About Gyantse Dzong Castle
Gyantse Dzong or Gyantse Fortress is one of the best preserved dzongs in Tibet, perched high above the town of Gyantse on a huge spur of grey brown rock.
Constructed around 1390, the castle we see today guarded the southern approaches to the Tsangpo Valley and Lhasa. The original fortress, known as Gyel-khar-tse was attributed to Pelkhor-tsen, son of the anti-Buddhist king Langdharma, who probably reigned from 838 to 841 CE. The present walls were supposedly built in 1268, after the rise in power of the Sakyapa sect.
A large palace was built in 1365 by a local prince, Phakpa Pelzangpo (1318–1370), who had found favour campaigning for the Sakyapas in the south. He also brought a famous Buddhist teacher, Buton Rinchendrub of Zhalu, to live in a temple there.
The castle has gradually been restored, and “still dominates the town and surrounding plains as it always did.” There is now a small museum there outlining the excesses of the Younghusband expedition from the Chinese perspective.
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