Gyantse Dzong

The idea of a fortress in Tibet is an oxymoron to most people. The Tibetan people and culture carry such a stereotype of peace and non-violence that it is hard to imagine what they would want with a fortress. In truth, the Tibetans have a history of both conquest and subjugation over the last 2,000 years, involving various military campaigns in Mongolia, western China and northern India.

In the early years of the 20th Century a British military campaign attempted to subjugate Tibet and was stoutly resisted from the 625-year old Gyantse dzong (fortress). The defenders prevailed for a few years, until the British returned and eventually captured the fort with many Tibetan losses. Damaged by the British, it was further stripped bare during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and has harbored a forlorn beauty ever since. One of the buildings how houses a modest museum commemorating resistance to the British invasion. (Pricing Schedule E)

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