Tibet emerged from obscure origins o become an independent kingdom at round the same time that the Tang Dynasty was growing and prospering. The nation is believed to have originated from a and south of Gang is Mountain and the Yarlung Zangbo River. In 620 a chieftain established his rule over all he Tibetan tribes. But when he died in 629 from oisoning, two tribes seceded from the union.
The chieftain's son Songtsan Gampo was 13 when his father died. In 632 Songtsan Gampo defeated the secessionist aristocrats and reinforced the united kingdom of his father. Songtsan Gampo moved his central government to Lhasa. As part of an open policy, he sent students to India. These students came back to develop the Tibetan language, based on Sanskrit and Khotanese.
The Tibetan king admired the culture of the Tang Dynasty. In 634 Tibetan envoys paid their first visit to Chang'an, to which Emperor Taizong of Tang responded by dispatching his envoys to Lhasa.
Songtsan Gampo sent his second delegation, this time to ask for the favor of marriage. Emperor Taizong agreed to marry him to a princess.
In 640 Songtsan Gampo sent his chancellor to Chang'an with 5,000 taels of gold and lots of jewelry.
A young woman was chosen from the Tang royal family. She was styled as Princess Wencheng. The emperor had large quantities of marriage gifts packed for Princess Wencheng, including books on Chinese medicine, agricultural technology and craftsmanship, as well as tools and seeds. Maids, musicians and artisans accompanied the princess on her trip to Tibet.
Songtsan Gampo threw a great reception for his bride at the source of the Baihai River. He then built an elaborate palace in Lhasa for Princess Wencheng.
All the technical and cultural articles that Princess Wencheng had brought with her, along with the artisans skilled in various trades that Songtsan Gampo later requested and received from Emperor Gaozong, served as catalysts for the economic and cultural growth of Tibet.
Princess Wencheng died in Lhasa in 680. Over the 40 years she had lived in Tibet she greatly contributed to the development of this kingdom. She has been heralded as a symbol of peaceful exchanges between the Han and Tibetan peoples.