History and Society

As early as the seventh century, when Tibet King Songtsen Gampo divided Tibet into “Five Ru” (five parts), Gyirong was still an obscure border town. The whole town was divided into the “Ru La”, which is one of the “Five Ru”. To the 11th century, Tibet fell into a turmoil of war and warlords established their own countries. The last Tibetan King Langdarma’s descendants established the Gongtong Kingdom in the war. They occupied a hill to be the King within the area of Zongga and Gyirong. Early 13th century, the fifth generation leader of the Sakya school Phagpa divided Ü-Tsang region into “one hundred thousand families”, According to the geographical location at that time, Gyiron was divided into a place on the north bank of the Yarlung Tsangpo River, where Ngamring was the central area. In the early 19th century, the Kashag government set up four parts in Gyirong area, under the jurisdiction of Shigatse, which was followed up to the peaceful liberation of Tibet in 1951. In July 1960, Gyirong County People’s Government was established.

Gyirong is located in the border area. In history, it was one of the few important hubs in southern Tibet, considering the inaccessibility of transportation. It is also a pearl on the ancient Tang-Nepal road, reflecting the glory of commercial intercourse and cultural exchanges. Our ancestors’ exploration and construction progress in Gyirong can be condensed into a soul-stirring historical trail, which proceeds for over thousands of years. In Tang Dynasty, the famous explorer and diplomat Wang Xuance went to India via Gyirong for several times on diplomatic missions. He even borrowed soldiers of Tibetan to exterminate a country in northern India. Gyirong is a timeless way to spread Buddhism. The Princess Bhrikuti carried the statues of Sakyamuni and other Buddha to enter Tibet through Gyirong. Master Padmasambhava and Atisa entered Tibet to spread Buddhism from here. Gyirong is the origin of Tibetan Buddhism in. Sages gathered here. Master Milarepa and the first reincarnated Rinpoche in Tibet Rangjung Dorje were all born here. Phagpa ,Tsongkhapa, and many other famous people all have countless ties with Gyirong. Here was once the capital of the prominent Gongtang Kingdom, which lasts for several centuries and shares the same ancestors with Guge King, but people hardly mention it now. Besides, in Qing Dynasty, Gyirong remained the main battlefield for three times when the Gurkhas invaded Tibet. Gyirong witnessed the vicissitudes of Tibet for thousands of years; all big events in Tibetan history; the encounter of famous political and religious figures. The comparison between its glory of history and the fading destiny was tragic enough to make people feel sad and moved with emotion.

For thousand years, the ancient road that links Tang Dynasty and Nepal has always passed through Gyirong. But nowadays, this road falls into silence because China-Nepal road was constructed via Zhangmu. Until recent two years, Zhangmu port was temporarily closed due to an earthquake. As a result, Gyirong Port has gradually attracted people’s attention. Now, all stories buried inside this picturesque and isolated place will be dug out again. More people will step into and understand its opulent historical background, its sacred religion and culture.