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Princess Wencheng and auspicious locations
    Date:09-09-2011 Source:tibet.cn Author:    

When Songtsan Gambo moved his capital to Gyiqoiwotang (Lhasa), he followed in the footsteps of his predecessors by maintaining good relations with the Tang Dynasty in the Central Plains in terms of political, business, cultural and religious fields. Twice he sent a minister to Chang'an (present-day Xi'an) for a Tang princess to marry, and finally married Princess Wencheng.

Princess Wencheng reached Tubo in 641. She brought with her a statue of Sakyamuni equal to the size of the Buddha when he was 12 years old. The princess also brought calendars, Buddhist sutras, books on handicraft industry, and medical books.

Songtsan Gambo built a palace at the Red Hill specially for her, and a grand wedding ceremony was held. The Tang princess assisted Songtsan Gambo in administering Tubo, and the Wotang City was built for this purpose. At that time, Songtsan Gambo was planning the construction of a monastery for Nepalese Princess Khridzun, one of his concubines. Princess Wencheng calculated that the sky over Gyiqoiwotang resembled the eight wheels of Dharma, and the land took the shape of eight lotus petals adorned with eight auspicious treasures.

Based on this understanding, she named the eight mountains around the city "Bright Lotus," "Treasure Umbrella," "Conch," "Buddha Wheel," "Victorious Umbrella," "Holy Bottle," "Golden Fish," and "Auspicious Knot." According to the Records of Tibetan Kings, the Tang princess knew well that "snowland is where a female demon reclines, with the Wotang Lake water being her blood (or heart), and the three mountains being her arteries. Since the place sits at the heart of the female demon, the lake should be filled up for the construction of a monastery." At the suggestion of Princess Wencheng, the lake was filled for construction of the Jokhang Monastery. In the meantime, the Ramoche Monastery was built at the former shore.

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