New collection of Tibetan epic exhibited in Sichuan

The most complete version of The Epic of King Gesar, generally considered the world's longest folk epic, was exhibited for the first time Thursday in Chengdu, capital of China's Sichuan Province.

The exhibited version contains more than 80 million words and 300 episodes, taking over a decade to collect and organize.

Researchers have obtained many different editions of the epic scattered among the Tibetan people as well as different versions published over the last 60 years.

The Epic of King Gesar tells how an 11th century Tibetan demigod king conquered his enemies and helped the ordinary people.

The epic has been passed down orally by singers, often illiterate herders or peasants from Tibet, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region or Qinghai Province, and serves as important literature for studying ancient Tibetan society.

Sichuan Publishing Group is expected to publish the newly collected Tibetan epic in late 2018 and has plans to release both Chinese and English versions of the story in the future.