A brief chronology of the history of Tibet:
|Birth of Thothori Nyantsen, 28th King of Tibet.
|Nyantsen receives a Buddhist scripture, marking the initial introduction of Buddhism into Tibet (Currency from this event was dated).
|Reign of Songtsen Gampo, 32nd king. He sends scholars to India to study Sanskrit and a Tibetan script is devised.
|Tibet invades and occupies Nepal.
|Marriage of Gampo to Tang Chinese Princess Wencheng. They spread Buddhism in Tibet and found Jokhang.
|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.
|Tibetan Empire conquest of Tu-yu-lun state and annexation of Chinese territories in Central Asia.
|Tride Tsugtsen (died 755) becomes king.
|Tsugtsen marries Tang Chinese princess Chin-Cheng.
|The Tibetans (according to an 11th-century Chinese history) join with the Turkic Türgish to attack Kashgar.
|Tibetan troops take Uighur principality of 'Bug-cor in the Dunhuang oasis.
|Reign of Trisong Detsen, Tsugtsen's son. Reconquest of Central Asia
|Tibetans invade the Tang Chinese capital of Chang'an and withdraw 15 days later.
|Establishment of Samye Monastery. Buddhism officially recognised as state religion.
|Peace treaty signed with Tang China.
|Tibetan army advances westward to the Pamirs and Oxus River.
|Muni Tsangpo, Trisong Detsen's son, becomes king.
|Reign of Sadneleg
|Reign of Ralpachen, son of Sadneleg. Great translation of Buddhist texts conducted during this period.
|Changqing Treaty of Alliance with Tang China, Tibet retains most of Central Asian territories.
|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)
|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.
|Lang Darma ritually murdered by a Buddhist monk. Struggle for power and fragmentation ensues with constant warring and allying.
|Rinchen Zangpo, the great translator invites Indian teachers into western Tibet and a Buddhism renaissance begins, with monasteries established in the west.
|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.
|Atiśa (died 1054), a great Mahayana teacher from India, arrives in Tibet and conducts missionary activities.
|Establishment of Reting Monastery.
|Founding of Sakya Monastery.
|Birth of Sakya Pandita (died 1251), learned scholar of the Sakya sect.
|Tibetans send delegation to Genghis Khan and establish friendly relations.
|Death of Genghis Khan.
|Mongol invasions of Tibet.
|Sakya Pandita invited to meet Mongol Khan and invested with temporal power over Tibet.
|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.
|Phagpa received the title of Imperial Preceptor from Kublai Khan. Beginning of Yuan rule of Tibet.
|Fighting breaks out between the Sakyapa sect and the powerful Lang family which founds the Phagmodrupa dynasty.
|Birth of Je Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelugpa sect.
|Birth of Gedun Truppa, disciple of Tsongkhapa and head of the Gelugpa sect, posthumously named as the First Dalai Lama.
|Establishment of Ganden Monastery.
|Establishment of Drepung Monastery.
|Establishment of Sera Monastery. Death of Tsongkhapa.
|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.
|Establishment of Tashilhunpo Monastery in Gyantse.
|Death of the 1st Dalai Lama.
|Birth of the 2nd Dalai Lama, Gedun Gyatso.
|Death of the 2nd Dalai Lama.
|Birth of the 3rd Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso. He visits Mongolia and Altan Khan bestows the title of Dalai Lama upon him
|Overthrown of the Rinpungpa Dynasty by the Tsangpa Dynasty.
|Establishment of Kumbum Monastery.
|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.
|Death of the 4th Dalai Lama.
|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.
|Jesuit missionaries arrive in western Tibet.
|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
|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.
|5th Dalai Lama visits Ming China.
|Death of the 5th Dalai Lama, kept a secret by the regent.
|Birth of the 6th Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso.
|6th Dalai Lama enthroned and only now is the death of the 5th Dalai Lama made public.
|The last khan of the Khoshut Khanate, Lha-bzang Khan, invades Tibet and conquers Lhasa.
|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.
|Italian Capuchin monks arrive in Tibet.
|Another reincarnation of the 6th Dalai Lama is found and he takes refuge in Kumbum Monastery.
|Jesuit Father Ippolito Desideri arrives in Lhasa.
|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.
|Pholhanas (d. 1747) ends internal conflicts, and with Chinese support becomes ruler of Tibet.
|riots break out in Lhasa after the ambans assassination of the regent.
|The 7th Dalai Lama is recognised as ruler of Tibet, without effective political power.
|Death of the 7th Dalai Lama.
|Birth of the 8th Dalai Lama, Jompal Gyatso.
|First British Mission to Tibet let by George Bogle
|British Mission led by Samuel Turner. Chinese troops impose the Peace of Kathmandu following Gurkha incursions into Tibet.
|Death of the 8th Dalai Lama.
|The 9th Dalai Lama.
|British explorer Thomas Manning reaches Lhasa.
|The 10th Dalai Lama, Tsultrim Gyatso.
|The 11th Dalai Lama, Khedrup Gyatso.
|Treaty of Chushul between Qing dynasty and Dogra dynasty
|Lazarist monks, Huc and Gabet, arrive in Lhasa.
|12th Dalai Lama, Trinley Gyatso.
|Birth of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thupten Gyatso. Diplomatic conflict between Britain and Russia over privileges in Tibet.
|British Protectorate over Sikkim.
|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.
|Dalai Lama returns safely to Lhasa.
|Restoration of Chinese control over eastern Tibet and dispatch of troops to Lhasa.
|Xinhai Lhasa turmoil following the Wuchang Uprising of October 1911 which led to the fall of the Qing dynasty.
|Dalai Lama returns to Lhasa from India, ruling without Chinese interference.
|Simla Convention between the British, Chinese and Tibetan delegates but the Chinese fail to ratify agreement.
|Mission of Sir Charles Alfred Bell to Tibet.
|Panchen Lama flees to China.
|Death of the 13th Dalai Lama.
|Appointment of Regent (abbot of Reting Monastery).
|Birth of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.
|Ratification of the 14th Dalai Lama by the Nationalist Government.
Enthronement of the 14th Dalai Lama.
|Arrival of Austrians Heinrich Harrer and Peter Aufschnaiter in Tibet. They reach Lhasa in January 1946.
|Indian independence and end of the British Tibet Policy.
|6 to 19 October Battle of Chamdo.
|Arrival of the People's Liberation Army in Lhasa following an agreement for liberation with the Central People's Government.
| Dalai Lama attended the National People's Congress in Beijing as a deputy and met Mao Zedong.
|After a revolt against acceded reform, the 14th Dalai Lama fled Tibet with the help of CIA, later set up an exile government in India.
|Establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region.
|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).
Dalai Lama is a title given by the Tibetan people to the foremost spiritual leader of the Gelug or "Yellow Hat" school of Tibetan Buddhism, the newest and most dominant of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The 14th and incumbent Dalai Lama is Tenzin Gyatso, who lives in exile as a refugee in India. The Dalai Lama is also considered to be the successor in a line of tulkus who are believed to be incarnations of Avalokiteśvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion.
The Panchen Lama is a tulku of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. The Panchen Lama is one of the most important figures in the Gelug tradition, with its spiritual authority second only to the Dalai Lama. Along with the council of high lamas, he is in charge of seeking out the next Dalai Lama. Panchen is a portmanteau of Pandita and Chenpo, meaning "great scholar".
While the Tibetan plateau has been inhabited since pre-historic times, most of Tibet's history went unrecorded until the introduction of Tibetan Buddhism around the 6th century. Tibetan texts refer to the kingdom of Zhangzhung as the precursor of later Tibetan kingdoms and the originators of the Bon religion. While mythical accounts of early rulers of the Yarlung Dynasty exist, historical accounts begin with the introduction of Buddhism from India in the 6th century and the appearance of envoys from the unified Tibetan Empire in the 7th century. Following the dissolution of the empire and a period of fragmentation in the 9th-10th centuries, a Buddhist revival in the 10th–12th centuries saw the development of three of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
Thubten Choekyi Nyima (1883–1937), often referred to as Choekyi Nyima, was the ninth Panchen Lama of Tibet.
Ngawang Lobsang Thupten Gyatso Jigdral Chokley Namgyal, abbreviated to Thubten Gyatso was the 13th Dalai Lama of Tibet, enthroned during a turbulent era and the collapse of the Qing Dynasty. Referred to as "the Great Thirteenth", he is also known for redeclaring Tibet's national independence, and for his reform and modernization initiatives.
Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso was the 5th Dalai Lama and the first Dalai Lama to wield effective temporal and spiritual power over all Tibet. He is often referred to simply as the Great Fifth, being a key religious and temporal leader of Tibetan Buddhism and Tibet. Gyatso is credited with unifying all Tibet under the Ganden Phodrang after a Mongol military intervention which ended a protracted era of civil wars. As an independent head of state, he established relations with the Qing empire and other regional countries and also met early European explorers. Gyatso also wrote 24 volumes' worth of scholarly and religious works on a wide range of subjects.
Menri Monastery is the name of a Bon monastery in Tibet that has been refounded in India. The name derives from the medicinal plants and medicinal springs on the mountain. Menri became the leading Bon monastery in the Tibetan cultural region. The abbot of Menri is recognized as the spiritual leader of Bon.
The Seventeen Point Agreement, officially the Agreement of the Central People's Government and the Local Government of Tibet on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet, was a document pertaining to the status of Tibet within the People's Republic of China. It was signed by plenipotentiaries of the Central People's Government and the Tibetan government on 23 May 1951, in Zhongnanhai, Beijing. The 14th Dalai Lama ratified the agreement in the form of a telegraph on 24 October 1951.
Reting Monastery is an historically important Buddhist monastery in Lhünzhub County in Lhasa, Ü-Tsang, Tibet. It is also commonly spelled "Radreng."
Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme was a Tibetan senior official who assumed various military and political responsibilities both before and after 1951 in Tibet. He is often known simply as Ngapo in English sources.
Phüntsok Wangyal Goranangpa, also known as Phüntsog Wangyal, Bapa Phüntsok Wangyal or Phünwang, was a Tibetan politician. A major figure in modern Sino-Tibetan relations, he is best known for being the founder and leader of the Tibetan Communist Party. He was arrested by the Chinese authorities in 1960 and subsequently spent 18 years in the infamous Chinese high security prison Qincheng in solitary confinement. After his release he lived in Beijing until his death.
Kagyud Nampar Gyalwa was a prince in Central Tibet. He belonged to the Phagmodrupa dynasty which reigned in Tibet or parts of it from 1354 to the early 17th century. He is sometimes represented as the penultimate ruler of the line, although the circumstances about his political position are ill-recorded.
The Batang uprising was an uprising by the Khampas of Kham against the assertion of authority by Qing China.
The Tibet Improvement Party was a nationalist, revolutionary, anti-feudal and pro-Republic of China political party in Tibet. It was affiliated with the Kuomintang and was supported by mostly Khampas, with the Pandatsang family playing a key role.
Pandatsang Rapga was a Khamba revolutionary during the first half of the 20th century in Tibet. He was pro-Kuomintang and pro-Republic of China, anti-feudal, anti-communist. He believed in overthrowing the Dalai Lama's feudal regime and driving British imperialism out of Tibet, and acted on behalf of Chiang Kai-shek in countering the Dalai Lama. He was later involved in rebelling against communist rule.
The Tibetan Army was the armed forces of Tibet from 1913 to 1959. It was established by the 13th Dalai Lama shortly after he proclaimed the independence of Tibet in 1912, and was modernised with the assistance of British training and equipment. It was dissolved by the Chinese government following the failed 1959 Tibetan uprising.
Kurtis R. Schaeffer is Professor of Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the University of Virginia and Chair of the Religious Studies department. His primary topics of research are the history of the regions of Nepal, India, Tibet, and China, with a focus on the forms of Buddhism present in these areas, most especially Tibetan Buddhism. Some specific issues he has been concentrated on include Indo-Tibetan poetry, the development of classical learning and printed literature in Tibetan cultural regions, and the history of women, saints, and Dalai Lamas in Tibet. For his work, Schaeffer has received Fulbright, Ryskamp, and Whiting fellowships.
Mipham Wanggyur Gyalpo was a king in Central Tibet who ruled in 1604–1613 and belonged to the Phagmodrupa Dynasty. His largely nominal reign saw increasing political tumult in Tibet which was related to the political ambitions of the rival Tsangpa Dynasty.
Lucette Boulnois (1931–2009) was a French historian of the Silk Road and trans-Himalayan trade. Her career was book-ended by her seminal 1963 book La route de la soie, which was translated into nine languages, and her 2001 elaboration on that work titled La route de la soie-dieux, guerriers et marchands. UNESCO described her as "a world-renowned authority on the history of the fabled trade route".
Chiefdom of Lithang, or Chiefdom of Litang, was an autonomous Tusi chiefdom that ruled Litang during the Qing dynasty period. Lithang, Bathang, Chakla and Derge were called the "Four Great Native Chiefdoms in Kham" (康区四大土司) by the Chinese.