Gtsang dynasty


Gtsang dynasty
(1565?–1642) Last secular native ruling house in Tibet.

The Gtsang kings allied themselves with the Karma-pa order of Buddhists against the new reformed Dge-lugs-pa order. The Dge-lugs-pa gained the support of the Mongol Altan Khan, and although the Gtsang attacked their headquarters in Lhasa, the dynasty was finally dethroned in 1642, when temporal authority was given to the Mongol-backed Dalai Lama.

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▪ Tibetan history
also spelled  gTsang 

      Chinese royal dynasty (c. 1565–1642) whose rule was centred in the province of Gtsang, or gTsang. The Gtsang was the last secular native ruling house in Tibet. After overthrowing the previous Rin-spung rulers of the country in about 1565, the Gtsang kings allied themselves with the powerful Karma-pa, or Red Hat, order of Buddhists and opposed the new reformed Dge-lugs-pa, or Yellow Hat, Buddhists, who in the 15th and 16th centuries had begun to gain power among those envious of the wealth of the ruling group. The Yellow Hats, however, gained the support of the powerful Mongol chieftain Altan Khan, from whom their leader received the title Dalai Lama, and they established themselves in the Tibetan city of Lhasa.

      The Gtsang rulers attacked Lhasa at the beginning of the 17th century, but the Dalai Lama called in Mongol aid. The city changed hands several times, but in 1642 the last Gtsang monarch was finally dethroned. The Dalai Lama was given temporal authority over Tibet, which he continued to exercise, although real power remained in the hands of the Yuan (Yuan dynasty) (Mongol) and later Qing (Qing dynasty) (Manchu) dynasties, until the communist Chinese took control of Tibet in the 20th century.

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Universalium. 2010.

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