June 4, 2023

May 2 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Gomozhab Tsybikov, an outstanding Russian orientalist and traveler.

In 1899-1902, he made his famous trip to Central Tibet, undertaken at the expense of the Russian Geographical Society. Buryat by origin, Gomozhab Tsebekovich was the first Russian scientist who managed to penetrate into Tibet, visit religious centers and even receive an audience with the Dalai Lama XIII.

It was an unusual journey, since the way to the capital of Tibet, Lhasa, was closed to European explorers. Tsybikov entered there under the guise of a pilgrim. Recordings and unique photographs (a total of about 200) he made secretly.

The richest scientific material became the basis of the report on Tibet at the meeting of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society, read in May 1903. The speech made a splash in the scientific world.

Later, the book “Buddhist Pilgrim at the Shrines of Tibet” was published, which was highly appreciated by the enlightened community in Russia and abroad.

In the following years, Gomozhab Tsybikov devoted himself to teaching and to the project of translating the fundamental work “Lamrim” by the Tibetan scholar Je Tsongkhapa. In addition, the scientist published several fundamental works on the Tibetan and Mongolian languages. In 1906-1917 he headed the department of Mongolian literature at St. Petersburg University.

In more detail about the life and scientific feat of the famous Russian scientist and traveler narrates our special project.

And for the anniversary of Gomozhab Tsybikov, the Marka enterprise issued a special postcard in the series Geographical Projects of Russia. On the original stamp there are images symbolically reflecting the geographical projects of Gomozhab Tsybikov. In the main illustration there is a portrait of a scientist, in the background there is his photograph with the image of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, as well as the logo of the Russian Geographical Society. The circulation of the postcard is 6.5 thousand copies.

And on the Film Portal of the Russian Geographical Society you can watch a documentary “Gomozhab Tsybikov. Pilgrim for special purposes”shot by the creative team of the Zvezda TV channel.

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