A punitive force sent by the British defeated the Bhutanese, at the request of whose Chief the Tashi Lama interceded and sent an envoy to Warren Hastings. Warren Hastings was keen to establish relationship with Tibet for trade purposes.
He dispatched a mission under Mr.Bogle in 1774 to negotiate with the Tashi Lama, the chief pontiff of Tibet. At Tashilumpo, Bogle, a man of considerable tact, had a friendly reception.
Tashi Lama, asked that he might be given a place on the banks of the sacred Ganga River. He wanted to set up a temple for the Tibetans visiting India. Bogle returned in 1775 and Warren Hastings at once granted a site for the Tibetan temple & it was built under Bogle’s supervision
When it was complete, the Tashi Lama sent down land and temple were assigned to a Saivite sannyasi named Puran Gir Gosain. Puran Gir had a reputation for piety and integrity. It has been observed that he enjoyed the confidence of both the Tibetans and the British.
He was the envoy of the Tashi Lama, when he interceded for the Bhutanese in 1773 and brought presents of gold and silver, gold dust and musk.
He next accompanied the Turner Mission to the new Tashi Lama in 1783; and in 1785 Warren Hastings made him his accredited agent to the latter. After his return in 1785, he settled as Mahant or abbot at the Bhot-bagan monastery, which was regularly used by the Tibetan traders
This monastery was known to have treasures as the Tibetans and others visiting used to give very valuable offerings. It was sad that in 1795 it was attacked by a band of dacoits, whom Puran Gir gallantly resisted until he was pierced through by a spear and died ultimately.
Four of the dacoits were caught and hanged on a gallow set up in the monastery. The next Mahant was Daljit Gir, and his successors were Kalit Gir, Bilas Gir and Umrao Gir.
The other Dasnami Mahants of Bengal, of whom the most influential was the Mahant of Tarakeswar in the Hooghly district, elected the next Mahant, Trilokh Chandra Gir, in 1905. The Mahantship has continued in the line of the Gir Gosains.
Literal translation of the Lam-yig or passport from Tashi Lhunpo: To-the districts of Narthan, Gya-chhun, No-dson, Phun-tshog-lin, Lhar-tse, Namrin and the Lame of Nerin. Take notice-that one of the servants of this (Government) Acharya Punagiri with three attendants proceeds to make ablution in the lake Mapham (Mansarawara) and to walk round it. in the above mentioned places, (the party) should be provided with fuels, earthen ware, &c., cooking utensils, ponies, cook servants, Be., other necessaries when required, during morning and night halts. Four ponies and seven strong beasts of burden will be required. The relay of ponies should be arranged from here to Phun-tshog-lin, from Phun-tshog-lin to Lhar-tse, from Lhar-tse to Namrin, from Namrin to Sagah-wa. The chief grooms in charge of the pasture lends in the different districts and sub-divisions, should, as directed by the letter preceding this, arrange for relaying strong ponies of the above named number and also send pony returners quickly. The party should be furnished at every stage with returners of the conveyance animals and an experienced and intelligent guide to accompany them (in their journey). All possible help should be rendered to (the party). Similar arrangements to the above effect should be made during the return journey. This is important–dated year Earth-Dog, 1778 A.D.
Research and Scholarly credits: Gaurdas Bysack, Buddhistic Monastery at Bhot-bagan, March 1890. @ Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal No.1, 1890. Gaurdas Byscak, Buddhistic Monastery at Bhot-bagan, March 1890