The British expedition to Tibet, also known as the British invasion of Tibet or the Younghusband expedition to Tibet began in December 1903 and lasted until September 1904. ⁣

The expedition was effectively a temporary invasion by British Indian forces under the auspices of the Tibet Frontier Commission, whose purported mission was to establish diplomatic relations and resolve the dispute over the border between Tibet and Sikkim.⁣

The expedition was intended to counter Russia’s perceived ambitions in the East and was initiated largely by Curzon. Curzon had long obsessed over Russia’s advance into Central Asia and now feared a Russian invasion of British India.⁣

The British army that departed in Gnathong in Sikkim on 11 December 1903 was well prepared for battle, having had long experience of Indian border wars. ⁣

At Lhasa, the Commission forced remaining Tibetan officials to sign the Treaty of Lhasa (1904), before withdrawing to Sikkim in September.⁣

Tibet had to pay Rs. 25 lakhs as indemnity; the Chumbi valley was to be occupied by the British for three years; a British trade mission was to be stationed at Gyantse.⁣

The British agreed not to interfere in Tibet’s internal affairs. On their part, the Tibetans agreed not to admit the representatives of any foreign power into Tibet.⁣

The British achieved very little by the Tibetan expedition. It secured Russia’s withdrawal from Tibet, but at the cost of confirming Chinese suzerainty.⁣