Tibet, that lies in the south west of the country is one of the autonomous regions of the People’s Republic of China. India, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar are the international boundaries that touch with Tibet. The highest peak of the world, Mount Everest, is shared with Nepal. The national boundaries are Xinjiang, Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan Provinces. Lhasa is a capital city of this region. The total population of Tibet is 3,180,000 distributed in an area of 1,228,400km². Tibet is also known as Xizang Autonomous Region. It is the second largest province of the China after Xinjiyan in terms of area.
The Tibet Autonomous Region is a province-level entity of the People’s Republic of China. Chinese law nominally guarantees some autonomy. In the areas of education and language policy, Chinese law nominally guarantees some autonomy. Routine administration is carried out by a People’s Government like other subdivisions of China, headed by a Chairman, who has been an ethnic Tibetan except for an interregnum during the Cultural Revolution. As with other Chinese provinces, the Chairman carries out work under the direction of the regional secretary of the Communist Party of China. The regional standing committee of the Communist Party serves as the top rung of political power in the region. The current Chairman is Che Dalha and the current party secretary is Wu Yingjie.
Tibetan people believed that according to their myth their ancestors originated from the Yarlung valley. The most ancient fortress, Yumbulhakhang, is also located in this valley. It is said that the first book of Buddhism was received by 28th Tubo king in 5th century which fell from heaven onto the roof of Yumbulhakhang. But the credit of introducing Buddhism in Tibet goes to the 33rd King of Tubo tribe, Sangtsen Gampo, who gave the royal patronage and constructed two temples, Jokhang and Ramoche to his two wives Bhrikuti (Nepalese) and Wencheng (Chinese) respectively. He also conquered a lot of small kingdoms and made Tibet powerful and influential. Then in 8th century King Trisong Detsen propagated Buddhism to his people and constructed a first Buddhist monastery, Samye, in the oasis of Yarlung valley. Then in 837 CE king Ralpachen, a passionate of Buddhism was assassinated by his own brother Langdharma who was a staunch follower of Bön and he stood against Buddhism and persecuted Buddhists brutally. He was also dramatically murdered by a Buddhist monk named Lhalung Phalgi Dorje. Then in 11th century after the presence of Atisa Dipankar invited by the King Yeshe Ö of Guge dynasty in Tibet, the 2nd diffusion of Buddhism began. In 13th century the grandson of Genghis Khan, Godan Khan followed Buddhism and he patronized this faith developed in Sakya region named Sakya Pa. Then at the end of 14th century and the beginning of 15th century the new school of Buddhism, Gelugpa was introduced by Tsongkhapa and developed rapidly. By the time of 3rd reincarnate head of Gelugpa, Sonam Gyatso, in 16th century got a title Dalai Lama by contemporary Mongolian King Altan Khan. In the 17th century, the 5th Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso, achieved spiritual and temporal sovereign from Nagri in the west to Kham in the east (unified Tibet) and ruled from Potala. In the first quarter of 18th century Dzungar Mongol attacked and occupied Lhasa for 3 years. Then the second emperor of the Qing dynasty, Kangxi, sent military troops who succeeded in driving out Dzungar Mongol from Tibet and received Qing as liberator by Tibet. At that time, Emperor Kangxi declared Tibet a protectorate of the China and installed two Chinese representatives known as Ambans. From 1959 CE during the communist regime of Mao Zedong, Tibet became a part of China. Today, Tibet is one of the Autonomous regions of China.
Tibet is an autonomous region of the China that lies in the South west of the country is epithet as roof of the world because of its high plateau with an average altitude of 4500m. The north west part of this region is bordered by Kunlun Mountains, the north east by Tanggula mountains, the southern part by Himalaya and the south east by Hengduan mountains. The highest pass that crosses Qinghai – Tibet railway is Tanggu La of Tanggula mountain range. It is an altitude of 5072m which is the highest point of railway in the world. The highest peak of the world, Mt. Qomolangma (Mt. Everest), in the Himalayas is shared with Nepal. Physically Tibet is divided in two parts: lake region in western part and river region in eastern part. The lake region is occupied by nomadic culture and river region in use for agriculture. The largest lake of Tibet is Namtso with an area of 1940km² situated in an altitude of 4718m. The Indus and the Sutlej river originate from Nagri Prefecture that flow in the west to India, then in Pakistan and finally empties into the Arabian sea. Another river that originated form the west of the Tibet and crosses almost all along the region is the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) river which continues through India to Bangladesh then falls into the Bay of Bengal. In the east of the Tibet, The Yarlung Tsangpo also makes a deep canyon of 5500m which is consider the deepest canyon in the world. Other important rivers that flow into Tibet are the Nag Tschu (Salween), the Dza Chu (Mekong) and the Yangtze river. One of them, the Nag Tschu sources from Tanggula mountain range. Most of the valley and plateau of the Tibet are arid because of its high land and mountain barrier in every sides of the region. The vegetation is found in the south east of the region with subtropical highland climate and moderate summer rainfall whereas lake region is mostly known as desertic landscape. Because of its high altitude most of the part has an alpine climate and tundra climate. The Tibetan plateau is also a huge deposit of zinc, copper, gold, silver, chromium, uranium and other metals.
People native to Tibet are known as Tibetan. People of different regions of Tibet are different from one another; however, their religion, language, and culture are unified as Tibetan. The Tibetan national dress is chuba and pangden for the women. They take their tea with salt and butter and drink with Tsampa (roasted barley). Even though no variation of the ethnic group is recognized by their administration, there are considerable differences between Tibetan people of diverse regions in term of their physiognomy, attire, and their character. Normally they are divided into three groups – Drokpa (nomads), Rongpa (farmers), and Sangha (communities of monks and nuns).
The Khampas of ancient Kham region in the east of Tibet are the most identifiable, who are relatively taller a bit more rough and ready than Tibetans from other parts; they wear black or red tassels in their long hair. They are known as cavaliere and fearsome people. 95% of Khampas believe in Buddhism.
Golok people live in the eastern part of the ancient Amdo and Kham region. The term Golok is literally defined as “turned head” or “who had left the Gu valley behind” but sometimes called Ngolok that interpreted “rebellious” or “I rebel”. They are renowned for being furious fighters. Today they follow nomadic pastoralism as a primary livelihood and some of them practice agriculture. Nomads travel seasonally to provide their herds with optimal pasturage, moving into higher grasslands in the summer and returning to lower more sheltered areas in the winter. They are devoutly religious people who have historically great importance of Bön and Nyingma.
Kongpo was the ancient region situated in the Nyang river in today’s Nyingchi Prefecture. The People of Kongpo have a typical traditional dress. They wear brown woolen sleeveless tunic belted around the waist and put round hat with an upturned rim of golden brocade called gyasha by men and a pretty pillbox hat with a winged edge by women.
Most of the people in Ngari follow a nomadic or semi-nomadic life because of the high plateau, poor rate of precipitation, and desertic land. Because of the flow of pilgrimage and tourists some also practice tourism. People of this region celebrate the new year in autumn which differs from other regions of Tibet. Their attire is also relatively different from other parts of Tibet. Since this is a high and cold region, the traditional dress is thicker and dark in color, mostly black, which they cover with a blanket-like shawl. Women are bejeweled with necklace and head jewelry made of gold or silver with coral, turquoise, dzi stone.