GYANTSE, one of the large towns of Tibet. It lies S.E. of Shigatse, 130 m. from the Indian frontier and 145 m. from Lhasa. Its central position at the junction of the roads from India and Bhutan with those from Ladakh and Central Asia leading to Lhasa makes it a considerable distributing trade centre. Its market is the third largest in Tibet, coming after Lhasa and Shigatse, and is especially celebrated for its woollen cloth and carpet manufactures. Here caravans come from Ladakh, Nepal and upper Tibet, bringing gold, borax, salt, wool, musk and furs, to exchange for tea, tobacco, sugar, cotton goods, broadcloth and hardware. The town is compactly built of stone houses, with wooden balconies facing the main street, whence narrow lanes strike off into uninviting slums, and contains a fort and monastery. In the British expedition of 1904 Gyantse formed the first objective of the advance, and the force was besieged here in the mission post of Changlo for some time. The Tibetans made a night attack on the post, and were beaten off with some difficulty, but subsequently the British attacked and stormed the fort or jong. Under the treaty of 1904 a British trade agent is stationed at Gyantse.
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