Tibet is a small country in the heart of Asia, some valleys of the mountain ridge Himalaya. The Capital is Lhasa and it has a population of about 5 Million people. Tibet was occupated by China in the first half of the 20th century. The flag on this page is used by the Tibetan government-in-exile and Tibetan organizations around the world. Its use is forbidden in Tibet, and Chinese authorities seem to be offended by its use. This site has no political content, so the flag is used to symbolize the country, and is not a politic statement.
The Himalaya is the highest mountain ridge on Earth with the highest peak Mt. Everest. The typical rocks are highly alterated and folded crystalline and metamorphic rocks. Not the best situation for karst caves. The caves in the coutry a typically formed by erosion, river caves, wind caves and tectonic caves, and they are rather small.
For at least three thousand years inhabitants of Tibet lived in caves. There was little building material to construct other building, especially there is a lack of wood. And caves are a perfect shelter against the rough climate. Sometimes river-cliffs allowed easy excavation of dwellings, so they were used to counstruct cave villages. But most of the caves were used temporarly, as shelters or by hermits.
During the 7th century the Inian Buddhism reached Tibet, where all people believed in Bön, a shamanistic and animistic religion. Both religions changed, each one influenced by the other. Buddhists already had a well developed heritage of monasticism, and in the absence of building material, the early monastics carved underground monasteries and temples into the mountains. Remote caves were used by hermits.
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