Chiefdom of Lithang

Chiefdom of Lithang (Tibetan: ལི་ཐང་, Wylie: li thang), or Chiefdom of Litang (Chinese: 理塘土司), was an autonomous Tusi chiefdom that ruled Litang (present day Litang County of Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture) during the Qing dynasty period. Lithang, Bathang, Chakla and Derge were called the "Four Great Native Chiefdoms in Kham" (康区四大土司) by the Chinese.[1][2]

Chiefdom of Lithang
Common languagesKhams Tibetan
• 1719–17??
Le An Bang (first)
• 18??–1906
Sonam Dradul (last)
vice chieftain 
• 1719-17??
Chokyi Gyatso (first)
• 18??-1906
Atra (last)
• Established
• Disestablished
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Khoshut Khanate
Qing dynasty
Today part ofChina

At first Lithang was ruled by the Khoshut Khanate. Lamas of Lithang Monastery were appointed the desi (governor) to govern the region.[2] In 1719, a Chinese army under Yue Zhongqi marched to conquer Tibet, and the Lithang Lama surrendered to the Chinese. The 7th Dalai Lama's stepfather was appointed chieftain by China; Lithang Lama was appointed the vice chieftain. In 1725, Lithang was separated from Tibet. From then on, it was under the jurisdiction of Sichuan.[1]

Lithang revolted against Qing China in 1905. However, the rebellion was soon put down by Zhao Erfeng.[3] The last chieftain was killed in action, and the vice chieftain committed suicide. Lithang was annexed by China in the next year.


  1. ^ a b 清王朝敕封的康区土司
  2. ^ a b 林俊华 (2014-06-10). "康巴四大土司之理塘土司". No. 第四期(总第211期). 四川民族学院校报. Retrieved 2015-08-05.
  3. ^ Schaeffer, Kurtis R.; Kapstein, Matthew; Tuttle, Gray, eds. (2013). Sources of Tibetan Tradition (illustrated ed.). Columbia University Press. p. xxxvi. ISBN 978-0231135986. Retrieved 24 April 2014.