Lhasa in the Seventeenth Century
Edited by Françoise Pommaret. Translated by Howard Solverson
This is the story of the rise of Lhasa, before 1642 a small town, renowned for its Jokhang temple and its three large 15th century Gelukpa monasteries. The political victory of the Gelukpa changed its destiny and it was the Fifth Dalai Lama who made Lhasa into the centre of the Tibetan world, with an influence reaching into Mongolia and Ladakh. It became a true capital, with prestigious monuments, and the Potala Palace as its focus and symbol.
Based on Tibetan and Western sources, the book provides a fascinating study of the history of Lhasa against the background of the triangular relations Tibetans-Mongols-Manchus. With ample attention for 17th century Lhasa’s historical, political and cultural context, it offers new insights on Lhasa, also, in the last chapter, in its contemporary Chinese framework.