The Gurkhas, after becoming masters of Nepal, were anxious to renew the profitable traffic in coin, and in this view sent a deputation to Lhasa with a quantity of coin to be put in circulation.
When the Dalai Lama attempted to give orders that they should cease, the Chinese amban in Lhasa disputed his authority, and summoned the Chinese troops to enter the city.
At the great yearly festival at Lhasa they make in the cathedral an imposing array, not much less magnificent than that of the clergy in Rome; for the ancient simplicity of dress has disappeared in the growing differences of rank, and each division of the spiritual army is distinguished in Tibet, as in the West, by a special uniform.
It is not a uniform speech, but comprises several dialects which have been classed by Jaeschke into three groups, namely (i) the central or the dialects of Lhasa and the central provinces of U and Tsang (including Spiti) which is the lingua franca of the whole country, (2) the western dialects of Ladak, Lahul, Baltistan and Purig, and (3) the eastern dialects of the province of Khams. In addition to these, however, are many sub-dialects of Tibetan spoken in the frontier Himalayan districts and states outside Tibet, namely, in Kunawar and Bashahr, Garhwal, Kumaon, Nepal including especially the Serpa and Murmi of eastern Nepal, Sikkim (where the dialect is called Danjong-ka), Bhutan (Lho-ka or Duk-ka.), all of which are affiliated to a central group of dialects.
The mission of Sir Francis Younghusband to Lhasa in 1904 resulted in an extension of the Indian system of triangulation which finally determined the geographical position of that city, and in a most valuable reconnaissance of the valleys of the Upper Brahmaputra and Indus by Captains C. H.
He was supposed to have died on the Afghan frontier in 1825 on his second journey; but if Huc's story is true he reached Lhasa in 1826, and did not leave it till 1838, being assassinated on his homeward journey, when maps and drawings were found on him, and his identity was for the first time suspected by the Tibetans.
Rather than encounter alone the horrors of a four months' journey to Lhasa they resolved to wait for eight months till the arrival of a Tibetan embassy on its return from Peking.
But both the Chinese authorities in Lhasa and the Tsong-du were averse from any such proceedings.
He managed, nevertheless, to extricate himself, and turning north-eastwards he passed through Chetang, and reached Lhasa by way of Samye monastery.
Ingots of Chinese silver were sent from Lhasa with a small proportion of gold dust, and an equal weight in mohurs was returned, leaving to the Nepal rajahs, between gold dust and alloy, a good profit.