A time-line of Tibet

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(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi)


1063BC: Bon religion established
127BC: Tibetan kingdom of Nyatri Tsenpo
600AD: Buddhist texts translated into Tibetan
602: Tibet is unified under Namri Songtsen
629: Tibet expands under Songtsen Gampo
630: Songzen Gampo introduces Buddhism to Bhutan
637: Songtsen Gampo builds the first Potala in Lhasa
760: Indian mystics such as Santarakshita and Padmasambhava visit Tibet
763: Tibetan sack of Chinese capital Xian
779: the first Buddhist monastery is founded in Samye by Guru Rinpoche/ Padmasambhava
821: Peace treaty between Tibet and China
842: the Tibetan emperor Langdarma is assassinated and the empire disintegrates
1042: the Indian mystic Atisha visits Tibet (Kadampa teachings)
1073: Sakya monastery and Sakya domination
1080: the Tibetan poet and mystic Milarepa
1247: the Mongols (known as Yuan dynasty in China) become de facto rulers of Tibet but Sakya monks become their tutors
1253: Kublai Khan declares Buddhism the state religion of his empire
1254: Drogon Chogyal Phagpa is appointed ruler of Tibet (first to exert both religious and secular authority over Tibet, or "lama")
1409: Ganden Monastery founded by Tsongkhapa and Gelugpa domination
1445: Shigatze monastery founded by Gendun Drup (b 1391), later recognized as first dalai lama
1573: The Mongol emperor invites Sonam Gyatso of Tibet to the Mongol capital of Altan Khan and begins conversion of Mongolia to Buddhism, and bestows on Sonam Gyatso the title of "Dalai Lama" ("Ocean of Wisdom")
1601: The Mongol emperor appoints Yonten Gyatso, a grandson of Altan Khan, as Tibet's Dalai Lama, causing a civil war in Tibet
1642: Ngawang Lozang Gyatso (fifth dalai lama) assumes both spiritual and temporal authority over Tibet
1648: Potala built in Lhasa
1650: Choskyi Gyaltsen is recognized as first panchen lama ("great scholar")
1652: Tibet's dalai lama visits the Manchu emperor Shunzhi in Beijing
1684: Tibet is defeated by Ladaq and Bhutan
1697: The dalai lama Tsangyang Gyatso seizes power in Tibet
1706: A Mongol king Lhazang Khan, an ally of the Chinese emperor, deposes Tsangyang and installs a hand-picked dalai lama, Ngwaang Yeshi Gyatso
1716: Mission by Jesuit priest Ippolito Desideri
1717: Another Mongol king defeats Lhazang Khan and liberates Tibet
1720: The Manchus invade Tibet, turn Tibet into a protectorate and install Kelzang Gyatso as the new dalai lama
1728: The Manchus appoint Pho-lha-nas as the real political leader of Tibet
1750: The Manchus invade Tibet again to quell an uprising and install a council presided by the Dalai Lama
1788: Nepal invades Tibet but the Manchus intervene on Tibet's side
1792: China enacts rules on how Tibet should elect its government
1793: Nepal is definitely defeated
1841: An Indian kingdom invades Tibet
1856: Peace treaty with Nepal
1904: British troops invade Tibet but soon withdraw
1905: Chinese troops led by Zhao Erfang invade Tibet and destroy many monasteries
1911: After the fall of the Qing dynasty, the Chinese troops in Tibet mutiny and kill Zhao
1913: Tibet proclaims its independence from China, a popular insurrection expels the Chinese troops, and the dalai lama returns to Lhasa
1918: Tibet pushes the Chinese back and reaches the Yiang Tze Kiang
1946: Tibetan representatives attend the Chinese constitutional assembly in Nanjing as observers
1949: China invades eastern Tibet
1951: China annexes the whole of Tibet
1959: Tibetans riot against Chinese occupation (87,000 dead)
1959: the dalai lama escapes from Lhasa to India
1966: During the "cultural revolution" 2,692 Tibetan monasteries are destroyed
1976: China begins a campaign to resettle ethnic Chinese in Tibet
1979: China opens Tibet to foreign tourists
1987: the Chinese government establishes a special school in Beijing to educate the reincarnate Tibetan lamas
1989: The dalai lama is awarded the Nobel Prize for peace
1991: the panchen lama dies, opening a conflict with China over the appointment of the successor
2002: Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and other Tibetan leaders are arrested by the government of mainland China
2006: a railway connection between mainland China and Tibet is inaugurated (the 1,140km Golmud-Lhasa being the world's highest)
2008: 130 Tibetan protesters are killed and hundreds arrested in Lhasa by the troops of mainland China after Tibetans riot and kill 18 Chinese civilians living in Tibet

World News | Politics | History | Editor
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi)