In the 5th century BC, Prince Sinrao Miwoche of the ancient state of Zhangzhong founded the Bon religion on the basis of an existing primitive religion unique to Zhangzhong. It conducted rituals mainly in the Montog area of Gar County, Ngari, primarily to pray for luck and for dispelling evil. It gradually spread to the area drained by the Yarlung Zangbo River, becoming a dominant religious force in the plateau.
When Buddhism spread to Tibet, priests of the Bon religion and Buddhist monks fought each other. For the sake of its own survival and development, Bon was forced to absorb, directly or indirectly, contents of Buddhism. Given this, some say the Bon religion has become merely another sect of Tibetan Buddhism, but the religious figures reject this.
Tibet boasts 88 monasteries of the Bon religion. They include 55 in Qamdo, 23 in Nagqu, six in the Xigaze area, two in Nyingchi, one in Lhasa and one in Ngari.