The Tibetans with a population of 4,593,100 mostly live in the Tibet Autonomous Region. There are also Tibetan communities in Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces. The Tibetan language belongs to the Tibetan sub-branch of the Tibetan-Myanmese language branch of the Chinese-Tibetan language family. According to geographical divisions, it has three major local dialects: Weizang, Kang and Amdo. The Tibetan script, an alphabetic system of writing, was created in the early 7th century. With four vowels and 30 consonants, it is used in all areas inhabited by Tibetans.
Tibetan history can be traced thousands of years back. However, the written history only dates back to the 7th century when Songtsan Gampo, the 33rd Tibetan king, sent his minister Sambhota to India to study Sanskrit who on his return invented the present Tibetan script based on Sanskrit.
Tibet's history can be divided into four periods:
1. The Tsanpo's Period
This period starts from Nyatri Tsanpo, the first of the Tsanpos, in 127 B.C (historians differ in view of the date, but this date is taken from the White Annales, a reliable book on Tibetan history) and ends in 842 A.D. at the death of Lang Dharma, the last of the Tsanpos, who was assassinated by a Buddhist monk owing to Lang Dharma's ruthless persecution of Buddhism. During this period some 42 Tsanpos had ruled over Tibet among which Songtsan Gampo's rule was considered as the zenith. Songtsan Gamoi was an outstanding ruler, he unified Tibet, changed his capital to Lhasa, sent Sambhota to India to study Sanskrit and promulgated a script for the Tibetan on the latter's arrival to Tibet, married Princess Wencheng of the tang Court and Princess Bhrikuti Debi of Nepal, built the Potala and the temple and the temple of Jokhang
2. The period of Decentralization
This period began in 842 A.D. the year of Lang Dharma's assassination, and ended in about 1260 A.D, when Pagpa, the Abbot of Sakya...