. 558–559


Linguists generally classify the Tibetan language as a Tibeto-Burman language of the Sino-Tibetan language family although the boundaries between 'Tibetan' and certain other Himalayan languages can be unclear. According to Matthew Kapstein:From the perspective of historical linguistics, Tibetan most closely resembles Burmese among the major languages of Asia. Grouping these two together with other apparently related languages spoken in the Himalayan lands, as well as in the highlands of Southeast Asia and the Sino-Tibetan frontier regions, linguists have generally concluded that there exists a Tibeto-Burman family of languages. More controversial is the theory that the Tibeto-Burman family is itself part of a larger language family, called Sino-Tibetan, and that through it Tibetan and Burmese are distant cousins of Chinese.Kapstein 2006, pg. 19File:People of Tibet46.jpg|thumb|Tibetan family in KhamKhamThe language has numerous regional dialects which are generally not mutually intelligible. It is employed throughout the Tibetan plateau and Bhutan and is also spoken in parts of Nepal and northern India, such as Sikkim. In general, the dialects of central Tibet (including Lhasa), Kham, Amdo and some smaller nearby areas are considered Tibetan dialects. Other forms, particularly Dzongkha, Sikkimese, Sherpa, and Ladakhi, are considered by their speakers, largely for political reasons, to be separate languages. However, if the latter group of Tibetan-type languages are included in the calculation, then 'greater Tibetan' is spoken by approximately 6 million people across the Tibetan Plateau. Tibetan is also spoken by approximately 150,000 exile speakers who have fled from modern-day Tibet to India and other countries.Although spoken Tibetan varies according to the region, the written language, based on Classical Tibetan, is consistent throughout. This is probably due to the long-standing influence of the Tibetan empire, whose rule embraced (and extended at times far beyond) the present Tibetan linguistic area, which runs from northern Pakistan in the west to Yunnan and Sichuan in the east, and from north of Qinghai Lake south as far as Bhutan. The Tibetan language has its own script which it shares with Ladakhi and Dzongkha, and which is derived from the ancient Indian BrāhmÄ« script.Kapstein 2006, pg. 22Starting in 2001, the local deaf sign languages of Tibet were standardized, and Tibetan Sign Language is now being promoted across the country.The first Tibetan-English dictionary and grammar book was written by Alexander Csoma de KÅ‘rös in 1834.Essay towards a Dictionary, Tibetan and English. Prepared, with assistance of Bandé Sangs-rgyas Phuntshogs ... by Alexander Csoma de KÅ‘rös, etc.'', Calcutta: Baptist Mission Press, 1834.


{{Further|History of European exploration in Tibet|Foreign relations of Tibet}}File:Madhya pradesh, epoca candella, tirthankara rishabhanatha, x-xi sec.JPG|thumb|left|upright|Rishabhanatha, the founder of Jainism attained nirvana near Mount KailashMount KailashFile:Songstengampo.jpg|thumb|left|upright|King Songtsen Gampo ]]

Early history

Humans inhabited the Tibetan Plateau at least 21,000 years ago.JOURNAL, Zhao, M, Kong, QP, Wang, HW, Peng, MS, Xie, XD, Wang, WZ, Jiayang, Duan JG, Cai, MC, Zhao, SN, Cidanpingcuo, Tu YQ, Wu, SF, Yao, YG, Bandelt, HJ, Zhang, YP, 2009, Mitochondrial genome evidence reveals successful Late Paleolithic settlement on the Tibetan Plateau, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 106, 50, 21230–21235, 10.1073/pnas.0907844106, 19955425, 2795552, 2009PNAS..10621230Z, This population was largely replaced around 3,000 BP by Neolithic immigrants from northern China, but there is a partial genetic continuity between the Paleolithic inhabitants and contemporary Tibetan populations.The earliest Tibetan historical texts identify the Zhang Zhung culture as a people who migrated from the Amdo region into what is now the region of Guge in western Tibet.Norbu 1989, pp. 127–128 Zhang Zhung is considered to be the original home of the Bön religion.Helmut Hoffman in McKay 2003 vol. 1, pp. 45–68 By the 1st century BCE, a neighboring kingdom arose in the Yarlung valley, and the Yarlung king, Drigum Tsenpo, attempted to remove the influence of the Zhang Zhung by expelling the Zhang's Bön priests from Yarlung.Karmey 2001, p. 66ff He was assassinated and Zhang Zhung continued its dominance of the region until it was annexed by Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. Prior to Songtsen Gampo, the kings of Tibet were more mythological than factual, and there is insufficient evidence of their existence.Haarh, Erik: Extract from "The Yar Lun Dynasty", in: The History of Tibet, ed. Alex McKay, Vol. 1, London 2003, p. 147; Richardson, Hugh: The Origin of the Tibetan Kingdom, in: The History of Tibet, ed. Alex McKay, Vol. 1, London 2003, p. 159 (and list of kings p. 166-167).

Tibetan Empire

(File:Tibetan empire greatest extent 780s-790s CE.png|thumb|upright=1.35|Map of the Tibetan Empire at its greatest extent between the 780s and the 790s CE)The history of a unified Tibet begins with the rule of Songtsen Gampo (604–650{{nbsp}}CE), who united parts of the Yarlung River Valley and founded the Tibetan Empire. He also brought in many reforms, and Tibetan power spread rapidly, creating a large and powerful empire. It is traditionally considered that his first wife was the Princess of Nepal, Bhrikuti, and that she played a great role in the establishment of Buddhism in Tibet. In 640 he married Princess Wencheng, the niece of the powerful Chinese emperor Taizong of Tang China.Forbes, Andrew ; Henley, David (2011). 'The First Tibetan Empire' in: China's Ancient Tea Horse Road. Chiang Mai: Cognoscenti Books. ASIN: B005DQV7Q2Under the next few Tibetan kings, Buddhism became established as the state religion and Tibetan power increased even further over large areas of Central Asia, while major inroads were made into Chinese territory, even reaching the Tang's capital Chang'an (modern Xi'an) in late 763.Beckwith 1987, pg. 146 However, the Tibetan occupation of Chang'an only lasted for fifteen days, after which they were defeated by Tang and its ally, the Turkic Uyghur Khaganate.File:Miran Fort BLP466 PHOTO1187 2 60.jpg|thumb|left|Miran fortMiran fortThe Kingdom of Nanzhao (in Yunnan and neighbouring regions) remained under Tibetan control from 750 to 794, when they turned on their Tibetan overlords and helped the Chinese inflict a serious defeat on the Tibetans.Marks, Thomas A. (1978). "Nanchao and Tibet in South-western China and Central Asia." The Tibet Journal. Vol. 3, No. 4. Winter 1978, pp. 13–16.In 747, the hold of Tibet was loosened by the campaign of general Gao Xianzhi, who tried to re-open the direct communications between Central Asia and Kashmir. By 750, the Tibetans had lost almost all of their central Asian possessions to the Chinese. However, after Gao Xianzhi's defeat by the Arabs and Qarluqs at the Battle of Talas (751) and the subsequent civil war known as the An Lushan Rebellion (755), Chinese influence decreased rapidly and Tibetan influence resumed.At its height in the 780's to 790's the Tibetan Empire reached its highest glory when it ruled and controlled a territory stretching from modern day Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan.In 821/822{{nbsp}}CE Tibet and China signed a peace treaty. A bilingual account of this treaty, including details of the borders between the two countries, is inscribed on a stone pillar which stands outside the Jokhang temple in Lhasa.'A Corpus of Early Tibetan Inscriptions. H. E. Richardson. Royal Asiatic Society (1985), pp. 106–43. {{ISBN|0-947593-00-4}}. Tibet continued as a Central Asian empire until the mid-9th century, when a civil war over succession led to the collapse of imperial Tibet. The period that followed is known traditionally as the Era of Fragmentation'', when political control over Tibet became divided between regional warlords and tribes with no dominant centralized authority. An Islamic invasion from Bengal took place in 1206.

Yuan dynasty

File:Yuen Dynasty 1294 - Goryeo as vassal.png|thumb|upright=1.35|The Mongol Yuan dynastyYuan dynastyThe Mongol Yuan dynasty, through the Bureau of Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs, or Xuanzheng Yuan, ruled Tibet through a top-level administrative department. One of the department's purposes was to select a dpon-chen ('great administrator'), usually appointed by the lama and confirmed by the Mongol emperor in Beijing.Dawa Norbu. China's Tibet Policy, pp. 139. Psychology Press. The Sakya lama retained a degree of autonomy, acting as the political authority of the region, while the dpon-chen held administrative and military power. Mongol rule of Tibet remained separate from the main provinces of China, but the region existed under the administration of the Yuan dynasty. If the Sakya lama ever came into conflict with the dpon-chen, the dpon-chen had the authority to send Chinese troops into the region.Tibet retained nominal power over religious and regional political affairs, while the Mongols managed a structural and administrativeWylie. p.104: 'To counterbalance the political power of the lama, Khubilai appointed civil administrators at the Sa-skya to supervise the mongol regency.' rule over the region, reinforced by the rare military intervention. This existed as a "diarchic structure" under the Yuan emperor, with power primarily in favor of the Mongols. Mongolian prince Khuden gained temporal power in Tibet in the 1240s and sponsored Sakya Pandita, whose seat became the capital of Tibet. Drogön Chögyal Phagpa, Sakya Pandita's nephew became Imperial Preceptor of Kublai Khan, founder of the Yuan dynasty.Yuan control over the region ended with the Ming overthrow of the Yuan and Tai Situ Changchub Gyaltsen's revolt against the Mongols.Rossabi 1983, p. 194 Following the uprising, Tai Situ Changchub Gyaltsen founded the Phagmodrupa Dynasty, and sought to reduce Yuan influences over Tibetan culture and politics.Norbu, Dawa (2001) p. 57

Phagmodrupa, Rinpungpa and Tsangpa Dynasties

{{further|Sino-Tibetan relations during the Ming dynasty}}File:Gyantse Dzong4.jpg|thumb|left|300px|Gyantse FortressGyantse FortressBetween 1346 and 1354, Tai Situ Changchub Gyaltsen toppled the Sakya and founded the Phagmodrupa Dynasty. The following 80 years saw the founding of the Gelug school (also known as Yellow Hats) by the disciples of Je Tsongkhapa, and the founding of the important Ganden, Drepung and Sera monasteries near Lhasa. However, internal strife within the dynasty and the strong localism of the various fiefs and political-religious factions led to a long series of internal conflicts. The minister family Rinpungpa, based in Tsang (West Central Tibet), dominated politics after 1435. In 1565 they were overthrown by the Tsangpa Dynasty of Shigatse which expanded its power in different directions of Tibet in the following decades and favoured the Karma Kagyu sect.

Rise of Ganden Phodrang

{{Multiple image
| align = right
| direction = vertical
| width = 300
| image1 = Khoshut Khanate.png
| caption1 = The Khoshut Khanate, 1642–1717.
| image2 = CEM-44-La-Chine-la-Tartarie-Chinoise-et-le-Thibet-1734-2568.jpg
| caption2 = Tibet in 1734. Royaume de Thibet ("Kingdom of Tibet") in la Chine, la Tartarie Chinoise, et le Thibet ("China, Chinese Tartary, and Tibet") on a 1734 map by Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville, based on earlier Jesuit maps.
| image3 = Qing china.jpg
| caption3 = Tibet in 1892 during the Qing dynasty.
}}In 1578, Altan Khan of the Tümed Mongols gave Sonam Gyatso, a high lama of the Gelugpa school, the name Dalai Lama, Dalai being the Mongolian translation of the Tibetan name Gyatso "Ocean".Laird 2006, pp. 142–143The 5th Dalai Lama is known for unifying the Tibetan heartland under the control of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, after defeating the rival Kagyu and Jonang sects and the secular ruler, the Tsangpa prince, in a prolonged civil war. His efforts were successful in part because of aid from Güshi Khan, the Oirat leader of the Khoshut Khanate. With Güshi Khan as a largely uninvolved overlord, the 5th Dalai Lama and his intimates established a civil administration which is referred to by historians as the Lhasa state. This Tibetan regime or government is also referred to as the Ganden Phodrang.

Qing dynasty

(File:布达拉宫.jpg|thumb|left|300px|Potala Palace)Qing dynasty rule in Tibet began with their 1720 expedition to the country when they expelled the invading Dzungars. Amdo came under Qing control in 1724, and eastern Kham was incorporated into neighbouring Chinese provinces in 1728.Wang Jiawei, "The Historical Status of China's Tibet", 2000, pp. 162–6. Meanwhile, the Qing government sent resident commissioners called Ambans to Lhasa. In 1750 the Ambans and the majority of the Han Chinese and Manchus living in Lhasa were killed in a riot, and Qing troops arrived quickly and suppressed the rebels in the next year. Like the preceding Yuan dynasty, the Manchus of the Qing dynasty exerted military and administrative control of the region, while granting it a degree of political autonomy. The Qing commander publicly executed a number of supporters of the rebels and, as in 1723 and 1728, made changes in the political structure and drew up a formal organization plan. The Qing now restored the Dalai Lama as ruler, leading the governing council called Kashag,Kychanov, E.I. and Melnichenko, B.I. Istoriya Tibeta s drevneishikh vremen do nashikh dnei [History of Tibet since Ancient Times to Present]. Moscow: Russian Acad. Sci. Publ., p.89-92 but elevated the role of Ambans to include more direct involvement in Tibetan internal affairs. At the same time the Qing took steps to counterbalance the power of the aristocracy by adding officials recruited from the clergy to key posts.Goldstein 1997, pg. 18For several decades, peace reigned in Tibet, but in 1792 the Qing Qianlong Emperor sent a large Chinese army into Tibet to push the invading Nepalese out. This prompted yet another Qing reorganization of the Tibetan government, this time through a written plan called the "Twenty-Nine Regulations for Better Government in Tibet". Qing military garrisons staffed with Qing troops were now also established near the Nepalese border.Goldstein 1997, pg. 19 Tibet was dominated by the Manchus in various stages in the 18th century, and the years immediately following the 1792 regulations were the peak of the Qing imperial commissioners' authority; but there was no attempt to make Tibet a Chinese province.Goldstein 1997, pg. 20In 1834 the Sikh Empire invaded and annexed Ladakh, a culturally Tibetan region that was an independent kingdom at the time. Seven years later a Sikh army led by General Zorawar Singh invaded western Tibet from Ladakh, starting the Sino-Sikh War. A Qing-Tibetan army repelled the invaders but was in turn defeated when it chased the Sikhs into Ladakh. The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Chushul between the Chinese and Sikh empires.The Sino-Indian Border Disputes, by Alfred P. Rubin, The International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 1. (Jan., 1960), pp. 96–125.File:Putuo Zongcheng Temple.jpg|thumb|left|300px|Putuo Zongcheng Temple, a Buddhist temple complex built between 1767 and 1771. The temple was modeled after the Potala PalacePotala PalaceAs the Qing dynasty weakened, its authority over Tibet also gradually declined, and by the mid-19th century its influence was minuscule. Qing authority over Tibet had become more symbolic than real by the late 19th century,Goldstein 1989, pg. 44Goldstein 1997, pg. 22Brunnert, H. S. and Hagelstrom, V. V. _Present Day Political Organization of China_, Shanghai, 1912. p. 467.WEB, Stas Bekman: stas (at),weblink What was Tibet's status during China's Qing dynasty (1644–1912)?,, 2012-08-26,weblink" title="">weblink April 7, 2008, no, mdy-all, although in the 1860s the Tibetans still chose for reasons of their own to emphasize the empire's symbolic authority and make it seem substantial.The Cambridge History of China, vol10, pg407This period also saw some contacts with Jesuits and Capuchins from Europe, and in 1774 a Scottish nobleman, George Bogle, came to Shigatse to investigate prospects of trade for the British East India Company.Teltscher 2006, pg. 57 However, in the 19th century the situation of foreigners in Tibet grew more tenuous. The British Empire was encroaching from northern India into the Himalayas, the Emirate of Afghanistan and the Russian Empire were expanding into Central Asia and each power became suspicious of the others' intentions in Tibet.In 1904, a British expedition to Tibet, spurred in part by a fear that Russia was extending its power into Tibet as part of The Great Game, invaded the country, hoping that negotiations with the 13th Dalai Lama would be more effective than with Chinese representatives.Smith 1996, pp. 154–6 When the British-led invasion reached Tibet on December 12, 1903, an armed confrontation with the ethnic Tibetans resulted in the Massacre of Chumik Shenko, which resulted in 600 fatalities amongst the Tibetan forces, compared to only 12 on the British side.Interview: British invasions probed as root cause of Tibetan separatism_English_Xinhua {{webarchive|url= |date=July 16, 2012 }}. (2008-04-06). Retrieved on 2013-07-18.The British invasion of Tibet. {{Webarchive|url= |date=September 9, 2015 }} Retrieved on 2018-09-05. Afterwards, in 1904 Francis Younghusband imposed a treaty known as the Treaty of Lhasa, which was subsequently repudiated and was succeeded by a 1906 treatys:Convention Between Great Britain and China|Convention Between Great Britain and China]] signed between Britain and China.In 1910, the Qing government sent a military expedition of its own under Zhao Erfeng to establish direct Manchu-Chinese rule and, in an imperial edict, deposed the Dalai Lama, who fled to British India. Zhao Erfeng defeated the Tibetan military conclusively and expelled the Dalai Lama's forces from the province. His actions were unpopular, and there was much animosity against him for his mistreatment of civilians and disregard for local culture.

Post-Qing period

File:Bundesarchiv Bild 135-KB-17-040, Tibetexpedition, Geer mit Argali.jpg|thumb|Edmund Geer during the 1938–1939 German expedition to Tibet1938–1939 German expedition to TibetFile:Bundesarchiv Bild 135-S-12-50-09, Tibetexpedition, Ragyapas, Geier.jpg|thumb|Rogyapas, an outcast group, early 20th century. Their hereditary occupation included disposal of corpses and leather work.]]After the Xinhai Revolution (1911–12) toppled the Qing dynasty and the last Qing troops were escorted out of Tibet, the new Republic of China apologized for the actions of the Qing and offered to restore the Dalai Lama's title.Mayhew, Bradley and Michael Kohn. (2005). Tibet, p. 32. Lonely Planet Publications. {{ISBN|1-74059-523-8}}. The Dalai Lama refused any Chinese title and declared himself ruler of an independent Tibet.Shakya 1999, pg. 5 In 1913, Tibet and Mongolia concluded a treaty of mutual recognition.Kuzmin, S.L. Hidden Tibet: History of Independence and Occupation. Dharamsala, LTWA, 2011, p. 85-86, 494 – {{webarchive|url= |date=October 30, 2012 }} {{ISBN|978-93-80359-47-2}} For the next 36 years, the 13th Dalai Lama and the regents who succeeded him governed Tibet. During this time, Tibet fought Chinese warlords for control of the ethnically Tibetan areas in Xikang and Qinghai (parts of Kham and Amdo) along the upper reaches of the Yangtze River.Wang Jiawei, "The Historical Status of China's Tibet", 2000, p. 150. In 1914 the Tibetan government signed the Simla Accord with Britain, ceding the South Tibet region to British India. The Chinese government denounced the agreement as illegal.WEB,weblink Neville Maxwell, The Pre-history of the Sino-Indian Border Dispute: A Note, February 12, 2011, Mainstream Weekly, October 15, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink January 19, 2012, no, mdy-all, WEB,weblink Calvin, James Barnard, The China-India Border War, April 1984, Marine Corps Command and Staff College, October 15, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink November 11, 2011, no, mdy-all, When in the 1930s and 1940s the regents displayed negligence in affairs, the Kuomintang Government of the Republic of China took advantage of this to expand its reach into the territory.BOOK
, The Search for the Panchen Lama
, Isabel Hilton
, 2001
, W. W. Norton & Company
, 112
, 978-0-393-32167-8
, 2010-06-28,

From 1950 to present

Emerging with control over most of mainland China after the Chinese Civil War, the People's Republic of China incorporated Tibet in 1950 and negotiated the Seventeen Point Agreement with the newly enthroned 14th Dalai Lama's government, affirming the People's Republic of China's sovereignty but granting the area autonomy. Subsequently, on his journey into exile, the 14th Dalai Lama completely repudiated the agreement, which he has repeated on many occasions."The 17-Point Agreement" The full story as revealed by the Tibetans and Chinese who were involved{{dead link|date=July 2017 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }} The Official Website of the Central Tibetan Administration. {{dead link|date=May 2016|bot=medic}}{{cbignore|bot=medic}}Dalai Lama, Freedom in Exile Harper San Francisco, 1991 The Chinese used the Dalai Lama to be able to have control of the military's training and actions.WEB,weblink Archived copy, February 10, 2017,weblink January 23, 2017, no, mdy-all, The Dalai Lama had a strong following as many people from Tibet looked at him as their leader from not just a political point of view but, also from a spiritual perspective.WEB,weblink Archived copy, February 10, 2017,weblink January 23, 2017, no, mdy-all, After the Dalai Lama's government fled to Dharamsala, India, during the 1959 Tibetan Rebellion, it established a rival government-in-exile. Afterwards, the Central People's Government in Beijing renounced the agreement and began implementation of the halted social and political reforms.BOOK
, Governing China's Multiethnic Frontiers
, 197
, Morris, Rossabi
, An Overview of Sino-Tibetan Relations
, University of Washington Press
, 2005, During the Great Leap Forward, between 200,000 and 1,000,000 Tibetans may have died.,WEB,weblink World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples – China : Tibetans, Minority Rights Group International, July 2008, 2014-04-23,weblink" title="">weblink November 1, 2014, no, mdy-all, and approximately 6,000 monasteries were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, thus the vast majority of historic Tibetan architecture was destroyed.BOOK, Freedom of religion and belief: a world report, Kevin, Boyle, Juliet, Sheen, Routledge, 2003, 978-0415159777, In 1962 China and India fought a brief war over the disputed Arunachal Pradesh/South Tibet and Aksai Chin regions. Although China won the war, Chinese troops withdrew north of the McMahon Line, effectively ceding Arunachal Pradesh to India.
In 1980, General Secretary and reformist Hu Yaobang visited Tibet and ushered in a period of social, political, and economic liberalization. At the end of the decade, however, before the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, monks in the Drepung and Sera monasteries started protesting for independence, and so the government halted reforms and started an anti-separatist campaign.MAGAZINE
, As Tibet Goes...
, David, Bank
, Peter, Leyden
, Mother Jones (magazine), Mother Jones
, January 1990
, 15, 1
, 0362-8841, Human rights organisations have been critical of the Beijing and Lhasa governments' approach to human rights in the region when cracking down on separatist convulsions that have occurred around monasteries and cities, most recently in the 2008 Tibetan unrest.


File:TibetanPlateau.jpg|thumb|Tibet is located on the Tibetan PlateauTibetan Plateau(File:拷贝 (70097727).jpeg|thumb|Himalayas, on the southern rim of the Tibetan plateau)All of modern China, including Tibet, is considered a part of East Asia.WEB,weblink plateaus, May 16, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink April 1, 2009, no, mdy-all, Historically, some European sources also considered parts of Tibet to lie in Central Asia. Tibet is west of the Central China plain, and within mainland China, Tibet is regarded as part of (), a term usually translated by Chinese media as "the Western section", meaning "Western China".File:IMG 0839 Yarlong Tsangpo.jpg|thumb|left|Yarlung Tsangpo River ]](File:Asia terrain.jpg|thumb|Tibet is often called the "roof of the world, because it is a very high plateau.)File:Tibet and surrounding areas topographic map 3.png|thumb|Tibetan Plateau and surrounding areas above 1600 m – topographytopographyTibet has some of the world's tallest mountains, with several of them making the top ten list. Mount Everest, located on the border with Nepal, is, at {{convert|8848|m|ft|0}}, the highest mountain on earth. Several major rivers have their source in the Tibetan Plateau (mostly in present-day Qinghai Province). These include the Yangtze, Yellow River, Indus River, Mekong, Ganges, Salween and the Yarlung Tsangpo River (Brahmaputra River).WEB,weblink Circle of Blue, 8 May 2008 China, Tibet, and the strategic power of water,, 2008-05-08, 2010-03-26,weblink" title="">weblink July 2, 2008, yes, mdy-all, The Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon, along the Yarlung Tsangpo River, is among the deepest and longest canyons in the world.Tibet has been called the "Water Tower" of Asia, and China is investing heavily in water projects in Tibet.WEB,weblink The Water Tower Function of the Tibetan Autonomous Region.,, 2012-08-26,weblink" title="">weblink April 25, 2012, yes, mdy-all, WEB,weblink China to spend record amount on Tibetan water projects.,, 2011-08-16, 2012-08-26,weblink" title="">weblink December 27, 2011, no, mdy-all, The Indus and Brahmaputra rivers originate from a lake (Tib: Tso Mapham) in Western Tibet, near Mount Kailash. The mountain is a holy pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Tibetans. The Hindus consider the mountain to be the abode of Lord Shiva. The Tibetan name for Mt. Kailash is Khang Rinpoche. Tibet has numerous high-altitude lakes referred to in Tibetan as tso or co. These include Qinghai Lake, Lake Manasarovar, Namtso, Pangong Tso, Yamdrok Lake, Siling Co, Lhamo La-tso, Lumajangdong Co, Lake Puma Yumco, Lake Paiku, Como Chamling, Lake Rakshastal, Dagze Co and Dong Co. The Qinghai Lake (Koko Nor) is the largest lake in the People's Republic of China.The atmosphere is severely dry nine months of the year, and average annual snowfall is only {{convert|18|inch|cm}}, due to the rain shadow effect. Western passes receive small amounts of fresh snow each year but remain traversible all year round. Low temperatures are prevalent throughout these western regions, where bleak desolation is unrelieved by any vegetation bigger than a low bush, and where wind sweeps unchecked across vast expanses of arid plain. The Indian monsoon exerts some influence on eastern Tibet. Northern Tibet is subject to high temperatures in the summer and intense cold in the winter.Cultural Tibet consists of several regions. These include Amdo (A mdo) in the northeast, which is administratively part of the provinces of Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan. Kham (Khams) in the southeast encompasses parts of western Sichuan, northern Yunnan, southern Qinghai and the eastern part of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Ü-Tsang (dBus gTsang) (Ü in the center, Tsang in the center-west, and Ngari (mNga' ris) in the far west) covered the central and western portion of Tibet Autonomous Region.Petech, L., China and Tibet in the Early XVIIIth Century: History of the Establishment of Chinese Protectorate in Tibet, p51 & p98Tibetan cultural influences extend to the neighboring states of Bhutan, Nepal, regions of India such as Sikkim, Ladakh, Lahaul, and Spiti, Northern Pakistan Baltistan or Balti-yul in addition to designated Tibetan autonomous areas in adjacent Chinese provinces.

Cities, towns and villages

{{Further|List of populated places in the Tibet Autonomous Region}}File:Jokhang Temple Lhasa Tibet China 西藏 拉萨 大昭寺 - panoramio (6).jpg|thumb|Looking across the square at Jokhang temple, Lhasa ]]There are over 800 settlements in Tibet. Lhasa is Tibet's traditional capital and the capital of Tibet Autonomous Region. It contains two world heritage sites â€“ the Potala Palace and Norbulingka, which were the residences of the Dalai Lama. Lhasa contains a number of significant temples and monasteries, including Jokhang and Ramoche Temple.Shigatse is the second largest city in the Tibet AR, west of Lhasa. Gyantse and Qamdo are also amongst the largest.Other cities and towns in cultural Tibet include Shiquanhe (Ali), Nagchu, Bamda, Rutog, Nyingchi, Nedong, Coqên, Barkam, Sakya, Gartse, Pelbar, Lhatse, and Tingri; in Sichuan, Kangding (Dartsedo); in Qinghai, Jyekundo (Yushu), Machen, and Golmud; in India, Tawang, Leh, and Gangtok, and in Pakistan, Skardu, Kharmang, and Khaplu.


The central region of Tibet is an autonomous region within China, the Tibet Autonomous Region. The Tibet Autonomous Region is a province-level entity of the People's Republic of China. It is governed by a People's Government, led by a Chairman. In practice, however, the Chairman is subordinate to the branch secretary of the Communist Party of China. As a matter of convention, the Chairman has almost always been an ethnic Tibetan, while the party secretary has always been ethnically non-Tibetan.NEWS, Leadership shake-up in China's Tibet: state media,weblink Agence France-Presse, France 24, France, 2010-01-15, 2010-07-29, yes,weblink" title="">weblink January 18, 2010,


File:Bos grunniens at Yundrok Yumtso Lake.jpg|thumb|left|The Tibetan yakyakThe Tibetan economy is dominated by subsistence agriculture. Due to limited arable land, the primary occupation of the Tibetan Plateau is raising livestock, such as sheep, cattle, goats, camels, yaks, dzo, and horses.The dogs of Tibet are twice the size of those seen in India, with large heads and hairy bodies. They are powerful animals, and are said to be able to kill a tiger. During the day they are kept chained up, and are let loose at night to guard their masters' house.Travels in Central Asia by Meer Izzut-oollah in the Years 1812–13. Translated by Captain Henderson. Calcutta, 1872, p. 15. The main crops grown are barley, wheat, buckwheat, rye, potatoes, and assorted fruits and vegetables. Tibet is ranked the lowest among China's 31 provincesWEB,weblink Globalization To Tibet, Tsering, Tashi, Tibet Justice Center, 9, 2013-07-10,weblink" title="">weblink March 20, 2012, no, mdy-all, on the Human Development Index according to UN Development Programme data.WEB,weblink Tibet Environmental Watch – Development,, 2010-03-26, yes,weblink" title="">weblink June 8, 2011, mdy-all, In recent years, due to increased interest in Tibetan Buddhism, tourism has become an increasingly important sector, and is actively promoted by the authorities.WEB,weblink China TIBET Tourism Bureau, 2009-03-07, yes,weblink" title="">weblink August 31, 2009, Tourism brings in the most income from the sale of handicrafts. These include Tibetan hats, jewelry (silver and gold), wooden items, clothing, quilts, fabrics, Tibetan rugs and carpets. The Central People's Government exempts Tibet from all taxation and provides 90% of Tibet's government expenditures.Grunfeld 1996, pg. 224Xu Mingxu, "Intrugues and Devoutness", Brampton, p134, {{ISBN|1-896745-95-4}}The 14th Dalai Lama affirmed that Tibetans within the TAR have never paid taxes to the Central People's Government, see (:fr:Pierre-Antoine Donnet|Donnet, Pierre-Antoine), "Tibet mort ou vif", 1994, p104 [Taiwan edition], {{ISBN|957-13-1040-9}}NEWS, Tibet's economy depends on Beijing,weblink 2002-08-26, NPR News, 2006-02-24,weblink December 26, 2017, no, mdy-all, However most of this investment goes to pay migrant workers who do not settle in Tibet and send much of their income home to other provinces.WEB,weblink How Xi Can Solve The Tibet Problem, Brown, Kerry, 11 January 2014,, The Diplomat, 10 January 2014,weblink" title="">weblink January 11, 2014, no, mdy-all, File:Nomads near Namtso.jpg|thumb|Pastoral nomads constitute about 40% of the ethnic (Tibetan people|Tibetan]] population.In pictures: Tibetan nomads BBC News)Forty percent of the rural cash income in the Tibet Autonomous Region is derived from the harvesting of the fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis (formerly Cordyceps sinensis); contributing at least 1.8 billion yuan, (US$225 million) to the region's GDP.JOURNAL, Yartsa Gunbu (Cordyceps sinensis) and the Fungal Commodification of Tibet's Rural Economy, Daniel Winkler, Economic Botany, November 2008, 62, 3, 291–305, 10.1007/s12231-008-9038-3, File:Tromzikhang 2018 01.jpg|thumb|180px|TromzikhangTromzikhangThe Qingzang railway linking the Tibet Autonomous Region to Qinghai Province was opened in 2006, but it was controversial.NEWS, China opens world's highest railway,weblink 2005-07-01, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2006-07-01, yes,weblink" title="">weblink July 6, 2006, NEWS, China completes railway to Tibet,weblink 2005-10-15, BBC News, 2006-07-04,weblink" title="">weblink August 23, 2006, no, mdy-all, NEWS, Dalai Lama Urges 'Wait And See' On Tibet Railway,weblink 2006-06-30, Deutsche Presse Agentur, 2006-07-04,weblink May 22, 2016, no, mdy-all, In January 2007, the Chinese government issued a report outlining the discovery of a large mineral deposit under the Tibetan Plateau.NEWS,weblink Valuable mineral deposits found along Tibet railroad route, New York Times, 2007-01-25, 2014-01-06,weblink" title="">weblink July 24, 2016, no, mdy-all, The deposit has an estimated value of $128 billion and may double Chinese reserves of zinc, copper, and lead. The Chinese government sees this as a way to alleviate the nation's dependence on foreign mineral imports for its growing economy. However, critics worry that mining these vast resources will harm Tibet's fragile ecosystem and undermine Tibetan culture.On January 15, 2009, China announced the construction of Tibet's first expressway, a {{convert|37.9|km|mi|1|abbr=on}} stretch of controlled-access highway in southwestern Lhasa. The project will cost 1.55 billion yuan (US$227 million).WEB,weblink China Says 'Sabotage' by Dalai Lama Supporters Set Back Tibet, Peng, James, 2009-01-16, 2009-02-07,weblink" title="">weblink October 14, 2007, no, mdy-all, From January 18–20, 2010 a national conference on Tibet and areas inhabited by Tibetans in Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai was held in China and a substantial plan to improve development of the areas was announced. The conference was attended by General secretary Hu Jintao, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang, all members of CPC Politburo Standing Committee signaling the commitment of senior Chinese leaders to development of Tibet and ethnic Tibetan areas. The plan calls for improvement of rural Tibetan income to national standards by 2020 and free education for all rural Tibetan children. China has invested 310 billion yuan (about 45.6 billion U.S. dollars) in Tibet since 2001. "Tibet's GDP was expected to reach 43.7 billion yuan in 2009, up 170 percent from that in 2000 and posting an annual growth of 12.3 percent over the past nine years.""China to achieve leapfrog development, lasting stability in Tibet" {{webarchive|url= |date=January 27, 2010 }}

Development zone

The State Council approved Tibet Lhasa Economic and Technological Development Zone as a state-level development zone in 2001. It is located in the western suburbs of Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region. It is {{convert|50|km|mi|abbr=off}} away from the Gonggar Airport, and {{convert|2|km|mi|1|abbr=on}} away from Lhasa Railway Station and {{convert|2|km|mi|1|abbr=on}} away from 318 national highway.The zone has a planned area of {{convert|5.46|km2|2|abbr=on}} and is divided into two zones. Zone A developed a land area of {{convert|2.51|km2|2|abbr=on}} for construction purposes. It is a flat zone, and has the natural conditions for good drainage.WEB,weblink Lhasa Economic & Technology Development Zone,, 2010-12-31, yes,weblink" title="">weblink July 6, 2011, mdy-all,


{{See also|History of Tibet (1950–present)|Tibet Autonomous Region#Demographics{{!}}Demographics of Tibet Autonomous Region}}(File:Tibetan "Lamanis".jpg|thumb|Tibetan Lamanis, c. 1905)(File:IMG 0996 Lhasa Barkhor.jpg|thumb|right|An elderly Tibetan woman in Lhasa)Historically, the population of Tibet consisted of primarily ethnic Tibetans and some other ethnic groups. According to tradition the original ancestors of the Tibetan people, as represented by the six red bands in the Tibetan flag, are: the Se, Mu, Dong, Tong, Dru and Ra. Other traditional ethnic groups with significant population or with the majority of the ethnic group residing in Tibet (excluding a disputed area with India) include Bai people, Blang, Bonan, Dongxiang, Han, Hui people, Lhoba, Lisu people, Miao, Mongols, Monguor (Tu people), Menba (Monpa), Mosuo, Nakhi, Qiang, Nu people, Pumi, Salar, and Yi people.The proportion of the non-Tibetan population in Tibet is disputed. On the one hand, the Central Tibetan Administration of the Dalai Lama accuses China of actively swamping Tibet with migrants in order to alter Tibet's demographic makeup.WEB,weblink Central Tibetan Administration, Population Transfer Programmes, 2003, 2010-07-29,weblink" title="">weblink July 30, 2010, yes, On the other hand, according to the 2010 Chinese census ethnic Tibetans comprise 90% of a total population of 3 million in the Tibet Autonomous Region.WEB,weblink Tibet's population tops 3 million; 90% are Tibetans, Xinhua News Agency, 2011-05-04, 2011-12-04,weblink" title="">weblink May 13, 2011, no, mdy-all, Exact population numbers probably depend on how temporary migrants are counted.{{Citation needed|reason=Last sentence sounds like authors own opinion, not in the references given.|date=January 2014}}




File:Young monks of Drepung.jpg|right|thumb|Buddhist monks practicing debate in DrepungDrepungFile:Phugtal col.jpg|thumb|upright|The Phugtal Monastery in south-east ZanskarZanskarReligion is extremely important to the Tibetans and has a strong influence over all aspects of their lives. Bön is the indigenous religion of Tibet, but has been almost eclipsed by Tibetan Buddhism, a distinctive form of Mahayana and Vajrayana, which was introduced into Tibet from the Sanskrit Buddhist tradition of northern India.BOOK, Conze, Edward, Edward Conze, A Short History of Buddhism, 1993, Oneworld, 978-1-85168-066-5, Tibetan Buddhism is practiced not only in Tibet but also in Mongolia, parts of northern India, the Buryat Republic, the Tuva Republic, and in the Republic of Kalmykia and some other parts of China. During China's Cultural Revolution, nearly all Tibet's monasteries were ransacked and destroyed by the Red Guards.Tibetan monks: A controlled life {{Webarchive|url= |date=February 18, 2009 }}. BBC News. March 20, 2008.Tibet During the Cultural Revolution Pictures from a Tibetan People's Liberation Army's officer Archived copy at the Library of Congress (May 5, 2010).[ The last of the Tibetans] Los Angeles Times. March 26, 2008. {{webarchive |url= |date=July 24, 2009 }} A few monasteries have begun to rebuild since the 1980s (with limited support from the Chinese government) and greater religious freedom has been granted â€“ although it is still limited. Monks returned to monasteries across Tibet and monastic education resumed even though the number of monks imposed is strictly limited.TIBET'S BUDDHIST MONKS ENDURE TO REBUILD A PART OF THE PAST New York Times Published: June 14, 1987.Laird 2006, pp. 351, 352 Before the 1950s, between 10 and 20% of males in Tibet were monks.BOOK, Goldstein, Melvyn C., A History of Modern Tibet: Volume 2 The Calm before the Storm, 1951–1955, 2007, University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, Tibetan Buddhism has five main traditions (the suffix pa is comparable to "er" in English):
  • Gelug(pa), Way of Virtue, also known casually as Yellow Hat, whose spiritual head is the Ganden Tripa and whose temporal head is the Dalai Lama. Successive Dalai Lamas ruled Tibet from the mid-17th to mid-20th centuries. This order was founded in the 14th to 15th centuries by Je Tsongkhapa, based on the foundations of the Kadampa tradition. Tsongkhapa was renowned for both his scholasticism and his virtue. The Dalai Lama belongs to the Gelugpa school, and is regarded as the embodiment of the Bodhisattva of Compassion.Avalokitesvara, Chenrezig
  • Kagyu(pa), Oral Lineage. This contains one major subsect and one minor subsect. The first, the Dagpo Kagyu, encompasses those Kagyu schools that trace back to Gampopa. In turn, the Dagpo Kagyu consists of four major sub-sects: the Karma Kagyu, headed by a Karmapa, the Tsalpa Kagyu, the Barom Kagyu, and Pagtru Kagyu. The once-obscure Shangpa Kagyu, which was famously represented by the 20th-century teacher Kalu Rinpoche, traces its history back to the Indian master Niguma, sister of Kagyu lineage holder Naropa. This is an oral tradition which is very much concerned with the experiential dimension of meditation. Its most famous exponent was Milarepa, an 11th-century mystic.
  • Nyingma(pa), The Ancient Ones. This is the oldest, the original order founded by Padmasambhava.
  • Sakya(pa), Grey Earth, headed by the Sakya Trizin, founded by Khon Konchog Gyalpo, a disciple of the great translator Drokmi Lotsawa. Sakya Pandita 1182–1251 CE was the great grandson of Khon Konchog Gyalpo. This school emphasizes scholarship.
  • Jonang(pa) Its origins in Tibet can be traced to early 12th century master Yumo Mikyo Dorje, but became much wider known with the help of Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen, a monk originally trained in the Sakya school. The Jonang school was widely thought to have become extinct in the late 17th century at the hands of the 5th Dalai Lama, who forcibly annexed the Jonang monasteries to his Gelug school, declaring them heretical. Thus, Tibetologists were astonished when fieldwork turned up several active Jonangpa monasteries, including the main monastery, Tsangwa, located in Zamtang County, Sichuan. Almost 40 monasteries, comprising about 5000 monks, have subsequently been found, including some in the Amdo Tibetan and rGyalgrong areas of Qinghai, Sichuan and Tibet. One of the primary supporters of the Jonang lineage in exile has been the 14th Dalai Lama of the Gelugpa lineage. The Jonang tradition has recently officially registered with the Tibetan Government in exile to be recognized as the fifth living Buddhist tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The 14th Dalai Lama assigned Jebtsundamba Khutuktu of Mongolia (who is considered to be an incarnation of Taranatha) as the leader of the Jonang tradition.


The first Christians documented to have reached Tibet were the Nestorians, of whom various remains and inscriptions have been found in Tibet. They were also present at the imperial camp of Möngke Khan at Shira Ordo, where they debated in 1256 with Karma Pakshi (1204/6-83), head of the Karma Kagyu order.Kapstein 2006, pp. 31, 71, 113Stein 1972, pp. 36, 77–78 Desideri, who reached Lhasa in 1716, encountered Armenian and Russian merchants.Françoise Pommaret, Françoise Pommaret-Imaeda (2003). Lhasa in the Seventeenth Century: The Capital of the Dalai Lamas. BRILL. p.159. {{ISBN|90-04-12866-2}}Roman Catholic Jesuits and Capuchins arrived from Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. Portuguese missionaries Jesuit Father António de Andrade and Brother Manuel Marques first reached the kingdom of Gelu in western Tibet in 1624 and was welcomed by the royal family who allowed them to build a church later on.Graham Sanderg, The Exploration of Tibet: History and Particulars (Delhi: Cosmo Publications, 1973), pp. 23–26; Thomas Holdich, Tibet, The Mysterious (London: Alston Rivers, 1906), p. 70.Sir Edward Maclagan, The Jesuits and The Great Mogul (London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne Ltd., 1932), pp. 344–345. By 1627, there were about a hundred local converts in the Guge kingdom.Lettera del P. Alano Dos Anjos al Provinciale di Goa, 10 Novembre 1627, quoted from Wu Kunming, Zaoqi Chuanjiaoshi jin Zang Huodongshi (Beijing: Zhongguo Zangxue chubanshe, 1992), p. 163. Later on, Christianity was introduced to Rudok, Ladakh and Tsang and was welcomed by the ruler of the Tsang kingdom, where Andrade and his fellows established a Jesuit outpost at Shigatse in 1626.Extensively using Italian and Portuguese archival materials, Wu's work gives a detailed account of Cacella's activities in Tsang. See Zaoqi Chuanjiaoshi jin Zang Huodongshi, esp. chapter 5.In 1661 another Jesuit, Johann Grueber, crossed Tibet from Sining to Lhasa (where he spent a month), before heading on to Nepal.Narratives of the Mission of George Bogle to Tibet, and of the Journey of Thomas Manning to Lhasa, pp. 295–302. Clements R. Markham. (1876). Reprint Cosmo Publications, New Delhi. 1989. He was followed by others who actually built a church in Lhasa. These included the Jesuit Father Ippolito Desideri, 1716–1721, who gained a deep knowledge of Tibetan culture, language and Buddhism, and various Capuchins in 1707–1711, 1716–1733 and 1741–1745,Stein 1972, p. 85 Christianity was used by some Tibetan monarchs and their courts and the Karmapa sect lamas to counterbalance the influence of the Gelugpa sect in the 17th century until in 1745 when all the missionaries were expelled at the lama's insistence.WEB,weblink When Christianity and Lamaism Met: The Changing Fortunes of Early Western Missionaries in Tibet by Lin Hsiao-ting of Stanford University,, 2010-03-26, yes,weblink" title="">weblink June 26, 2010, NEWS,weblink BBC News Country Profiles Timeline: Tibet, 2009-03-11, 2009-11-05,weblink" title="">weblink March 11, 2009, no, mdy-all, Lettera del P. Antonio de Andrade. Giovanni de Oliveira. Alano Dos Anjos al Provinciale di Goa, 29 Agosto, 1627, quoted from Wu, Zaoqi Chuanjiaoshi jin Zang Huodongshi, p. 196; Maclagan, The Jesuits and The Great Mogul, pp. 347–348.Cornelius Wessels, Early Jesuit Travellers in Central Asia, 1603–1721 (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1924), pp. 80–85.Maclagan, The Jesuits and The Great Mogul, pp. 349–352; Filippo De Filippi ed., An Account of Tibet, pp. 13–17.Relação da Missão do Reino de Uçangue Cabeça dos do Potente, Escrita pello P. João Cabral da Comp. de Jesu. fol. 1, quoted from Wu, Zaoqi Chuanjiaoshi jin Zang Huodongshi, pp. 294–297; Wang Yonghong, "Luelun Tianzhujiao zai Xizang di Zaoqi Huodong", Xizang Yanjiu, 1989, No. 3, pp. 62–63.In 1877, the Protestant James Cameron from the China Inland Mission walked from Chongqing to Batang in Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province, and "brought the Gospel to the Tibetan people." Beginning in the 20th century, in Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan, a large number of Lisu people and some Yi and Nu people converted to Christianity. Famous earlier missionaries include James O. Fraser, Alfred James Broomhall and Isobel Kuhn of the China Inland Mission, among others who were active in this area.WEB, Yunnan Province of China Government Web,weblink 2008-02-15, yes,weblink" title="">weblink March 12, 2009, mdy-all, Kapstein 2006, pp. 31, 206Proselytising has been illegal in China since 1949. But {{As of|2013|lc=y}}, many Christian missionaries were reported to be active in Tibet with the tacit approval of Chinese authorities, who view the missionaries as a counterforce to Tibetan Buddhism or as a boon to the local economy.NEWS,weblink Going undercover, the evangelists taking Jesus to Tibet, The Guardian, 21 February 2013, February 21, 2013, Kaiman, Jonathan,weblink" title="">weblink August 26, 2013, no, mdy-all,


Muslims have been living in Tibet since as early as the 8th or 9th century. In Tibetan cities, there are small communities of Muslims, known as Kachee (Kache), who trace their origin to immigrants from three main regions: Kashmir (Kachee Yul in ancient Tibetan), Ladakh and the Central Asian Turkic countries. Islamic influence in Tibet also came from Persia. A Muslim Sufi Syed Ali Hamdani preached to the people of Baltistan, then known as little Tibet. Which became main cause of the cultural separation of the people of Baltistan from the mainstream Tibet . After 1959 a group of Tibetan Muslims made a case for Indian nationality based on their historic roots to Kashmir and the Indian government declared all Tibetan Muslims Indian citizens later on that year.Masood Butt, 'Muslims of Tibet' {{webarchive|url= |date=September 10, 2006 }}, The Office of Tibet, January/February 1994 Other Muslim ethnic groups who have long inhabited Tibet include Hui, Salar, Dongxiang and Bonan. There is also a well established Chinese Muslim community (gya kachee), which traces its ancestry back to the Hui ethnic group of China.

Tibetan art

File:thanka.jpg|thumb|A thangka painting in SikkimSikkimFile:Tibetan - A Ritual Box - Walters 572299 - Reverse.jpg|thumb|A ritual boxritual boxTibetan representations of art are intrinsically bound with Tibetan Buddhism and commonly depict deities or variations of Buddha in various forms from bronze Buddhist statues and shrines, to highly colorful thangka paintings and mandalas.


Tibetan architecture contains Chinese and Indian influences, and reflects a deeply Buddhist approach. The Buddhist wheel, along with two dragons, can be seen on nearly every Gompa in Tibet. The design of the Tibetan Chörtens can vary, from roundish walls in Kham to squarish, four-sided walls in Ladakh.The most distinctive feature of Tibetan architecture is that many of the houses and monasteries are built on elevated, sunny sites facing the south, and are often made out of a mixture of rocks, wood, cement and earth. Little fuel is available for heat or lighting, so flat roofs are built to conserve heat, and multiple windows are constructed to let in sunlight. Walls are usually sloped inwards at 10 degrees as a precaution against the frequent earthquakes in this mountainous area.Standing at {{convert|117|m|ft|abbr=off}} in height and {{convert|360|m|ft|abbr=off}} in width, the Potala Palace is the most important example of Tibetan architecture. Formerly the residence of the Dalai Lama, it contains over one thousand rooms within thirteen stories, and houses portraits of the past Dalai Lamas and statues of the Buddha. It is divided between the outer White Palace, which serves as the administrative quarters, and the inner Red Quarters, which houses the assembly hall of the Lamas, chapels, 10,000 shrines, and a vast library of Buddhist scriptures. The Potala Palace is a World Heritage Site, as is Norbulingka, the former summer residence of the Dalai Lama.


The music of Tibet reflects the cultural heritage of the trans-Himalayan region, centered in Tibet but also known wherever ethnic Tibetan groups are found in India, Bhutan, Nepal and further abroad. First and foremost Tibetan music is religious music, reflecting the profound influence of Tibetan Buddhism on the culture.Tibetan music often involves chanting in Tibetan or Sanskrit, as an integral part of the religion. These chants are complex, often recitations of sacred texts or in celebration of various festivals. Yang chanting, performed without metrical timing, is accompanied by resonant drums and low, sustained syllables. Other styles include those unique to the various schools of Tibetan Buddhism, such as the classical music of the popular Gelugpa school, and the romantic music of the Nyingmapa, Sakyapa and Kagyupa schools.Crossley-Holland, Peter. (1976). "The Ritual Music of Tibet." The Tibet Journal. Vol. 1, Nos. 3 & 4, Autumn 1976, pp. 47–53.Nangma dance music is especially popular in the karaoke bars of the urban center of Tibet, Lhasa. Another form of popular music is the classical gar style, which is performed at rituals and ceremonies. Lu are a type of songs that feature glottal vibrations and high pitches. There are also epic bards who sing of Gesar, who is a hero to ethnic Tibetans.


File:IMG 1016 Lhasa Barkhor.jpg|thumb|The Monlam Prayer FestivalMonlam Prayer FestivalTibet has various festivals that are commonly performed to worship the Buddha{{citation needed|date=April 2011}} throughout the year. Losar is the Tibetan New Year Festival. Preparations for the festive event are manifested by special offerings to family shrine deities, painted doors with religious symbols, and other painstaking jobs done to prepare for the event. Tibetans eat Guthuk (barley noodle soup with filling) on New Year's Eve with their families. The Monlam Prayer Festival follows it in the first month of the Tibetan calendar, falling between the fourth and the eleventh days of the first Tibetan month. It involves dancing and participating in sports events, as well as sharing picnics. The event was established in 1049 by Tsong Khapa, the founder of the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama's order.


{{see also|List of Tibetan dishes}}(File:Thupka with Momo - Tibetan Sytle.JPG|thumb|Thupka with Momo – Tibetan Style)The most important crop in Tibet is barley, and dough made from barley flour—called tsampa—is the staple food of Tibet. This is either rolled into noodles or made into steamed dumplings called momos. Meat dishes are likely to be yak, goat, or mutton, often dried, or cooked into a spicy stew with potatoes. Mustard seed is cultivated in Tibet, and therefore features heavily in its cuisine. Yak yogurt, butter and cheese are frequently eaten, and well-prepared yogurt is considered something of a prestige item. Butter tea is very popular to drink.

See also


. doi:10.7289/V52R3PMS [access date: 2015-03-16]Amante, C. and B.W. Eakins, 2009. ETOPO1 1 Arc-Minute Global Relief Model: Procedures, Data Sources and Analysis. NOAA Technical Memorandum NESDIS NGDC-24. National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA {{Webarchive|url= |date=June 26, 2015 }}. doi:10.7289/V5C8276M [access date: 2015-03-18].}}


  • Beckwith, Christopher I. The Tibetan Empire in Central Asia: A History of the Struggle for Great Power among Tibetans, Turks, Arabs, and Chinese during the Early Middle Ages' (1987) Princeton University Press. {{ISBN|0-691-02469-3}}
  • Goldstein, Melvyn C. A History of Modern Tibet, 1913–1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State (1989) University of California Press. {{ISBN|978-0-520-06140-8}} {{Registration required}}
  • Goldstein, Melvyn C. A History of Modern Tibet, 1913–1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State (1989), first Indian edition (1993) Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, New Delhi, {{ISBN|81-215-0582-8}} Pagination is identical to University of California edition.
  • Goldstein, Melvyn C. The Snow Lion and the Dragon: China, Tibet, and the Dalai Lama (1997) University of California Press. {{ISBN|0-520-21951-1}}
  • Grunfeld, Tom (1996). The Making of Modern Tibet. {{ISBN|1-56324-713-5}}.
  • Hopkirk, Peter. Trespassers on the Roof of the World: The Secret Exploration of Tibet (1983) J. P. Tarcher. {{ISBN|0-87477-257-5}}
  • Kapstein, Matthew T. The Tibetans (2006) Blackwell Publishing. {{ISBN|978-0-631-22574-4}}
  • Laird, Thomas. The Story of Tibet: Conversations with the Dalai Lama (2006) Grove Press. {{ISBN|0-8021-1827-5}}
  • Mullin, Glenn H.The Fourteen Dalai Lamas: A Sacred Legacy of Reincarnations (2001) Clear Light Publishers. {{ISBN|1-57416-092-3}}
  • Powers, John. History as Propaganda: Tibetan Exiles versus the People's Republic of China (2004) Oxford University Press. {{ISBN|978-0-19-517426-7}}
  • Richardson, Hugh E. Tibet and its History Second Edition, Revised and Updated (1984) Shambhala. {{ISBN|0-87773-376-7}}
  • Shakya, Tsering. The Dragon In The Land Of Snows (1999) Columbia University Press. {{ISBN|0-231-11814-7}}
  • Stein, R. Tibetan Civilization (1972) Stanford University Press. {{ISBN|0-8047-0901-7}}
  • Teltscher, Kate. The High Road to China: George Bogle, the Panchen Lama and the First British Expedition to Tibet (2006) Bloomsbury UK. {{ISBN|0-7475-8484-2}}

Further reading

  • Allen, Charles (2004). Duel in the Snows: The True Story of the Younghusband Mission to Lhasa. London: John Murray. {{ISBN|0-7195-5427-6}}.
  • Bell, Charles (1924). Tibet: Past & Present. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Dowman, Keith (1988). The Power-Places of Central Tibet: The Pilgrim's Guide. Routledge & Kegan Paul. London, {{ISBN|0-7102-1370-0}}. New York, {{ISBN|0-14-019118-6}}.
  • Feigon, Lee. (1998). Demystifying Tibet: unlocking the secrets of the land of the snows. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee. {{ISBN|1-56663-196-3}}. 1996 hardback, {{ISBN|1-56663-089-4}}
  • Gyatso, Palden (1997). The Autobiography of a Tibetan Monk. Grove Press. NY, NY. {{ISBN|0-8021-3574-9}}
  • Human Rights in China: China, Minority Exclusion, Marginalization and Rising Tensions, London, Minority Rights Group International, 2007
  • Le Sueur, Alec (2013). The Hotel on the Roof of the World – Five Years in Tibet. Chichester: Summersdale. {{ISBN|978-1-84024-199-0}}. Oakland: RDR Books. {{ISBN|978-1-57143-101-1}}
  • McKay, Alex (1997). Tibet and the British Raj: The Frontier Cadre 1904–1947. London: Curzon. {{ISBN|0-7007-0627-5}}.
  • Norbu, Thubten Jigme; Turnbull, Colin (1968). Tibet: Its History, Religion and People. Reprint: Penguin Books (1987).
  • Pachen, Ani; Donnely, Adelaide (2000). Sorrow Mountain: The Journey of a Tibetan Warrior Nun. Kodansha America, Inc. {{ISBN|1-56836-294-3}}.
  • Petech, Luciano (1997). China and Tibet in the Early XVIIIth Century: History of the Establishment of Chinese Protectorate in Tibet. T'oung Pao Monographies, Brill Academic Publishers, {{ISBN|90-04-03442-0}}.
  • BOOK, Sino-Tibetan Dialogue in the Post-Mao Era: Lessons and Prospects, Rabgey, Tashi, Sharlho, Tseten Wangchuk,weblink 2004, East-West Center, Washington, 978-1-932728-22-4,
  • Samuel, Geoffrey (1993). Civilized Shamans: Buddhism in Tibetan Societies. Smithsonian {{ISBN|1-56098-231-4}}.
  • Schell, Orville (2000). Virtual Tibet: Searching for Shangri-La from the Himalayas to Hollywood. Henry Holt. {{ISBN|0-8050-4381-0}}.
  • BOOK, History of Tibet: Nationalism and Self-determination

, Smith, Warren W., 1996, Westview Press, Boulder, CO, 978-0-8133-3155-3,
  • BOOK, China's Policy on Tibetan Autonomy – EWC Working Papers No. 2, Smith, Warren W., 2004,weblink East-West Center, Washington,
  • BOOK, China's Tibet?: Autonomy or Assimilation

, Smith, Warren W., 2008, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 978-0-7425-3989-1,
  • BOOK, The Tibet-China Conflict: History and Polemics, Sperling, Elliot, Elliot Sperling,weblink 2004, East-West Center, Washington, 978-1-932728-13-2, 1547-1330, – (online version)
  • Thurman, Robert (2002). Robert Thurman on Tibet. DVD. ASIN B00005Y722.
  • Van Walt van Praag, Michael C. (1987). The Status of Tibet: History, Rights, and Prospects in International Law. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.
  • Wilby, Sorrel (1988). Journey Across Tibet: A Young Woman's {{convert|1900|mi|km|-1|adj=on}} Trek Across the Rooftop of the World. Contemporary Books. {{ISBN|0-8092-4608-2}}.
  • Wilson, Brandon (2004). Yak Butter Blues: A Tibetan Trek of Faith. Pilgrim's Tales. {{ISBN|0-9770536-6-0}}, {{ISBN|0-9770536-7-9}}. (second edition 2005)
  • Wang Jiawei (2000). The Historical Status of China's Tibet. {{ISBN|7-80113-304-8}}.
  • Tibet wasn't always ours, says Chinese scholar by Venkatesan Vembu, Daily News & Analysis, February 22, 2007
  • Wylie, Turrell V. "The First Mongol Conquest of Tibet Reinterpreted", Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies (Volume 37, Number 1, June 1977)
  • BOOK, Tibetanness under Threat? Neo-Integrationism, Minority Education and Career Strategies in Qinghai, P.R. China

, Zenz, Adrian, 2014, Global Oriental, 9789004257962,

External links

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