The First king of Botar Tashi Sengge

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Botar Tashi Sengge (bo thar bkra shis seng+ge) was born in fourteenth century, in Kham (khams). He is counted as the head of the family in its thirty-first generation. His father, Dechen Sonam Zangpo (bde chen bsod nams bzang po), served as minister for Chakra Lingpon Dakdrung (lcags dpon gling dpon bdag drung), the ruler of Ling (gling), which at that time was a sizable polity. He had four brothers, but their names are not recorded. Botar is numbered as the thirty-first generation of the house of Dege.

Botar had an extremely attractive daughter named Dzeden (mdzes ldan), whose hand was requested by Chakra Lingpon. According to legend, as a dowery Chakra Lingpon offered as much land as Botar could plow in one day. Botar hitched two dzo (mdzo, a yak-cow hybrid) to a plow and proceeded in a straight line, from Khorlodo (‘khor lo mdo) north of Chamdo (chab mdo) to Nyanda (snyan mda’), near Chakra (lcags ra) on the Drichu River (‘bri chu). Some versions of the story have Dzeden at the plow.

Botar chose a place called Ngulda (dngul mda’) for his seat and initiated his family’s rule over the kingdom. He famously invited the Nyingma tantric master Tangtong Gyelpo (thang stong rgyal po, c.1361-c.1464) to choose a site for the establishment of a royal temple. Tangtong Gyelpo is said to have meditated in a cave on the west bank of an eastern tributary from which he chose the location. In 1446 Botar built there the Tanggyel Temple (thang rgyal lha khang), which is said to have had one hundred cells for monks. In subsequent generations the Dege Gonchen (sde dge dgon chen), also known as Lhundrubteng Monastery (lhun grub steng) would develop up the valley. Presumably it was at this time that Botar moved the family seat to the current city of Dege.

Botar had two sons, Pelden Sengge (dpal ldan seng+ge), who was sent to Ngor Ewaṃ Choden (ngor e waM chos ldan) in Tsang to ordain, and Gyeltsen Bum(rgyal mtshan ‘bum), who inherited the kingdom. Source: The Treasury of lives

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