When it comes to Tibet, people's minds are inevitably flooded with images of rolling snow-capped mountains, blue skies, quiet lakes and devout pilgrims. And in Tibet such a sacred place, there is a hidden more mysterious corner, Ali. Ali is called "Tibet in Tibet", it is both the "ancestor of all mountains", and "the source of a hundred rivers". Countless lives in this origin, countless lives in this fall. The story of this land is endless and never ends...
Ancient Castle Surprise
In 1985, Zhang Jianlin of the Xi'an Institute of Archaeology and his colleagues, a group of eleven people, rode in a jeep and a truck on a deserted trail, and their destination was the Ali region.
This visit was for an annual archaeological trip, which took more than ten days. In such a sparsely populated place, their group seemed extraordinarily lonely and desolate, and did not see a single person for many days. On the way is met with an anchor, but fortunately there is a herdsman named Zhaxi timely appearance, to give Zhang Jianlin and his group to help at the same time, also told them some sweat of the insights.
According to Zhaxi, last June, he was herding his cattle as usual, but a few of them got lost in the middle, and Zhaxi had to ride his horse to find them. Walking, they went to a place they had not been.
Only see in the distance as if there is a big dirt hill, but when Zhaxi approached to take a look, the face changed greatly. Where is this what earth mountain, but a huge palace. The deserted place inexplicably out of a palace, Zhaoxi immediately felt a cold sweat behind. But there is no way, the cattle still have to find, Zhaxi can only go to the palace with a stiff upper lip.
The structure of the palace is extremely complex, not to mention the eerie atmosphere, Zhaxi heart of fear reached the extreme. The next unexpected thing happened, suddenly there are several skeletons chasing Zhaxi ran up. Zhaxi scared three souls lost seven souls, stumbled away.
After returning home, Zhaxi still find it difficult to calm the fear inside, found the community of learned elderly, the old man listened to Zhaxi's description, is also a big change of face. He said that Zhaxi had entered the Devil's Castle.
According to legend, the birth of the Devil City, because the king hurt the sky, offended the gods, so the gods descended into anger, the original environment of farmland villages into a desert, but also sent a group of devils, killing all the people in the kingdom. The devil city is very heavy, it is said that there are spirits, so it is lucky to come out alive.
Zhaxi told his experience vividly, not at all like a fabricated, the archaeological team members listened to it, but also looked at each other. Of course, they often deal with antiquities and even dry corpses, is not believe in the ghosts and gods. But one thing for sure is that this place is worth a visit, maybe it hides an unknown history.
The group and Zhaxi asked about the approximate location and decided to go ahead and explore the situation.
Old castle recreation
But in those days, there was no accurate positioning tools, and an endless desert area, a group of people driving around, most of the month were unable to find the legendary Devil City.
Just when they doubted the authenticity of Zhaxi's words, one evening, the sunset tinged a certain earthen hill, a closer look, only to find that there really is a castle. Under the sunlight, it seems to still shine, telling of its former glory.
From a distance, this castle is not small in scale, from the foot of the mountain to the top, the buildings of different shapes but uniform style, densely arranged, order leaks through the majesty. But even under the blue sky and white clouds, this building from the inside to the outside of the eerie sense of terror, still can not be eliminated, even if the archaeologists did not walk inside, can feel full of oppression.
Zhang Jianlin and his colleagues observed while walking into the castle and did not have the skeletons that pounced on them, as Zhaxi said. But everywhere you look are abandoned buildings, blackened caves, rolling ruins. From all this, it is easy to see that the castle was extremely luxurious in those days. But what kind of person could own such a castle? And why was it abandoned in such a sparsely populated place?
A mountain of bodies
With questions in mind, Zhang Jianlin and colleagues can only continue to explore, in the exploration of a dark cave, a line of people dumbfounded, to be precise, is feeling the scalp numb. In this small but gloomy and humid cave, it was full of dry bodies and human bones.
Probably counted, there are actually 30 or 40 human bones. Could it be that this cave can eat people, the legend is not an empty cave?
Such a claim obviously does not hold water in the face of scientists, but who are these bodies? What era did they come from, what were their identities, and why did they die?
The archaeological team decided to search and excavate the castle, and it didn't take long for them to reap the rewards.
The first thing found was clothing from the old fortress, then later hundreds of iron arrows of different shapes on the top of the hill, and a surprising number of iron armor pieces helmet pieces on the ruins. They also found 28 still well-preserved rattan shields in the cave. Another cave, on the other hand, was full of Buddha statues and murals inlaid with gold and jewels.
All of this indicates to Zhang Jianlin and his party that this was once a high-security and well-stocked military fortress.
But these alone, to unravel the mystery of this castle is obviously not enough, the team continued to explore, looking for clues.
It didn't take long for a great mystery to reappear.
Tibetans mostly believe in Buddhism, and stupas are scattered all over Tibet. This fortress is no exception, but what is unusual is that a huge cross is actually erected on the tip of the stupa at the bottom of the fortress.
The cross, the stupa, these are obviously two unrelated things. One is Christianity, the other is Buddhism, how can they be fused together? And looking at the year of this ancient fortress, there can't be a Christian appearance ah.
In the following days, Zhang Jianlin and his colleagues took root in the ancient castle, and they excavated and researched cave by cave, while the castle has a total of 445 houses, 879 kiln holes and more than 40 dark passages, which can be considered a huge workload.
In one of the dark caves, there is a secret room that is particularly special. As soon as the archaeologists entered, they saw the arrow shafts piled on the ground, and some clothes under the shafts. After exploring so many caves, Zhang Jianlin and his colleagues felt that this chamber was probably a venue for a weapons room or something like that.
But just as they picked up a pile of arrow shafts and prepared to make a count, a scene under the shafts made them shake inside. Under the arrow shaft was a skeleton, although the eye sockets were deep but as if there was blood, but when they looked closer, they actually found that it was a handmade skeleton.
Zhang Jianlin brought the skeleton mask back and looked at it carefully in the light and found that there was a row of writing on the back of the mask, and that writing was not Tibetan or Chinese or even English. But according to the way this text is written, it can be sure that it is foreign writing.
The cross on the stupa, the foreign language on the mask, is there any connection between the two? Zhang Jianlin immediately found an expert in linguistics, and from the expert, he got an accurate answer. The text was in Latin and recorded the story of a missionary from Portugal named Andrade.
Memoirs of a Missionary - The Key to Unlocking Everything
What this Andrade was and why what he wrote appeared in the castle, engraved on the mask, no one can know.
It is good that at the end of this text, Andrade left his church address. Immediately after Zhang Jianlin contacted the church, the people in the church informed Zhang Jianlin that there was indeed a person, and told Andrade's complete memoirs exist in the church's library, with the appearance of this memoir, and all the mysteries are slowly solved.
This Andrade was a missionary who traveled around and spent a good deal of time in China, and who unwittingly witnessed the rise and fall of a nation.
More than 300 years ago, there was a great upheaval in the Tubo Empire.
As we all know, the Tubo Empire was a powerful country, and all dynasties were committed to good diplomatic relations with it. In 864 A.D., the Tubo King passed away due to an assassination, and the whole country became chaotic without a leader, and all the forces started a war for the throne.
The king's youngest son, as the defeated, had to flee with his family and the remnants of his men, and they made their way west, eventually arriving in the Ali region, where they put down roots. Perhaps the Ali region was not as barren as it is today, or perhaps the youngest son had a good ability to govern, they established a kingdom called Guge in this land, the kingdom grew prosperous, the population continued to grow, and the economy developed.
The king still has one thing in his heart, that is, the construction of the palace, when he thought of the desperate escape, he was more forgetful of this matter, he was determined to build a magnificent palace in the land, in order to show the world that he and the existence of the kingdom he created. So there was the palace that Zhaxi found.
Andrade, at this time, also fled all the way to Tibet due to a conflict with the locals during his missionary work in India and was hunted down and killed.
Faced with the sudden appearance of Guggenheim Castle, he could not be excited before he was arrested by the guards on duty and brought into the castle to meet the king. Faced with this uninvited guest, King Guggenheim was not only not angry, but was overjoyed to learn that Andrade was a missionary.
In Tibet at that time, almost everyone believed in Buddhism, and for all Tibetans, spirituality was as important as materialism. This led to the fact that in Tibet religious leaders and kings were almost equal. One ruled the secular and the other ruled the spiritual.
It is known that one mountain does not allow two tigers, and one religious leader, who is the boss of the monk group, happens to be the brother of the king of Gog. The king's brother was ambitious and frequently acted across the border, so the king had to be on guard against him. And because in Tibet, men have to go to the monastery to be lamas for a few years after they become adults, the monk group's power is growing day by day. But for such a situation, the king of Guge is also helpless to change the status quo.
But the arrival of the missionaries turned it all around. Although King Gog had no ability to make the people up and down the kingdom unbelieving, he could create a new faith and use it to draw the people in. In this way, both kinds of power could be held firmly in his hands. Not only could he weaken the power of the monastic group, but he could also gather the hearts of the people and make the country more efficient in governance.
In this way, Andrade began his missionary work in Tibet with the strong support of the King of Guge. The king not only granted Andrad supremacy, but also converted many stupas within the kingdom into Christian churches. Andrad also lived up to the king's expectations, and as his faith shifted, the number of adult males going to be lamas decreased greatly.
All this aroused the alarm of the king's brother, who felt threatened, and it was in this context that he made a decision that ultimately changed the fate of the entire kingdom.
In order to seize back his brother's weakened power again, the interest-motivated brother united with his own men, as well as the thousands of lamas in the temple, launched one attack on the king, but the two sides have been at a standstill.
At this time, the brother, already blinded by power, he even went to the neighboring country of Ladakh, negotiating with the king of Ladakh, promising him that if he was willing to send troops to help, half of the kingdom of Guge would be offered after the deed was done.
As a result, Ladakh's army soon overran the city and captured the kingdom of Gog, and the king was killed in the war. The greedy Ladakh king was not willing to take only half of the kingdom, he wanted all of Gog. After entering the city, the Ladakh soldiers started to burn and loot, killing all the men and taking the children and women back to Ladakh as slaves. The foolish king's brother was also killed and not only did he get nothing but buried his country.
Andrade, who had survived two wars, was actually very lucky to survive this thrilling experience, which was recorded in the form of his memoirs. With the discovery of the castle, this memoir then became the only record of this history, like a key to solve all the mysteries.
Now the Guge site has been listed as a national key cultural relics protection unit, and tens of thousands of tourists come here every year to see and play. Although the prosperity of hundreds of years ago is long gone, but the ancient fortress glowing historical vitality in the 21st century today is still shocking, worthy of our appreciation and feeling.