Major Historical Events

127 BC: Nyatri Tsenpo becomes the first
recorded king of Tibet.

629: Songtsen Gampo ascends the throne of Tibet. Under him Tibet emerges as the mightiest military power in Central Asia. He makes military incursions into China and demands Weng-chen, Chinese princess, as his bride. His Minister Thonmi Sambhota invents the Tibetan script, drawing on the Devnagri script.

755: Trisong Detsen ascends the throne of Tibet, invites the Indian Tantric Master, Padmasambhava, and Indian Scholars, Santarakshita and Kamalashila, to spread Buddhism in Tibet. The first Tibetan Buddhist monastery is built at Samye.

763: Tibet invades the Chinese capital of Chang'an (present-day Xian). The Chinese emperor flees his capital. Tibet appoints a new ruler for China.

821: Tibet and China sign a peace treaty, demarcating the boundaries of the two countries and pledging not to wage war against each other.

842: King Lang Dharma is killed, leading to a succession struggle between his two young sons. The Tibetan kingdom gradually breaks up into a number of disjointed princedoms.

1042: Bengali Buddhist teacher, Atisha Dipankar, arrives in Tibet and revives Buddhism, which had suffered persecution under King Lang Dharma.

1240: Godan, Mongol governor of Kansu region, sends a military expedition into Tibet. The Mongols leave Tibet on the mediation of Sakya Pandita, who becomes Godan's spiritual teacher.

1253: Mongol Prince Kubilai meets Sakya Pandita's nephew, Drogon Choegyal Phagpa. Kubilai adopts Phagpa as his chaplain.

1254: Kubilai appoints Phagpa the ruler of all Tibet. In 1260 Kubilai becomes the Khan of all the Mongols. In 1271 he becomes the ruler of all China and adopts the dynastic title of Yuan.

1350: Changchup Gyaltsen of Phagmodrup family replaces the Sakyas as the ruler of Tibet. He severs all ties with Mongols. Thirteen years later China achieves independence from Mongol rule.

1481: The Rimpung family replaces the Phagmodrup dynasty.

1565: The princes of Tsang begin ruling Tibet after deposing the Rimpung dynasty.

1639: Manchu King Tai Tsung invites the Fifth Dalai Lama to his capital, Mukden. The Dalai Lama is unable to go, but sends his envoy, which leads to establishment of priest-patron relationship between the Manchu kings and the Dalai Lamas. The relationship continues even after the Manchu occupation of China in 1644.

1642: Mongol Prince Gushri Khan defeats the king of Tsang and appoints the Fifth Dalai Lama as the ruler of Tibet. Since then, Tibet has been ruled by a succession of the Dalai Lamas.

1652: Shunzi, the Manchu Emperor of China, invites the Fifth Dalai Lama to his court in Beijing. The Emperor makes a four-day journey outside his capital and receives the Dalai Lama with all the ceremony accorded to an independent sovereign.

1792: The Gorkhas invade Tibet. Manchu Emperor Qianlong sends an army to help Tibet repel the Gorkhas. The Emperor makes a 29-point suggestion to improve the governance of Tibet.

1841: The Dogras of Jammu attack Tibet. The Tibetans repel the Dogras in 1842.

1855: Tibet fights a war with Nepal.

1895: The Thirteenth Dalai Lama ascends the throne of Tibet.

1903: Younghusband expedition of British India comes to Tibet, defeats the Tibetan army. The Dalai Lama flees to Mongolia and China. In 1904 the British army leaves Tibet after signing the Lhasa Convention.

1910: Manchu General Chao Erh Feng attacks Tibet. The priest-patron relationship between the Manchu Emperors and the Dalai Lamas came to an end. The Thirteenth Dalai Lama escapes to India.

1912: Tibetans drive out Manchu invaders.

1913: The Thirteenth Dalai Lama proclaims the independence of Tibet to the world and sets in motion the process of modernisation in order to make Tibet stronger.

1933: The Thirteenth Dalai Lama passes away.

1935: Tenzin Gyatso, a young child in Amdo recognised as the Fourteenth Dalai Lama.

1949: China begins the invasion of Tibet.

1959: China completes the occupation of Tibet, crushes the Tibetan National Uprising in Lhasa. Fourteenth Dalai Lama flees to India.

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Mao Tse Tung on Television, child watching