Litang (li thang) is a vast highland area in Kham with a large pastoral population and is bordered on many sides by lush forests and rivers. One of the primary routes between China and Tibet passes through Litang and for this reason it has long been the focus of regional powers. During the Yuan Dynasty garrisons were installed in Litang and in 1278 the empire organized it as a “circuit” (Ch. lu). In the seventeenth century the Fifth Dalai Lama passed through the region and established several large Geluk (dge lugs) monasteries. Later the Seventh Dalai Lama was born in Litang. In 1728 the leader of Litang, called the Governor of Litang(li thang sde pa) or the Governor of Litang Tongra (li thang stong ra sde pa), was made a headman (土司 tusi) and incorporated into the Qing Dynasty. The political and economic administration of Litang remains to be studied by Euro-American scholars.
Feature Type Principality