"Tibet" Tibet by nattybabe
Tibet Travel Guide: 1,402 reviews and 4,147 photos
Tibet has a recorded history since 127BC. The Tibetan Empire reached its peak during the 7th and 10th Centuries, extending into China and other Central Asian countries. Tibetan armies seized the Chinese capital at Chang An (Xi-an) but a peace treaty was concluded between the countries in 822AS. During this period Buddhims was introduced from India by Guru Rinpoche (Padmasabhva) and became the dominant religion.
In India at the time the Buddhist tradition included trantric elements, an esoteric form of Buddhism involving rituals, sacred gestures, symbols, mantras and visualisation. As part of the greater vehicle, the Mahayan tradition, it also incorporates Bodhissatvas as well as buddhas and developed a rich and complex variety of meditation techniques.
The four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism are:
1. Nyingma Sect
2. Sakya School
In 1207 Tibet was invaded by Mongolia who then invaded China in 1280, forcing the countries into the same political grouping. China's present day claim that "Tibet has always been a part of China" derives from this period when the Mongols ruled them both.
The 5th Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobsang Gyasto, assumed both spiritual and political authority over Tibet in 1642. He established the present system of Tibetan government call Gaden Phodrang. After assuming power, the Dalai Lama visited China to gain Chinese recognition of his sovereignty. The Ming emperor accepted the Dalai Lama as the leader of the independant state and acknowledged his divinity. In return, the Dalai Lama used his influence to gain Mongolian recognition of the Mind Emperor's power in China.
In 1720 the Manchus (qing Dynasty) who controlled China became involved in Tibetan affairs by sending troups to escort the young 7th Dalai Lama from Eastern Tibet to Lhasa. They left two "amban" (imperial representatives) to serve the Dalai Lama and during this period they gained nominal control over Eastern Tibet. The Manchus again took up residence in Lhasa in 1793 but were finally expelled in 1912. The 13th Dalai Lama reasserted Tibet's independence through a special declaration in 1913.
From 1911 to 1949 there was no foreign interference in Tibet. Tibetan independence was confirmed in 1914 at the Treaty of Simla which was concluded between Tibet and British India. The turing point in Tibet's history came in 1950 when the People's Liberation Army of the People's Republic of China first crossed into Tibet. After defeating the small Tibetan army and occupying half the country, the Chinese Government imposed the 17 point Agreement for the Peaceful Liveration of Tibet on the Tibetan Government in May 1951.
As open resistance to the Chinese occupation escalated, particularly in Eastern Tibet, the Chinese repression increased dramatically. This included the destruction of religious buildings and the imprisonment of monks, runs and other community leaders. By 1959, popular uprisings culminated in massive demonstrations in Lhasa. The demonstrations were quelled by the Chinese, killing 87,000 civilians in the Lhasa area between March 1959 and October 1960 and forcing the Dalai Lama to flee Tibet. Between 1949 and 1984 an estimated 1.2 million Tibetans have been killed as a result of the Chinese occupation of Tibet. More than 6,000 monasteries and countless religious artifacts were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. The Dalai Lama was granted asylum in India in 1959 and established a deocratic government in Dharamsala.
In effect the People's Republic of China has been controlling Tibet since 1950. Chinese rule and the implementation of their programs such as the Cultural Revolution (1967-1976) have created enormous changes in the lives of the Tibetan people. While Chinese occupation has resulted in the development of public infrastructure that would otherwise have been unlikely. It has come at a large cost to Tibet's national independence, culture and religion, environment and the universal human rights of its people.
I did an Intrepid tour which was 28 days long and went overland from Beijing to Kathmandu with a major focus on Tibet.
Everest National Park
I have created individual pages for the places visited in Tibet and some will be covered under China proper as some of the places are in the old Eastern Tibet.
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