The Treasury of Lives

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The Yabzhi Samdrub Podrang, or Sampo, took their name from their palace Samdrub Podrang in the Zangri Valley which was built in the eighteenth century by Sonam Dargye, the father of the Seventh Dalai Lama, and his son Kunga Tendzin. The family of the Seventh Dalai Lama was the first to be granted Yabzhi (yab gzhis) status by the Qing court; this status would henceforth be given to families of the Dalai Lamas along with an estate. As Yabzhi Sampho, they were ennobled to the highest rank of Tibetan aristocracy. In Lhasa, the Sampo family built a three storey stone building in the Jokhang area in 1880 which became known as the Sampo Zimshag or the Sampo Manor House. 


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