1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Shigatse
SHIGATSE, one of the largest towns in Tibet, next in importance to Lhasa, the capital. The town, which is at the confluence of the Nyang chu with the Tsangpo, contains about 9000 inhabitants (exclusive of priests), and is about 34 m. long by a 12 m. broad. About 1 m. to the north-east is situated a monastery called Konkaling, whilst to the south-west is the far-famed Tashilhunpo monastery, the residence of one of the great high priests of Tibet, co-equal with the Dalai-Lama of Lhasa. Between the Tashilhunpo monastery and the city is the Thom or open market, where all the business of the place is daily transacted. A wall about 1 m. in circumference surrounds the Tashilhunpo monastery, within which are numerous temples and houses, four of the larger temples being decorated with gilded spires. A great wealth of jewels and precious metal is said to enrich the numerous idols of Tashilhunpo. The monastery maintains 3300 priests. The city is protected by a fort which stands on a low hill to the north-west, and a garrison of 1000 Tibetan soldiers is quartered here. The municipal government is in the hands of two dēpen assisted by resident Jongpons. The soil around Shigatse is rich and productive, the elevation being between 11,000 and 12,000 ft. Shigatse lay to the west of the British route of advance on Lhasa in 1904, but it was visited by Captain Rawling on his way to open the market at Gartok.