Muslim sultans fighting among themselves, leave india open for conquest from outside.

Jengiz Khan raids the Western Punjab, and later Lahore, Sindh and Multan.

A century later, in 1398, Timur Lang, a descendant of Jengiz Khan, takes Multan and Delhi.

Formative events in Tibetan and Buddhism history. Events within Tibet, and directly related to Tibet, are highlighted. Other events are more distantly related, or help us to locate ourselves in the stream of world history.
Dates are in Western calendar:
"BCE" = "Before Christian Era", "CE" = "Christian Era"

~100,000-50,000 BCE tibet

Humans in tibet.

Humans left artifacts in what is now Tibet. Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) tools found, also Neolothic (New Stone Age). Sure in southern tibet, and Lu Ling in central tibet. ref

~20,000 BCE india

Humans in india.

Humans left artifacts in what is now india ref

~5000 - ~3000 BCE india

Aryans into india.

Aryan peoples migrated into india

Aryans probably came from the west, from what is now Iran, disloging the Dravidians. (Veddas may be the oldest peoples in india, now only in the hills of sri lanka.) ref

~3000 BCE tibet

Villages in tibet.

Karub, near the town Chamdo in eastern tibet, the remains of a whole Neolithic village, with streets and houses, stone tools, millstones, and pottery. ref

~2500 - ~1500 BCE india

Indus civilizations of Harappa and Mohenjotaro.

Used advanced technologies such as an intricate system of water supply and sewer drainage. Seem to already have worshipped Shiva and Devi.

~1500 BCE india

Vedic literature.

Vedic literature probably began.

Although some of the hymns might be much older.

~1200 BCE india

Sanskrit literature probably began.

~1000 BCE india

Vedic period ends.

~650 BCE india

King Sisunaka.

King Sisunaka (or Shishunaga) was founder of the Shaishunaga dynasty of 10 kings. Rajagriha, east of Varanasi, which is also called Girivraja, became the capital of Magadha in what is now Southern Bihar.

~600-~200 BCE india

Upanishads composed.

The Upanishads are philosophical treatises of fundamental importance for world philosophy.

~500 BCE india

Siddartha teaches the Path.

Gautama Sidddartha was the Buddha of this age.

~500 BCE india

Mahavira founds Jainism.

Vardhamana Mahavira founded Jainism ...

The popularity of Buddhism and Jainism may have both been a reaction against the institutionalized, formal, Brahmin-dominated Hinduism of the time.

~500 BCE West

An explosion of other philosophies and thought all over the world around this time.

~500 BCE india

King Bimbisara.

The first historical ruler of india. May have been a patron of the Buddhist monks and their monasteries. Descendant of King Sisunaka, of the Shaishunaga dynasty. His son Ajatashatru (Kunika) visited Gautama Buddha. Was related to Vardhamana Mahavira, the founder of Jainism.

~400-320 BCE india

The "new" Nanda dynasty.

Nine kings, descendants of King Mahapadma and his eight sons, reigned in Magadha, india.

326 BCE india

Alexander invades india.

Alexander the Great invades western india.

320-185 BCE india

The Maurya dynasty; were Buddhists.

Chandragupta, whose chief minister was Chanakya Kautilya, the first political scientist. Son was Binduara (297-272 B), whose son was Ashoka.

272-232 BCE india

Ashoka is Buddhist ruler of india.

Indian emperor Ashoka was a committed Buddhist.

A contemporary of the Egyptian ruler Ptolemy II. Ashoka knew of him and other rulers of his time.

232-204 BCE india

Mahendra, emperor of india. During his reign Buddhism was spread in sri lanka.

Son of Ashoka. Becomes a Buddhist priest.

Leads the expedition sent out by his father to sri lanka.
~222 BCE founds Buddhist monastery Anuradhapura in sri lanka.

There plants a branch of the original Bodhi tree, brought from Bodh Gaya by his sister Sanghamitta, a Buddhist nun. The tree now there is said to be the same tree, and branches from it have been taken to all the Buddhist countries. ref

~200 BCE india

Puranas composed.

Versified narratives of the creation and the mythical lives of the gods.

~200 BCE india

Ramayana composed.

Ramayana epic composed by Valmiki.

Relates the history of Rama, Sita and Hanuman. 48,00 lines of eight syllables each.

185-73 BCE india

Shunga dynasty.

The Shunga dynasty were Buddhists.

Briharatha's commander-in-chief Pushyamitra assassinated him and founded the Shunga dynasty. Several famous stupas remain from the Shunga period.

127 BCE Tibet

Purgyal dynasty. Constructed the first fort in tibet at Yumbu.

The beginning of Purgyal dynasty. A descendant of a king exiled from Magadha, india, was elected as the ruler of the Yarlung, and named Nyatri Tsampo. He constructed the first fort in tibet at Yumbu, which is known as Yumbu Lagar. ref

73-28 BCE india

The Kanva dynasty.

Contemporary with the Roman emperor Augustus.

~20 BCE sri lanka

The Pali Canon, or Tripitaka, written down.

in sri lanka.

~0 BCE israel/palestine

Jesus born.

In some accounts he spent the "missing" years of his 20s in India, and brought concepts of Buddhism back to his people, which became "Christianity".

Is thought to have survived his crucifixion and returned to the east. [refs TBD.]

1st century CE china

Mahayana Buddhism spreads to China. ref

100s india

Huvishka reign

A central Asian ruler who reigned in north india. Said to be a buddhist ref

173 tibet

Purgyal king Tho Tho Ri Nyantsen born.

Twenty-eighth king of Purgyal dyanasty. During his sixtieth birthday, a book of Sanskrit buddhist scripture came to him from india. ref

320-647 india

The Gupta dynasty. A reign of tolerance.

For almost two centuries there was stability in Central india so that the arts flourished. Apart from sculpture and painting, the Gupta period was remarkable for the renaissance of the classical Sanskrit language, and the cdreation, or recreation, of the great Sanskrit literature as we know it today. ref

The Chinese Buddhist scholar Fa Hien who visited india in the years 399-414 of the Gupta period, regarded india as the sacred land of the buddha, but the Gupta emperors referred on their coins to the deity as Bhagavad or Vishnu. Their reign was apparently marked by complete tolerance, long before there was any suggestion of this in Europe. ref

~400 british isles

"Old English" language comes to british isles.

From the area now known as The Netherlands

It is a member of the Anglic branch of Germanic. The closest living relative languages to Old English are Scots and Frisian.


~400 india

Bhagavadgita written.

The Sermon of Krishna (i.e., Vishnu himself); became part of the Mahabarata; with Krishna's message of non-attachment: "Do what you do, and give the fruits of your action to me."

~400 india

Mahabarata completed no later than this.

The most voluminous single work of indian literature, over 200,000 lines. The fountain of indian mythology. Oldest portions probably date from late Vedic period, about 1000 B.

500s Japan

Mahayana Buddhism spreads to Japan.


~500 Tibet

Buddhism formally introduced into Tibet.

Lha-tho Tho-Ri Nyen-Tsen King of Tibet, introduced Buddhism into Tibet.

~500 americas

People cross Bering strait from Siberian area ...

and start populating the americas.
"Native americans possess unmistakable anatomical similarities to Siberians and East Asians."

In addition, there are strking similarities in physical appearance and culture of Navajo and some other american peoples to Tibetan.

600s Tibet

Tibetan script developed.

King Songtsen Gampo sent his minister Thon-mi Sam-bhota to india to learn Sanskrit. With the knowledge he brought back of the Gupta Brahmi script, Sam-bhota developed the current forms of Tibetan written characters. ref

600s Tibet

Classical age of Tibet.

From the period of Songtsen Gampo, the great Gar family. ref

"Around this same time, thangka painting, silkworms, stone mills, paper and ink were introduced into Tibet, and Tibetan writing and grammar became codified." [ ref ]

~600 Tibet

Namri Songtsen begins unification of Tibetan kingdoms.

King Namri Songtsan of Yarlung, the territory south of the Tsangpo River, begins the unification of Tibet's many kingdoms.

617-650 Tibet

Reign of Songtsen Gampo

Built the Tsulakhang, and major re-building of the Potala Palace.
Married Nepalese and Chinese princesses, creating alliances with their countries and bringing more support to Buddhism in Tibet.

Son of the 32nd ruler of the Purgyal dynasty, Namri Songtsen. Also known as Tri Songtsen. Known as Chi-tsung-lung-tsan to Chinese. Ruled Tibet from 629, in his 13th year, till his death in 650. Continued the consolidatation of Tibet begun by his father Namri Songtsen Did many things for the welfare of the people. ref

The Tsulakhang was built during his reign, and the Potala Palace was built up.

Having already married three Tibetan princesses and a Nepalese princess, Brikuthi, he takes a Chinese princess, Wen-Ch'eng, as his bride, thus creating alliances with the countries to the west and east.

~640 Tibet

Reign of Songtsen Gampo has military conquests.

Conquers tribes, defeats Chinese emperor Tai-tsung, takes the city of Sunglchou, captures portions of Burma, in 640 occupies Nepal. ref

~641 Tibet

Songtsen Gampo introduces Buddhism to Tibet.

Songtsen Gampo marries two Buddhist princesses, Brikuthi from Nepal and Wen-Ch'eng from China, and they bring Buddhism with them.

~670 Tibet

Tibetans become powerful in central Asia.

In 670 Tibetans raid the Tarim Basin, in Taklamakan Desert in Inner Asia. Capture four garrisons at Ansi, which was under Chinese domination, and routs the Chinese commander Hsueh Jen-juei sent to retake them. ref

Warfare breaks out between Tibet and the T'ang dynasty of China.

In 676 Tibetans raid several towns in Chinese province of Kansu ref

Tibet gains influence along trade route through central Asia.

700s Tibet

Mahayana Buddhism spreads in Tibet, mainly through Padmasambhava.

Mainly introduced by the teachings of Padmasambhava

ref [ ref ]

700s Tibet

The Great Eighth Century.

Three famous temples - Drakmar Dinang, Chimnipu Namral and Drakma Keru - were constructed to the south of Lhasa during the reign of Tride Tsugtsen. ref

~700-1000 british isles

Beowulf written (i.e., Old English had writing by this time).


704 Tibet

Tibetans put down revolt in Nepal and northern india.

Led by King Duson Mangje (?). ref

741, 748 Tibet

Tibetans capture and hold towns in China.

Led by King Tride Tsugtsen. ref

755 Tibet

Trisong Detsen becomes king.

Son of King Tride Tsugtsen, (who was killed by his ministers). An ardent Buddhist, although his ministers were Bon. ref

~760 Tibet

Trisong Detsen sends for Shantarakshita.

Trisong Detsen sends Ba Salnang to Nepal to request indian savant Shantarakshita to come to Tibet to teach Buddhism. Shantarakshita comes but doesn't think Tibet is ready for Buddhism; advises the king to invite Padmasambhava instead. ref

779 Tibet

Samye - first Tibetan gompa - founded by Shantarakshita.

Shantarakshita comes again to Tibet on the request of King Trisong Detsen, and builds Samye monastery with the help of Padmasambhava. Was built in the Drakmar region, 50 miles south of Lhasa, and is similar to the one at Odantapuri in Bihar. It was based on the conception of the Buddhist universe. Twelve years later it came to be known as Migyu Lhungi Dubpai Tsuklakhang ("The Temple which is unchangeable, Perfect Mass"), but popularly known as Samye.

Shantarakshita also trained seven Tibetans to become the first Tibetan Buddhist monks. This was very successful, and many more people became monks. Shantarakshita also established a center for the study of Sanskrit languages at Samye. ref

The Sanskrit Buddhist sutras and tantras – the Tripitaka – are translated into Tibetan; establishment of the tantric meditation system.

783 Tibet

Peace treaty signed between the Chinese and the Tibetans.

The treaty of Chi'ing-shui, demarcating the boundaries between the two countries. ref

750, 754, 778 Tibet

Military alliances and Tibetan soldiers beyond
Tibetan frontiers.

750 - Alliance with Siamese king Kolofeng.

754 - Kolofeng helped Tibetans when Nan-chao attacked by Chinese.

778 - Tibetans and Siamese fight side by side against the Chinese at Szech'uan. Tibetan army remains in Siam for eights years until peaceful relations are restored.


785 - 805 Tibet

Tibetan control over the Pamirs and the Oxus.

Trisong recaptures the four garrisons lost to Chinese earlier, and advances into the Pamirs and the Oxus basin. The Tibetans were also fighting on the western side, and the Chinese border was neglected. ref

797 Tibet

Muni Tsenpo takes over kingdom from his father.

Trison Detsen abstains from public life and hands over his kingdom to his second son Muni Tsenpo. Muni Tsenpo introduces great social and economic reforms. ref

821 Tibet

Sino-Tibetan Treaty.

Under King Ralpachen, with influence of Buddhist monks. The text of the treaty was inscribed on three pillars, in China capital, at boundary, and in Lhasa at Jokhang. ref

821 Tibet

Reforms of Ralpachen.

Under King Ralpachen, built a new temple, introduced a new system of weights and measures based on indian model, ordered that seven households should be responsible for maintenance of one Buddhist monk. ref

836 Tibet

Trauma of the 800s.

Langdarma, brother of King Ralpachen, succeeds Trisong Detsen. He is against religion and buddhism. Has Ralpachen killed, seals many temples, and harasses the monk community. In 842 a monk kills him with an arrow. The succession contested, and the kingdom dissolves, leaving Tibet in a state of political upheaval. Unsettled times follow with impotent, non-religious kings, and division of Tibet into small warring principalities. ref

c. 1052-c. 1135 Tibet

Milarepa, living and teaching in Tibet

10th and 11th c. Tibet

Renaissance of Buddhism in Tibet.

A few monks conserve Buddhist teachings; Buddhism restored in Central Tibet

With Darma's crackdown on Buddhist monks, three monks gather as many Buddhist texts as they can and flee central Tibet to Amdo.

Meanwhile in the Ngari region of western Tibet, Tseno Kohre, grandson of the ruler there, builds the Toling monastery and becomes a monk, Lama Yeshe Od. He sends men to Kashmir to study Sanskrit and Buddhist doctrines, and other young men to go to Amdo to receive monk ordination, along with many other things to promote learning.


1000s Tibet

"New Translation Period"

1000s Tibet

Marpa brings indian buddhist teachings to tibet.

Marpa travels into india from Tibet and gets teachings, which he passes on to his disciple Milarepa. The Kagyud school of tibetan buddhism is founded from these teachings. ref

1000s Tibet

Sakyapa lineage founded.

The Sakyapa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism is founded by Khion Konchog Gyalpo ref

1079 - ?? Tibet

Gampopa, founder of Kagyud school.

Gampopa studies under Milarepa. Founds the monastic tradition of the Kagyud school. ref

Following his teaching, separate schools developed under three of his disciples. One of the disciples, Karmapa, founded the Karma-ka-gyü school. ref

1100s india

The Muslim Conquest of india.

Individual kings fighting among themselves, leave india open for conquest from outside.

1100s and 1200s CE Tibet

Mongol invasion of Tibet.

First foreign invasions of Tibet. Priest-patron relationship develops between Tibet and Mongolia, with Mongolia as the yajamana, patron.

1200 india

Buddhism as an organized religion ceases to exist in india.

In 1193 in Bihar, thousands of unarmed Buddhist monks were put to the sword, and the great library of the oldest Buddhist college in the world was totally destroyed. All the priceless works of Buddhist philosophy went up in flames.

1209 Tibet

Tibet invaded by the army of Chengis Khan of Mongolia.

Minyag was occupied. A few of the adjoining chieftains made peace with the Mongols. ref

1240 - 1253 Tibet, Mongolia

Priest-patron relationship between Tibet and Mongolia.

After Chengis Khan's death, his grandson, Bodan Khan, invaded and captured most parts of Tibet; ruled it for thirteen years.

The Mongolians adopted Buddhism; developed a sound administrative system for Tibet which lasted for many centuries. ref

1247 Tibet, Mongolia

Sakya Pandit becomes the religious tutor of the Mongol emperors; Godan Khan and his community adopt Buddhism.

Godan Khan invited Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen to Mongolia, and he and his community adopted Buddhism of Tibetan lineage. ref

Sakya Pandit is leader of the sakya school; becomes the religious tutor of the Mongol emperors. In exchange is given poltical rule over Tibet while acknowledging China's (i.e., Mongols') authority.

1251 Tibet, Mongolia

Kublai Khan adopts Buddhism.

Kublai Khan the successor of Godan, becomes disciple of Drogon Chosgyal Phagpa, the young nephew of Sakya Pandita who had accompanied his uncle to Mongolia. ref

Invited Tibetan lamas to China.

1253 Tibet, Mongolia

Kublai Khan restores Tibet's sovereignty.

Priest-patron relationship established, with Mongolia as the yajamana, patron.

Kublai Khan after receiving the Vajrayana initiation from a lama Phagpa, offers thirteen myriarchies of central Tibet (Khrikhor-chusum), which were under his rule at that time, as guru dakshina (offering to his teacher) to Phagpa. This restores the sovereignty of Tibet. Kublai Khan pledges that he will remain Yajamana (Benefactor) for Tibet.

This was a purely religious relationship, not political. ref

1260 Tibet, Mongolia

Remaining area of Tibet restored.

After the death of his brother, Monke Kublai Khan succeeded as Khagan, the Grand Mongol Emperor. He also received initiation from Lama Phagpa. Thereupon the remaining area of Tibet, comprising the conplete three regions (chol-kha-sum), was offered to Lama Phagpa, again as a tribute of a student to a teacher.

In 1260 Kublai Khan, as emperor of China's Yuan dynasty, bestows the title Ti-shi ("Imperial Preceptor") upon Phakpa, making the Sakyapa order the most powerful in Tibet.

The united Tibet was placed under the rule of Lama Phagpa. the year after (1265), Lama Phagpa, now called as "Dgon Chogyal Phapa" (Dharma King, The Protector of Living Beings), came back to Sakya in central Tibet to consolidate the kingdom. Since then, Tibetans address the Sakya dynasty as "Gongma", which is similar to the address used by Mongolian and chinese kings. ref

In 1270 Kublai Khan converted to Tibetan Buddhism.

1271 Mongolia, China

Kublai Khan becomes Chinese emperor;
beginning of Yuan Dynasty.

people: Kublai KhanKublai Khan conquers China, ascends the throne, and assumes the name of "Yuan", thus starting the Yuan Dynasty in China. The relationship between Tibet and Mongolia remains cordial. ref

1300s Tibet

Sakya power declines.

Political rivalries and power plays. Chanchub Gyaltsen takes power, getting recognition from Chinese government to legitimize it. He is an efficient and just administrator, and first person to prepare instruction handbooks on administrative procedures.

He is succeeded by several rulers who have short reigns. ref

1300s Tibet

Tibetan lamas become teachers of Chinese emperor.

In 1407 Deshan Shakpa, 4th incarnation of the Karmapa Lama, goes to China as the spiritual teacher of the Ming emperor. The emperor also invited Tsongkhapa Lozang Drakpa, but he declined. However, he sent his disciple instead. ref

1300s Tibet

Tsang Nyon writes biographies of Milarepa and Marpa.

Nyon is a famous nyonpa of Tibet. Writes "The Life of Marpa the Translator" and another for Milarepa.

1368 China

Fall of Yuan dynasty.

Frees Tibet from dependence on China. Factions begin to struggle for control over Tibet.

1391-1474 Tibet

First Dalai Lama, Gendun Drub.

Attained Buddhahood in his lifetime. Took lessons from Tsongkhapa.

Was recognized as the First Dalai Lama after the death of Sonam Gyatso, the Third Dalai Lama. ref

1447 Tibet

Tashilhunpo monastery founded

Tashilhunpo monastery, future seat of Panchen Lamas, founded by the first Dalai Lama.

early 1400s Tibet

Gelukpa school founded.

Tsongkhapa Lozang Drakpa founds the Gelukpa School of Tibetan Buddhism, to which the Dalai Lama belongs. ref ref

1400s and 1500s CE Tibet

Tibetan politics and intrigue involve support of Mongols. ref

1476-1542 Tibet

Second Dalai Lama, Gedun Gyatso.

Born at Tanag Segme in Tsang. Studied in Tashi Umpo and later became its abbot. also became chief abbot of Drepung Monastery, and since then he and his reincarnations, until the fifth Dalai Lama, were residents of Drepung. ref

1500s Tibet

Karma Ten Kyong Wanpo rules Tibet.

Son of Tseten Dorje, with title "Depa Tsangpa". Rules at Shigatse. For next elevent years conquers large areas of Tibet; cultivates friendship with the Mongols. A distinguished ruler and a learned religious. ref

1526-1657 india

The Moghul (Mongol) dynasty.

Babur, descendant of Tamerlane, crushes Ibrahim at Pajipat in 1526, makes himself Sultan and Padishah (emperor) of Delhi, and founds the Moghul (Mongol) dynasty in india. ref

1543-1588 Tibet

Third Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso.

Born at Tohlung near Lhasa. Studied at Drepung Monastery, took final initiation from Sonam Drakpa. A brilliant scholar and teacher, and the personal guru of Nedong Gongma of Nedong. Visited Altan Khan in Mongolia and taught him, and in return was given the title "Talai" (in Mongolian) meaning "the embodiment of ocean of wisdom". This title came to be inherited by his succeeding reincarnations, and was applied retroactively to Gedun Dupa and Gedun Gyatso, the First and Second Dalai Lamas. ref

Established a diplomatic office at Tongkhor (aka Lusar) to maintain close relationship between Dalai Lama and the Khan. Founded Lithang Monastery in the Kham region. Altan Khan's son and successor, Dhuring Khan, invited Sonam Gyatso, and on the way the Dalai Lama built a monastery at Kumbum, where his son Tsongkhapa was born. ref Institution of Dalai Lamas initiated by Altan Khan

1556-1605 india

Akbar, "The Mystic Emperor".

The greatest indian emperor in a thousand years, not only because of his conquests and bringing order to india, but created his own religion, the Din Ilahi, as well as entertained all other religions in his court. This at the time when wars of religion were raging in Europe. ref

To him is attributed the tale of the elephant, to which scholars were brought blindfolded to touch and then made to debate what it was they had touched. ref

1570 Tibet

First Panchen Lama, Lozang Chokyi Gyalthen, born.

First Panchen Lama, Lozang Chokyi Gyalthen, the teacher of the fifth Dalai Lama, born. Title "Panchen" ("The Great Scholar") conferred by the fifth Dalai Lama. The Panchen Lamas became the second most important religious leaders in Tibet.

1589-1616 Tibet

Fourth Dalai Lama, Yonten Gyatso.

Given relgiious training by a Mongolian teacher, Sangya Rinchen. Studied under Lozang Chosgyan of Tashi Lhunpo. in 1615 blessed the Buddhist temple in Nanking at the request of Shen-tsung, emperor of China. ref

1617-1682 Tibet

Fifth Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lozong Gyatso: "The Great Fifth".

Was an effective ruler and administrator, an excellent diplomat, an outstanding scholar. Built palaces and monasteries, and enlarged the Potala Palace. Peace prevailed during his rule. ref

1625 - Ordained by the Panchen Lama.

1638 - gave religious instruction to Gushri Khan, the chief of the Qoshot Mongols, and received the title "Tenzin Choskyi Gyalpo" (Relgious King and Holder of the Buddhist Faith). Sent a permanent representative to Mongola for maintaining good relations. ref

1642 - Political rivalries result in his being asked by winning faction, aligned with Gushri Khan, to rule Tibet. ref

Visited Peking on repeated invitation of the Manchu Emperor of China, and received and conferred title. ref

1665 - Recognized the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama, Lozang Yeshe. ref

1679 - Appointed Sangye Gyatso as Desi (regent). ref

1684 - A treaty established the border between Tibet and Ladakh. ref

1682 - died in the Potala. The regent (Desi), Sangye Gyatso, concealed the fact of his demise for thirteen years, until the construction of the Potala was completed (1695). ref

1683-1707 Tibet

Sixth Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso.

Did not abide by the monastic rules; was not interested in affairs of the State or in performing obligations of Dalai Lama. Lived a wordly life, composed excellent romantic verses and songs. ref

Mongolian Khans (Gushri Khan and his descendant Lhasang Khan) stay in Tibet to help administer government. Lhasang Khan disputes authenticity of Tsangyang Gyatso as real reincarnation of fith Dalai Lama, installs another person, Yeshi Gyatso. However monasteries and people of Tibet do not recognize him.

1707 - forces of Lhasang Khan take Tsangyang Gyatso to Mongolia, and he dies on the way. ref Or maybe not: ref

1707-1717 Tibet

Lhasang Khan rules Tibet.

However not as representative of Mongolia, just as a Mongolian heading Tibetan government. ref

1708-1757 Tibet

Seventh Dalai Lama, Kalsang Gyatso.

Born at Lithang in Kham; recognized as the Seventh Dalai Lama, given protection by some Mongolian tribes and taken to Koko Nor region. ref

Mongols and Manchu emperor send a garrison of military and bring him to Lhasa. The Jungars flee from Lhasa and return to Jungar region in Mongolia. Dalai Lama is installed in Potala Palace, and a seven-member committee is set up temporarily to rule Tibet: two Mongolians, two Manchus, and three Tibetans. The Mongolian troops are withdrawn, but the Chinese garrison remains in Lhasa on the pretext of peace-keeping. After one year, the temporary colmmittee is dissolved, and the power is handed over to the council of ministers under the seventh Dalai Lama. ref

1727 - There is a struggle for power among the council of ministers, leading to civil war. One of the most important ministers, Pholha, seeks military support from China, which it gladly provides as an opportunity to intervene in Tibet's internal affairs. The Council of Ministers is reorganized, with Pholha wielding the real power. He is an effficient admnistrator, and sees that the monassteris are well maintained. He establishes a permanent military force of 3000, and asks the Manchu Emperor to withdraw the Chinese garrison. They reduce it but do not withdraw it. ref

The Ambans at Lhasa continue to create divisions and mistrust among the Tibetan high officials in order to weaken the government and make it dependent on Chinese support.

1747 - Pholha dies, succeeded by his younger son Gyumey Namgyal.

1750 - There is strife and murder among the Tibetan administrtors, Ambans, and the Chinese. The Dalai Lama is able to restore peace and order. He assumes more powers as the chief executive and head of government, establishing the temporal authority of the Dalai Lama. ref

He builds the Norbulingka summer palace, and establishes the Tse School.

1717 Tibet

Tse Wang Rabten rules Tibet.

A Mongolian Jungar chief who has enmity with the tribe to which Lhasang Khan belongs, attacks Tibet, kills Lhansang Khan, and takes power and rules Tibet. ref

17?? Tibet

Dalai Lama is leader of gelukpa school.

In exchange is given poltical rule over Tibet while acknowledging China's authority. (?)

1757 india

Britain invades and takes over india.

Robert Clive wins the battle of Plassey and becomes master of Bengal. This marks the beginning of "modern" times in india, and upheaval of its people and culture from which it is still recovering to this day.

1758-1804 Tibet

Eighth Dalai Lama, Jamphel Gyatso.

All through his life he was immersed in religious matters; he did not like political administration and left it in the hands of the Regents.

1788-1792 Tibet

War with the Gorkhas (of Nepal).

1792 - A second invasion by the Gorkhas reached to Shigatse, and ravaged the Tashilhunpo Monastery. These attacks again involved Tibet with China, as Tibetan government sought (and received) Chinese military support, and also unwanted Chinese interference in internal administration. ref

1700s-1800s india

European scholars.

(re)discover and preserve indian/Hindu ancient literature and language, including buddhist literature.

1806-1815 Tibet

Ninth Dalai Lama, Lungtok Gyatso.

From Dan Chokhar in Kham.

When he was ten years old he died of pneumonia after taking part in the annual Monlam festival. ref

During this time Chinese power waned. The monks from China, living in Tibet, persuaded the monks of Drepung, Sera, and Ganden, three large and important monasteries, to prevail upon the Tibetan government to ban the entry of foreigners into Tibet. This it did; isolating Tibet from the outside world and hindering Tibet's progress. ref

??-1837 Tibet

Tenth Dalai Lama, Tshultrim Gyatso.

From Lithang in Kham. The Dalai Lama suffered ill-health throughout his short life, and died young.

During this time Mongols near Koko Nor region raided area of Tibet. People of Powo district revolted against Tibetan government but were subjugated. ref

1838-1856 Tibet

Eleventh Dalai Lama, Khedrup Gyatso.

Also dies young.

1841 Tibet

Dogra-Sikh-Tibetan battles in Ladakh and Leh. ref

??-1856 Tibet, Nepal

The Second Gorkha-Tibetan war.

An agreement is reached in 1856. ref

1856-1875 Tibet

Twelfth Dalai Lama, Trinley Gyatso.

Also dies young.

1876-1933 Tibet

Thirteenth Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso: "The Great Thirteenth".

Born at Dagpo Langdun. 1895 - Took temporal power at the age of sixteen, when Tibet was politically and economically very weak, and Chinese illegal interference was at a peak.

1886 - British get "permission" from Chinese government to enter Tibet. Tibetan governement denies this authority, determine not to allow any Britisher inside Tibet, and set up a checkpoint at Lungthur, near Sikkimese border.

1888 - British ask Dalai Lama to remove checkpoint or they will attack. Battle ensues, Tibetans defeated, and British enter Tibet and Bhutan.

1890 - A treaty is entered between Lord Lansdowne, British Governor-General in india, and the Manchu Amban, but without knowledge of Tibet, establishing border between Tibet and Sikkim, and making Sikkim a British protectorate.

1903 - Col. Francis Younghusband military expedition to Tibet, to negotiate trade and relations with Tibetan government. Losang Trinley and Tsarong are sent to talk to Younghusband on the border, and not inside Tibet. British prevail, enter Tibet, and camp at Khamba Dzang. Tibetan officials and Ambans come to meet with British, but Tibetans insist that Chinese have no say in their trade matters, and Ambans leave. After three months of stay, the British withdraw to Sikkim.

1904 - British troops open fire on Tibetan army at Guru, while Tibetan commanders are talking to Younghusband. Also capture Gyantse fort. Younghusband reaches Lhasa but can only negotiate with Regent, as Dalai Lama has fled to Mongolia.

1904-1907 - Various agreements between the British and Tibet, Chinese, and Russia weaken Tibet's position in the world.

1909 - Dalai Lama returns to Tibet. Visits Peking with the hope of finding a peaceful solution to Sino-Tibetan border dispute, and China's designs on Tibet.

1910 - On his return to Lhasa, he had to flee to india within a month's time due to the arrival of Chinese military forces at Lhasa. ref

1913 - Returned to Lhasa after expelling the Chinese troops, including the Ambans. Reasserted the independence of Tibet through special proclamation, and entered into a peace treaty with Mongolia. Sent a delegation to Simla convention to take part on equal footing with British India and China. ref

1913-1914 - Anglo-Sino-Tibetan Simla Conference; agreement never ratified by China.

British presence in Tibet gives military training and arms to Tibet.

Secularization of Chinese government ends priest-patron relationship.

Many progressive projects initiated by him. Gave several proposals for land reforms, social reforms, and modernisation of Tibet in terms of national security and political systesm. Not all could be implemented due to lack of human resources, and lack of public awareness about affairs of state. Introduced machinery for electricity generation, postal and telegraph system and road construction; issued paper currency. Issued a testimonial statement in 1932 which later proved to be a perfect prophecy of what happened afterward. ref

1895-1986 India, England, United States


Born May 12, 1895, at the village of Madanapalle, in india, as Jiddu Krishnamurti, to Sanjeevamma, the wife of Jiddu Narianiah, a minor civil servant.

Was said to be the reincarnation of the Maitreya Buddha

Taught in England, the United States, and India, until his death in 1986. ref

1915(?) China

Chiang-Kai-Shek revolution in China.

The Republican Government of Chiang-Kai-Shek (Yuan-shih-Kai) expells the Manchus in China, and Chiang declares himself President. He also states that Tibet, Mongolia, and Sinkiang are provinces of the Chinese Republic.

1931 Tibet

Chinese attack Tibet.

Chinese attack Dargyas Monastery, and annex territory from Tchienllu to Szechwan. The Thirteenth Dalai Lama and the President conclude a truce but it is violated by the Chinese army. An uneasy peace is restored with the intevention of the British. ref

1933 December 17 Tibet

Thirteenth Dalai Lama passes on.

The Thirteeth Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso, passes away in Lhasa at the age of 57 (Water-Bird Year, 10th month, 30th day). ref

Tibet comes under the rule of a Regent.

1935 July 6 Tibet

Fourteenth Dalai Lama is born.

Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, "The Great Fourteenth", is born in Takster, Amdo, as Lhamo Dhondrup, (Wood-Pig Year, 5th month, 5th day). ref

He becomes a great political and religious leader; is awarded the Nobel prize for Peace; urges democracy on Tibetan people in exile in india; helps spread buddhism throughout the world.

1939 Tibet

Fourteenth Dalai Lama to Lhasa.

Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso departs Amdo for three-month journey to Lhasa, at the age of four. ref

1939 Tibet

Official recognition of Fourteenth Dalai Lama.

Public declaration of the official recognition of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama near the town of Bumchen. ref

1939 Tibet

Fourteenth Dalai Lama enters Lhasa.

The four-year-old Fourteenth Dalai Lama enters Lhasa after three-month journey from Amdo (Earth-Hare Year, 8th month, 25th day) ref

1940 February 22 Tibet

Fourteenth Dalai Lama is installed.

Tenzin Gyatso is installed in an enthronement ceremony as Fourteenth Dalai Lama. (Iron-Dragon Year, 1st month, 14th day) ref Tagdak Rimpoche, his senior tutor, becomes Regent.

1940 Tibet

Fourteenth Dalai Lama begins his monastic education at the age of five. (Earth-Hare Year) ref

1941 Tibet

The Regent abdicates.

Chinese and British both play in Tibet.

1940-46 - Tibet retains neutral position during Second World War. ref

1942 Tibet

Fourteenth Dalai Lama receives his novice vows at the age of 7.

The Fourteenth Dalai Lama receives vows of novice monk from Taktra Rinpoche, at the age of 7. (Earth-Hare Year, 1st month, 10th day) ref

1947-48 Tibet

Tibet is recognized de facto as an independent country.

Tibetan delegates take part in Asian Relations Conference in Delhi, where the Tibetan national flag is raised, and speeeches made by Tibetan representatives.

India recognises Tibet's independence; passports of Tibetan Delegation are honored by France, Italy, UK, US, and all the countries the delegation visited. ref

1949 China

Communist revolution, headed by Mao Tse-tung

1950 Tibet

China invades Tibet; begins systematic destruction of Tibetan culture and Buddhism.

Chinese armies march into Tibet near Chamdo, and at the same time on the Indian territory of Aksai Chin. Capture some parts of northwest Tibet. Khampa volunteers and the Tibetan army oppose but cannot hold for long.

Indian protest to China elicits the reply that tibet is an integral part of China, and that India should not interfere in its internal matters. Tibet takes matter to United Nations, of which it is not a member. Situation is not discussed, but continually postponed.

Chinese forge Tibetan seals on 17-point statement, and force the Tibetan delegates to sign it. (However, they ultimately break the terms of this statement anyway.)

By 1954 Tibet had lost its independence to China. ref

"Of the more than four thousand tulkus in pre-invasion Tibet, only a few hundred escaped." ref

1950 November 17 Tibet

Fourteenth Dalai Lama assumes full temporal power.

The Fourteenth Dalai Lama assumes full temporal (political) power after China's invasion of Tibet in 1949 (Iron-Tiger Year, 10th month, 11th day) ref

1950 December 16 Tibet

Fourteenth Dalai Lama departs Lhasa.

The Fourteenth Dalai Lama departs Lhasa for Dromo (Yatung) because of Chinese threat. ref

1951 January to July Tibet

Fourteenth Dalai Lama resides in Dromo.

The Fourteenth Dalai Lama resides in Dromo (Yatung) because of Chinese invasion ref

1951 May 23 Tibet

17-Point Agreement.

17-Point Agreement signed by Tibetan delegation in Peking under duress ref

1951 July 16 Tibet

Chinese delegation meets with His Holiness.

Chinese delegation led by General Chiang Chin-wu, newly-appointed Commissioner and Administrator of Civil and Military Affairs of Tibet, meets with His Holiness in Dromo (Yatung). ref

1951 July 24 Tibet

Dalai Lama departs Dromo.

The Fourteenth Dalai Lama departs Dromo (Yatung) for Lhasa (Iron-Hare Year, 5th month, 17th day) ref

1951 August 17 Tibet

Dalai Lama arrives in Lhasa.

The Fourteenth Dalai Lama arrives in Lhasa from Dromo. (Iron-Hare Year, 6th month, 13th day) ref

1954 Tibet

Dalai Lama receives gelong.

The Fourteenth Dalai Lama receives Gelong Ordination from Ling Rinpoche (Wood-Horse Year, 1st month, 15th day) ref

1954 Tibet

Dalai Lama confers first Kalachakra.

The Fourteenth Dalai Lama confers the first Kalachakra Initiation, in the Norbulingka Palace, Lhasa. ref

1954 July to 1955 June Tibetan World

Dalai Lama visits China.

The Fourteenth Dalai Lama, with the Panchen Lama Choskyi Gyaltsen, stays in China for six months, on invitation from China, for peace talks. He meets with Mao Zedong and other Chinese leaders, including Chou En-Lai, Chu Teh and Deng Xiaoping. He is unable to achieve resolution with China. ref

1956 November to 1957 March Tibetan World

Dalai Lama visits India.

The Fourteenth Dalai Lama visits India to participate in the 2500th Buddha Jayanti celebrations. ref He meets Jawaharlal Nehru, who says he is unable to help against China, and advises the Dalai Lama to go back to Tibet.

The Chinese become more and more savagely oppressive in Tibet. The Tibetans rebel. ref

1959 February Tibet

Dalai Lama receives Lharampa degree.

The Fourteenth Dalai Lama receives Geshe Lharampa Degree during Monlam Ceremonies in Lhasa (Earth-Pig Year, 1st month, 13th day) ref

1959 March 10 Tibet

Tibetan people's uprising in Lhasa.

Tens of thousands of Tibetans gathered in front of Norbulingka Palace, Lhasa, to prevent His Holiness from going to a performance at the Chinese Army Camp in Lhasa. Tibetan People's Uprising begins in Lhasa. ref

1959 March 15 Tibet

Chinese troops fire artillery on Norbulingka.

Artillery shells fired from Chinese troops land outside the Norbulingka Palace. ref

1959 March 17 Tibet, to India

Fourteenth Dalai Lama escapes from Lhasa.

On 10 March, the people protest an invitation from Chinese in Lhasa for the Dalai Lama to attend an entertainment, fearing treachery. The Chinese mass weapons against the Potala Palace. At ten on the night of 18 March, the Dalai Lama with close relations, colleagues, and Tibetan soldiers leave the Potala. Around the same time the Chinese bombard the Potala.
"17 March": ref "18 March": ref

1959 March Tibet in exile

Tibetan government reestablished at Lhudup Dzong.

The Tibetan Government is formally reestablished at Lhudup Dzong. The 17-Point Agreeement is formally repudiated by Tibetan Government. ref

1959 March 30 Tibet in exile

Dalai Lama enters India.

The Fourteenth Dalai Lama enters India from Tibet after a 14-day harrowing escape ref

The Dalai Lama crosses into India near Mangmany (Tibetan village) in early April. Arrives at Bodilla on 12 April, and driven by jeep to Tezpur on 18 April. The Indian Government arranges a special train from Tezpur to Mussoorie, where he stays for a year before settling in Dharamshala. ref

1959 April 18 Tibet in exile

Dalai Lama repudiates the 17-Point Agreement.

The Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government hold an international press conference in Tezpur, India, and formally repudiate the 17-Point Agreement. ref

1959 April 20 Tibet in exile

Dalai Lama arrives in Mussoorie.

The Dalai Lama and retinue arrive in Mussoorie, and reside at Birla House. ref

1959 April 30 Tibet in exile

Dalai Lama arrives in Dharamshala.

The Dalai Lama and retinue arrive in Dharamshala, to take up residence at Swarg Ashram. ref

1960s China, Tibet, Eastern Turkestan, Mongolia

Cultural Revolution.

A period of madness in China and neighboring countries. Millions of people were killed, tortured, and imprisoned. Monasteries and religious buildings and artifacts were destroyed.

1960-present Tibet, to the World

Tibetans into exile.

The Dalai Lama, his government, and many refugee Tibetans live in Dharamshala, from which he runs the Tibetan Government in Exile.

1994 - About 115,000 Tibetans are living in exile; some in Dharamshala, more in the rest of India and in nepal, others in Europe and North America. ref

1963 Tibet in exile

A draft constitution and exile parliament.

The Fourteenth Dalai Lama pesents a draft democratic constitution for Tibet. First exile Tibetan Parliament (Assembly of Tibetan People's Deputies) is established in Dharamshala. ref

1967 Tibetan World

Dalai Lama makes his first visits abroad.

The Dalai Lama makes his first visits abroad since coming into exile, to Japan and Thailand. ref

1968 Tibet in exile

Dalai Lama shifts to Thekchen Choeling.

The Dalai Lama moves residence from Swarg Ashram to present-day Thekchen Choeling. ref

1973 September to November Tibetan World

Dalai Lama makes his first visits to the West.

The Dalai Lama makes his first visits to the West (Italy, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, UK, West Germany & Austria). ref

1979 Tibet in exile

Dalai Lama makes contact with PRC.

The Dalai Lama makes first contact with the Government of the People's Republic of China since coming into exile in 1959. ref

1985 Tibet

17th Karmapa Lama born in Lhatok.

Orgyen Trodul Thinley Dorje, the 17th Karmapa Lama, was born in the eastern region of Tibet called Lhatok. His early years fulfilled all the predictions of the sacred testament of the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa. ref

1987 Tibetan World

Dalai Lama presents Five-Point Peace Plan.

The Dalai Lama delivers historic Five-Point Peace Plan for Tibet to members of the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C., U.S. ref

1988 Tibetan World

Dalai Lama presents Strasbourg Proposal.

The Dalai Lama delivers historic Strasbourg Proposal for Tibet to members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. ref

1989 December 10 The World

Dalai Lama is awarded Nobel Prize for Peace.

The Dalai Lama is awarded the 1989 Nobel Prize for Peace in Oslo, Norway. ref

1992 Tibet in exile

Dalai Lama institutes more democratic steps for Tibet-in-exile.

Having intitated a democratic constitution and Parliament for Tibet-in-exile, the Dalai Lama initiates a number of additional major democratic steps, including the direct elections of Kalons (Ministers) by the Assembly of Tibetan People's Deputies, (previously Kalons were appointed directly by His Holiness), and the establishment of a judiciary branch. ref

1995 May 17 Tibet

PRC arrests Chadrel Rinpoche.

PRC arrests Chadrel Rinpoche, the abbot of Tashi Lhunpo, who headed the search team for the child Panchen Lama, Gendun Choekyi Nyima. The child and his family are removed under escort from their home, apparently to a holding place in Beijing. A reported 5,000 troops are moved to Shigatse.

1995 July 13 Up to 30 monks are arrested from Tashilhunpo monastery after protesting against the denunciation of Chadrel Rinpoche. All foreign tourists are expelled from Shigatse.

1995 December China

PRC installs 5-year-old Gyaltsen Norbu as fake Panchen Lama.

The PRC installs 5-year-old Gyaltsen Norbu as a fake Panchen Lama. Gendun Choekyi Nyima, who was sanctioned by the Dalai Lama as the Panchen Lama, is condemned by China's official press for having once drowned a dog. His whereabouts is unknown.

1995 November 11 PRC press announces that leading lamas at a closed meeting in Beijing have agreed to reject Gendun Choekyi Nyima (Dalai Lama's official choice) as the Panchen Lama, and to select a different child as the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama.

1996 January 18 ???

Bomb explodes at house of Sengchen Lobsang Gyaltsen.

Bomb explodes at the house of Sengchen Lobsang Gyaltsen, main supporter of the PRC in the Panchen Lama succession dispute.

1997 Tibet

Panchen Lama Gendun Choeki Nyima is held in Beijing.

Panchen Lama Gendun Choeki Nyima is held under house arrest in Beijing.

2000 Tibet to India

17th Karmapa Lama escapes to India.

Orgyen Trodul Thinley Dorje, (b. 1985) the 17th Karmapa Lama, escapes tibet to India.

2001 Tibet in exile

First direct democratic elections.

First direct democratic elections in the history of Tibet are held by the Tibetan people for the post of Kalon Tripa (Senior Minister) and Kalons (members of Parliament). ref

2001 Tibetan World

Arjia Gegeen visits Dharamshala, India.

Arjia Gegeen is a Mongol Rinpoche who came to the United States; lives in Mill Valley California.

2011 Tibet in exile

Dalai Lama relinquishes his temporal power.

In March 2011, His Holiness the Dalai Lama sends a letter to the Assembly of Tibetan People's Deputies (Tibetan Parliament-in-exile) requesting them to devolve his temporal power. ref

In May 2011, the Dalai Lama transfers his temporal power to Kalon Tripa. His Holiness the Dalai Lama signs into law the formal transfer of his temporal power to the democratically elected leader. This brings to an end the 368-year old tradition of the Dalai Lamas being both spiritual and temporal head of Tibet. ref

2016 Tibet in exile

Second direct democratic elections.

Second direct democratic elections are held by the Tibetan people in exile for Sikyong (was Kalon Tripa, Prime Minister) and Chitues (members of Parliament). ref

2016 - 2017 Tibet in exile

After 60 years, India finally enforces its own law providing passport for Tibetans born in India.

Social activist Lobsang Wangyal files a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) against the government of India which is immediately granted by the High Court of India. This action is followed by a multitude of eligible Tibetans applying for passport, then more court orders to get the concerned offices to act on the original order; also by a huge change in Tibetan-exile and Indian culture in adjusting to this. ref

2017 July 13 China

Freedom fighter and man of compassion, Liu Xiabao, passes.

details TBD.

DETAILS ref ref

< -- } .hd -->
< -- }} .shwhd --> -->