Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Princess that transform Tibet - Part 1

Princess Wencheng - Part 1

Tubo Dynasty of Tibet
The people of Tibet were once known as the Tubo dynasty people. Under the leadership of Songtsan Gambo, the empire was once powerful that they expanded themselves and were able to challenge the Tang dynasty empire of China. The Tang dynasty was considered China's Golden Age. The dynasty was the most prosperous and strongest and many things flourished in China during the Tang dynasty.

King Songtsan Gambo
King Songtsan Gambo once dreamed of a Tang dynasty princess who seemed like she was a fairy sent down from the heavens to him. This was probably a foretelling of the princess he will marry in the future. As the saying goes, great men think alike. He had always admired Tang Emperor Li Shimin very much for his boldness & vision. King Songtsan Gambo wanted to be like him and hence attacked Tang China. He had some minor victories but was later met with a crushing defeat which had almost resulted in him losing his empire. King Songtsan Gambo was an expansionist during his early leadership. The reason for why he had launched an invasion against Tang China was because he had demanded by means of force and threats that Tang China send a princess for him to marry. Despite King Songtsan Gambo's defeat, Tang Emperor Li Shimin was still gracious enough to marry a Tang Princess to him. A contest was held in the palace where a lot of suitors of Princess Wencheng gathered. Many people had sent in their representatives for the contest. The Tibetans won the contest just as the Emperor has expected them to win.

Young Princess Wencheng
Princess Wencheng was 16 years old when she was married to King Songtsan Gambo. She played an important role as a diplomat and ambassador of the Chinese to the Tibetans. She ensured peace and harmony between the Chinese and the Tibetans as well as infusing Chinese cultural influences into Tibet. Princess Wencheng was like a godsend to him. During the journey from Tang China into Tibet, Princess Wencheng brought along crops and vegetable seeds to grow in Tibet. She taught the locals to grow vegetables,corps, grind wheat flour and make wine. As a token of gratitude, in all of the places that she had been to her footprints were craved into rocks for worshiping. Princess Wencheng had also introduced carriages, horses, donkeys and camels, as well as medical works and various kinds of farming and industrial techniques into Tibet. Under her direction, the Tubo Kingdom experienced fast social and economic progress. Through Princess Wencheng, friendship was promoted between Tibet and Tang China. Economic and cultural exchanges also resulted from this marriage.Princess Wencheng also had the Ramoche Monastery built. She named the eight surrounding mountains the Eight Treasures, a name which is still in use today.


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