Dialogue October-December, 2012, Volume 14 No. 2
7. A Journey to Monasteries of LhasaSunita Dwivedi
During my journey as a member of the press-delagation in June 2005, Lhasa seemed so high above the mountains that you feel closer to heaven than earth. The guide exhorts me not to head out, he says it takes about a day to acclimatize and I should not move out of the hotel. There are enough preparations to keep any illness at bay, a large chest of medicine lay on the side drawer of the bed containing packets of Tibetan herbal preparation to counter high altitude sickness. I dissolved two packets in a cup of water, drank the concoction and quietly slipped out. I had defied the guide’s warning, but Lhasa seemed too beautiful to idle away in a monotonous hotel room.
Outside the hotel bejewelled Tibetan women were selling antiques, jewellery and images of Buddhist deities in make-shift stalls. One of them was thrilled to see an Indian; she hugged me as if we were long lost friends.
The glittering Barkhor Street is an interesting confluence of religion and trade. A broad street runs through the large stretch that sits right in front of the Jokhang monastery. All of it is forever droning with activity; however, the wide quadrangular space at the entrance of the monastery is the best place to be at all times of the day. Here you can sit by the sidewalk and watch men and women offering oil lamps to Buddha and burning incense and branches of juniper in an earthen receptacle. It is believed that evil spirits disappear in the thick column of smoke and good fortune descends. Monks and nuns chanting Buddhist mantras om mani padme hum circumambulate the monastery with prayer wheel in hand. Devotees kiss the ground and prostrate. Just outside the square in the lanes and bylanes of the Barkhor Street, women were selling antique jewellery, statues and Buddhist deities. Like an oddity the statues of
* Sunita Dwivedi, Silk Road traveler, researcher and author.
Chairman Mao Tse Tung stand out. After an hour of loitering in the Barkhor area I and my Tibetan friend were back at the hotel in another rickshaw. She went to her antique stall while I sliped into my room.
Lhasa River Front
My evenings in Lhasa were spent strolling along the fascinating river front not very far from the hotel. A major tributary of the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra), the Lhasa river, originates in the Qinghai-Tibet plateau and is cold and crystal clear like the Ganges at Haridwar. It is called the Mother River of the Tibetans. The cobbled boulevard along the river stretches for miles on the outskirts of the Lhasa city. In the glow of the evening sun young couples stroll hand in hand along the river, some sit by quietly watching the sun glide down the horizon. Far away boats could be seen carrying sand from the river bank.
The quiet river plays its own music. The birds twitter and swoop on the surface of the water while white ducks dive and frolic, flapping their wings, looking for fish and snails. There are willow and poplar trees along the bank, their branches bending as if trying to caress the water. A beautiful Tibetan resort sits in the curve of the river on the east boulevard. Surrounded by flowers and green foliage the resort is the favourite haunt of foreigners who flock to Lhasa. In the evening, a soft light swathes the landscape and the mountain and the river seem to be out on a rendezvous. However, this solitude is broken in July during the Bathing Festival, also known as Gamariji, another name for Venus.
In the hotel, the demonic masks of animals and demons and striking costumes of the opera artistes add an eerie touch. Every evening after dinner, guests gather in the opera hall to watch dance-drama, a unique part of the Tibetan culture. It is said that the Tibetan opera began as early as the fourteenth century and was recently declared as the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. In modern times the opera is performed in hotels but historically it was held in public places like courtyards, fields and in monasteries.
Legend has it that in AD eighth century when Guru Padmasambhava arrived in Tibet from India to build the Samye monastery he organized a tantric dance. The magical dance at the consecration ceremony was performed to subdue evil spirits believed to be obstructing the construction of the monastery. With the passage of time folk tales and religious stories were added to the dance movements and the opera was thus created.
At the Buddha Hall in Jokhang
The Buddha hall is the essence of the Jokhang the oldest structure and the spiritual centre of Lhasa dating back to nearly 1,400 years. It is in this hall that the most precious gold image of Child Buddha brought by the Chinese princess Wencheng in AD seventh century is kept. It is here that all visitors converge to offer prayers. In this holiest of holy halls is brought the portrait of the goddess, the ‘Heavenly Maid’ from the Moru Monastery and worshipped by devotees to mark the Fairy Festival every year. The goddess is said to be the protector of the Buddhist doctrine.
It is said that when the Tubo rulers first moved their capital to Lhasa in AD 647 the Tang dynasty Emperor Taizong married his daughter Princess Wencheng to King Songtsan Gampo (AD 617-697 ). She brought with her a 1.5 metre tall life size gold statue of a twelve-year old Buddha. The image was initially placed inside the Ramoche monastery built in honour of the Chinese princess, but was later shifted to the Jokhang temple. Through several renovations, the temple has expanded into a large group of buildings covering an area of over 25,000 sq meters. Tens of thousands of monks gather at the Jokhang Monastery to pray and recite Buddhist sutras to mark the Grand Summons Ceremony held on the eighth day of the first month of Tibetan calendar.
I found myself in the crowd that has entered the Jokhang. A huge image of Padmasambhava adorns the Buddha hall. There are murals on the walls painted in gold and coloured dust from precious stones. The hall resplendent in the gold of the paintings and thangkas hanging from the ceiling adds a surreal touch to the ambience. In the centre is a small enclosure where the precious image of Child Buddha is enshrined. A crushing crowd of devotees was inching forward to circumambulate inside the shrine. I joined the crowd as I could not have gone without a picture of the Buddha; I train my camera at the gilded image while pushing forward but I am rebuked by the guards who ask me to switch the camera off.
There were so many devotees in the shrine that I was pushed and jostled even before I could kneel in front of the deity. But I persevered, I could hold on to the ground, bow to the Buddha to thank him for that opportunity. In the chambers surrounding the hall, monks were reading the scriptures. In one chamber there was a huge thangka of the Buddhist tantra deities in an embrace or the ‘yub-yum’ posture called the Chakrasamvara. The deity with four faces and a dark body is in union with his consort, who clings to him in an eternal embrace. She is coloured red and has only one face. The pair is inseparable and interlocked. According to some that was an icon that represented Shakti like the Shivling. Another famous thangka was that of the Yamantaka embroidered in coloured silk. In that chamber of the precious thangka sat an old Lama beating a small metal drum. He appeared to be in a trance with eyes tightly shut.
In another hall there were images of King Songtsan Gampo and his two Buddhist wives, the Chinese and the Nepalese princesses. The corridor walls were decorated with splendid murals of Buddhist stories and this lends it the name, the Thousand Buddha Corridor. There are huge frescoes of the Chinese princess Wencheng journeying towards Tibet and filling up the lake to build the Jokhang temple.
According to Catalogue of Jokhang Monastery by the Fifth Dalai Lama, the first Tangka in Tibetan history was the image of Dpal-lha-mo (Auspicious goddess) painted by King Songtsen Gampo with blood from his nose. The goddess also called Sridevi is the special protector of Lhasa and is said to be the female counterpart of Mahakala. The goddess is said to have her origin in the Hindu goddess Kali. Like Kali Dpal-lhamo is dark in color and wears tiger skin and earrings of serpants. She carries a skull full of blood and a club. There is a corpse in her mouth. She rides a mule.
The genesis of the Tibetan fresco also goes back to the reign of King Songtsen Gampo (AD 617-697) when they were used to explain Buddhist doctrines. The earliest extant fresco is preserved in the aisle on the second storey of Jokhang Monastery. The fresco depicts Buddha, Bodhisattvas, disciples and patrons and stories of Buddha’s life and the Wheel of Life.
There are priceless treasures in Jokhang including the golden urn used for drawing the lot to choose the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama, 54 boxes of the Tripitaka and the embroidered tangkhas of Chakrasamvara and the Yamantaka.
I climbed to the top of the Jokhang through narrow corridors and dark staircases. Here I found that the top is decorated with golden tiles and the gilded ‘Wheel of the First Sermon’ of the Buddha, the Chakrapravartana. The golden tiled roofs are said to be an exclusive feature of the Tibetan temples. The decorations are usually made of bronze with a plating of gold to give a grand and magnificent look to the holy structures. But when the king built the Jokhang in honour of his Nepalese wife princess Bribhuti, the roof of the holy temple was decorated with pure gold tiles.
It is with great difficulty that I could spot the Tang-Tubo Alliance (also called the Lhasa Alliance) tablet in front of the Jokhang that was erected in AD 823 during the Tang dynasty. The almost six-metre high stele is capped like a palace roof having a ridge of lotus flower, its base carried by a giant tortoise. It reads, that the ‘Tang emperor Muzong and the Tubo Tsampo Tritso Detsan ( AD 742-797 ) discussed the unity of the nation, signed the alliance agreement and became uncle and nephew.’[Caidan An; Tibet Of China;2003;China Intercontinental Press; p72] However, the tablet is in a shambles, covered in dust and soot from the construction work. Outside at Barkhor Street, Tibetans play the traditional Tibetan music, burn juniper leaves in huge receptacles and chant prayers. There are hundreds of monks and nuns circumambulating the Jokhang.
I headed to the back of the monastery through a lane and found it cluttered with shops and houses on both sides. I bought shoes and caps and headed to the hotel.
Visit to the Potala
At the Potala, groups of men and women were singing to the beat of the hammer while levelling the roof of a newly discovered structure. Many visitors were gasping for breath and unable to negotiate the steep climb from the eastern gate; they stayed behind in the front square of the palace or loitered at the Barkhor Square. Others climbed through the gate and onto the entry point where hundreds of people were engaged in the renovation work. As renovation progressed, more and more underground rooms were being discovered.
Standing in front of the Potala I was overawed by its beauty and magnificence. The gigantic white and red complex with its golden roof on the Red hills of Lhasa cover nearly 1.5 lakh sq metres of land. Together with the encircled city in front and the Dragon’s Pool behind, the Potala covers an incredible 3.60 lac sq metres. In 1994, it was tagged a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The grand entrance leading to the top of the hill is a steep climb making many a climber dizzy. In hundreds of halls that sit within red and white walls live beautiful images of Buddha, Buddhist deities and the exquisite thrones and stupas of the Dalai Lamas. It is said that the construction of the grand palace began with King Songston Gampo of Tubo when he moved his capital to Lhasa in the seventh century. The Potala Palace we see today was built gradually on the ruins of the ancient palace built by this Tubo king
As I climbed into the Lima Lakhang that appears to be a huge and dark cave cut into the mountains, on my right I noticed several statues of Buddha and Buddhist deities and that of the Dalai Lama, all cast in alloys of silver, copper and gold. Here the Buddha is flanked by Avalokiteswara and the Fifth Dalai Lama.
Through the another hall called the Kunsung Zedro Llakhang I entered the cave of the Raja Dharma which is said to have survived centuries of inclement weather and other intrusions.
Cave of Prince Dharma
I entered the dark and narrow caves marked 07 and 08, known as Chogyal Drubphuk or the Cave for Prince of Dharma, another name for Sakyamuni Buddha. Originally, the dark cave is said to have been excavated in the mountain top but was later enlarged into a hall. It was in this cave that King Songtsan Gampo once meditated. The cave has images of Songstsan Gampo and his two wives, preserved since the days of the Tubo reign. Other objects preserved in the cave include stone mortar, stove, stone pot that was used by the king while he lived in the cave. It is considered one of the most holy places in the palace and thousands were milling to make offerings here.
I passed through innumerable halls embellished with the stories of Buddha’s life on their walls and where heavenly deities sit in deep meditation. The ornate thrones and stupas of the previous Dalai Lamas remind one of the high spiritual importance the palace once commanded.
Hall of Avalokiteswara
I reached the most sacred Hall of Avalokiteswara (marked 015), also known as Phakpa lakhang. In front of the hall lamas chanted sutras, dispensed holy water and greeted the visitors. A flight of steps led me inside the hall. Here there was a long queue waiting to have a look at the Aalokiteswara and seek his blessings. I circumambulated inside the small precincts of the hall and reached the image Avalokiteswara who stands in superb glory. There was a whiff of sandalwood and roses. The High Lama threw a silken scarf around my neck and blessed me by chanting prayers. At the feet of Avalokiteswara, I felt blessed. Above the door hanged a board inscribed with the words Futian miao guo (Profound Fruits in the Fields of Fortune) said to be written by Emperor Tongzhi of the Qing Dynasty.
The guide informed me that the image of Avalokiteswara was carved out of a single piece of sandalwood. The memorial halls of the Dalai Lamas and the Hall of Avalokiteswara have golden roofs and form the gilded top of the Potala Palace. The murals inside the palace are painted with gold, silver and dust of precious stones. There are 10,000 tangkha paintings and about 100 scrolls of Buddhist scriptures written on pattra leaves from ancient India make a rich library collection. Some of the oldest scriptures are said to date back to several thousand years.
History has it that when the Fifth Dalai Lama ordered the reconstruction of the Potala Palace and the building of the Red Palace and the Holy stupa, more than 7,000 craftsmen of Han, Manchu and Nepalese nationalities were pressed into the project costing 66,154 kgs of gold. The majority of the Red Palace which was the religious centre of the Dalai Lamas is occupied by numerous halls and eight holy stupas. The stupas contain the remains of the Dalai Lamas. The stupa of the Fifth Dalai Lama is said to be encased in 110,000 taels of gold and inlaid in gem stones and pearls. The stupa also contains the holy relics of Buddha. Inside the largest hall of the Red Palace called the Western Hall is the holy throne of the Dalai Lama. It was the fifth Dalai Lama who first moved into the White Palace of the Potala from the Zhaibung Monastery. All later Dalai Lamas lived in the Potala Palace from where they excercised political power.
The Potala is known for its huge collection of cultural relics including ten thousand statues of Buddha and one thousand Buddhist pagodas, Buddhist doctrines written in Sanskrit in ink prepared with gold, silver, coral, iron and white conch shell and pearl dust.
Debating Monks of Sera Monastery
Sera is one of three most famous monasteries of Lhasa. The grand monastic complex comprises Buddha halls, Buddhist colleges and residences for over 5000 monks and Living Buddhas. The walls of the monastery are covered with superb frescoes portraying Buddhist stories.
Here hundreds of monks have gathered in the huge pebbled courtyard for a monastic debate. Along with the local Lhasa people there were crowds of foreigners ready to shoot this strange style of debate that uses physical as well as sound energy. This is the most interesting spectacle at the monastery. It involves intellectual as well as physical exercise as monks jump in the air, twist their bodies, stamp their feet and swing their hands while loudly debating with their colleagues.
I visited the main prayer hall. Hundreds of ancient thangka paintings were hanging from the ceiling and the hall is replete with images of the Sakyamuni Buddha, Avalokiteswara, Maitreya, Guru Atisa, White Tara and other Buddhist deities. The right corner of the main hall led into inner chamber where lies a huge chorten around which are images of Buddhist gurus.
The monastery is known for its rich collection of Buddha statues, scriptures written in gold powder ink and sandalwood statues of arhats and the most important 108-volume Gangyur [Tripitaka] printed in cinnabar in AD 1410 and bestowed by the Ming emperor Yongle.
The steep climb to the Drepung monastery made me breathless. It is the largest monastery in Tibet and the home to all the Dalai Lamas. It was founded in 1416 by Jamyang Qoigyi Zhaxi Bendain, a favourite disciple of Zongkapa, founder of the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It has numerous mansions, lanes and huge courtyards and once upon a time over 10,000 monks lived here. From the top of the monastery hill, I could see the entire Lhasa city below in all its splendour. When I walked into the huge central plaza of the monastery a dozen monks were holding a conference. I waited for their meeting to end so that I could be shown around. A junior monk led me up a narrow ladder to the four-storey structure where there are numerous worshipping halls with images of Buddhist deities. Each storey has ancient ladders leading to the upper storey. A faint light enters the rooms. One room having the image of the Avalokiteswara was completely dark, but the monk’s torch came handy, the torch throwing a beam at the deity. Inside, I feel a little scared, of the darkness and of the furious-looking deities who seem to stare right into my eyes.
There was a maze of lanes and bylanes connecting one structure to another. One could spend hours walking inside the lanes of the monastery. I saw monks drawing water from the handpumps installed by the side of the lanes and pass through the ancient monk quarters surrounded by trees. Before the fifth Dalai Lama moved into the Potala Palace he lived at the Gandain Phodrang section of this monastery.
Just below the Drepung, amidst a huge forest, lies the Nechung monastery smaller but set beautifully among the hills of Lhasa.
In the evening I set off to see the Ramoche monastery that was constructed in the AD seventh century. The monastery itself lies in the old part of the city and undergoing renovation on a massive scale. A corridor on the left leads one to the main prayer hall. Here generous lamas let me shoot a video film. From the walls and the ceiling hang hundreds of ancient thangkas. Inside this hall was once enshrined the image of Child Buddha brought by Princess Wencheng.
On the Tibet –Sichuan Highway 318
From the mountains a pleasant breeze blew as I drove towards Nyingchi on the Tibet-Sichuan Highway. Our destination: the famous Lamaling temple and the confluence of the Brahmaputra, known as the Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet, and its tributary, the Niyang river.
The highway ran between paddy fields along the bank of the Niyang. Small villages lay in the foothills of the high mountains rising on either side of the river like sentinels. Smoky clouds nestled on the hills. Rows of plastic green houses had been pitched along the road for the cultivation of a special variety of dwarfed tomatoes.
Along the river banks are huts for tourists who want to spend the night. Light canoes and yak skin boats sit patiently by the river bank waiting for tourists. Out of nowhere, milky streams seem to gush forth from the mountains only to mingle with the river. I saw Tibetan women drawing water from the streams in large bamboo baskets to irrigate their fields.
Dazi county is a big town. The mountains here are grassy and green. Afforestation has been done on a large-scale to provide dense foliage along the highway. The scenery is picturesque, with herds of black yak wandering on the hill slope and tourist huts occupying the base of the hills. Villages with stone walls and prayer flags fluttering in the wind looked straight out of history books.
The Gandan temple town appears to have been recently built with new structures surrounded by vast fields. The gompa on top of the hill can be reached by a circuitous route lined by prayer flags and Mani stones.
As I neared the Moshu gongka county the mighty river appeared swollen from the rain and exuberant streams. For several kilometers on both sides of the banks there lay green meadows.
A huge gate proclaimed that it was the birthplace of the King Songtzen Gampo, the famous Tibetan emperor. Here, women holding long poles were clearing a stream, others were herding their horses. Black leather yak skin tents belonging to nomads had been set up in the meadows.
The nomadic tribes subsist on animal husbandry. They usually pitch their tents by the river where they can find fodder for their animals and dry wood from the forest. They spend hours in the forest collecting produce, specially the medicinal caterpillar fungus which is coveted as an aphrodisiac. As soon as I stopped in the Riduo township a bunch of women hustled me to buy a handful of fungus. At the Kongpo Gyamda township lazy men played chess by the roadside while women sat picking fat caterpillar fungus to make a quick buck.
Soon I came upon the Mihla mountain entrance to Nyingchi where we stopped for an enchanting view of the mountains with snow-clad peaks. A thick growth of wild purple flowers with an intoxicating fragrance covered the low hills.
At the Song and Jiaxing townships the river calmly flowed at the road level with a wide embankment and clear blue waters. At several places there were deep valleys and the rivers swirled and gushed as if in fury. Innumerable streams emptied into the river and caused it to swell like an endless blue sheet.
At Zhong, a row of small houses with red roofs stand out in the meadows. We stoped at the Bahe countryside restaurant for a light meal.
Near the Kong bu Jianda county bridge I left the highway and turned right to take the detour to Bayi town. On way are the stunning Boksom lake and the famous Island monastery where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated. The lake is called the bright pearl of Tibet. The wonderful landscape formed by high mountains and dense forests is reflected in the clear blue waters of the lake. Black and orange fish swim in gay abandon. A stone pathway on the island in the middle of the lake leads to the ancient Tsodzong monastery. Built in the mid-thirteenth century, the monastery’s presiding deity is Guru Padmasambhava.
The highway continues further to touch the Bayi town. Here in the suburbs, just next to the river, is the model village of Gongzhong on the main Tibet-Sichuan highway.
Along the river, at some places the road teases the river; at others it runs through a winding maze of hills. Beautiful villages are interspersed with splendid landscape and ancient Buddha temples. There are wild fungus, mushrooms, medicinal herbs and wild pawpaw trees in the jungle. The Pawpaw King, said to be 1000 years old, is revered because the villagers believe that the village god lives in this tree. They burn joss sticks and offer sacrifices on auspicious days. Pawpaw usually grows at low altitude and in the Bayi Township, it is a rarity. Other than hosting the village god, the pawpaw is also said to cure inflammation and internal fever.
In some villages, one can see the waterwheel sutra bucket driven by water revolving clockwise which symbolizes sutra chanting for good fortune and safety of the village. Ancient water mills are still in existence and some of them have been preserved well as a testimony to the days gone by.
I walked into a huge park of wild lilies with wild peach and mulberries growing along the river and streams and at the foot of the mountains. Wild parrots swarm the region to feast on mulberries while squirrels fatten on succulent peaches. I am intrigued by the pierced trunks of the walnut tree only to learn later that it is done to discharge unnecessary moisture. People believe that such an exercise leads to a better bloom.
The village is steeped in superstition. People worship trees and stones and the most revered spot is the Holy Seat in the model village where the guardian angel is said to have rested when he crossed the village. Today, it is a treasured seat; people believe that sitting on the Holy Seat can ward off disasters and exorcise evil spirits.
I spent a couple of days at Bayi town at the Nyingchi Hotel resort located in the heart of the town. In Tibet, the altitude of Bayi (2900 metres from sea level) is said to be the lowest. As such its topography is very distinct; there is a dense forest on all sides giving it a very verdant look. The climate is more like Sichuan. My hotel is surrounded by immense gardens and orchards and the dining hall is covered with creepers of pink roses. A blue mist perpetually hangs over the far away mountains that can be seen from the window of my room. Here my friend is a Tibetan girl who is happy to see an Indian. She folds her hands in a gracious namaste and invites me to her house in a lane where she lives with her sister. In her home, she regales with Hindi songs as I sip the tea that she has made with so much love.
On the Banks of Yarlung Tsangpo or Brahmaputra
In Bayi town is the ancient temple of Lamaling; octagonal in shape, it rises up to four storeys. Here beautiful wall paintings adorn the temple and a huge image of Padmasambhava sits inside the main hall on the first floor. The upper hall has an image of the Avalokiteswara. To the right of the temple is a hall where religious ceremonies are held each month and there is an immense statue of Sakyamuni. In the park around the temple are huge mud receptacles where visitors burn juniper leaves and incense. Thick column of smoke billows continuously from the receptacle.
I left Bayi and drive another 50 kms to the confluence of the Niyang and Yarlong Tsangbo. I am mesmerized by majesty and grandeur of the mighty river that is said to be the son of Brahma, hence the name Brahmaputra. Devouts believe that India’s only male river descends not from a mountain but from the heavens. But in Tibet it is the mother river that cradles the Tibetan people. Together with its five main tributaries the river is the main fascination for tourists to Tibet.
The high mountains screen the sunlight and a peculiar glow fall on the waves. The clear, shining waters of the Yarlong Tsangpo reflected only the green mountains and the blue sky interspersed with grey clouds. It seems bathed in some heavenly glow. Gulls flit over the surface looking for a tender catch. I climbed up a high mound to get a good view of the river which enters the Indian border just about 300 km down south after taking a huge U-turn.
Originating from the Gyima Yangzoin glacier on the northern slopes of the Himalayas the river is the biggest in Tibet and on the highest altitude among the world’s large rivers. Flowing west to east for over 2000 kms in Tibet it crosses Xigaze, Lhasa, Shanan, Nyingchi and 23 counties that fall within these cities. But as if on a whim the river stops moving eastwards between the counties of Mainling and Medog. The giant Gyala Pelri and the Namchebarwa peaks of the Himalayas stand in the way of the river forcing it to take a U turn. This is the Grand Canyon of the Brahmaputra, sweeping over a length of over 500 kms, with a depth ranging between 2000 and 6000 metres, said to be the world’s biggest canyon.
The river crosses the border at Medong county and enters India where, fed by a hundred tributaries flowing down the hills of Arunachal Pradesh, the magnificent river sweeps gracefully through Assam and meets the Ganges beyond Meghalaya and flowing through Bangladesh falls into the Bay of Bengal.
References/ Books consulted:
Holdich, H.Thomas: Tibet The Mysterious,2005, Rupa and Co. New Delhi.
Caidan An; Tibet Of China;2003;China Intercontinental Press; Beijing.
Risely,H.H: Introduced; The Gazetteer Of Sikkim;1928, reprint1993,’95,’99,2001; D.K. Publishers Distributors.P.Ltd, New Delhi.
Das, Sarat Chand: A Journey to Lhasa and Central Tibet; Edit W.W.Rockhill; 2007, Rupa and Co. Delhi.
Hopkirk Peter: Trespassers on the Roof of the World; 1982; Oxford University Press, Oxford; Great Britain.
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