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Dates in T ib etan His t o r y a n d K e y E v e n t s in N eig hb o r ing L a n d s

before c. 600 C.E. 247 b.c.e. 202 b.c.e.–220 c.e. 433 c.e. 324–1453 c. 600 – c. 900 C.E. 581– 618 608 c.e. 570 – 632 c. 617 or 629 618 – 907 630s 640 641 650 650 – 676 676 –704

prehistoric and legendary period in Tibet traditional dating of Nyatri Tsenpo’s election as king Han empire extends Chinese power in Inner Asia traditional dating of first intimations of Buddhism in Tibet, under King Lha Totori Byzantine empire empire of the Pugyel/ Yarlung dynasty Sui dynasty rules China first recorded Tibetan delegation to China life of Muhammad, prophet of Islam death of Namri Löntsen and enthronement of Songtsen Gampo Tang dynasty rules China Tibetan conquests of Zhangzhung and Azha (Tuyuhun) Minister Gar Tongtsen’s mission to China Princess Wencheng sent to Tibet death of Songtsen Gampo reign of Manglön Mangtsen; Tibetan expansion in Tarim Basin reign of Düsong; Tibetan domination of the Nanzhao kingdom


D a t e s i n T i b e ta n H i sto r y a n d Ke y E ve nts

680 680 –750 684–705 704–712 710 712–755 739 742 750 –1258 751 c. 750 –1174 755 755 762 763 c. 767 779 c. 781 c. 797 c. 804– 815 815– 838 822 838 – 842 845 842– c. 900 851 c. 900 –1250 906 –1099 906 –1016 mid- to late 10th century c. 950 –1685 960 –1279 958 –1055 shortly after 1000 c. 959 – c. 1036

death of Princess Wencheng Umayyad caliphate reign of Chinese Empress Wu Zetian Tibet under the rule of Empress Dowager Tri Malö Princess Jincheng sent to Tibet; marries the future Tri Detsuktsen reign of Tri Detsuktsen death of Princess Jincheng birth of Tri Songdetsen Abbasid caliphate defeat of Tang armies by the Abbasids at the Battle of Talas Pala dynasty rules northeastern India assassination of Tri Detsuktsen and enthronement of Tri Songdetsen An Lushan rebellion exiles Tang court to Sichuan conversion of Tri Songdetsen to Buddhism Tibetan occupation of the Chinese capital Chang’an earliest extant Tibetan writing, the Takdra Lukhong inscription, in Lhasa foundation of Samyé monastery Tibetan conquest of Dunhuang abdication of Tri Songdetsen; succession uncertain reign of Tri Desongtsen reign of Tri Tsukdetsen, a.k.a. Relpachen, assassinated 838 “uncle-nephew” treaty with Tang China reign of Üdumtsen (Lang Darma); assassinated; succeeded by Ösung persecution of Buddhism in China reigns of Ösung and his son Pelkortsen; local rebellions and final collapse of the empire Governor Zhang Yichao overturns Tibetan rule in Gansu, including Dunhuang age of fragmentation Tibetan polities in northeastern Tibet Lingchu Serkap (Ch. Liangzhou) Silk Road city under Tibetan rule restoration of Central Tibetan Vinaya by monks ordained in Amdo by Lachen Gongpa Rapsel or his successors kingdom of Gugé in far western Tibet Song dynasty life of the “great translator” Rinchen Zangpo sealing of Dunhuang “Library Cave” life of Yeshé-ö, Buddhist ruler of Gugé

D a t e s i n T i b e ta n H i story a nd Ke y E ve nts


c. 996 1032–1227 c. 996 –1035 997–1099 1012– 65 1017 1027 1042 1045 1054 1057 1073 1073 1096 1099 1123 1143 1153 1159 1170 1169–93 1175 1179 1180 1193 1193

foundation by Yeshé-ö of monasteries at Tabo (now in Himachal Pradesh, India) and Toling, west Tibet Xixia (Minyak or Tangut) dynasty in northwestern China life of Shenchen Luga, revealer of Bönpo canonical scriptures Tsongkha kingdom rules in northeastern Tibet reign of Gyelsé (Ch. Gusiluo), imperial scion in Tsongkha kingdom Tangpoché monastery founded in Yarlung Valley introduction of K alacakra tantra and inception of new calendrical system based upon it Atiqa (982–1054) arrives in Gugé Atiqa travels to Central Tibet death of Atiqa at Nyetang foundation of Radreng (Reting) monastery by Atiqa’s disciple Dromtön (1004– 64) foundation of Sakya monastery by Khön Könchok Gyelpo (1034–1102) foundation of Sangpu monastery by Ngok Lekpé Sherap death of Marpa (b. c. 1012), founder of Kagyü tantric lineage Tsongkha kingdom falls to the Song dynasty death of Milarepa (b. 1040), poet-saint of the Kagyü death of Machik Lapdrön (b. c. 1055), female saint and founder of the lineage of Severance death of Gampopa (b. 1079), founder of Kagyü monastic order foundation of Katok monastery in Kham by Dampa Deshek (1122– 92) death of Pakmodrupa Dorjé Gyelpo (b. 1110), founder of Pakmodrupa Kagyü order reign of Renzong (b. 1139) in Xixia; extends support to Tibetan Buddhism foundation of Tsel Gungtang monastery outside Lhasa by Lama Zhang (1122– 93) foundation of Drikung-til monastery by Kyopa Jikten Sumgön (1143–1217) foundation of Taklung monastery by Taklung Tangpa Trashipel (1142 –1210) death of Düsum Khyenpa (b. 1110), First Karmapa and founder of the Karma Kagyü Indian Buddhist university of Nalanda sacked by Bakhtiyar Khalji


D a te s i n T i b e ta n H i sto r y and Ke y E ve nts

1204 c. 1200 –1769 c. 1207 1211 1227 1240 1246 1252 1256 1264–1350 1264 1268 1271 1278 1285 1280 –1368 1290 1299 –1923 1304 1339 1350 1350 –1642 1354 1361 1363 1364 1368 –1644 1369


arrival in Tibet of the Kashmiri master Sakyaqribhadra Malla kings rule the Kathmandu Valley Jagaddala in Bengal, among the last of the major Buddhist monasteries in India, destroyed death of Tsangpa Gyaré (b. 1161), founder of Drukpa Kagyü order, later the state religion of Bhutan death of Chinggis Khan (b. c. 1167) first Mongol invasion of Tibet ordered by Köden; razes Radreng (Reting) monastery Sakya Pandita (1182–1251) meets Köden Khan in Liangzhou, Gansu Mongol armies under Möngke Khan ravage eastern Tibet Möngke holds religious debates at Sira-ordos, attended by Karma Pakshi (1206 – 83), the second Karmapa Sakyapa rule, under Mongol authority Sakyapa Lama Pakpa (1235– 80) appointed leader of Tibet by Qubilai Khan (1215– 94) Mongol-sponsored census of Tibetan households eastern Mongol empire, under Qubilai Khan, adopts the dynastic title Yuan xylographic publication of Sakya Pandita’s Logic in Beijing Hülegü Khan, ruler of Mongols in Persia, assists Drigungpa assault on Sakya Yuan dynasty rules all of China Drigung monastery razed by armies of Qubilai Khan Ottoman Empire comparative catalogue of Tibetan and Chinese Buddhist canons completed with Yuan support death of Third Karmapa, Rangjung Dorjé (b. 1284) fall of the Sakyapa hegemony Pakmodrupa, Rinpungpa, and Tsangpa hegemonies Mongols recognize Tai Situ Jangchup Gyeltsen (1302– 64) as ruler of Tibet death of Jonangpa master Dölpopa Sherap Gyeltsen (b. 1292) death of Longchen Rapjampa (b. 1308) death of Butön Rinchendrup (b. 1290) Ming dynasty rules China Fourth Karmapa, Rölpé Dorjé (1340-83), dispatches mission to Nanjing, China, to celebrate the foundation of the Ming dynasty reign of Pakmodrupa ruler Miwang Drakpa Gyeltsen

D a t e s i n T i b e ta n H i story a nd Ke y E ve nts


1403 1405 1409 1410 1416 1418 1419 1419 1432 1435 1447

1453 1498 –1518 1501–1736 1526 –1858 1542 1542– 82 1565 1578 1588 1600s–1700s 1603–34

1604 1605

Ming emperor Yongle (r. 1402 –24) initiated by Fifth Karmapa, Dezhinshekpa (1384–1415) foundation of Bön monastery Menri in Tsang by Nyammé Sherap Gyeltsen (1356 –1415) Tsongkhapa establishes Great Prayer Festival in Lhasa and founds Ganden monastery Yongle emperor publishes Tibetan Buddhist canon (Kang yur) foundation of Drepung monastery by Tsongkhapa’s disciple Jamyang Chöjé (1379 –1449) Choné ruler in southeast Amdo recognized by Yongle emperor; family rules until 1949 foundation of Sera monastery by Tsongkhapa’s disciple Jamchen Chöjé (1354–1435) death of Tsongkhapa (b. 1357) death of Gyeltsap-jé (b. 1364), Tsongkhapa’s successor at Ganden Samdruptsé (later Zhigatsé) seized by the Rinpungpa, vassals and rivals of the Pakmodrupa foundation of Trashilhünpo monastery at Samdruptsé by Gendün-drup (1391–1474), posthumously held to be First Dalai Lama fall of Constantinople to Ottoman Empire suppression of the Gelukpa in the Lhasa region by the Rinpungpa administration Safavid dynasty in Iran Mughal empire in northern India death of Gendün Gyatso (b. 1476), posthumously held to be Second Dalai Lama reign of Altan Khan; invades Amdo and converts to Tibetan Buddhism fall of the Rinpungpa Sönam Gyatso (1543– 88) receives title of Dalai Lama from Mongol leader Altan Khan foundation of Kumbum monastery in Amdo by Dalai Lama Sönam Gyatso expansion of Russian empire in Siberia reign of Ligdan Khan of the Chahar khanate, last of the Borjigid line; embraces the Sakya order of Tibetan Buddhism in 1617 foundation of Gönlung monastery in Amdo Wanli emperor (r. 1572–1620) of the Ming dynasty publishes the Tibetan Buddhist canon


D a t e s i n T i b e ta n H i sto r y and Ke y E ve nts



1630 1634 1630s–1756 1636 –1724 1638 –45 1642 –1959 1642

1644–1911 1644–61 1645 c. 1651

1652–53 1658 –1707 1661–1722 1662

1682 1684– 92 1700 1705

death of Fourth Dalai Lama, Yönten Gyatso (b. 1589), a Tümed Mongol; birth of Fifth Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lozang Gyatso final defeat of the Pakmodrupa by the Tsangpa regime; Tenth Karmapa, Chöying Dorjé (1605–74), crowned by the Tsangpa as spiritual leader of Tibet arrival of Oirat (later called Kalmyk) Mongols in the region of Astrakhan, Russia death of Taranatha (b. 1575), Jonangpa teacher and historian; foundation of ecclesiastical state in Bhutan Zunghar Khanate rules much of central Eurasia, embracing Tibetan Buddhism Khoshud Khanate, under Gushri Khan and his sons, rules most of Amdo Mahakala Temple complex established in Mukden, capital of the Manchu Jin dynasty Ganden Podrang regime the Khoshud Gushri Khan (1582–1655) defeats the Tsangpa regime; beginning of the Fifth Dalai Lama’s rule; enthronement of Püntsok Namgyel, first Tibetan King of Sikkim Qing (Manchu) dynasty rules China reign of Emperor Shunzhi (b. 1638) construction of the Potala Palace begins death of Zhapdrung Ngawang Namgyel (b. 1594), Tibetan founder of the Drukpa Kagyü ecclesiastical state in Bhutan journey of Fifth Dalai Lama to Beijing; meets Emperor Shunzhi life of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb; Mughal empire reaches largest extent reign of Qing Emperor Kangxi death of Chökyi Gyeltsen (b. 1570), tutor of Fourth and Fifth Dalai Lamas and first recognized Panchen Lama (numbered Fourth) death of Fifth Dalai Lama, concealed by Regent Sanggyé Gyatso until 1696 Kangxi edition of Tibetan Buddhist canon published Lhazang Khan becomes chief of Mongol forces in Tibet assassination of Regent Sanggyé Gyatso (b. 1653) by order of the wife of Lhazang Khan; Lhazang rules central Tibet until his death in 1717

D a t e s i n T i b e ta n H i story a nd Ke y E ve nts


1706 1709 1717 1718 –20 1720

1722–35 1723–24 1727–47 1727–35 1727 1730 –32 1733 1744 1744 1737– 96 1747–50 1750 1757–77 1757–1858 1768 1774 1774 1777– 86 1778 1780 1786

death of Sixth Dalai Lama (b. 1683) following his dethronement by Lhazang Khan foundation of Labrang monastery in Gansu by Jamyang Zhepa (1648 –1721) invasion of Tibet by Zunghar Mongols Kangxi edition of Mongolian translation of Tibetan Kangyur published Tibetan and Manchu forces repel Zunghars; Seventh Dalai Lama, Kelzang Gyatso (1708–57), installed at Potala Palace reign of Qing Emperor Yongzheng Mongols and Tibetans in Amdo rebel against Manchus but are harshly suppressed Polhané (1689 –1747), with Manchu support, rules Tibet Seventh Dalai Lama exiled to Kham Qing court establishes amban as resident envoy in Lhasa; position lasts until 1911 publication, under Polhané’s sponsorship, of Kangyur at Nartang completion of Dergé printed edition of Kangyur completion of Dergé printed edition of Tengyur (canonical commentaries) foundation of Yonghe gong Gelukpa monastic university in Beijing reign of Qing Emperor Qianlong Tibet ruled by Polhané’s son Gyurmé Namgyel, who dies in abortive rebellion against Manchus Seventh Dalai Lama becomes head of state regency of Sixth Demo Khutughtu (1723–77) British East India Company rule in India Prithvi Narayan Shah (1742–75) establishes Shah (Gurkha) dynasty in Nepal death of Situ Panchen Chökyi Jungné (b. 1699), founder of Pelpung monastery in Dergé East India Company Governor Warren Hastings dispatches George Bogle to Tibet regency of Tsemönling, former chaplain of the Qianlong emperor Ulan Bator, capital of modern Mongolia, founded death in Beijing of Sixth Panchen Lama, Pelden Yeshé (b. 1738), Bogle’s host in Tibet death of Changkya Rölpé Dorjé (b. 1717), Buddhist tutor of the Qianlong emperor


D a t e s i n T i b e ta n H i sto r y and Ke y E ve nts

1792 1794 1796 –1820 1804 1815 1814–16 1819 –44 1837 1837– 65 1839 –42 1845– 62 1846 1850 – 64 1851 1855 1857

1858 –1947 1861 1864–73 1875 1874–1908 1875– 86 1876 1883 1884–1908 1886 – 95 1895 1899 1904 1905 1906 –11

Nepalese invasion of Tibet repulsed by Qing army; Qianlong emperor enacts reforms of Tibetan administration Qianlong edition of Manchu translation of Tibetan Kangyur published reign of Qing Emperor Jiaqing death of Eighth Dalai Lama, Jampel Gyatso (b. 1758) death of Ninth Dalai Lama, Lungtok Gyatso (b. 1805) Anglo –Nepal War regency of Tsemönling Jampel Tsültrim Gyatso, scion of Choné’s ruling family death of Tenth Dalai Lama, Tsültrim Gyatso (b. 1816) Nyarong wars in Kham, concluded by Manchu and Central Tibetan intervention Opium War weakens China regency of Radreng (Reting) Yeshé Tsültrim Gyeltsen British annexation of Ladakh Taiping Rebellion death of Amdo poet-saint Zhapkar Tsokdruk Rangdröl (b. 1781) death of Eleventh Dalai Lama, Khedrup Gyatso (b. 1838); Nepalese invade Tibetan border regions Indian Rebellion (formerly known as the Sepoy Mutiny) aims to overthrow the rule of the British East India Company British Raj rules India following the dissolution of the East India Company British annexation of Sikkim regency of Dedruk Khyenrap Wangchuk death of Twelfth Dalai Lama, Trinlé Gyatso (b. 1856) reign of Qing Emperor Guangxu regency of Tatsak Ngawang Pelden birth of Thirteenth Dalai Lama, Tupten Gyatso anti-Nepalese riots in Lhasa China governed by Empress Dowager Cixi (b. 1835) regency of Demo Khutughtu Lozang Trinlé Thirteenth Dalai Lama, Tupten Gyatso, becomes head of state death of Jamgön Kongtrül (b. 1813) Younghusband Expedition invades Central Tibet; Thirteenth Dalai Lama flees to Mongolia Chinese general Zhao Erfeng’s campaigns crush monasteries in southern Kham reign of infant Emperor Puyi (1906 – 67)

D a t e s i n T i b e ta n H i story a nd Ke y E ve nts


1907 1908 1909 1910 1912 1912 – 49 1924 1924 1929 1933 1934 1935 1937 1938 1941 1947 August 15, 1947 October 1, 1949 1950 October 24, 1951

Bhutanese monarchy founded; coronation of King Ugyen Wangchuk (1862–1926) Thirteenth Dalai Lama, still in exile, visits Beijing for imperial audience Thirteenth Dalai Lama returns to Tibet General Zhao Erfeng invades Tibet; Thirteenth Dalai Lama flees to India return of Thirteenth Dalai Lama; Chinese garrison driven from Central Tibet; death of Mipam Rinpoché (b. 1846) Chinese Republic founded following the fall of the Manchu Qing dynasty Ninth Panchen Lama (1883–1937) flees into exile in China Mongolian People’s Republic founded Qinghai made a province under the Chinese Muslim Ma family, who oppress the Amdo Tibetans death of Thirteenth Dalai Lama, Tupten Gyatso Radreng (Reting) Rinpoché (1911–47) made regent birth of Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, in Taktsé, Qinghai Ninth Panchen Lama dies in Jyekundo while seeking to return to Central Tibet birth of Tenth Panchen Lama (d. 1989) in Bindo, Amdo Radreng (Reting) Rinpoché steps down as regent in favor of Takdra Rinpoché Reting Rinpoché seeks to regain power in abortive rebellion India becomes independent, marking the end of the British Indian Empire establishment of the People’s Republic of China under Mao Zedong Fourteenth Dalai Lama made head of state at age 15 Tibet is incorporated into the People’s Republic of China by the “Seventeen-Point Agreement”