Travel Info

General Information

Geography and Climate of Tibet

Tibet lies between Indian subcontinent and Central Asia. Also referred as the highest place or the top of the world this plateau has an average altitude of more than 4000m from sea level and features some of the highest mountains in the world including Mount Everest. This autonomous part of China shares border in the west with India Occupied Kashmir Region and in the south with Nepal Bhutan and India.

History of Tibet

According to the historians the Zhang Zhung people migrated from the Amdo region into what is now the region of Guge in western Tibet. These people known as the Zhang Zhung are taken as the source of Bön religion in the Tibetan plateau. According to the various surveys conducted in Tibet it has been proved that there was Human settlement in Tibet from almost 22000, there are some archeological evidence that there was already human settlement in Tibet before civilization started in India , half a million years ago. Kashag, the Tibetan leader expelled all Chinese connected with the Chinese government in 1949.The red Army entered into Tibet in October and took over Tibet. In 1950 British government recognized the suzerainty over Tibet with a condition that Tibet will be an autonomous region. In October 1950, PLA of China invaded Chamdo, inspire of resistance attempt from the Tibetan Army. A negotiation was held between the representatives of spiritual leader Dalai Lama and the Chinese government in Beijing in 1951 approving the Chinese authority in the Tibetan territory. The agreement including other 16 points was ratified in Tibet after few months. Since then there is a ongoing conflict between Tibetans and the Chinese government.

Economy

Even though Tibet has limited arable land many of its people are dependent on agriculture. Besides that animal husbandry is also a common means of earning for the low population of Tibet.  Besides Cotton, Barley and Potato some vegetables and assorted fruits also grow in Tibet. Recently Tibet’s economy is becoming more versatile with the presence of industries and much scientific agriculture. In 2008 the GDP of Tibet was accounted for USD 6.6 billion. There is no taxation levied on Tibet and almost all expenditures of Tibet are taken care by the Chinese government. In the recent years the tourism in Tibet is also growing and after the construction of Qingzang railway the tourism industry is showing good signs. Almost 160000 foreigners visited Tibet in 2008. According to the data of the Chinese government the economy of Tibet is having an annual growth of almost 12% and the per capita income is around USD 1600.

Language

Tibetan is the official language of the Tibet Often referred as the Central Tibetan Language the official language is based on the Lhasa Speech, an Ü-Tsang dialect of Dbus aka Ü, one of the Central Tibetan languages. The written language has its roots from classical Tibetan. This language has been classified as a member of the Sino-Tibetan language. It shares a close resemblance with Language of Myanmar, Burmese. It is estimated that almost 6.2 million people speak Tibetan including people in Northern India, Nepal and Bhutan. Since Tibet is a large area there are many different dialects in Tibetan.

Tibetan Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism is referred as the 5th school of Tibetan Buddhism. It is an amalgam of Buddhist religious doctrine and institutions with characteristic of Bonpo, Hinduism and Buddhism. It is practiced all around the central Asia, some parts of Indian subcontinent including Northern India and Nepal and also in some parts of Russia and Mongolia. Tibetan Buddhism is very diversed and has many different schools of thought including the Nyingmapa, Kagyugpa, Gelupa, and Shakya.

Population

Even though Tibet occupies almost 1/5 part of china it has a low population of around 2.62 million because of the dispersed population distribution. Majority of the population lives in remote areas and less in towns and cities. Over 85% people are of Tibetan race or clan and few are Han with a minority of other Chinese inhabitants. Majority of the population lives in the river valleys of Brahmaputra   and three other rivers Lantsang, Lujang and Yangtze most of them in eastern Tibet. The southern and northern part of Tibet have less population desnity as the weather is not very friendly for big population and is harsh in winter. Tibet is one of the most thinly populated area in Asia with less than 2.5 people per square kilometer.

Tibetan Festivals

There are numerous festivals celebrated in Tibet some festivals like Lhosar are celebrated throughout Tibet and some are celebrated in some regions only. Lhosar is the biggest festival and is also the New Year celebration. The first three days as important days of the festival but altogether there is 15 day of celebration. Tsong Khapa, the founder of the Gelupa School introduced this festival in Tibet in 15th century. Besides Lhosar the Sho Dun Festival or the Yoghurt Festival, The Golden Star Festival celebrated on the 7th and 8th month of the Tibetan Calendar (August-September) and the Dajyur or the Damxung Horse Festival are some of the biggest festivals of Tibet.

Traditional Tibetan medicine

Tibet has a very old traditional medical system of its own. They have traditional but effective way of diagnosis, incorporating techniques such as pulse analysis and urinalysis, and utilize behavior where they use herbal medicines for treatment. It is often regarded as the melting pot of Aurveda, Unani, local and Chinese medical science. Tibetan acupuncture and moxabustion are popular in central Asia as well as they are getting popular in Europe and North America.