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About the Book:

The book deals with Tibetan history from earliest times, but especially with the aims and movements of the period witnessed by the author. Anecdotes, conversations with leading Tibetans, and quotations from poetry and proverbs illustrate the Tibetan point of view. Sir Charles Bell gives an inside view of the Tibetans; he served for eighteen years on the Indo-Tibetan frontier, spoke and wrote the Tibetan language, and was brought into close touch with all classes from the reigning Dalai Lama downwards.

Recent developments in Tibet have attracted world wide attention and through this Indian edition, Sir Charles Bell's classic study will perhaps be more eagerly read now than ever before.

About the Author:

SIR CHARLES BELL was born in Calcutta in 1870 and educated in England at Winchester and Oxford. He joined the Indian Civil Service in 1891 and was transferred to Kalimpong, Sikkim in 1901, where he began his lifelong relationship with Tibet. He twice acted as Political Officer for Sikkim, Bhutan and Tibet and eventually held that post for ten years before retiring in 1919. He was recalled to duty, however, and in 1920 headed a successful diplomatic mission to Lhasa.

He wrote several books about Tibet, her people and her language; few since, and certainly none before, have written so well about Tibet.



My obligations to those to whom this book is indebted have in part been made plain in the text. 1 would, however, desire to mention individually His Holiness the Dalai Lama -who has accepted the dedication of the work-the past and present Prime Ministers of Tibet, the late Achuk Tsering, a very wise Sikkimese gentleman, and, with especial emphasis, my old friend Pa-lhe-se, But, in addition to these, my debt is great to my friends in all classes-Cabinet Ministers and peasants; merchants, herdsmen, and mule- teers; priests and laymen.

The illustrations are hi the main from my own photographs. A few have kindly been given by Messrs. Johnston and Hoffmann, Lt-Col. Kennedy, Mr. Macdonald, Mr. Martin, and Mr. Rosemeyer; and by Miss Fernie the colour-plate that represents strolling Tibetan players. The colouring of the frontispiece-a photograph of the Dalai Lama which 1 took in 1910-1 owe to the kindness of Gyal-se Ku-sho of Ta-ring, Tibetan squire and artist, elder brother of the Ruler of Sikkim.

The map of Tibet is adapted from the one prepared by the Indian Survey Department. 1 have added a few places omitted from the latter. All places mentioned in the text, except those whose positions are described in it, will be found in the maps.


  1. Introductory
  2. Boundaries, Area, Population
  3. Physical Divisions
  4. Lakes, Climate, Trade Routes
  5. Early History
  6. The Rule of the Priest-Kings
  7. The Dalai Lamas
  8. British Military Expeditions
  9. Administering the Chumbi Valley
  10. A Visit to the Tashi Lama
  11. Chinese Ascendancy
  12. Negotiating a Treaty with Bhutan
  13. Securing the North-East Frontier
  14. The Dalai Lama's Flight to India
  15. The Present Dalai Lama
  16. The Simla Conference
  17. The Period of the World War
  18. Autonomous Tibet
  19. My Mission to Lhasa
  20. Questions of Policy
  21. Conclusion of Mission
  22. China in Tibet
  23. Japan and Russia
  24. Mongolia
  25. Nepal
  26. The Main Lines of British Policy
  27. Subsidiary Suggestions
  1. Sino-Tibetan Treaty, eighth century
  2. Sino-Tibetan War, Circa A.D.763
  3. Victory over Gurkhas, 1792
  4. Treaty between Tibet and Nepal, 1856
  5. Sikkim - Tibet Convention, 1890
  6. Tibet Trade Regulations, 1893
  7. Lhasa Convention, 1904
  8. Peking Convention, 1906
  9. Anglo-Russian Agreement, 1907
  10. Tibet Trade Regulations, 1908
  11. Pu-na-ka Treaty, 1910
  12. Urga Convention, 1912
  13. Alleged Mongol-Tibetan Treaty, 1913
  14. Russo-Chinese Agreement, 1913


 Sample Pages

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