History of Dolpo – Dolpo Region Trek

The historical record of Dolpo has appeared since 8th century. At the same time, Dolpo was ruled under the Kingdom of Zhangzhung.This kingdom was located in Western Tibet and was strongly connected with Bon religion. This kingdom is the first Tibetan Dynasty and they were known as the ‘Yarlung’ dynasty who ruled in between 6th to 8th century most of the Tibetan-speaking territories including ‘Dolpo’.

According to the historian, after 8th century, Yarlung Dynasty’s control over Dolpo was lost and Dolpo came on the dominion of Purang Kingdom. Later on again after 10th both Purang and Dolpo became a part of one of the most influential characteristic kingdom of western Tibet ‘Guge Kingdom.’ But it could be remained for a long as King sKyid lde Nyi ma mgon of Guge divided his kingdom among his three sons, (Mryul) Ladhak, Guge and Purang. The eldest son ruled Ladakh and established the Ladchen dynasty.Two younger sons ruled the region of western Guge(Spiti )and eastern Guge (Purang and Dolpo).

The kingdom of Guge prospered until around 1100 AD, then later on until 1253AD the region was taken under by the Ya-rste King A-SOG-lde. But soon the Dolpo and Serib were lost to the clan of Gunthang ruler, mGon Po Ide, and the both the region were united and classified among one of the three provinces of mNga’ris. In the 13th century, the great conquering hordes of Genghis Khan shattered kingdom of China, Tibet, and Mongolia. Meanwhile, Mongolian troops reached up to Dolpo and handed over the power and territory to the Sakya-Pa rulers. The Sakya Pa dominant was around hundred years.

In the 14th century, Dolpo became a part of Kingdom of Lo, and the control of western Tibet over Dolpo was eclipsed. As Dolpo became the territory of Lo Kingdom, people from Dolpo had to pay taxes and levies in the form of grains, labor, and religious service. However, for some time between 15th and 16th century, Dolpo was temporarily independent and was ruled by a king from Ranag dynasty. The Ranag king was from Nakhong valley in Upper Dolpo. According to some text, the Mustang and Ranag kings shared a close relationship. It is also depicted that, the Mustang king presented his eldest daughter in marriage to the Ranag king.

By 1789, the Gurkha armies had extended their territorial control over Kaligandaki valley trade route to the Lo Kingdom of Mustang and the Dolpo region. In 1950, Dolpo region was divided into four valleys, Nakhong, Panzang, Tarap and Chharka and the in 1975 three additional zones like Mukot, Bhijer and Phoksundo were added to make seven VDCs.


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