Tibet Essay Research Paper

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Tibet Essay, Research Paper Tibet, China Tibet, also known as TAR, is a democratic region in China that is very poor, and is mainly inhabited by Buddhists. Throughout its long history, Tibet at times has governed itself as an independent state and at other times has had various levels of association with China. Whatever China ’s involvement in Tibetan affairs, Tibet’s internal government was for centuries a theocracy, under the leadership of Buddhist lamas, or monks. In 1959 the Dalai Lama fled to India during a Tibetan revolt against Chinese control in the region. China then took complete control of Tibet, installing a sympathetic Tibetan ruler and, in 1965, replacing with a Communist administration (Encarta 1). The TAR covers an area of about 472,000 square miles. It

is bounded on the north by Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Qinghai Province; on the east by Sichuan and Yunnan provinces; on the south by Myanmar (formally known as Burma), India, Bhutan, and Nepal; and on the west by India. Lhasa is the region’s capital and largest city (Schaller 72). With an average elevation of more than 12,000 feet, Tibet is the highest region on earth, and for this reason, it is sometimes called the Roof of the World. Most of the people in Tibet live at elevations ranging from 3,900 feet to 16,700 feet. Tibet is also one of the world’s most isolated regions, surrounded by the Himalayas on the south, the Karakorum Range on the west, and the Kunlun Mountains on the north (Encarta 1). The southern part of Tibet is situated entirely within the

Himalayas, and many of the world’s highest summits are located in the Himalayan chain, which extends along Tibet’s southern frontier. Among the peaks are Mount Everest(29,028 feet), the world’s largest mountain; Namcha Barwa(25,445 feet); and Gurla Mandhata(25,354 feet). The Kailas Range, a chain of the Himalayas, lies parallel to and north of the main chain and has peaks of up to 22,000 feet. Between the Kailas Range and the main chain is a river valley that extends about 600 miles. The Brahmaputra River (known in Tibet as the Yarlung Zangbo) flows from west to east through most of this valley (Encarta 1). The mountains in Tibet form Asia’s principal watershed, or dividing line, between westward-flowing and eastward-flowing streams, and Tibet is the source of the

continent’s major rivers. The Brahmaputra is Tibet’s most important river. The Indus, Ganges, and Sutlej rivers have their headwaters in western Tibet. Many of Tibet’s rivers have potential for hydroelectric development (Encarta 1). Vegetation on the Tibetan Plateau is extremely sparse, consisting mainly of grasses and shrubs. Scattered wooded areas occur in extreme west and east. Most vegetation, however, is concentrated in Brahmaputra, Indus, and Sutlej river valleys. These areas support most species of trees, including conifers, oaks, cypresses, poplars, and maples. Apple, peach, pear, and apricot trees are cultivated in the valleys (Encarta 1). Tibet is home to a variety of wildlife. Musk deer, wild sheep, wild goats, wild donkeys, yaks, and Tibetan antelope are common

in mountainous areas. Other large mammals include leopards, tigers, bears, wolves, foxes, and monkeys. Bird life includes geese, gulls, teal, and other species of waterfowl, and also pheasants and sand grouse (Encarta 1). Tibet has a dry, cold climate with an average annual temperature of 34 degrees Fahrenheit. It is very bitter in Tibet in the winter (Harrer 39). Temperatures in the mountains and plateaus are especially cold, and strong winds are common year round. The river valleys experience a more moderate climate. Lhasa and central Tibet have an average temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit in December and an average of 60 degrees Fahrenheit in June. The daily temperature range is great. On a typical summer day, the temperature can rise from 37 degrees Fahrenheit before