Gyantse, officially Gyangzê Town (also spelled Gyangtse; Tibetan: རྒྱལ་རྩེ, Wylie: rgyal rtse, ZYPY: Gyangzê; simplified Chinese: 江孜镇; traditional Chinese: 江孜鎮; pinyin: Jiāngzī Zhèn), is a town located in Gyantse County, Shigatse Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region, China. It was historically considered the third largest and most prominent town in the Tibet region (after Lhasa, and Shigatse), but there are now at least ten larger Tibetan cities.

 A 1954 map of Gyantse

In 1904, the British expedition to Tibet reached Gyantse on 11 April. The town's garrison had already fled, and the expedition's members entered the town bloodlessly through the front gates, which were opened for them, and occupied Gyantse. After the town was occupied, several British officers visited the Palcho Monastery and seized several statues and scrolls. During the occupation, the town's inhabitants continued to go about their business, and the expedition's medical officer, Herbert James Walton, attended to their medical needs, including performing several operations to correct the common problem of cleft palates. The expedition's officers spent time exploring the town and carrying out fishing or hunting trips in the surrounding countryside. Eventually, the expedition concluded a treaty with the Tibetan authorities, which stipulated that a British trade agent and garrison would be stationed at Gyantse.[1]

In 1919, Sir Walter Buchanan, a member of the Royal Geographical Society, travelled into the Chumbi Valley and visited the British garrison at Gyantse, describing it as "small" and noting that it consisted primarily of Indian troops.[2] During the reign of the 13th Dalai Lama, a military academy was established by the British in Gyantse to train Tibetan Army officers.[3] During World War II, the British continued to maintain a garrison in Gyantse, though it was eventually disbanded by 1947.[4][5][6]

^ Chisholm 1911. ^ Sir Walter Buchanan, A recent trip into the Chumbi Valley, Tibet, The Royal Geographical Society, 1919. ^ Wang Jiawei et Nyima Gyaincain, The Tibetan Army's First Eastward Invasion Archived 27 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine, in The Historical Status of China's Tibet, China Intercontinental Press, 1997. ^ Hank Baker’s obituary notice, telegraph.co.uk, 4 March 2006. ^ Sanderson Beck, Tibet, Nepal, and Ceylon, 1800-1950. ^ BBC Radio 4 23 September 2013 11a.m http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03bdbq2
Photographies by:
Luca Galuzzi (Lucag) - CC BY-SA 2.5
Antoine Taveneaux - CC BY-SA 3.0
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