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Guge
Guge
(Tibetan: གུ་གེ་, Wylie: gu ge) was an ancient kingdom in Western Tibet. The kingdom was centered in present-day Zanda County, Ngari Prefecture, Tibet
Tibet
Autonomous Region. At various points in history after the 10th century AD, the kingdom held sway over a vast area including south-eastern Zanskar, Upper Kinnaur district, and Spiti Valley, either by conquest or as tributaries. The ruins of the former capital of the Guge
Guge
kingdom are located at Tsaparang
Tsaparang
in the Sutlej
Sutlej
valley, not far from Mount Kailash
Mount Kailash
and 1,200 miles (1,900 km) westwards from Lhasa.

Contents

1 History 2 Rulers 3 See also 4 References 5 Further reading 6 External links

History[edit] Guge
Guge
was founded in the 10th century. Its capitals were located at Tholing
Tholing
Coordinates: 31°28′55″N 79°48′01″E / 31.48194°N 79.80028°E / 31.48194; 79.80028 and Tsaparang.[1] Nyi ma mgon, a great-grandson of Langdarma, the last monarch of the Tibetan Empire, left insecure conditions in Ü-Tsang
Ü-Tsang
in 910. He established a kingdom in Ngari (West Tibet) in or after 912 and annexed Puhrang and Guge. He established his capital in Guge. Nyi ma mgon later divided his lands into three parts. The king's eldest son dPal gyi mgon became ruler of Mar-yul (Ladakh), his second son bKra shis mgon received Guge-Puhrang, and the third son lDe gtsug mgon received Zanskar. bKra shis mgon was succeeded by his son Srong nge or Ye shes 'Od (947–1024 or (959–1036), who was a renowned Buddhist figure. In his time a Tibetan lotsawa from Guge
Guge
called Rinchen Zangpo
Rinchen Zangpo
(958–1055), after having studied in India, returned to his homeland as a monk to promote Buddhism. Together with the zeal of Ye shes 'Od, this marked the beginning of a new diffusion of Buddhist teachings in western Tibet. In 988 Ye shes 'Od took religious vows and left kingship to his younger brother Khor re. According to later historiography the Turkic Karluks
Karluks
took the Guge king Ye shes 'Od prisoner during a war.[2] The episode has a prominent place in Tibetan history writing. The Karluks
Karluks
offered to set him free if he renounced Buddhism which he refused to do. They then demanded his weight in gold to release him. His junior kinsman Byang chub 'Od visited him in his prison with a small retinue, but Ye shes 'Od admonished him not to use the gold at hand for ransom, but rather to invite the renowned Mahayana
Mahayana
sage Atiśa
Atiśa
(982-1054). Ye shes 'Od eventually died in prison from age and poor treatment.[3] The story is historically debated since it contains chronological inconsistencies. In 1037, Khor re's eldest grandson 'Od lde was killed in a conflict with the Kara-Khanid Khanate
Kara-Khanid Khanate
from Central Asia, who subsequently ravaged Ngari. His brother Byang chub 'Od (984–1078), a Buddhist monk, took power as secular ruler. He was responsible for inviting Atiśa
Atiśa
to Tibet
Tibet
in 1040 and thus ushering in the so-called Chidar (Phyi-dar) phase of Buddhism in Tibet. Byang chub 'Od's son rTse lde was murdered by his nephew in 1088. This event marked the break-up of the Guge-Purang kingdom, since one of his brothers was established as separate king of Purang. The usurping nephew dBang lde continued the royal dynasty in Guge.[4] A new Kara-Khanid invasion of Guge
Guge
took place before 1137 and cost the life of the ruler, bKra shis rtse. Later in the same century the kingdom was temporarily divided. In 1240 the Mongol
Mongol
khagan, at least nominally, gave authority over the Ngari area to the Drigung Monastery in Ü-Tsang. Grags pa lde was an important ruler who united the Guge
Guge
area around 1265 and subjugated the related Ya rtse (Khasa) kingdom. After his death in 1277 Guge
Guge
was dominated by the Sakya
Sakya
monastic regime. After 1363, with the decline of the Mongol
Mongol
Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
and their Sakya protégés, Guge
Guge
was again strengthened and took over Purang in 1378. Purang was henceforth contested between Guge
Guge
and Mustang, but was finally integrated in the former. Guge
Guge
also briefly ruled over Ladakh in the late 14th century. From 1499 the Guge
Guge
king had to acknowledge the Rinpungpa
Rinpungpa
rulers of Tsang. The 15th and 16th centuries were marked by a considerable Buddhist building activity by the kings, who frequently showed their devotion to the Gelug
Gelug
leaders later known as the Dalai Lamas.[5]

Tsaparang, the ruins of the ancient capital of Guge

The first Westerners to reach Guge
Guge
were a Jesuit missionary, António de Andrade, and his companion, brother Manuel Marques, in 1624. De Andrade reported seeing irrigation canals and rich crops in what is now a dry and desolate land. Perhaps as evidence of the kingdom's openness, de Andrade's party was allowed to construct a chapel in Tsaparang
Tsaparang
and instruct the people about Christianity.[6] A letter by De Andrade relates that some military commanders revolted and called the Ladakhis to overthrow the ruler. There had been friction between Guge
Guge
and Ladakh
Ladakh
for many years, and the invitation was heeded in 1630. The Ladakhi forces laid siege to the almost impenetrable Tsaparang. The King's brother, who was chief lama and thus a staunch Buddhist, advised the pro-Christian ruler to surrender against keeping the state as tributary ruler. This treacherous advice was eventually accepted. Tibetan sources suggest that the Guge
Guge
population was maintained in their old status.[7] A legend has it that the Ladakhi army slaughtered most of the people of Guge, about 200 of whom managed to survive and fled to Qulong.[8] The last king Khri bKra shis Grags pa lde was brought to Ladakh
Ladakh
as prisoner with his kin, and died there. The King's brother-lama was killed by the Ladakhis. Later on the last male descendant of the dynasty moved to Lhasa
Lhasa
where he died in 1743.[9] Tsaparang
Tsaparang
and the Guge
Guge
kingdom were later conquered in 1679–80 by the Lhasa-based Central Tibetan government under the leadership of the 5th Dalai Lama, driving out the Ladakhis. Western archeologists heard about Guge
Guge
again in the 1930s through the work of Italian Giuseppe Tucci. Tucci's work was mainly about the frescoes of Guge. Lama
Lama
Anagarika Govinda and Li Gotami Govinda visited the kingdom of Guge, including Tholing, and Tsaparang, in 1947-1949. Their tours of Central and Western Tibet
Tibet
are recorded in stunning black & white photos.[10]

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Rulers[edit] A list of rulers of Guge
Guge
and the related Ya rtse kingdom has been established by the Tibetologists Luciano Petech
Luciano Petech
and Roberto Vitali[11] A. Royal ancestors of the Tubo dynasty.

'Od srungs (in Central Tibet
Tibet
842-905) son of Glang Darma dPal 'Khor btsan (in Central Tibet
Tibet
905-910) son sKyid lde Nyi ma mgon (in Ngari Korsum c. 912-?) son dPal gyi mgon (received Ladakh, 10th century) son lDe gtsug mgon (received Zanskar, 10th century) brother

B. Kings of Guge
Guge
and Purang.

bKra shis mgon (received Guge
Guge
and Purang, fl. 947) brother Srong nge Ye shes 'Od (?–988 or 959–1036) son Nagaraja (religious leader, d. 1023) son Devaraja (religious leader, d. 1026) brother Khor re (988-996) uncle Lha lde (996–1024) son 'Od lde btsan (1024–37) son Byang chub 'Od (1037–57) brother Zhi ba 'Od (religious leader, d. 1111) brother Che chen tsha rTse lde (1057–88) son of Byang chub 'od

C. Kings of Ya rtse.

Naga lde (early 12th century) bTsan phyug lde (mid-12th century) bKra shis lde (12th century) Grags btsan lde (12th century) brother of bTsan phyug lde) Grags pa lde (Kradhicalla) (fl. 1225) A sog lde (Ashokacalla) (fl. 1255–78) son 'Ji dar sMal (Jitarimalla) (fl. 1287–93) son A nan sMal (Anandamalla) (late 13th century) brother Ri'u sMal (Ripumalla) (fl. 1312–14) son San gha sMal (Sangramamalla) (early 14th century) son Ajitamalla (1321–28) son of Jitarimalla Kalyanamalla (14th century) Pratapamalla (14th century) Pu ni sMal (Punyamalla) (fl. 1336–39) of Purang royalty sPri ti sMal (Prthivimalla) (fl. 1354–58) son

D. Kings of Guge.

Bar lde (dBang lde) (1088-c. 1095) nephew of Che chen tsha rTse lde bSod nams rtse (c. 1095 – early 12th century) son bKra shis rtse (before 1137) son Jo bo rGyal po (regent, mid-12th century) brother rTse 'bar btsan (12th century) son of bKra shis rtse sPyi lde btsan (12th century) son rNam lde btsan (12th/13th century) son Nyi ma lde (12th/13th century) son dGe 'bum (13th century) probably an outsider La ga (?-c. 1260) of foreign origin Chos rgyal Grags pa (c. 1260–65) Grags pa lde (c. 1265–77) prince from Lho stod unknown rulers rNam rgyal lde (1396?–1424) son of a Guge
Guge
ruler Nam mkha'i dBang po Phun tshogs lde (1424–49) son rNam ri Sang rgyas lde (1449-?) son bLo bzang Rab brtan (?-c. 1485) son sTod tsha 'Phags pa lha (c. 1485 – after 1499) son Shakya 'od (early 16th century) son Jig rten dBang phyug Pad kar lde (fl. 1537–55) son? Ngag gi dBang phyug (16th century) son Nam mkha dBang phyug (16th century) son Khri Nyi ma dBang phyug (late 16th century) son Khri Grags pa'i dBang phyug (c. 1600) son Khri Nam rgyal Grags pa lde (fl. 1618) son Khri bKra shis Grags pa lde (before 1622–1630) son Kingdom conquered by Ladakh
Ladakh
(1630) Kingdom later conquered by Tibet
Tibet
under the Fifth Dalai Lama (1679–80)

See also[edit]

Purang- Guge
Guge
Kingdom Zhangzhung Tsaparang History of Tibet List of rulers of Tibet

References[edit] Specific references:

^ .Snelling, John. (1990). The Sacred Mountain: The Complete Guide to Tibet's Mount Kailas. 1st edition 1983. Revised and enlarged edition, including: Kailas-Manasarovar Travellers' Guide. Forwards by H.H. the Dalai Lama
Dalai Lama
of Tibet
Tibet
and Christmas Humphreys, p. 181. East-West Publications, London and The Hague. ISBN 0-85692-173-4. ^ Christopher I. Beckwith (16 March 2009). Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present. Princeton University Press. pp. 169–. ISBN 0-691-13589-4.  ^ Tsepon W.D. Shakabpa (1967), Tibet: A political history. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 56-7. ^ Hoffman, Helmut, "Early and Medieval Tibet", in Sinor, David, ed., Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 388, 394; A. McKay, ed. (2003), The History of Tibet, Volume II. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 53-66. ^ A. McKay, ed. (2003), pp. 42-45, 68-89. ^ http://www.greenkiwi.co.nz/footprints/frames/gu.htm ^ L. Petech (1977), The Kingdom of Ladakh, c. 950 – 1842 A.D. Rome: IsMEO, pp. 44-45. ^ Guge, a lost kingdom in Tibet
Tibet
Archived 2012-10-21 at the Wayback Machine. ^ A. McKay, ed. (2003), p. 44. ^ Li Gotami Govinda, Tibet
Tibet
in Pictures (Berkeley, Dharma Publishing, 1979), 2 volumes. ^ L. Petech (1980), 'Ya-ts'e, Gu-ge, Pu-rang: A new study', The Central Asiatic Journal 24, pp. 85–111; R. Vitali (1996), The kingdoms of Gu.ge Pu.hrang. Dharamsala: Tho.ling gtsug.lag.khang.

General references:

Allen, Charles. (1999) The Search for Shangri-La: A Journey into Tibetan History. Little, Brown and Company. Reprint: 2000 Abacus Books, London. ISBN 0-349-11142-1.

Further reading[edit]

Bellezza, John Vincent: Zhang Zhung. Foundations of Civilization in Tibet. A Historical and Ethnoarchaeological Study of the Monuments, Rock Art, Texts, and Oral Tradition of the Ancient Tibetan Upland. Denkschriften der phil.-hist. Klasse 368. Beitraege zur Kultur- und Geistesgeschichte Asiens 61, Verlag der Oesterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien 2008. van Ham, Peter. (2017). Guge--Ages of Gold: The West Tibetan Masterpieces. Hirmer Verlag, 390 pages, ISBN 978-3777426686 Zeisler, Bettina. (2010). "East of the Moon and West of the Sun? Approaches to a Land with Many Names, North of Ancient India and South of Khotan." In: The Tibet
Tibet
Journal, Special
Special
issue. Autumn 2009 vol XXXIV n. 3-Summer 2010 vol XXXV n. 2. "The Earth Ox Papers", edited by Roberto Vitali, pp. 371–463.

External links[edit]

[1] "Submerged in the Cosmos" by David Shulman, The New York Review of Books, February 24, 2017, retrieved March 2, 2017. "Unravelling the mysteries of Guge" by Xiong Lei, China Daily, May 8, 2003, retrieved November 24, 2005

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