22 Facts About Songtsen Gampo


Songtsen Gampo is regarded as responsible for the creation of the Tibetan script and therefore the establishment of Classical Tibetan, the language spoken in his region at the time, as the literary language of Tibet.


Songtsen Gampo is thought to have ascended the throne at age thirteen, by this reckoning c 629.


Some Dunhuang documents say that, as well as his sister Sad-mar-kar, Songtsen Gampo had a younger brother who was betrayed and died in a fire, sometime after 641.


Songtsen Gampo's name is recorded variously but is identified as Driza Tokar.


Songtsen Gampo had six consorts, of whom four are considered "native" and two - the well-known ones - foreign.


Songtsen Gampo's mother is sometimes said to have been a Chinese princess but this is thought to be highly unlikely.


Some accounts say that when Gungsong Gungtsen reached the age of thirteen, his father, Songtsen Gampo, retired, and he ruled for five years.


Songtsen Gampo is said to have been born in an unspecified Ox year and was 13 years old when he took the throne.


Songtsen Gampo is said to have sent his minister Thonmi Sambhota to India to devise a script for Classical Tibetan, which led to the creation of the first Tibetan literary works and translations, court records and a constitution.


Songtsen Gampo moved the seat of his newly unified kingdom from the Yarlung Valley to the Kyichu Valley, site of the future city of Lhasa.


Songtsen Gampo is credited with bringing many new cultural and technological advances to Tibet.


Songtsen Gampo is traditionally credited with being the first to bring Buddhism to the Tibetan people.


Songtsen Gampo is said to have built many Buddhist temples, including the Jokhang in Lhasa, the city in which he is credited in one tradition with founding and establishing as his capital, and Tradruk Temple in Nedong.


Songtsen Gampo was adept at diplomacy as well as on the field of battle.


Songtsen Gampo then sent an envoy with gifts of gold and silk to the Chinese emperor to ask for a Chinese princess in marriage and, when refused, attacked Songzhou.


Around 639, after Songtsen Gampo had a dispute with his younger brother Tsensong, the younger brother was burnt to death by his own minister, Khasek, possibly at the behest of the emperor.


Songtsen Gampo married Princess Bhrikuti, the daughter of King Licchavi.


The Chinese Princess Wencheng, niece of the Emperor Taizong of Tang, left China in 640 to marry Songtsen Gampo, arriving the next year.


The Jiu Tangshu adds that Songtsen Gampo thereupon built a city for the Chinese princess, and a palace for her within its walls.


Songtsen Gampo discarded his felt and skins, put on brocade and silk, and gradually copied Chinese civilization.


Songtsen Gampo sent the children of his chiefs and rich men to request admittance into the national school to be taught the classics, and invited learned scholars from China to compose his official reports to the emperor.


Songtsen Gampo's tomb is in the Chongyas Valley near Yalung, 13 metres high and 130 metres long.