The Mongolian Kings of Tsezhung

In the early thirteenth century, Mongol Khan Gotan (Köden) sent an army to Dokham (mdo khams). Many Tibetan communities and monasteries around Lake Kokonor were destroyed and Mongolians began arriving in Amdo (a mdo). In 1257, three divisions of the Mongol army attacked the Song Dynasty. At the time, a group called Tumé Darbho (thu med dar bho) came to Tsezhung (rtse gzhung) and they were responsible for providing army supplies, which were mainly horses. They are believed to be the ancestors of the Mongolians in Sokdzong (sog rdzong). The Mongolians in Tsezhung are now under the administration of Malho Sokdzong (rma lho sog rdzong, Henan Mengguzu Zizhi Xian). Malho Sokdzong is located in Malho (rma lho, Huangnan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province, and it is adjacent to Labrang (bla brang). Except for Arik (a rig), which is the only Tibetan community in the county, the rest are Mongolian, and now they have adopted Tibetan ways of life such as language, clothes, and religion.

Later, in 1570, the Mongolian army was sent to Domé (mdo smad) and it was occupied. A year later, most troops left and only two Mongolian groups, under Ho lo chi and Yung hro pu, stayed behind. In 1588, Ho lo chi ruled Repgong (reb gong) and the areas around Mangra (mang ra) with force. In 1636, Gushri Khan arrived in Domé. His fifth son, Dargyé Poshoktu (dar rgyas po shog thu) ruled a part of Domé and his third son Tsewang Tendzin (tshe dbang bstan 'dzin, 1699-1735), who was popularly known as Gyelpo Junang (rgyal po ju nang), was considered the first Chin wang, even though he was given the Jun wang title by the Qing emperor. He ruled a large territory as far as Golok Nyatso (mgo log nya mtsho), including Repgong, Dobi (rdo sbis), Bindo (bis mdo), Hortsang (hor gtsang), Amchok (a mchog), Gyitsang (sgyis tshang, in Sangchu [bsang chu] County, where Labrang Monastery [bla brang dgon] is), Rongtso Chensoso (rong tsho chen so so, maybe in Gyelrong [rgyal rong]), Tewo Zaru (the bo gza' ru), Ngawa (rnga ba) and Ramdo (ra mdo, possibly where Ra Monastery [rwa dgon] is). Thus, they ruled most of the Amdo Tibetan communities within the second bend of the Ma (Yellow) River (ma chu) and to the south and east (present day prefectures of Malho, Golok [mgo log], Kenlho [kan lho], and Ngawa [rnga ba]). But it was his son, Tendzin Wangchuk [bstan 'dzin dbang phyug], who received the Chin wang title from Qianlong Emperor. After a few generations, the Chin wang was not able to rule all those places due to the decline of Mongol power. The Chin wang was the most important patron of Labrang Monastery [bla brang dgon]. There were ten Chin wang in total.


Hor gtsang 'jigs med, Mdo smad lo rgyus chen mo las sde tsho’i skor glegs bam gnyis pa [The second volume of sde tsho (communities and tsho ba) in The Greater History of Amdo], Vol. 3, Library of Tibetan Works & Archives. Dharamsala, India. 2009. Pp 619—685