Before the introduction of Indian Buddhism, a glorious civilization existed on Tibet Plateau, which is the ancient Zhang Zhung Kingdom. It had communications with Central Asia, West Asia, South Asia and other regions. It was once called “Yangtong” in Chinese history.
Zhang Zhung Kingdom is actually one of the many mysteries of Tibet. For a long time, there have been many arguments and disputes about its emergence, development and even its demise
Is it a nomadic tribe? Or is it a combined tribal country(alliance) composed of many small chief tribes?
Its age, size, and cultural prosperity have always been the focus of academic debate.
Some people believe that Xiangxiong has a strong national power and a splendid culture. Its territory extends from Kham (now the Tibetan area of Sichuan province) in the east to Persia in the west that stretches for thousands of kilometers. It is an important node connecting Central Asia, South Asia, and East Asia, and it is also the source of Tibetan civilization.
Some people believe that the structure of Zhang Zhung Kingdom is vague, and there is no centralization of power. The so-called vast territory is described by later generations, and it is just a tribe living in remote land of Ngari
The time of the establishment of the Zhang Zhung Kingdom is unknown. The current mainstream view is that it was established during the Iron Age between 1500 BC and the first year of AD.
Regarding the time of its demise, one theory is that it was conquered by Tubo dynasty in 645 AD. Another theory is that it was completely wiped out by Tubo dynasty in 955 AD.
There are many sayings about the sacred mountain of Zhang Zhung Kingdom, however, all of which point to the sacred mountain of Gangdisi (Mount Kailash).
Its capital was called “Khyung lung Dngul mkhar” which according to archaeology, it is temporarily determined to be located in Menshi Township, Gar County, Ngari Prefecture. More archaeological excavations are expected to confirm this knowledge.
Location and area
Regarding the geographic location of Zhang Zhung, there is no exact area yet, only a rough position can be determined.
According to Bon literature, Zhang Zhung Kingdom consisted of three parts, “phug pa”, “bar ba” and “sgo ba”.
Zhang Zhung was where the Shia Jia Qiong bird lives, which was also known as “suparna”. Because its wings are shiny gold, it is also called golden-winged bird for short.
It has four types: viviparous, oviparous, wet, and metaplasia. They all feed on dragons. It is also the largest bird in Chinese myths and legends.
According to archaeological records, there were 18 kings in Zhang Zhung, all of those who used Shia Jia Qion to decorate the left and right sides of their crown.
It was a kind of sacred bird that was very worshipped in Zhang Zhung culture, and it naturally became a totem and symbol of Zhang Zhung Kingdom
The Zhang Zhung people and the Tubo people were both branches of ancient Masangchi ethnic group, but with different languages.
Some Tibetan scholars believe that “Bon” and “Bod” are synonymous. The reason is that in ancient words, the word “Bon” had to be added postfixed, and it becomes “Bon”. By analogy, the word “Bod” may have evolved from the word “Bon”.
Its culture was the largest and most extensive culture on the Tibet Plateau before the rise of the Tubo Dynasty, and people on this land believed in Bon religion.
The Zhang Zhung script is also called “mar chen” or “smar chen”, which is similar to the oracle bone script of Chinese Han nationality. And the use of Zhang Zhung characters lasted at least thousands of years.
Everything in the culture is inextricably linked with Bon religion, from bsang, mountain kora, water kora, worshiping mountain gods, and interpreting hexagrams.
Its culture has two very important parts: one is the culture of sacred mountains and the other is the culture of holy lakes
Protrusions are like mountains and generally refer to males, alluding to male genitals.
Lakes refers to women and alludes to female genitals.
Mountain Kora, and Lake Kora are to walk around the holy mountains and lakes, in order to pray for mountain gods and lake gods to bless the common people.