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A brief chronology of the history of Tibet:


Year Notes
173 AD Birth of Thothori Nyantsen, 28th King of Tibet.
233 Nyantsen receives a Buddhist scripture, marking the initial introduction of Buddhism into Tibet (Currency from this event was dated).
608–650 Reign of Songtsen Gampo, 32nd king. He sends scholars to India to study Sanskrit and a Tibetan script is devised.
640 Tibet invades and occupies Nepal.
641 Marriage of Gampo to Tang Chinese Princess Wencheng. They spread Buddhism in Tibet and found Jokhang.
645 Gampo sends a minister to the Court of Tang China requesting permission to build a temple on Mount Wutai in Shanxi Province which is granted.
654–676 Tibetan Empire conquest of Tu-yu-lun state and annexation of Chinese territories in Central Asia.
704 Tride Tsugtsen (died 755) becomes king.
710 Tsugtsen marries Tang Chinese princess Chin-Cheng.
717 The Tibetans (according to an 11th-century Chinese history) join with the Turkic Türgish to attack Kashgar.
720 Tibetan troops take Uighur principality of 'Bug-cor in the Dunhuang oasis.
755–797 Reign of Trisong Detsen, Tsugtsen's son. Reconquest of Central Asia
763 Tibetans invade the Tang Chinese capital of Chang'an and withdraw 15 days later.
779 Establishment of Samye Monastery. Buddhism officially recognised as state religion.
783 Peace treaty signed with Tang China.
785–805 Tibetan army advances westward to the Pamirs and Oxus River.
797 Muni Tsangpo, Trisong Detsen's son, becomes king.
799–815 Reign of Sadneleg
815–836 Reign of Ralpachen, son of Sadneleg. Great translation of Buddhist texts conducted during this period.
821 Changqing Treaty of Alliance with Tang China, Tibet retains most of Central Asian territories.
823 The contents of the Changqing Treaty were engraved on a monument placed in front of Jokhang. The monument says "[Dang Dynasty and Tibet] have two emperors but consult issues as one country" (舅甥二主,商议社稷如一,结立大和盟约,永无渝替)
836–842 Reign of Lang Darma, brother of Ralpachen. Supporter of the traditional Tibetan religion of Bon, he dismantles the burgeoning political power of the Buddhist establishments, but there is no evidence that he persecutes Buddhists as some Buddhist historians have alleged.[1]
842 Lang Darma ritually murdered by a Buddhist monk. Struggle for power and fragmentation ensues with constant warring and allying.[1]
978 Rinchen Zangpo, the great translator invites Indian teachers into western Tibet and a Buddhism renaissance begins, with monasteries established in the west.
1040 Birth of Milarepa (died 1123), great Tibetan poet and mystic. Chetsun Sherab Jungnay founds Shalu Monastery which becomes renowned as a centre of scholarly learning and psychic training.
1042 Atiśa (died 1054), a great Mahayana teacher from India, arrives in Tibet and conducts missionary activities.
1057 Establishment of Reting Monastery.
1071 Founding of Sakya Monastery.
1182 Birth of Sakya Pandita (died 1251), learned scholar of the Sakya sect.
1207 Tibetans send delegation to Genghis Khan and establish friendly relations.
1227 Death of Genghis Khan.
1240s–50s Mongol invasions of Tibet.
1244 Sakya Pandita invited to meet Mongol Khan and invested with temporal power over Tibet.
1260 Kublai Khan grants Pandit's nephew Drogön Chögyal Phagpa (1235–1280) the title of State Preceptor and supreme authority over Tibet, re-establishing religious and political relations with the Mongols.
1270 Phagpa received the title of Imperial Preceptor from Kublai Khan. Beginning of Yuan rule of Tibet.
1354 Fighting breaks out between the Sakyapa sect and the powerful Lang family which founds the Phagmodrupa dynasty.
1357 Birth of Je Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelugpa sect.
1391 Birth of Gedun Truppa, disciple of Tsongkhapa and head of the Gelugpa sect, posthumously named as the First Dalai Lama.
1409 Establishment of Ganden Monastery.
1416 Establishment of Drepung Monastery.
1419 Establishment of Sera Monastery. Death of Tsongkhapa.
1434–1534 Power struggles between the provinces of Ü and Tsang because of the religious divide between the Gelugpa and Karmapa sects. Rise of the Rinpungpa Dynasty.
1447 Establishment of Tashilhunpo Monastery in Gyantse.
1474 Death of the 1st Dalai Lama.
1475 Birth of the 2nd Dalai Lama, Gedun Gyatso.
1542 Death of the 2nd Dalai Lama.
1543 Birth of the 3rd Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso. He visits Mongolia and Altan Khan bestows the title of Dalai Lama upon him
1565 Overthrown of the Rinpungpa Dynasty by the Tsangpa Dynasty.
1582 Establishment of Kumbum Monastery.
1588 Death of the 3rd Dalai Lama. Rebirth as the 4th Dalai Lama, Yonten Gyatso, great grandson of Altan Khan and only non-Tibetan in the Dalai Lama lineage.
1616 Death of the 4th Dalai Lama.
1617 Birth of the great 5th Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lozang Gyatso. Under him, many construction projects begin across Tibet, including the Potala Palace. However, Ü Province falls to Tsang provincial forces and the power of the Karmapa sect grows.
1624–1636 Jesuit missionaries arrive in western Tibet.
1641–42 Güshi Khan of the Khoshut Mongols overthrows the King of Tsang and returns the territory to the Dalai Lama. Establishment of the Ganden Phodrang regime by the 5th Dalai Lama with his help. Beginning of Khosut Khanate rule over Tibet until 1717
1642–1659 Consolidation of the Tibetan theocracy. Power of the Karmapa sect is reduced once more, and many monasteries handed over to the Gelugpa sect. The Abbot of Tashilhunpo is bestowed the title Panchen Lama by the Dalai Lama.
1652 5th Dalai Lama visits Ming China.
1682 Death of the 5th Dalai Lama, kept a secret by the regent.
1683 Birth of the 6th Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso.
1697 6th Dalai Lama enthroned and only now is the death of the 5th Dalai Lama made public.
1705 The last khan of the Khoshut Khanate, Lha-bzang Khan, invades Tibet and conquers Lhasa.
1706 The Khan deposes the 6th Dalai Lama and sends him to Ming China but he dies on the way. The Khan declares that the rebellious 6th Dalai Lama was not a true reincarnation and enthrones an eminent monk of his selection until the real one can be found.
1707 Italian Capuchin monks arrive in Tibet.
1708 Another reincarnation of the 6th Dalai Lama is found and he takes refuge in Kumbum Monastery.
1716 Jesuit Father Ippolito Desideri arrives in Lhasa.
1717–1720 Dzungar Mongols occupy Lhasa, killing Lha-bzang Khan. The Manchu Emperor of China deposes the 6th Dalai Lama and recognizes a claimant from Kumbum named Kelzang Gyatso, who is officially recognised as the 7th Dalai Lama in 1720. Beginning of Qing rule of Tibet.
1733–1747 Pholhanas (d. 1747) ends internal conflicts, and with Chinese support becomes ruler of Tibet.
1750 riots break out in Lhasa after the ambans assassination of the regent.
1751 The 7th Dalai Lama is recognised as ruler of Tibet, without effective political power.
1757 Death of the 7th Dalai Lama.
1758 Birth of the 8th Dalai Lama, Jompal Gyatso.
1774–75 First British Mission to Tibet let by George Bogle
1783–84 British Mission led by Samuel Turner. Chinese troops impose the Peace of Kathmandu following Gurkha incursions into Tibet.
1804 Death of the 8th Dalai Lama.
1806–1815 The 9th Dalai Lama.
1811-12 British explorer Thomas Manning reaches Lhasa.
1816–37 The 10th Dalai Lama, Tsultrim Gyatso.
1838–56 The 11th Dalai Lama, Khedrup Gyatso.
1841–42 Dogra–Tibetan War.
1842 Treaty of Chushul between Qing dynasty and Dogra dynasty
1846 Lazarist monks, Huc and Gabet, arrive in Lhasa.
1855–56 Nepalese–Tibetan War
1856–75 12th Dalai Lama, Trinley Gyatso.
1876 Birth of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thupten Gyatso. Diplomatic conflict between Britain and Russia over privileges in Tibet.
1890 British Protectorate over Sikkim.
1904 British military expedition under Francis Younghusband forces its way into Lhasa, forcing the Dalai Lama to flee to Mongolia. Agreement is made with the abbot of Ganden Monastery. Treaty of Lhasa signed.
1909 Dalai Lama returns safely to Lhasa.
1910 Restoration of Chinese control over eastern Tibet and dispatch of troops to Lhasa.
1911 Xinhai Lhasa turmoil following the Wuchang Uprising of October 1911 which led to the fall of the Qing dynasty.
1912 Dalai Lama returns to Lhasa from India, ruling without Chinese interference.
1913–14 Simla Convention between the British, Chinese and Tibetan delegates but the Chinese fail to ratify agreement.
1920-21 Mission of Sir Charles Alfred Bell to Tibet.
1923 Panchen Lama flees to China.
1933 Death of the 13th Dalai Lama.
1934 Appointment of Regent (abbot of Reting Monastery).
1935 Birth of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.
1940 Ratification of the 14th Dalai Lama by the Nationalist Government.

Enthronement of the 14th Dalai Lama.

1944 Arrival of Austrians Heinrich Harrer and Peter Aufschnaiter in Tibet. They reach Lhasa in January 1946.
1947 Indian independence and end of the British Tibet Policy.
1950 6 to 19 October Battle of Chamdo.
1951 Arrival of the People's Liberation Army in Lhasa following an agreement for liberation with the Central People's Government.
1954 Dalai Lama attended the National People's Congress in Beijing as a deputy and met Mao Zedong.[2][3]

Establishment of the North-East Frontier Agency in South Tibet, occupied by India.

1959 After a revolt against acceded reform, the 14th Dalai Lama fled Tibet with the help of CIA,[4] later set up an exile government in India.[5]
1962 Sino-Indian War.
1964 Establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region.
2011 The 14th Dalai Lama bequeathed his political power as the head of state and temporal leader of Tibet to the democratic elected Prime Minister Dr. Lobsang Sangay, marking the end of the Ganden Phodrang theocratic rule to Tibet which lasted for 370 years (1642–2011).

See also



  1. ^ a b Karmay 2009, p. 532
  2. ^ Goldstein, M.C., A History of Modern Tibet, Volume 2 - The Calm before the Storm: 1951-1955, p. 493
  3. ^ Ngapoi recalls the founding of the TAR, Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme, China View, 30 August 2005.
  4. ^ The CIA's Secret War in Tibet, Kenneth Conboy, James Morrison, University Press of Kansas, 2002.
  5. ^ "Witness: Reporting on the Dalai Lama's escape to India." Peter Jackson. Reuters. 27 February 2009.Witness: Reporting on the Dalai Lama's escape to India| Reuters


Further reading