Princess Wencheng (Tibetan: Mung-chang Kungco; Chinese: 文成公主; pinyin: Wénchéng Gōngzhǔ; Wade–Giles: Wen-ch’eng Kung-chu; 620s – 680/2), surnamed Li, was a member of a minor branch of the royal clan of the Chinese Tang dynasty. Much of her life has been mythified and used for propaganda purposes. However the story of Princess Wencheng and Songtsän Gampo has been cherished by the Tibetans and the rest of the Chinese people ever since. As historical record is sketchy, most what is known about the story is legendary.
Princess Li Wencheng was the most famous and beloved queen in Tibetan history, alongside with Princess Bhrikuti for Nepal. In 641, this beautiful and intelligent princess Wencheng was granted by Emperor Taizong of Tang to King Songtsän Gampo of Tibet for an involuntary act of the emperor’s heqin (marriage alliance) policy, when she was still very young. She is popularly known in Tibet as Gyasa, or “Chinese wife”. She brought the Tibetans many of the scientific and agricultural advances of the Tang dynasty and is also credited with the introduction of Buddhism into the region. It was a famous peace-making marriage in the Tang Dynasty.
Nowadays, the statues of Princess Wencheng and Songtsän Gampo are still in the Jokhang Monastery. Songtsän Gampo had the Ramoche Monastery built for the Buddha statues that Princess Wencheng had brought with her. The princess herself also had the Jokhang Monastery built, and in front of it she and Songtsän Gampo planted some willow trees now known as tangliu (the Tang willow). Today, the original statue of Sakyamuni believed to be brought by Princess Wencheng is still enshrined in the center of the main hall of the Jokhang Monastery. The chamber where they spent their first married life is still kept intact in the Potala Palace.
Songtsän Gampo died in 650 when he was only thirty-four years old, while the Princess lived as a widow in Tibet for another 30 years until her death, and never returned to China. Generation after generation of poets have written numerous verses to eulogize her. Her story was adapted to various theatrical forms. Two traditional observations have been devoted to her: the fifteenth day of the fourth month of each Tibetan year (the day when Princess Wencheng arrived in Tubo) and the fifteenth day of the tenth month of each Tibetan year (the birthday of Princess Wencheng). When the days come each year, the Tibetan people will turn out in their best costumes to sing and dance to commemorate her.
Click here to know more about The Tale Of Princess WenCheng (Bridging The Two Cultures).
Saturday, 15th September 2018,
Today I wouldn’t talk so much, let the wiki and pictures tell you the story. (￣ω￣)
In a short brief, the weather today was super hot, the bus took us from Jokhang Temple – Barkhor Square – Potala Palace.
Jokhang Monastery and Zuglagkang (Tibetan: གཙུག་ལག་ཁང༌།, Wylie: gtsug-lag-khang, ZYPY: Zuglagkang or Tsuklakang), is a Buddhist temple in Barkhor Square in Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. Tibetans, in general, consider this temple as the most sacred and important temple in Tibet.
The Jokhang was founded during the reign of King Songtsen Gampo. According to tradition, the temple was built for the king’s two brides: Princess Wencheng of the Chinese Tang dynasty and Princess Bhrikuti of Nepal. Both are said to have brought important Buddhist statues and images from China and Nepal to Tibet, which were housed here, as part of their dowries. [source: wikipedia]
Friday, 14th September 2018, drizzling in the a.m.
Today we packed our bags and move from a quiet-creepy hotel in Nyingchi to an old-dirty-dusty hotel in Lhasa. (￣ヘ￣)
Lhasa, which means “Land of the Gods” and is over 1,300 years old, sits in a valley right next to the Lhasa River. It is a city and administrative capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China. The main urban area of Lhasa is roughly equivalent to the administrative borders of Chengguan District, which is part of the wider Lhasa prefecture-level city, an area formerly administered as a prefecture.
Lhasa is the second most populous city on the Tibetan Plateau after Xining and, at an altitude of 3,490 meters (11,450 ft), Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world. The city has been the religious and administrative capital of Tibet since the mid-17th century. It contains many culturally significant Tibetan Buddhist sites such as the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Norbulingka Palaces. [source: wikipedia]
Most of the time we spent today on the bus, for about 12 hours journey (including the stopover). And our first stop was Basong Lake. (ﾉ´ з `)ノ
Thursday, 13th September 2018,
We supposed to fly to Nyingchi by 8:15 in the morning. But due to bad weather there in Nyingchi, our flight was delayed for about an hour. I was practically cut out from all the outside world (and I was intended to that!), so I had no idea about the super typhoon mangkhut and how serious the outside condition was. (ノ*°▽°*)
Nyingchi, also known as Linzhi, is a prefecture-level city in southeast of the Tibet Autonomous Region. The administrative seat of Nyingchi is Bayi District. The Chinese claim part of Arunachal Pradesh, which is one of the states of India, as part of the prefecture. Bayi Town is the administrative seat of Nyingchi, located 406 kilometers east of Lhasa. The vicinity is known for its cypresses which can grow up to 30 meters. [source: wikipedia]
Arrived at Nyingchi, our hotel was 2900 kilometers above sea level. ＼(￣▽￣)／
We had our late lunch in the hotel, tried on their traditional clothes in the hotel, walked around the hotel to enjoy the beautiful mountains surround us, then headed back to hotel before 3PM, headed to our first destination, King Cypress. (b ᵔ▽ᵔ)b
Wed, 12th September 2018,
I reached Changi before 12 noon as scheduled. My flight will be at 4PM, so I had enough time to enjoy my brunch in Changi. <(￣︶￣)>
holiday expedition to Tibet started from Singapore to Chengdu, and had overnight in Chengdu. The following day we took local flight to Nyinchi (or Linzhi) and from there we slowly continued our land journey to higher altitude.
So why Tibet?
My tour leader Annie, said there are 2 types of people who travel to Tibet;
1⃣ Those who want to do pilgrimage or religious trip from monastery to another monasteries, from temples to temples.
2⃣ Those who love adventures, know what it takes to go Tibet and ready for it.
My Chinese friend said; “if you go to Tibet, your heart will go to heaven while your body goes to hell.” I didn’t know this. I had no idea how harsh this
holiday expedition could be. How unexpected it would be. So obviously I was not type 1, either type 2. I am the type 3;
Five years ago – This building was the witness of my happy tears; of the future I’m trying to reach out; of a land where – someday – I will call home.