Nyatri Tsenpo

Nyatri Tsenpo (Wylie: gNya'-khri bTsan-po; Tibetan Pinyin: Nyachi Zanbo) was a king of Tibet suggested to have descended from an Indian dynasty.[1] He was a legendary progenitor of the so-called "Yarlung dynasty". His reign is said to have begun in 127 BC. According to traditional Tibetan history, he was the first ruler of the kingdom. He is said to have descended from heaven on Yalashangbo, the sacred mountain. Due to certain physical peculiarities – his hands were webbed, and his eyelids closed from the bottom and not the top – he was hailed as a god by locals, and they took him as their king. This is reflected in his name; Tsenpo means "sovereign", while nyatri means "enthroned by the neck". According to Bön legend, the first Tibetan building, Yumbulagang, was erected for the king. The year of his enthronement marks the first year of the Tibetan calendar; the Tibetan New Year, the Losar, is celebrated in his honor.

Tibetan mythology holds that the first kings were immortal, and would be pulled up to heaven by a cord which had first deposited them on earth. This is what is said to have happened to Nyatri Tsenpo as well.


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