(625-680) was said to be Rencheng Daozong Li's daughter. Her Chinese name has no record, but was revered in Tibet as female celestial of Han nationality. She was also the queen of Songtsen Gampo of Tibetan Empire
. Intelligent and beautiful, she was nurtured by the family since childhood, learned to read and write, she also believed in Buddhism. In 641, she was ordered by Tang Taizong to marry the Tibetan Emperor Songtsen Gampo who was a Tibetan hero in the history. He unified Tibet, established and became the Tibetan Empire's King. During the time there, Princess Wencheng made many contributions to the development of Tubo.
Brief Introduction of Princess Wencheng
Princess Wencheng was a native of Shandong Jining (Rencheng). There was no historical record about her father, many people guessed that he was Daozong Li of Jiangxia Dukes. Daozong was Gaozu Li Yuan's nephew, because of his exploits, he was called the duke of Rencheng. His daughter was born in Rencheng City. Zhenguan 14 years (640 AD), Emperor Li Shimin sent an imperial edict, and crowned her Princess Wencheng to marry Songtsen Gampo.
Princess Wencheng married Songtsen Gampo in 641, they started the trip from Chang'an, via Xining to Lhasa. According to the legend, Yushu County was the place where Princess Wencheng stayed the longest during the journey. Also, Tibetan leaders and the masses held a grand welcoming ceremony and Princess Wencheng was deeply moved. During her lifetime, Princess Wencheng taught the local people farming and textile technology. Princess Wencheng lived in Tibet for nearly 40 years, and had been respected by all the people here until now.
Due to her great contribution to Tibet, the story between Songtsen Gampo and Princess Wencheng was still spread by people, in froms of dramas, frescoes, folk songs and legends. People there considered Princess Wencheng the embodiment of Green Tara. There is also a temple of Princess Wencheng in Yushu, which is very popular among the locals who have worshiped her for more than 1300 years.
Why Princess Wencheng married Songtsen Gampo
In Chinese history, there were many princesses who married kings of different other countries in order to keep the peace between the two countries. During Tang Taizong period, Princess Wencheng was arranged to marry to Tibet, that was one of the situations. Because of this marriage, the friendship between Han people and Tibetans had been greatly developed. So it is not an exaggeration to say that Princess Wencheng is one of the most successful female diplomats.
In the 12 years of Zhenguan, ruled by Tang Taizong, Songtsen Gampo led Tubo army to attack Songzhou at the border of Tang, which is today's Songpan County in Sichuan. Tang was very prosperous at that time, and defeated Tubo at Songzhou successfully. Songtsen Gampo admired Tang Taizong a lot. He asked for forgiveness and for a marriage.
Tang Taizong agreed to his request. Princess Wencheng was worried about the distance which was so far away from homeland, but she was also curious about Tibet. Considering the peace and development between the two countries, she agreed finally.
Songtsen Gampo liked Princess Wencheng very much and built Potala Palace for her. The Potala Palace has 1000 room, very grand and magnificent, which has been one of the most popular attractions in Tibet now.
Contributions of Princess Wencheng
1. Han's music was brought to Tibet, and was spread in Tibet land.
2. As scribes came with Princess Wencheng, they helped collecting and systemizing relative records. Tibetan people also began to learn Han's culture and read Han's books, introducing han culture to Tibet.
3. Brought seeds of grains in middle China to the highland. Brought advanced planting technology to Tibet.
4. Brought Han Buddhism to Tibet. Princess Wencheng was a devout Buddhists. She brought Buddhist Pagoda, Buddhist scriptures to Tibet, and built the Jokhang Temple, and later the Ramoche Temple.
5. The relationship between the mainland China and Tibet had been very friendly and lasted for over 200 years.