About Tibet: “Roof of the World”:
A plateau region north of the Himalayas, Tibet is an autonomous region of China. It is metaphorically described as the “Roof of the World” for it is the highest region on earth. Because it lies at an average elevation of 4,900 meters above sea level and has a total population of 3.18 million (census Dec 2014). Tibet occupying an area of 1.25 million km², about the size of Western Europe. The ethnic Tibetans comprise more than 90 % of the population. Geographically, Tibet shares borders with India, Kashmir, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and Myanmar in the south and west. While within China it abuts Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Qinghai, Sichuan, and Yunnan provinces to the north, east, and south.
Ecosystem of Tibet
The ecosystem is endowed with numerous breath-taking natural landscapes and sceneries. For example, the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon, along with the Yarlung Zangbo River, is one of the deepest and longest canyons in the world. Furthermore, the world’s top 10 tallest peaks are here and there are many must-sees, hugely sacred sights such as the Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery and Ganden Monastery. Climatically, it is severely dry nine months of the year and low temperatures are prevalent. The environment is harsh, as a result, there is little vegetation, especially in northern areas.
History of Tibet
The history of Tibet is more clearly recorded since the seventh century. It was the time when a unified Tibet came into existence under the ruler of the 33rd Tibetan King, Songtsan Gampo. The recorded history owes much to the fact that a written standard script came into existence. It was devised by Thonmi Sambota, who is traditionally regarded as the inventor of the Tibetan script. The history is full of mysteries and legends. The Tibetan history trajectory can be divided into five major phases, such as 1) The Primitive Historic Phase; 2) The Tsenpo Phase; 3) The Decentralisation Phase, 4) The Sakya, Pagdru and Tsangpa Kingdom Phase; and 5) The Ganden Podrang Phase.
Economy of Tibet
The economy of Tibet is largely based on the primary sector of agriculture. In addition, it is much subsistence-based with some level of extraction of raw materials. The main crops grown are barley, wheat, buckwheat, rye, potatoes, and assorted fruits and vegetables. Due to limited arable land, the primary occupation is raising livestock, such as sheep, cattle, goats, camels, yaks, and horses. The secondary or the manufacturing sector is not dominant and the service sector also is becoming increasingly an important pillar of the economy. Most noteworthy, tourism is becoming a significant source of revenue.
Religion of Tibet
The Tibetans have developed a distinct religion (what many describes as the Science of Mind) cultures. It has strongly been influenced by the local Bon religion and Buddhism. In the hearts of the Tibetan people, respect to nature is considered to be the key or the foundation of a healthy and happy life. Moreover, people take refuge in the “Three Jewels of the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha”. People also take appreciation and a sense of gratitude to parents and respect for teachers, doctors, and the elders.
Traditions of Tibet
The land is blessed with amazingly rich arts and crafts, architecture and music, and festival traditions. These are all reflective of a rich cultural heritage of local roots as well as influence from the trans-Himalayan region. Most noteworthy that every Tibetan takes a strong pride in about the heritage. In many respects, Tibet is synonymous with the image of Shangri-La and exoticism of a mystical land gifted with remarkable natural landscapes, deeply devout people, and rich culture.