Shigatse

Shigatse, also Xigatse, which means fertile land and stands between the confluence of the Yarlong Tsangpo and Nyangchu River, used to be the capital of Tsang and now is the capital of Shigatse prefecture.

Shigatse contains the huge Tashilhunpo Monastery, founded in 1447 by Gendun Drup, the First Dalai Lama. It is the traditional seat of the Panchen Lamas. Until the Chinese arrived in the 1950s, the “Tashi” or Panchen Lama had temporal power over three small districts, though not over the town of Shigatse itself, which was administered by a dzongpön (general) appointed from Lhasa.

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