Tai Situ Changchub Gyaltsen

Tai Situ Changchub Gyaltsen

Tai Situ Changchub Gyaltsen (Tibetan: ཏའི་སི་ཏུ་བྱང་ཆུབ་རྒྱལ་མཚནWylie: ta'i si tu byang chub rgyal mtshan, Chinese: 大司徒絳曲堅贊) (1302–1364 or 1371) was a key figure in Tibetan History. He was founder of the Phagmodrupa dynasty and ruler of Tibet from 1354 to 1364 or 1371.

Changchub Gyaltsen was the Phagmodru Tripon or Nedong Ghongma who in 1354 overthrew the Mongol appointed Sakya rulers and became ruler of all of Central Tibet - before the Ming Dynasty was established in China in 1368. He and his successors independently ruled Tibet for over eighty years until they were replaced by the Rinpungpa.

As ruler Changchub Gyaltsen was keen to revive the glories of the Tibetan Empire of Songtsen Gampo and assert Tibetan independence from the Mongol Yuan Dynasty and from Ming Dynasty China. He took the Tibetan title “Desi” (sde-srid), re-organized the thirteen myriarchies of the previous Yuan-Sakya rulers into numerous districts (rdzong), abolished Mongol law in favour of the old Tibetan legal code, and Mongol court dress in favour of traditional Tibetan dress.[1][2] But he avoided resisting the Yuan court until its fall in 1368, and was recognized by the latter during this period.[3]

Tai Situ Changchub Gyaltsen died in 1364 and was succeeded by his nephew Jamyang Shakya Gyaltsen (Tibetan: ཇམ་དབྱངས་ཤ་ཀྱ་རྒྱལ་མཚནWylie: jam dbyangs sha kya rgyal mtshan, Chinese: 章陽沙加監藏) (1340—1373), also a monk. The subsequent rule of the Phagmodrupa lineage lasted until 1435. From 1435 to 1481 the power of the Phagmodrupa declined as they were eclipsed by the Rinpungpa, who patronized the rival Karma Kagyu school. They were followed by the three Tsangpa kings who ruled from 1566—-1641 until Lobsang Gyatso the 5th Dalai Lama (1617—1682), with the support of Gushri Khan (1582—1655), a Mongol ruler of Kokonor, took control of Tibet.


  • Dreyfus, Georges (2003) "Cherished memories, cherished communities: proto-nationalism in Tibet", in The History of Tibet: Volume 2, The Medieval Period: c. AD 850–1895, the Development of Buddhist Paramountcy (New York: Routledge, 2003)
  • Norbu, Dawa (2001) China's Tibet Policy. RoutledgeCurzon 2001.
  • Shakapa, Tsepon W.D. (1981) “The rise of Changchub Gyaltsen and the Phagmo Drupa Period″ in Bulletin of Tibetology, 1981 Gangtok: Namgyal Institute of Tibetology [1]
  • Shakapa, Tsepon W.D. (1967) Tibet: A Political History, Yale University Press, New Haven and London.


  1. ^ Norbu, Dawa (2001) p. 57
  2. ^ Dreyfuss (2003)
  3. ^ Atwood, Christopher P., Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire

External links

Preceded by
Sakya regime
Ruler of Tibet
Succeeded by
Jamyang Shakya Gyaltsen

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