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Tibetan culture speaks of the legendary cryptid Yeti and Himalayan tribes speak of the large reptilian cryptid
Figura-11-Gesar-de-Ling-y-Lutzen

Gesar and Dummo Slaying Lutzen shown here in his cannibalistic demon form

the Buru. However the Epic of Gesar, found throughout the himalayas and Central Asia, documents countless demons and monsters said to inhabit the region. The Epic of King Gesar is the central epic poem of Tibet and much of Central Asia. It is considered the longest literary work in the world, containing over 20 million words in more than one million verses, longer than the world’s other five great epics combined, including the Odyssey, Iliad, Gilgamesh, Ramayana and Mahabharata. The epic incorporates many fairy tales, legends, poems, and proverbs from traditional Tibetan folk literature.

The Legend

As king, Gesar then embarks upon military campaigns against the four enemies of the four directions, the first of which is against Lutzen, the twelve-headed man eating dragon of the north.Lutzen's northern territory is guarded by three armies; one of enslaved gods, one of enslaved humans and the third of demons. Gesar defeats these armies and manages to persuade Lutzen's wife, the human Queen Dummo, to help him on his quest. After they succeed in defeating the twelve headed dragon, Dummo poisons Gesar and keeps him captive as her prisoner lover for six years.  

Modern Dragon Sightings in Tibet 

Dragons are still sighted in Tibet in recent times. According to the Inquirer.net, "THE EPOCH TIMES reports that an amateur photographer snapped two dragon shape creatures when flying over the Himalaya - the abode of snow. The amateur snapper had been to a rail laying ceremony and caught a plane from the place formerly known as [Tibet] on his way back to China...The same page reports that a black dragon fell to earth in China in August 1944, and had a 'strong fishy smell' attached to it (theinquirer.net)." According to Freetibet.org, most of these dragon sightings are hoaxes, as "...even if [the dragons] were real, they wouldn’t get into Tibet so easily. Foreign government officials, diplomats, journalists and even the United Nations are all prohibited from entering Tibet without Chinese permission. Even when they get in, they are accompanied by minders at all times while there." The article points to Tibet's many restrictions on filming make it unlikely for these rumors to be true. "The internet was awash with rumours of dragon sightings a few months ago when video of a real-life dragon appeared. The story went that the dragon was flying above Tibet when it fell from the skies and crash-landed in one of the most closed countries in the world (Freetibet.org 2016)."

Location

Kyeri Trowo Tobgyal Khar, an abandoned Tibetan fortress in eastern Changthang, is said to have been built by Trowo Tobgyal, a minister of Dud Lutzen (bDud klu-btsan), the region’s ruler and one of the primary villains in the King Gesar epic. The fortress consists of just a single sandstone and limestone structure (7.5 m x 4 m), which has been leveled to its revetment and lower walls. That Kyeri Trowo Tobgyal Khar is an archaic monument is indicated by its epic association with the non-Buddhist ruler of the region, the lack of a contemporary permanent water source in the vicinity, the extremely high and isolated aspect of the site, and typological parallels with the so-called Mon castles of the western Changthang.

Sources

  • Penick, Douglas J. The Warrior Song of King Gesar. Mountain Treasury Press, 2013.
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