Songtsen Gampo སྲོང་བཙན་སྒམ་པོ་
Songtsen Gampo, སྲོང་བཙན་སྒམ་པོ་ is one of the most prominent names you will hear during your vocation to Tibet. So we thought it would be necessary to write a post about him so that our visitor has little ideas about who he is and why he plays a very important role in your Tibet tour itineraries.
The first reason why he is so important is that he build many buildings and Temple, which are now the most prominent attractions for tourist and place for devotion for local Tibetans. For example, in Lhasa, both Potala Palace and Jokhang were built by him.
The second reason why he becomes so important is for his contribution to the Tibetan culture. During his rule he has brought Buddhism to Tibet. He initiated to establish written language for entire Tibetan to read and write for centuries, He has also initiated Tibetan to learn medical, astrology and sciences. he is considered the greatest Tibetan king in our Tibetan history.
The third reason is he is the greatest King we Tibetan have over the time of history. He has unified entire Tibetan inhabitant place under one Tibetan empire.
The turning point in Songtsen Gampo’s Life
- Introduce Buddhism
Songtsen Gampo is credited to be the first one to bring Buddhism in Tibet. he is said to have built many Buddhist temples, including the Jokhang Temple, Potala Palace and Ramoche temple in Lhasa and Traduk temple in Tsedang. The translation of much Buddhist scripture from Sanskrit to Tibetan has begun. In our Tibetan Buddhism, we believe he is the manifestation of Avalokitesvara, the deity of Tibet.
- Conquest of Zhang Zhung
The Old book of Tang clearly states that the during the reign of Songtsen Gampo. For they said that in 634, Yangtong (Zhang Zhung) and unified entire Tibetan plateau under the Tubo empire
- Marriage and Alliance
The king Songtsen Gampo has sent an envoy with gifts of gold and silk to the Chinese Emperor to ask for a princess in marriage for an exchange for Alliance. The emperor grants the request and sends his daughter Wencheng to marry him. This marks the beginning of Tibetan and Chinese peaceful relationship, which later lead to peaceful incorporation of Tibet region into the part of the current People’s Republic of China.
The king Songtsen Gampo is the most popular of all the Tibetan rulers in Tibetan history. During your tours in Tibet, you will often visit the place he builds and you would often hear about him from your guide.
I-Tibet travel and Tours is fully committed to responsible and Sustainable tourism practice in Tibet. Our privilege to be able to host you in Tibet also makes our responsibility in protecting nature and contributing back communities.
As a Local Tibetan travel agency in Lhasa. Our staffs are 100% local Tibetan tourism professionals. Additionally, We only use local Tibetan guides, other tours crews, and local business. 100% of the travel money goes to locals. Besides, We use 3% of the net profit into Environmental and social initiatives.
Being Tibetan, We know how vital the Tibetan environment is for the entire world. Mountains, glacier, and rivers are all cherished in our culture. We do our best to reduce the environmental impact of your tours in Tibet.
Following are Our ways:
a) No Small plastic bottles in the tour
All the drinking water are provided in the bigger container. So all visitors are asked to bring his/her own water bottle. In this way, we reduce hundreds and thousands of small plastic bottles. All the bigger containers are provided back to the manufacturer for reuse.
b) Incentives for practice
Incentives are given to guide and drivers. Who follow our strict directories on ethical practice towards sustainable and responsible tourism practice.
c) Staff Training every winter
Winter is a low season in Tibet tourism. We provide skill training required for the practice of Responsible and Sustainable tourism practice, first Aids and emergency first responder training. One of our managers is certified Humanity Supply Chain management by fritz institute. We work closely with individuals from institute like Tibet Eco Travel initiatives and Local Tibet Red Cross society and other NGOs.
d) Tree Plantation
Some portion of the tour money are save for our 1000 Tree plantation project. We will plant trees when we will have enough funds.
e) Smaller group size
All our tours are a small group to reduce environmental Impact. Since traveling in a smaller group has less impact on committed in an area than a big group. Therefore all our tour groups are small.
f) Trekking tours and environmental care in the wilderness of Tibet
During your trekking Tours, you will be walking across a very fragile ecosystem. We do take extra care in our trekking tours preventing environmental effects. Following are how are take care of our environment our trekking tours.
1: We nothing leave mother behind.
We make sure we take all our rubbish and leave nothing behind.
2: We protect the grassland
A little destruction of Tibet’s fragile environment is irreversible. So, in the trekking tours, we will not make drainage surrounding your tent. Instead, we will provide trekkers with a better tent with bathtub style floors which prevent water from getting into the tent. We don’t put a small tent toilet. Even if we try to put the grass back, it is not the same. So when you are answering your nature called please enjoy the view.
3: Collecting the garbage along the way.
We have a saying in Tibet, “if you can’t help, don’t harm.” Here is our helping part. We always have extra yaks carrying the Garbages, our yak men will be collecting while waiting for the clients at the campsite. Yak man walks faster than all, and they have free time at the camp. While cook prepares for meals and drinks, We pay yaks men’s incentives in collecting the rubbish around the camp.
I-Tibet travel and tours, identify its self as a social enterprise. For this, we dedicate 3% of our annual net profit to Social and environmental projects. Every winter we buy winter clothes for small children and donate to schools. In this way, besides donating winter cloth, we are also encouraging them to go to school.
It is important to make our guest understand Local Culture, Beliefs, and Ethics. Hence it will make it more comfortable during Our special tour arrangements. Like, your home visit, culture programs, and our others.