Exploration in Tibet

Material Information

Exploration in Tibet
Place of Publication:
The University of Calcutta
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
xx p., 1 l., 160 p., 1 l. incl. tables : front. (port.) plates, maps (2 fold. in pocket) ; 24cm


Subjects / Keywords:
Description and travel -- Tibet (China) ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage:
Asia -- China -- Tibet
亚洲 -- 中国 -- 西藏
亞洲 -- 中國 -- 西藏
31.66667 x 88 ( Tibet )


Statement of Responsibility:
[by] Swami Pranavānanda...with a foreword by S.P. Chatterjee

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Source Institution:
SOAS, University of London
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
219775 ( aleph )
42041001 ( lccn )
CL915 /40468 ( soas classmark )


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Reg. No 1229B August, 1939 E.

The Honble Rai Bahadur Lala Rama Saran Das,
C.I.E., M.C.S.,
of Lahore,
with Love and Admiration
for the interest he has taken in the
Authors tour to the
Holy Kailas and Manasarovar
on various occasions.


Foreword xiii
Preface xvii
A Twelve-month on the Holy Kailas and
Mount Kailas and Lake Manasarovar
Mount Kailas and Lake Manasarovar ... 1
Kailas Manasarovar circumference
monasteries, etc.Tibetan traditions
Indian traditionsTibetan mythology of
Ganga Chhuislands in Rakshas Tal
climate and weather conditions
Freezing of Manasarovar ... ... 16
Temperature readingsearly premonitions
actual freezing of the Lakecause of
fissures in the Lakepeculiar phenomena

... 134
Source of the Karnali
... 136
Appendix I
Glossary of Tibetan and other Words ... 141
Appendix II
Routes to the Sources of the Four Rivers ... 145
Table i. Tarchen to the Source of the
Indus by the Lhe la and
back by the Topchhen la
,, ii. Parkha to the Sources of the
Brahmaputra and the Tag
and back to Taklakot by
the Gurla la193 miles 150
,, in. Parkha to the Source of the
Sutlej at Dulchu Gompa
22 miles ... 157
,, iv. Taklakot to the Source of the
Karnali at Mapcha Chun-
go23 miles ... 158
,, v. Abstract of Mileage between
Important Places in
Kailas Khanda and Kedar
Khanda ... 159
... 145
92 miles
... 161

Facing page
Swami Pranavfinanda
Northern View of Mount Kailas 1
Sunrise on Lake Manasarovar 2
Gurla Mandhata Peaks ... 16
Raising of Tarboclihe (flag-staff) near Kailas 16
Gourikund (Thuki Zingboo) ... 17
Avalanche descending from Mount Kailas 17
Southern View of Kailas Peak ... 32
Island Lachato 32
Swans on Lachato 33
Island Topserma ... ... 33
Central part of Kailas-Manasarovar region, from
a Tibetan painting ... ... 48
The Governor of Taklakot and his Secretary 49
Fissures in frozen Manasarovar ... ... 64
Unflssured Ice of Rakshas Tal, seen from Lachato 64
Island towards Topserma
Manasarovar frozen, with fissures and regular 65
blocks of ice piled up into embankments due to
coastal explosions
Irregular blocks of ice
A Pool of water in frozen Manasarovar
Zebra-like Deposits of Snow on southern shores
of Rakshns Tal
Gukung, Cave-village near Taklakot
Om ma ni pad me hum
Tanka, Tibetan Coinobverse and reverse
Similing Gompa of Taklakot
Gvanima Mandi
Mount Kailas on a full-moon night
A laptche, with flags, streamers, mam-stones,
yak-horns, etc., near Tirthapuri
Chema-yungdung-pu G1 aciers
Tamchok Khambab Chhorten

28. Tamchok Khambab Kangri Glaciers racing 'page ... 113
29. Dulchu Gompa ... 113
30. Kanglung Kangri Glaciers ... 128
31. Chiu Hill, with Ganga Chhu flowing at its foot 1*28
32. Singi Khambab ... 129
33. Mapcha Chungo ... 129
( At the end of the book )
I. Various routes to the Holy Kailas and Manasarovar
and the sources of the Sutlej, Indus, Brahmaputra, and
Karnali with the following insets :
1. A sketch of the island Lachato
2. A rough sketch of the island Topserma
3. How Manasarovar froze
4. Fissures in Manasarovar
5. How Manasarovar melted
6. The region of the Manasarovar and the sources
of the great Indian rivers as represented on the
Ta-ching map (after Dutreuil de Rhins)
7. Authors sketch of the Real Source of the
8. Ekai Kawaguchis map
II. The Holy Kailas and Manasarovar

It gives me great pleasure to write a few lines
in appreciation of this latest work of Rev. Swami
Pranavananda Exploration in Tibet. I had
the privilege of meeting Swami Pranavananda for
the first time in Calcutta about a year ago, when he
showed me some of his notes and jottings on the
Kailas and Manasarovar region and asked me to
utilize them as best as I could. His ardent zeal and
unquenchable enthusiasm have always struck me
since then, during our discussions on the subject.
On my suggestion, he eventually agreed to write a
connected account of his observations relating to the
sources of the four great riversthe Brahmaputra,
the Indus, the Sutlej, and the Karnali. That paper
was subsequently read before the Calcutta Geogra-
phical Society, and was published later in the
Geographical Journal of the Royal Geographical
Society, London. The Swami then wrote another
paper A Twelve-month on the Holy Kailas and
Manasarovar for the Calcutta Geographical
Society. As a result of our discussions on the
subject in the light of these two papers, it was finally
decided to re-arrange the matter with a view to
publishing it in the form of a book. It is a matter
of gratification to me to mention here that when
Dr. S. P. Mookerjee, former Vice-Chancellor of the

Calcutta University, was approached for help and
advice, he so very graciously and kindly consented
to get it published by the University; and its out-
come is the present monograph.
The book consists of two parts. In the first
part, the author after giving a general description of
the area deals with the various phenomena that he
observed during the freezing and the melting of the
lakesManasarovar and Rakshas Tal. The
crevasse, locally known as mayur, along the edge of
which blocks of ice are piled up, is a peculiar surface
feature of Manasarovar when it freezes. The
Swami is the first explorer who studied the lakes
continuously during the whole of the winter and the
early spring, and has given us a vivid and picturesque
description of the changing surface features of the
lakes during this period. His descriptions of the
people and their mode of living, though brief, are
no less interesting.
In the second part of the book, the author takes
up the question of the sources of the four great rivers
and attempts to tackle it thoroughly in an exhaus-
tive manner. The problem of fixing the sources of
rivers is a difficult one, especially in a region like
Tibet, where rivers are continuously cutting back
by headwater erosion. It requires a detailed and
careful study before anything like a last word
can be said on this point. I am glad to find that the
Swami is not dogmatic in his assertions, far less
egoistic. He examines systematically the different
criteria which professional geographers usually
apply in the case of the four great rivers, and arrives
at the conclusion that it would be most reasonable

and nearer the truth to accept the traditional sources.
He draws the attention of the reader to certain in-
consistencies in Dr. Sven Hedins treatment of the
subject, though I am sure, that the Swamis admira-
tion and regard for Dr. Sven Hedin as an explorer
and one of the greatest geographers, are in no way
less than anybody elses.
I am confident that this book will he widely
appreciated both in India and abroad, and I hope
that it will do much to start lively discussions on
the four great Indian rivers, and to rivet the atten-
tion of geographers all the world over on this im-
portant problemthe sources of these rivers once
again. Whatever may be the final outcome of such
a searching enquiry, at this stage I cannot but con-
gratulate the author on his work which I am to
concede is well-neigh an achievement, if it is borne
in mind that he did all this single-handed, unaided
by either the technical knowledge of a trained
surveyor like Strachey or Ryder, or by the vast
resources in men and money, like the great explorer
Dr. Sven Hedin. I am certainly of opinion that
his results would throw fresh light on the several
problems relating to Tibetan geography and would
usher in a new era when Indian geographers will
once again take their rightful place amongst explorers
of Tibet and the Himalayan regions.
In commending this monograph to the reading
public, I wish to draw their attention to the fact
that geography or exploration is not the authors
profession. His field is Spiritual Sadhana and his
object, the realisation of the ULTIMATE. Swami
Pranavananda had been to the Kailas-Manas region

(Manas Khanda) of Tibet already four times, and had
spent a whole year as an inmate of Thugolho monas-
tery on the southern bank of Lake Manasarovara
rare privilege never before accorded to a non-
Buddhist monk, as we learn from Mr. Paul Brunton's
book A Hermit in the Himalayas. May his life
and career inspire the readers of this book to under-
take tasks as noble as his, be it in a more material-
istic sphere, and in as selfless a manner.
I cannot resist the temptation of concluding my
Foreword with an observation made by T. G.
Longstaff recently :
Those who have travelled in Tibet must
admire the character of the Swami,
displayed by his omission of all reference
to the hardships he must have suffered
during his winter journeys in these
inhospitable regions.
S. P. Chatterjee
Department of Geography,
Calcutta University,
June 27, 1939.

Search for the truth is the noblest occupation of
man; its publication is a duty.'
I revelled in the consciousness that except
the Tibetans themselves, no other human beings
but myself had penetrated to this spot..Not with-
out pride, but still with a feeling of humble thank-
fulness, I stood there, conscious that I was the first
white man who has ever penetrated to the source of
the Indus and Brahmaputra. Thus declared Dr.
Sven Hedin in 1908 in his Trans-Himalaya/
Since then, the entire Geographical world believed
that his was the last word on the subject of The
Sources of the Four Great Rivers of the Holy
Kailas and Manasarovar.
Thirty years had elasped before it fell to the lot
of a humble Indian Swami in the person of the
author unaided by any of the essential modern
equipment for exploration, to find out certain dis-
crepancies and errors in the findings of Sven Hedin.
Herein lies the explanation for bringing out the
present work; for to discover Natures Secrets, to
realise Truth, and to disseminate knowledge are as
much the duty and privilege of a spiritual aspirant
as of a scientist.

On account of the wide .spiritual appeal of
Mount Kailas and Lake Manasarovar, and the ex-
quisite beauty and grandeur of the entire neighbour-
ing region, the author thinks fit to give a rather
elaborate account in the first part of this monograph.
In presenting this volume to the public lie wishes
to draw the attention of the reader to the fact that
when he visited Calcutta in 1938, his work was
appreciated by Dr. Shibaprasad Chatterjee, M.Sc.,
Ph.D. (Lond.), D.Litt. (Paris), F.G.S., Lecturer-
in-Charge of Geograph)', Calcutta University, and
a word of encouragement was also given by the
Surveyor-General of India and the Director of Map
Publication Department. The subject-matter of
the book comprises of the two papers read before
the Calcutta Geographical Society. A brief note on
the subject was also published in the Journal of the
Royal Geographical Society, London, for February,
1939. A summary of the paper on the sources of
the rivers was also read in the Geography Section
of the 26th Session of the Indian Science Congress
Association, held at Lahore in January, 1939.
With a view to obviating' the necessity of con-
sulting Sven Hedins works constantly on the part
of the reader in following the points of dispute, and
elucidating the arguments, no hesitation has been
felt in giving lengthy quotations. As referred to in
the text, the author had been to the Kailas-
Manasarovar area altogether four times and on each
occasion proceeded systematically to explore the
sources, resolving doubts, if any, pertaining to
materials collected on the previous tour. Through-
out this enquiry, he has always kept only one aim

in the forefront name'v, to leave nothing shrouded
in mystery nor give room for speculation.
The author thinks fit to append the glossary of
translation of a few Tibetan and other words which
are used in the body of the book. He has also given
two maps with eight insets to enable the reader
to follow the discussion in full, obviating any
difficulty and confusion that might otherwise arise
in absence of these. The author considers his
labour to have not gone in vain if the book succeeds
in inducing even a few readers to undertake an
expedition and throw further light by way of con-
firmation of the authors topography and hydro-
graphy of the Kailas-Manasarovar region.
It is with the greatest pleasure that the author
takes this opportunity of expressing his very hearty
thanks to Dr. Shibaprasad Cha-tterjee for the
encouragement he has given him and the keen
interest he has taken in discussing the subject, but
for which the work would not have seen the light of
day so soon. The author desires to express his
grateful thanks to Dr. Syamaprasad Mookerjee,
M.A., B.L., D.Litt., Barrister-at-Law, M.L.A.,
Ex-Vice-Chancellor of the Calcutta University, and
to Mr. J. C. Chakravorti, M.A., Kegistrar, for the
kind interest they have taken in the new discoveries
embodied in the book publicity to them.
The author expresses his gratitude and thanks to
Brevet-Colonel L. H. .Jackson, I.A., the Surveyor-
General of India, and to Lt.-Colonel 0. Slater, M.C.,
R.E., the Director of Map Publication Department,
Survey of India and to Mr. M. Mahadevan, M.A.,
the Superintendent, for their courtesy and kindness

in incorporating the recent observations and correc-
tions pointed out by the author, into the latest maps
with the various insets, and for getting them pre-
pared and printed for him in the Survey Office;
and also to Captain C. A. Iv. Wilson, R.E., Photo-
Litho Office for expediting the printing of the maps.
The author further tenders his love and affec-
tion to his friends Messrs. A. Jogarao, M.Sc.,
and S. Raju, M.Sc. of the Department of
Chemistry, Benares Hindu University, for helpful
criticism offered and suggestions given in the pre-
paration of the volume; and to Mr. Dinabandhu
Ganguli, B.A., Superintendent, Calcutta University
Press for having attended to the prompt publication
of the book. The authors affectionate thanks are
due to Shree Bhupendra Nath Sinha, Raja Saheb of
Barwari (Bhagalpur) who defrayed the major portion
of the expenses for his stay on Manasarovar for a
year and for his visits to the sources of the Pour
Great Rivers; and also to Srimans Keshab Mohan
Thakur and Suraj Mohan Thakur, Zemindars of
Barari Estate and to the several other friends
who helped Irm financially and otherwise, for the
undertaking of his travels to the Holy Kailas and
Manasarovar region in Tibet on various occasions.
August, 1939. j (of the Holy Kailas and Manasarovar)

A Twelve-month on the Holy Kailas and
Lake Manasarovar

[ See page /
i. Northern View of Mount Kailas

Mount Kailas and Lake Manasarovar
Two hundred and forty miles from Almora in
U. P. and 800 miles from Lhasa, the capital of
Tibet, stands Mount Kailas with Lake Manasarovar
constituting one of the grandest of the Himalayan
beauty spots. The perpetual snow-clad peak of the
Holy Kailas (styled Kang Rinpochhe in the Tibetan
language) of hoary antiquity and celebrity, the spot-
less design of Natures art, of most bewitching and
overpowering beauty, has a vibration of the supreme
order from the spiritual point of view. It seems to
stand as an immediate revelation of the Almighty
in concrete form, which makes man kneel down
and bow his head in reverence. Its gorgeous
silvery summit, resplendent with the lustre of
spiritual aura, pierces into a heavenly height of
22,028 feet above the level of the even bosom of the
sea. The parikrama or circumambulation of the
Kailas Parvat is about 32 miles. There are five
Buddhist monasteries (gompas)* around it singing,
year in and year out, the glory of the Buddha, the
Enlightened, and his five hundred Bodhisattvas,
said to be seated on the top of the Sacred Peak of
* Also pronounced gonpa.

Kailas. Mount Kailas is reverenced in Sanskrit
literature as the abode of the All-blissful Lord Shiva,
which from 20 miles off is overlooking the Holy
Manasarovar and the Rakshas Tal bedecked with
graceful swans, on the south.
The Holy Manasarovar, the Tso Mapham or
Tso Mavang of the Tibetans, is the holiest, the
most fascinating, the most inspiring, and the most
famous of all the lakes in the world and the most
ancient that civilization knows. Manasarowar
was the first lake known to geography. Lake
Manasarowar is famous in Hindu mythology ; it had
in fact become famous many centuries before the
lake of Geneva had aroused any feeling of admira-
tion in civilized man. Before the dawn of history
Manasarowar had become the sacred lake and such
it has remained for four millennium.* She is
majestically calm and dignified like a huge bluish
green emerald or a pure turquoise set between the
two mighty and equally majestic silvery mountains,
the Kailas on the north and the Gurla Mandhata on
the south and between the sister-lake Rakshas Tal
or Ravan Hrad (Langak Tso of the Tibetans) on
the west and some hills on the east. Her heaving
bosom, reflecting the resplendent golden rays of the
waning sun and the myriad pleasant hues of the
vesper sky, or her smooth surface mirroring the
amber columns or silvery beams of the rising sun
or moon, adds a mystic charm, all her own, to the
already mysteriously charming Lake. From the
* S. G-. Burrard and H. H. Hayden, A sketch of the geography
and geology of the Himalaya mountains and Tibet, Delhi, Survey
of India (1934), Part III, p. 228.

[ See page 2
Sunrise on Lake Mahasaroyar


spiritual point of view, she has a most enrapturing
vibration of the supremest order that can soothe and
lull even the most wandering mind into sublime
serenity and can transport it into involuntary
ecstacies.* Stretching majestically over an exten-
sive cradle of the Tibetan plateau and hanging at a
heavenly height of 14,950 feet above the sea-level,
the vast expanse of the Lake, with a circumference
of about 54 miles and a depth of nearly 300 feet,
covers, an area of 200 square miles. There stand
eight monasteries on the holy shores, wherein Bud-
dhist monks strive all their lives to attain the subli-
mity of the eternal silence of Nirvana.
In order to realise and appreciate fully the
grandeur of the Holy Lake, one has actually to
spend at least a twelve-month on her shores. For
those who have not even paid her a casual visit, it
would be difficult, if not impossible, to imagine
the diverse aspects of beauty that she presents
through the different seasons of the year to closer
observers. By far the most magnificent and thrill-
ing of ones experiences would be in winter when
the entire Lake freezes hard, and again in spring
when she breaks in and melts into clear blue
waters. It is only the inspired poet or divine artist
who can describe and represent adequately the
beauty and grandeur of sunrise and sunset on the
The actual circumference of Manasarovar is
about 54 miles at the most and never 200 or 80 miles
* For a fuller treatment of the subject read the authors pamphlet
1 Spiritual Vibration

as the Japanese Buddhist monk Ekai Kawaguchi
(who travelled in Tibet for three years) and some
other casual visitors, who themselves never under-
took the circuit of the Lake, would ask us to believe.
Out of my nine circumambulations of the Holy
Manas, I did some in four days, some in three days
and one in two days. Skull-like, the Lake is much
broader in the north than in the south. The east,,
south, west, and north coasts of the Lake are rough-
ly 16, 10, 13 and 15 miles in length respectively.
The parikrama of Manasarovar visiting all the eight
monasteries is about 64 miles. Tibetans do the
parikrama (called kora) of the Holy Lake in winter
when the entire surface of the Lake and
all the rivers and streams flowing into it
are frozen, so that they might go throughout
along the shores; or in early winter or spring
when most of the smaller streams are dry and the
bigger ones contain less water so as to be easily
fordable. In the summer and rainy seasons, one
cannot go along the shores throughout. On the
northern side one shall have to leave the shores and
go higher up. Moreover, all the streams and rivers
flowing into the Lake will be in high floods in
summer due to melting snow and would be flowing
very furiously, which oftentimes become unford-
able after midday. On such occasions one has to
stop for the night and wait till the next morning
for low-tide. Moreover, at the time when Indian
pilgrims visit Kailas and the Manas, the shores of
the Lake are much frequented by nomad robber
tribes going up and down. Those who want to go-
round the Holy Lake in summer or rainy season,.

should do so in parties guarded by armed men and
they should take good ponies or yaks to cross the
rapid rivers on.#
Orthodox Tibetans take 3 or 13 rounds of the
Kailas and the Manas and some of the more pious
pilgrims do the sashtanga-danda-pradakshina (pro-
stration circuit) of Manasarovar in about 28 days
and of Kailas in 15 days. Several Tibetans do the
pavikrama of Kailas in a single day Avhich is called
chhokar. Some rich and sick people who cannot
do the parikrama themselves engage beggars or
coolies to do the circumambulations of the Kailas
or Manasarovar and pay some remuneration
besides provisions for the laborious undertaking.
It is believed that one parikrama of the Kailas
peak washes off the sin of one life, 10 circuits
wash off the sin of one kalpa, and 108 parikramas
secure Nirvana in this very life.
The eight monasteries round Manasarovar are :
(1) Gossul gompa (west), (2) Chiu gompa (N.W.),
(3) Cherkip gompa (N.), (4) Langpona gompa (N.),
(5) Ponri gompa (N.), (6) Seralung gompa (E.), (7)
Yerngo gompa (S.), and (8) Thugolho gompaf or
Thokar (S.). There are four lings or chhortens
(memorials of some great lamas) and four
chhak-chhal-gangs (wherefrom sashtanga-danda-
pranamam or prostration salute is made) round
Manasarovar. The four chhortens are at Chiu *
* For fuller details of the pilgrimage, one can refer to the
authors Pilgrims' Companion to the Holy Kailas and Manasarovar,
published by Bai Saheb Bam Dayal Agarwala, Allahabad.
f It is in this monastery that the author lived for one year

gompa, Langpona gompa, Seralung gompa, and
Tlmgolho gompa. The four chhak-chhal-gangs are
at Momo donkhang (S.W.), Sera la (W.), Havaseni-
madang (E.), and Riljung (S.E.).
The five monasteries of Kailas are (1) Nyanri
or Chhuku gompa (W.), (2) Diraphuk gompa (N.),
(3) Zunthulphuk gompa (E.), (4) Gengta gompa
(S.), and (5) Silung gompa* (S.). There are four
shapjes or footprints of the Buddha, four chaktaks or
chains, and four chhak-chhal-gangs, round Kailas.
There is a big flag-staff called tarbochhe at Sershung
on the western side of Kailas. A big fair is held
there on Vaisakha Sukla Ghaturclasi and Purnima
(full-moon day in the month of May), when the
old flag-staff is dug out and re-hoisted with new
flag's, that full-moon day being the day of birth, En-
lightenment, and Nirvana of Lord Buddha. Situat-
ed on the eastern side of the Kailas peak is Gouri-
kund, called Thuki Zingboo by Tibetans. It is a
small beautiful oval-shaped lake covered with sheets
of ice almost all the year round. The descent of
avalanches into the lake from the southern heights
is rather a frequent occurrence. On the southern
foot of the Mount is Tso Kapala.
Kangri Karchhakthe Tibetan Kailas Parana
says, that Kailas is in the centre of the whole
universe towering right up into the sky like
the handle of a mill-stone, that half-way on its side
is Kalpa Vriksha (wish-fulfilling tree), that it has
square sides of gold and jewels, that the eastern
face is crystal, the southern sapphire, the western *
* Also pronounced 4 Serlung.

ruby, and the northern gold, that the peak is clothed
in fragrant flowers and herbs, that there are four
footprints of the Buddha on the four sides so that
Kailas might not be taken away into the sky
by the deities of that region and four chains so that
the denizens of the lower regions might not take it
The presiding deity of Kailas is Demchhok,
also called Pavo. He puts on tiger skins and gar-
lands of human skulls and holds damaru (vibrant
drum) in one hand and khatam (trident) in the
other. Round Kailas are some more deities sitting
in 990 rows with 500 in each. All these also put
on tiger skins, etc., like Demchhok. By the side of
Demchhok is a female deity called Khando or
Ekajati. Besides these Lord Buddha and his 500
Bodhisattvas are said to be residing on the Kailas.
At the foot of the sacred peak is seated Hanumanju,
the monkev-god. There are also the abodes of
several more deities around the Kailas and Mana-
sarovar. All these deities could be seen only by the
pious few. Sounds of bells, cymbals, and other
musical instruments are heard on the top of Kailas.
There are seven rows of trees round the Holy
Manasarovar, and there is a big mansion in it, in
which resides the king of Nags (serpent-gods) and
the surface of the Lake is arc-like with a huge tree
in the middle. The fruits of the tree fall into the
Lake with the sound jam; so the surrounding region
of the earth is named Jambu-ling, the Jambu-
dwipa of Hindu Puranas. Some of the fruits that
fall into the Lake are eaten by the Nags and the
rest become gold and sink down to the bottom.

The scripture further says, that the four great
rivers called (1) the Langchen Khambab or the
Elephant-mouthed river (Sutlej) on the west, (2) the
Singi Khambab or the Lion-mouthed river (Indus) on
the north, (3) the Tamchok Khambab or the Horse-
mouthed river (Brahmaputra) on the east, and (4)
the Mapcha Khambab or Peacock-mouthed river
(Karnali) on the south, have their sources in Tso
Maphamthe Lake unconquerable (Manasarovar);
that the water of the Sutlej is cool, the water of the
Indus hot, the water of the Brahmaputra cold, and of
the Karnali warm ; and that there are sands of gold in
the Sutlej, sands of diamonds in the Indus, sands
of emeralds in the Brahmaputra, and sands of silver
in the Karnali. It is also said that these four rivers
circle seven times round Kailas and Manasarovar
and then take their courses towards west, north,
east, and south respectively.
According to the Tibetan traditions and scrip-
tures, the source of the Sutlej is in the springs near
Dulchu* gompa, about 30 miles west of Mana-
sarovar ; the source of the Indus is in the springs of
Singi Khambab, north-east of Kailas, about 62
miles from Manasarovar ; the source of the Brahma-
putra is in the Chema-yungdung glaciers, about 63
miles south-east of Manasarovar; and the source of
the Karnali is in the spring Mapcha Chungo, about
30 miles south-west of Manasarovar. The sources
of these four rivers are within a distance of about 45
miles (as the crow flies) from the shores of the Holy
Lake. So the description of the Tibetan scriptures
* Also pronounced Dunchu.

that these four rivers take their sources from
Kailas and Manasarovar is not far from the truth,
also because the author of the Kangri Karchhak
must certainly have taken Kailas and Manasarovar
including the area surrounding them extending up
to the sources of these rivers as Kailas-Manasarovar
region. It is on this score that I would like to call
the region surrounding Kailas and Manasarovar,
extending up to the river Chhinku on the west, the
source of the Indus on the north, the source of the
Brahmaputra on the east, and the Indian borders on
the south, as Kailas-Manasarovar region or
simply Manasarovar region or Manasa Khanda.
Since the advent of Aryan civilization into
India, Tibet and especially the Kailas-Manasarovar
region have been glorified in the Hindu mythology
as part of the Himalayas. The Ramayana and the
Mahabharata, all the Puranas in general and
Manasakhanda of Skanda Parana in particular sing
the glory of Manasarovar. She is the creation of the
manas (mind) of Brahma, the first of the Trinity of
the Hindu mythology; and according to some the
Maharaja Mandhata found out the Manasarovar.
Mandhata is said to have done penance on the
shores of Manasarovar at the foot of the mountains
which are now known after his name. In some
Pali and Sanskrit Buddhist works, Manasarovar is
described as Anavataptalake without heat and
trouble. In the centre is a tree which bears fruits
that are omnipotent in healing all human ailments,
physical as well as mental, and as such much sought
after by gods and men alike. This Anavatapta is
described as the only true paradise on earth. It is

also said that mighty lotuses, as big as the
Amitabha Buddha, bloom in the Holy Lake, and
the Buddha and the Bodhisattvas often sit on those
flowers. Heavenly Rajahansas will be singing their
celestial melodies as they swim on the Lake. On
the surrounding mountains of the Lake are found
the shata-mulikas or hundred herbs.
At a distance of 1J to 6 miles to the west of
Manasarovar is the Rakshas Tal, a'so known as
Ravan Hrad, Rakshas Sarovar, or Ravan Sarovar
where Ravana of Lanka fame was said to have done
penance to propitiate Lord Shiva, the third of the
Hindu Trinity and the dweller of Kailas. There
goes a story in Tibetan scriptures about the Rakshas
Tal and the Ganga Chliu, the outlet of Manas into
the Rakshas. Rakshas Tal was originally the abode
of demons; as such nobody drank water out of it.
Two golden fish that were in the Manas fought
against each other and one pursued the other into'
Rakshas Tal. The course which the golden fish
took then is the present course of the Ganga Chhu.
When the holy waters of the Manas flowed out
through the course of the golden fish into Rakshas
Tal, the latter became sanctified. Prom that time
onwards, people began to drink the water of Rakshas
Tal. I took nine rounds of the Holy Manasarovar
and found Ganga Chhu to be the only outlet, which
is 40 to 100 feet in breadth. So the statement and
belief of several people, who had never made even
one full circuit of Manasarovar, that the Brahma-
putra and the Indus take their rise on the eastern and
northern banks respectively, are absolutely ground- >
less and erroneous like the statements that the Indus

has its source at the northern or southern foot of
Kailas peak and flows on its western or southern
side, and that the Sutlej takes its rise in Gourikund
and flows on the eastern side of Kailas.
There are two islands in Rakshas Tal, one
Lachato and the other Topserma (or Dopserma).
1 visited these islands on April 15 and 16, 1937,
when the lake was completely frozen. I went over
the frozen lake from east to west and from south,
to north on a yak. Lachato is a rocky and hilly
island having the appearance of a tortoise with the
neck stretched out towards a peninsula on the
southern shore. The distance between the neck of
the island and the cape of the peninsula is about
half a mile. The circumference of the island
is nearly one mile. On the top of the hill
is a laptche, a heap of stones, with wawi-slabs. On
the western and eastern sides of the hill there
are walled enclosures of egg-gatherers. There were
several sivans (or wild geese as some might like to
call them) on the level ground of the eastern side of
the island. The egg-gatherers of the goba (head-
man) of the village Kardung were expected there in
the last week of April, when the swans would begin
to lay eggs.
Two accidents that had occurred in Rakshas Tal
several years ago were narrated to me by an old
Tibetan. One night when two egg-gatherers were
on the Lachato, Rakshas Tal broke in all of
a sudden and they were stranded on the island.
They had to live on what little provisions they had
with them, on the flesh of the few hares that were
on the island, and on the eggs of swans; they

remained on the island till the lake froze in the next
winter, enabling them to reach the mainland. But
they were very much emaciated for want of suffi-
cient food and one of them succumbed to it a few
days after. Nobody had the idea of making a small
skin boat or a raft to bring the stranded men to the
mainland. On another occasion, in early spring,
when a fully loaded yak was crossing the lake, the
ice under its feet gave way and it sank down under
its own weight.
Topserma, the second island, is completely rocky
and hilly like the Lachato but much bigger. Its
southern part is named Tumuk. The island is
about a mile from east to west and about three-
fourths of a mile from north to south. On the
eastern projection of the hill is a pucca-walled house
in ruins, in which a Khampa Lama was said to
have lived for seven years some time ago. He used
to come out o,f the island to the shores in winter
after the freezing of the lake to take provisions. I
picked up a small clay-made image of Chenresi
(Avalokiteswara) from the ruins, as a memento of
my visit to the island. I am the first non-Tibetan
who has ever stood on the tops of the hills on these
two islands in Rakshas Tal. Down below the
projection there are two or three camping walled
enclosures. Topserma is under the jurisdiction of
the goba of Shungba. There were no aquatic birds
on this island when I visited it.
In the maps of Dr. Sven Hedin and of the
Survey of India office, three islands are shown in
Rakshas Tal, although the names of only two
of them are given. Further, this third island

and Topserma are drawn in broken lines. From
my personal observation and information I found
only two islands in the Rakshas Tal. If there is a
third island at all, it must have been completely
hidden under snow, when I went over the lake in
winter. I went round the Rakshas Tal leaving the
south-western and north-western parts. Secondly,
the goba of the Rakshas Tal area got his house
constructed about the year 1930, within three
miles from the island Topserma, which is under his
jurisdiction. He too says that there are only two
islands in the Rakshas Tal. Thirdly, in August,
1938, I procured a water-colour painting of the
Kailas-Manasarovar region drawn by a late monk
of the famous Similing monastery of Taklakot, which
has a branch monastery, Tsapgye, on the west coast
of Rakshas Tal. The monk must, therefore, have
surely got an intimate knowledge of the Rakshas
Tal. He has shown only two islands in the
Rakshas Tal in his painting. Lastly, when Sven
Hedin went round the Rakshas Tal he had with him
local Tibetan guides, who doubtless would have
given him the name of the third island also, if it
had been there. It is, therefore, evident that both
the maps are doubtful about the existence of the
third island and about the correct position of
Topserma; yet they show the third island also.
That Sven Hedin himself has no definite knowledge
about these islands can be seen from the following :
The. two islands are easily visible in the south-
western corner of the lake, but one can only seldom
make out that they are real islands and not parts of
promontories. There may possibly be three of

them. The greatest is called Dopserma, though
other Tibetans called (sic) Dotser.*
The climate of Kailas-Manasarovar region in
particular and of Tibet in general is very cold, dry,
and windy. Monsoon sets in late and rainfall is
scanty; but when it rains it does in torrents. In
summer all streams and rivers flow very rapidly and
sometimes become unfordable in the evenings, due
to melting snow. The sun is pretty hot in summer
but it becomes very cold as soon as the sky gets
cloudy. During the pilgrim season (July and
August), very often the Holy Kailas and the Man-
dhata peaks would be enveloped in clouds and be
playing hide-and-seek with the visitors. During
the cloudy part of a day and during nights it would
be very cold. There will be tempestuous winds from
the beginning of November up to the middle of May.
Weather changes like the weather-cock. Now you
will be perspiring profusely in the hot sun ; in a few
minutes cool breezes gently blow ; the next moment
you will have clouds with terrific thunders and light-
nings followed by drizzling or downpours of
water in torrents ; sometimes you will see a rainbow ;
shortly after you may have a hail-storm followed by
showers of snowfall. Here is bright sun; a little
further away a shower of rain; and further up
lashing rains. Here is perfect calmness; the next
moment there break out whizzing tempestuous
winds. Now you are on the top of a mountain in
the bright sun; below, you see columns of clouds
rising like smoke; and further down it is raining.
* Sven Hedin, 4 Southern Tibet, Yol. II, p. 167.

Here on a conical peak the ice is glittering in the
sun like a bar of silver; there on a dome-like peak
are hanging golden canopies; the far-off mountain
ranges are enveloped in thick wreaths of inky black
clouds; there appears a belt of amber clouds or the
seven-coloured semi-circular rainbow encircles the
Kailas Dome ; or the near-by Mandhatas giant hoods
are ablaze in scarlet flames when the sun begins to
dip in the west; or the meagre snow-clad Ponri peak
raises its head into the pitch-dark messengers of
Indra. Here in front of you the rising sun pours
forth molten gold on the azure expanse of the en-
chanting Lake, throwing you into a deep spell; there
a far-off valley gives out thick fumes of sulphur
under peculiar weather conditions, indicating the
presence of big thermal springs. From .one side
warm winds give you a good welcome and from
another valley shivering cold blasts attack you.
Sometimes it seems that day and night, morning,
noon and evening, and all the six seasons of the year
have their sway simultaneously.

Freezing of Manasarovar
When I was on the shores of Manasarovar in
1936-37, winter had already begun to make itself
felt from the middle of September. From October 1
onward up to May 14, 1937, the minimum tem-
perature persistently remained below the freezing
point. The maximum temperature during that
year was 67E. on July 19, in the verandah of
my room and the minimum was 185F. on Feb-
ruary 18, when the sputum of a person standing
on the balcony would become solid before it reaches
the ground. The lowest maximum temperature
was 2F. on February 16. The maximum tempera-
ture remained below the freezing point for nearly
3J months; and on several occasions even at noon
the temperature would be 10F. Of course the
winter of 1936-37 was unusually severe in the
Kailas-Manasarovar region.
Occasional snowfalls began from the second
week of September, but never were they more than
l\ feet on the shores of Manasarovar, although
around Kailas there were several feet of heavy snow-
fall. Tempestuous winds began to howl in an ever-
increasing manner from the first of November.
From the middle of December, water near the edges
of the Lake began to freeze to a width of two feet.

3. Gurla Mandhata Peaks [ pages 2, 9
4. Raising of Tarbochhe ( flag-staff ) near Kailas [ See page 6



5. Gourikund ( Thuki Zingbco )
[ See page 6
6. Avalanche descending from Mount Kailas

From the 21st, water towards the middle of the
Lake froze here and there to a thickness of 2 to 4
inches and sheets of ice about 50 to 100 yards in
edge were drifting towards the shores. Cyclonic
gales from the Mandhata peaks were giving rise to'
huge oceanic waves in the Lake, which were roar-
ing and thundering aloud. Lamas and other
Tibetans were foretelling that the Lake would freeze
in her entirety on the full-moon day of the month
of Margasirsha.
It was Monday, December 28, 1986. Some-
how that day, I came out of my meditation
unusually at 7 a.m., I cannot say why, and
looked around; it was all like the dead of
night, absolutely silent and perfectly calm.
Curious to know as to what had happened
I went to the terrace of the monastery and
stood up, and in an instant felt a thrill and lost all
physical consciousness for some timehow long I
cannot exactly tell. As I regained consciousness, I
was stunned by the sight of the Holy Kailas on the
N.W., piercing into the blue sky and dyed in amber
robes of the early morning sun (which had not yet
reached other places) and overlooking the Holy Lake
in all majesty and dignity, bewitching even the im
animate creation. Not even a single sheep or lamb
in the sheep-yard bleated. While I was musing over
the splendour and overpowering beauty of the Holy
Mount, it rapidly changed several robes of various
colours and hues and ultimately decided upon the
usual perpetual silver garment, which was reflecting
in the clear and calm blue mirror of the mid-Lake.
Dazzled at the sight, I lowered my eyes towards the

Lake, that was just in front of me. The very first
sight of the Holy Lake made me forget myself and
even the Lake herself for some time, and by the time
I could see the Lake again, the sun was sufficiently
high on the eastern horizon. For over a mile from
the shores, the waters in the Lake were frozen into
milk-white ice all around. It was an unforgettable
and memorable sightthe middle of the Lake
picturesquely with its unfrozen deep blue waters
quite calm and serene, reflecting the Kailas and the
snowy cap of the Ponri peak and the resplendent
rays of the morning sun. Oh! how happy I was !
I utterly, fail to describe the bliss I enjoyed and the
mystic charm of the enchanting Lake. There was
pin-drop silence everywhere. Like the eternal
silence of Nirvana there was perfect stillness all
around. What creature could there be on the face
of earth which would not feel and become one with
that sublime serenity of silence of the Almighty?
I leaned against the parapet of the terrace and stood
dumbstruck by the most enrapturing splendour and
lustre of the sublime serenity of the spiritual aura
of the two holiest places on the face of the earth. How
fortunate I felt myself to be under such a wonderful
spell! At about 10 a.m. I was roused by the hail-
ing shouts of the villagers. The whole village was
on the house-tops, hoisting coloured flags, burning
incense and hailing the gods aloud Sol So!! So!!!
There had descended a thorough change in the whole
atmosphere (both physical and mental and spiritual)
and I felt as if I was in an altogether
new world. By December 30, i.e., in full
three days, the entire surface of the Lake

was frozen like the mythological ocean of
curds. But curiously enough Sven Hedin in his
Trans-Himalaya reports that the whole of
Manasarovar freezes over in an hour !*
Prom January 1, occasional sounds and rumb-
lings began to be heard now and then and from the
7th they became more disturbing and terrible for
about a month, as if the Lake w?as reluctant and
resisting to put on the white robe. These sounds
subsided to a great extent as the severity of winter
increased, perhaps indicating her assent for some
time, but were heard again intensely in early spring
before the breaking of the Lake. About a month
after the Lake and her feeders froze (excepting at
the mouths of the Ding tso and the Tag, and near
Chiu gompa), I found that the level of the water in
the Lake fell down by over 12 inches below the ice,
which, consequently, under its oivn weight cracked
with tremendous sounds and fissures were formed.
The level of the water in the Lake must have fallen
down still further, later on in winter, which I could
not note and record. These fissures or chasms
which are 3 to 6 feet broad partition the entire Lake,
so to speak, into a number of divisions or compart-
ments. Within 2 or 3 days, the water in the fissures
freezes again and breaks with the result that slabs
and blocks of ice pile up to a height of six feet.
Sometimes those slabs and blocks pile up loosely
Over the chasms and sometimes they are cemented
to either side of the fissure. Such kinds of fissures
;and eruptions are also formed along the shores just
* (1910) Vol. II, p. 180.

near the edges or a few feet inside the Lake: and
these I name coastal eruptions in contradistincr
tion to the main fissures in the Lake. Later on,
when the Lake melts in the month of May, it breaks
along these fissures. The disturbance beneath the
ice, due to hot springs in the bed, may also be the
cause of cracks, sounds and huge fissures in
Afraid of the cracks and sounds and also on
account of the danger of going down into the Lake
due to explosions and fissures (called mayur in
Tibetan) none dares go on the frozen Manas even
on foot. Inspite of the warnings given to me by
the monks, I went over the Lake for more than a
mile in order to cross it from Chiu to Cherkip
gompa. All of a sudden I was face to face
with a big fissure-eruption with blocks of
ice loosely piled up to a height of 5 feet.
As I was unprepared for the situation I
had to cross the fissure at a great risk and
with utmost difficulty. Before reaching Cherkip I
had to cross one more fissure-eruption and one
coastal eruption. At that time I was reminded of
the line that The greatest pleasure in life lies in
doing what people say you cannot do (Bagehot).
But if one is well equipped, one can cross the frozen
Lake in the early hours of the day in mid-winter.
It is different with the Bakshas Tal. Loaded
sheep, yaks and ponies and even men on horse-back
cross the frozen Rakshas Tal from east to west and
from south to north. The absence of major fissures
and eruptions here may be due to the fact that the
water that percolates out of it by subterranean paths

is being compensated for by the supply of water
into it from its eastern neighbour, the Manas,
through underground waterways. There is no
appreciable void created beneath the ice between
it and the water in the Rakshas Tal and hence
perhaps there are not many fissures and eruptions
in it. There are no doubt a good many coastal
explosions and eruptions and a few minor'fissures
here and there. I actually crossed two small fissures
(one foot broad) while visiting the islands in the
Lake on April 15 and 16, 1937. I was, however,
told by an old Tibetan that rarely, once in 8 or 10
years, a good number of fissures make their appear-
ance even on the frozen Rakshas Tal. Both the
Manas and Rakshas freeze into pure white opaque
ice in the beginning and within a month or so it
becomes transparent greenish blue. The thickness
of the frozen ice ranges from 2 to 6 feet near the
banks, as far as my observation goes.
A series of peculiar phenomena takes place on
the frozen Lake of Manasarovar which it is impos-
sible to describe fully. In one corner towards the
south of the Nimapendi, the ice on the Lake cracks,
and innumerable glassy panes of ice 2 to 4 tenths
of an inch in thickness are hurled out into heaps in
a minute as if by magic. From Thugolho to Tseti
tso, due to coastal explosions huge blocks of ice 20
to 50 cubic feet in volume get hurled and cast ashore
to distances ranging up to 60 feet; some of which
take nearly a month to melt away, after the break-
ing of the Lake. Due to coastal explosions blocks
of ice 3 to 4 feet thick rise like embankments 10 to
21 -feet broad and 6 to 9 feet high, continuously for

distances of hundreds of yards, only to collapse
suddenly like so many packs of cards, on some
evening, due to waves of quakes caused by subter-
ranean disturbances, startling and confounding the
kora-pilgrims, who might be moving slowly along
the shores, unmindfully telling their prayers on the
beads of the rosaries. These blocks of ice are irre-
gular in shape from Thugolho to Yushup tso and
regular up to G-ossul. From G-ossul to Tseti tso
there are piles of perfectly plane slabs 1 to 2 inches
in thickness. From Tseti tso to the volcanic rock-
projection of Malla Thak there are irregular heaps
of ice mixed with the shore-drifted soft water-reeds.
At the Malla Thak, at the mouth of the G-yuma chhu
and at some other places water is frozen into crystal-
clear transparent greenish blue ice, right down to
the bottom, exhibiting the pebbles, sands, and
water-reeds, and the active live fish in the depths of
the Lake, as through the glass cases in an aquarium.
A quarter of a mile beyond the volcanic rock-projec-
tion, about 50 yards from the shore, there was an
oval patch of water 30 feet in diameter in the frozen
Lake, on January 28, when the minimum tempera-
ture in the verandah of my room was 2F. and when
the entire Lake was covered with ice 2 to 6 feet
thick. Two scores of some aquatic birds, but not
swans, were merrily swimming and playing in the
pool and on the ice near-by. This makes me con-
clusively believe that there must be some hot springs
in the bed of the Manasarovar. On the south of
this pool of water two scores of birds were frozen
alive and sandwiched in the Lake. For about 2J
miles from here the surface of the Lake is almost

plain, with some blocks of ice here and there, and
then up to Chang Donkhang there are huge blocks of
all types. From Chang Donkhang up to the mouth
of the Gyuma chhu, there is a series of parallel
banks of white opaque ice, one foot high and three
feet apart and running into the Lake for half a mile
like the furrows in a potato field. These parallel
banks make an angle of about 50 with the shore
towards the S.E. At the mouth of the Gyuma chhu
hundreds of fish, big and small, are frozen to death
in a swimming posture, which could be seen clearly
through the transparent ice. From the Gyuma
chhu to Sham tso there are fine models of regular
mountain ranges with peaks, valleys, passes and
tablelands, all of opaque white ice not exceeding
eight feet in height. In one of the rounds of the
Lake I mused myself like a school-boy for full two
hours in these ranges to find out the likeness of the
various peaks of the Himalayas. I could find in
these ranges varieties of peakspyramidal, conical,,
tetrahedronal, trapezoidal, slant, steep, wedge-
shaped, hood-like, wall-like, spade-like, club-like
and so onthough not in the same order as in the
Himalayas and other ranges. From Sham tso up
to the mouth of Gugta, it is a vast field of ice with
marks exactly resembling the hoofs of yaks and
horses, as in a rice-field made ready for plantation
by several bullocks. As a matter of fact, in my
first winter parikrama of the Holy Lake I mistook
them for the footprints of wild horses and yaks.
There is water almost all the year round at the
mouth of the Gugta; for a mile beyond that place,
one sees beautiful formations of ice, like coral reefs.

From here up to Thugo could be seen all varieties
of formations and eruptions without any special
features at any particular place, excepting at the
mouth of the Nimapendi. Mostly between the
mouths of the Gyuma and the Tag, all along the
edge of the Lake, there is a fine foot-path of ice 6
to 10 feet broad where beginners can practise skat-
ing and where I used to slide on merrily.
Besides these, I would just mention a few more
interesting features of the frozen Manas and then
proceed to the breaking of the Lake. Now and
then the ice on the Lake bursts forth and fountains
of water gush out and small pools are formed tem-
porarily on the ice, only to be frozen hard during
the night; but such pools formed in early
spring are of bigger dimensions and do not freeze
again to welcome the early-coming adventurous
pairs of swans. In some corner, thousands of white
needles and pins, flowers and creepers of various
designs form under and over the transparent
greenish blue ice. Occasionally one sees several
regularly-beaten white foot-paths and lines on the
entire surface of the transparent Lake, which vanish
also in a night in an equally mysterious way. These
may be termed miniature fissures, though there are
no chasms. When the Lake breaks, the bigger
sheets of ice collide with one another and split up
into smaller pieces along these paths and lines.
Sometimes it is one white sheet of ice from edge to
edge and sometimes the whole Lake becomes
turquoise-blue with innumerable geometrical lines,
diagrams and designs. When there is a fresh heavy
snowfall, the whole surface becomes pure white.

The ice near the coasts bursts sometimes, and huge
blocks of ice are pushed on to the shores up to 24
feet with heaps of small pebbles, big stones, sand,
etc.,.from the bed of the Lake. Sometimes massive
blocks of ice are bodily lifted and hurled from the
bed of the Lake on to the shore, carrying with them
small pebbles, big stones, mud, and sand. These
blocks of ice melt away in spring and the pebbles,
stones, sand, etc., are left in heaps or spread in beds
on the shores, which conspicuously stand out differ-
ent from those on the banks. When pilgrims go
there in summer, they are perplexed to see the
materials from the bed of the Lake on the shores at
such distances from the edges.

Melting of Manasarovar
The breaking of ice and its melting into clear
blue waters is even a more interesting and awe-ins-
piring sight than the freezing of the Lake. A month
before thawing sets in along the west and south
coasts, at the mouths of the Ding tso and the Tag,
ice melts and forms a fine and picturesque blue
border, 100 yards to half a mile in breadth, to the
milk-white garment of the Lake. Here and there
are seen pairs of graceful swans majestically sailing
on the perfectly smooth surface of that blue border
setting up small ripples on either side of their,
course. Especially in the mornings they do not
play in the waters or engage themselves in belly-
filling but sail calmly towards the sun with half-
closed eyes in a meditative mood and at the same time
enjoying a good sun-bath. One such sight is a
hundred times more effective, impressive, and suffi-
cient to put one into a meditative mood than a
series of artificial sermons or got-up speeches from a
pulpit. So it is that our ancestors and Rishis used
to keep themselves in touch with Mother Nature to
have a glimpse of the Grand Architect. Small
sheets and pieces of ice are also seen drifting in the
blue borders, with a flying couple of swans resting

on them now and then. About 11 days before
breaking, the disturbance in the Lake becomes most
intense between 6 and 10 a.m. and terrible sounds,
rumblings, groanings, crashes resembling the roars
of lions and tigers, trumpets of elephants, blowing
up of mountains with dynamites, and booming of '
cannon are heard. One can bear notes of all sorts
of musical instruments and cries of all animals.
The agitation and the sounds are, in all probability,
due to the ice tearing itself off and breaking asunder
both in the fissures, and the minor lines of cleavage,
for, the chasms in the main fissures are seen 50 to
80 feet broad with blue waters. The white ice-
garment on the Holy Lake presents a fine and beauti-
ful spectacle like a huge Bengali sari with broad
blue borders both at the edges and in the middle.
Nine days before the breaking of the Lake, the coast-
ward sheets of ice, ranging in length from a few
yards to half a mile, get isolated from the main sheet
of ice along the fissures and the other lines
of cleavage and are drifted by winds mostly
to the western, southern, and parts of the
eastern shores, to be stranded there in part,
depending upon the way and velocity with which
they approach the banks. The remaining portions
of the sheets which still remain floating in the
Lake, dash against one another and break into
pieces, the smaller of which melt away in a day and
the bigger remain for a few days more near the
shores, sharing the fate of others. When these
sheets of ice drift towards the shores in the evenings,
they appear to be moving very slowly but their
velocity can very well be perceived when they are

partly stranded on the shores to lengths ranging
from 6 to 90 feet. It is thrilling to see the light-
ning rapidity with which these torn pieces of ice
get up on the shores with great grating noises.
These are stranded on the shores either as 1 to 2
feet thick sheets or in heaps 2 to 6 feet high or in
smaller heaps of smooth thin glassy sheets. It is
rather curious to note that the stranded sheets of
ice break up into small and big brick-like pieces,
the sides of which resemble the sides of pieces.of
mercury sulphide.
After thus exhibiting a series of interesting
and versatile transformations, the Avhole of the
remaining Lake, all of a sudden, one night breaks
into a clear beautiful and charming blue expanse
to the surprise and joy of the villagers and pilgrims
on the shores, the next morning, who immediately
climb up to their house-tops and hail the vast ex-
panse, extending before them even like the very sky
overhead; they show the same enthusiasm as they
do when they find her frozen in winter, hoisting
coloured flags, burning incense, telling prayers, and
exclaiming words of praise to the gods in heavens.
Tibetans believe that the Holy Manasarovar breaks
on the full-moon or new-moon day or on the 10th
day of the bright or dark half of the lunar month.
But contrary to their traditions the Manas broke on
the 12th day of the dark fortnightVaisakha
Krishna Dwadasi according to North Indian almanac
and Ghaiitra Krishna Dwadasi according to South
Indian calendar, corresponding to May 7, in the
year 1937. One forgets himself for hours together
gazing at the beauty, charm, and grandeur of the

oceanic Lake, teeming with pairs of graceful swans
here and there merrily tossed up and down the waves.
On account of the high waves dashing against one
another, illusory pairs of white foamy swans make
their appearance, which it is very difficult to dis-
tinguish from the real ones. When the Lake broke
finally, some bigger sheets of ice remained unmelted
and were drifted to the north coast which also
eventually collided against one another on account
of severe winds and broke into pieces and melted
away within three days in the blue depths.
Two or three weeks before the Lake breaks, a
peculiar change occurs in the texture and hardness
of the ice. What could not have been struck and
broken into smaller pieces even by means of crow-
bars in winter, now becomes so brittle that a blow
with a stick breaks it up into small pieces. The
sheets of ice that have drifted and piled up on
the shores (during the week before the breaking of
the Lake), when kicked, crumble down to small
crystals, like those of saltpetre. When I would go
out for a walk in the evenings I used to knock down
several such heaps of brittle ice and amuse myself
as they crumbled down into tiny crystals to melt
away in a couple of days. One cannot get a solid
piece of hard ice, as big as a cocoanut, from any of
these heaps ; but some of the huge blocks of ice that
are hurled and piled up on the shores by coastal
explosions during winter, cannot be moved by half
a dozen strong men and exist for as many as 20 to
30 days after the breaking of the Lake.
Unlike the Manasarovar, the Eakshas Tal
freezes 15 to 20 days earlier and melts again 2 to 4

weeks later. It may be mentioned in passing that
this is quite the opposite of what Sven Hedin relates,
namely, that Langak-tso breaks up half a month
before the Tso-mavang.* Rakshas Tal froze
about 20 days earlier and broke up again nearly a
month later than Manasarovar. There are many
major and minor fissures and coastal eruptions in the
frozen Manas, whereas the Rakshas contains only
a very few. Another point of difference between
the two lakes is that it takes about a week for the
Rakshas Tal to freeze completely and a little more
than that time to melt again completely. Sheets of
ice are seen floating and drifting from side to side
in the Rakshas Tal for several days even after the
breaking of the lake, so much so that the Bhotia
merchants going early to Tarchen Mandi (Kailas)
oftentimes notice sheets of ice floating in Rakshas
Tal, but not in the Manas. I noticed, and Tibetans
too affirm, that the Rakshas Tal region is much
colder than the Manas area and that there are greater
and more massive deposits of snow all round the
Rakshas. Also, the zebra-like formations of snow
in well-marked stripes in the ups and downs and
valleys, especially on the south and west in winter,
-and the islands and irregular shores with bays, gulfs,
promontories, peninsulas, straits, isthmuses, rocky
shores, etc., lend an additional element to the
picturesqueness of the landscape around the Rakshas.
Rakshas Tal would form a good model for learning
geographical terms. The Manas is nearly 300 feet
in depth, whereas the Rakshas is only half as deep
* Trans-Himalaya, Yol. II, p. 180.

on the northern side; on the southern side it may
be deeper but has not been sounded up till now. The
Manas has eight monasteries and some houses on its
shores and the Rakshas has only one monastery,
Tsapgye,* on the north-west and the only house of the
goba of Shungba on the west. The area of the
Manas is 200 square miles and that of the Rakshas
140 square miles. The coasts of the Manas are more
regular than those of her western companion.
Rakshas Tal is in no way inferior to Manasarovar
in physical beauty; but from the spiritual point of
view the Manas is unparalleled. An interesting
observation, which is a bit difficult to explain, is the
temperamental difference between the two lakes
though they are next-door neighbours to each other
possessing areas almost of the same order of magni-
tude. It may be due to some local winds that the
Rakshas Tal is more stormy and colder than the
Manasarovar. The comparative shallowness of the
Rakshas Tal may also be responsible for its shores
being colder than those of the Manas, and for its
freezing earlier and melting later.
Sven Hedin writes, In winter the surface of
the Tso-mavang falls 20 inches beneath the ice,
which consequently is cracked and fissured, and
dips from the shore; but Langak-tso sinks only one
or two-thirds of an inch. This shows that it
receives water constantly from the eastern lake, but
only parts with a trifling quantity in winter. t
Sven Hedin was on the lakes during the months of
* Also pronounced Chapgye.
f Trans-Himalaya, Vol. II, p. 180.

July and August but not when they froze; and so
this whole information about winter must be a hear-
say from some of his Tibetan guides or servants,
who did certainly inform him wrongly. When
the Rakshas receives water continuously from the
Manas but parts with only a trifling quantity, what
has become of all the 20 inches of water that has
been filtered out of the Manas? If, as Sven Hedin
describes, only a trifling quantity of water is filtered
out of the Rakshas, the level of the water must rise.
But in the same breath he says that water in the
Rakshas fell down by 1 or § of an inch Could
Sven Hedin expect such accurate figures from the
ordinary Tibetans, who gave the figures of the levels
of water in the Manas with discrepancies of several
feet? So, contrary to what Sven Hedin writes, I
maintain that it is not a trifling quantity of water
that Rakshas Tal parts with, but almost as much
quantity as it receives from the Manas, nay, even
more, either by subterranean passages or otherwise,
through the so-called old bed of the Sutlej.

7. Southern View of Kailas Peak
6. Island Lachato
[ See page 1 /


9. Swans on Lachato
[ See page 11
10. Island Topserma
[ See page 12

Tibet was originally called Bod-yul, later on
Both, To-both, Tu-bat, Ti-both, and finally Tebet;
hence the modern name Tibet. Even now
Tibetans call the country Both or Bod or Chang -
thang (northern plateau), although there is a
separate province called Chang-thang in Tibet.
Tibet is the loftiest tableland in the world ranging
from 12,000 to 16,000 feet above the sea-level, with
mountains covered with eternal snows. It has an
area of 814,000 square miles with a population of
about 3,000,000. The region round about the Kailas
and Manasarovar, extending up to the river Chhinku
on the west, the source of the Indus on the north,
the source of the Brahmaputra on the east, and the
Indian borders on the south is called Kailas-
Manasarovar region, Manasarovar region or
Manasa Khanda. The region is about 130 miles
from east to west and 90 to 100 miles from north
to south. The population of the region may roughly
be computed to be about 5,000.
In some villages of the Lake-region the grass
is smooth like velvet with a carpet of brilliant tiny
flowers in rose, violet, and yellow colours; at other
places it is sharp and cutting like steel blades. In

the upper parts of some valleys are countless designs
of flowers of various hues over which botanists could
very well devote some time to find out new materials
for research. On one side there is a sort of sweet-
scented artemisia (davanam) used as incense; on
another side a different variety of incense fern grows
in still higher regions as on the slopes of Kailas; here
and there are the prickly rugged da'tna hushes (a sort
of juniper), which provides the people of these parts
with fire-wood, since it burns even when green and
freshly cut. Excepting the dama bush which is
hardly two. to four feet high, there are no big trees.
A variety of willow is specially grown here and there
in the Purang valley, but no big trees which would
yield timber, although poplars and other trees grow
in some places of Eastern Tibet. So it is only the
artists stretch of imagination and the stroke of his
brush that make Lord Shiva and Parvati sit under a
huge tree at the foot of the perpetual snow-clad peak
of Kailas or under a tall deodar tree on the banks of
A plant called jinbu, the Tibetan onion, grows
wildly in abundance near the hot springs of the
Tag tsangpo, at Tirthapuri, Nabra, Dapa, Tuling,
and at several other places in Western Tibet.
Khampas (Tibetans domiciled in India) carry hun-
dreds of mule-loads of dried jinbu plant to India,
where it is used for spicing dishes. Jeera is a wild
growth in Kardung valley and other places. In some
river beds a thorny bush called tarchima yields a
:small sour fruit.
There are plenty of water-reeds in the Lake,
under the surface of water. Sometimes I used to

feel the smell of iodine while going on the shores.
So it is just probable that the reeds might contain
traces of iodine, which should interest a chemist.
Here and there on the shores are swarms of a harm-
less and non-malarial variety of black mosquito,
which may interest a research student of the Tropical
School of Medicine.
Here on the shores of Manasarovar I found a
wonderful drug called thuma. It is a marvellous
specific for spermatorrhoea and an excellent
aphrodisiac. Thuma is the root of a tiny
creeper thriving at a height of 15,000 feet
above the sea-level. It is not possible to
collect even half a pound of it in a whole
day. There is, however, an interesting way of pro-
curing it. When the root is well ripe, wild rats
collect and store it in their holes in the month of
October for use in winter. The poor folk of these
parts deprive the rats of their winter provisions.
Just as vidarikanda, a big tuber used in important
medical preparations by Kavirajs or Vaidyas, is
eaten as food by some of the wild tribes, this root is
also eaten by the poor as food for a few days. The
well-to-do use it as a delicacy on special occasions
like the New Years day. The claims of this parti-
cular drug may be verified and put to test by medical

Mineral Eesources
Almost parallel to the Ganga Chhu at a distance
of about a mile on the south there is a vein of gold-
deposits extending from the shores of the Manas-
right up to the Eakshas. They were mined some
years ago but nothing is done now-a-days. During
the last mining operation, it was said that there
had been an outbreak of small-pox which was attri-
buted by the Tibetans to the wrath of the presiding
deity of the mines and consequently the mining was
stopped by the Government. During the last
mining operation it was also said that one gold
nugget as big as a dog (according to another version,
a dog-like nugget) was found. At the place where
the nugget was found, a chhorten was constructed,
called Serka-khiro (gold-dog). This place is at
a distance of a mile south of Chiu gompa.
Some 20 days march northwards from the1
shores of the Manas leads one to the extensive and
rich gold-fields at Thokjalung, Munakthok, Eung-
mar and several other places, where they are
being worked by the most primitive methods, scarce-
ly worth the name of mining. Twenty years ago
Tibetan gold was sold at the rate of Es. 10 per tola
at Lhasa, according to the account given by the

Governor of Taklakot. It is the mining experts
;and the enterprising capitalists that can ascertain
:and find ways and means to exploit these vast gold-
fields on up-to-date scientific methods and on a
commercial basis and can explore some more virgin
gold-fields, borax-fields, and other mineral wealth.
Silver, copper, iron, coal, mercury and shilafit are
also obtained in Eastern Tibet.
Lake Tseti tso, three miles north of Gussul
gompa, by the side of Manasarovar, has large deposits
of borax and soda both on the shores and on the
islands in it. The Tibetan Government has now
stopped the working of borax at that place due to
the superstitious belief that the mining deity became
.enraged. But some of the white deposits are carried
by the people in the surroundings and used for
washing hands and clothes. There are very big
borax-fields at Langmar (about 140 miles from the
Manas) in Western Tibet and at several other places,
where in the year 1928 it was sold at'the rate of 20
to 40 pounds per rupee or as much as a big goat
could carry.
Tibet supplies thousands of maunds of salt
from her salt lakes to a greater part of the Himalayan
regions of India.
There are red- and white-wash materials on the
east and the best pottery clay on the south-east of
Manasarovar. There are iron and titanium sands
.called chema-nenga on the east coast and smooth
pebbles on the west coast. In some other corners
there are flat slabs and rounded stones used for
inscribing the mam-mantra. Here is a1 volcanic
rock or hill, there are alabaster-like slabs or old

granite boulders, and in a third corner are some
rstrata and fossils which may be of some importance
to a geologist.
There are three hot springs on the Ganga Chhu
about two furlongs from Manasarovar down the
Chiu hill. One spring is on the left bank (with a
Jcund to take a bath in), one on the right bank, and
one boiling spring on a small rock in the middle of the
Ganga Chhu. There are some in the bed of the
Manasarovar, especially f of a mile south of the
beginning of the Ganga Chhu. About 3 or 4 miles
from the shores of the Manas up on the left bank
of the Tag tsangpo there are several hot springs at
Tagpotong varying in range from lukewarm to
boiling temperature spread over a large area, out
of which a regular stream of hot water flows into the
Tag. Opposite these springs on the right bank of
the Tag are some caves called Chhu-phuk, where a
few monks live in winter. Just near the caves there
are some chhortens and mani-walls and the founda-
tion of an old ruined monastery, said to be of Guru
Padmasambhava and pulled down by the Gurkha
invaders. Some shepherds of Nonokur camp here
in early spring and autumn for a couple of months
in each season. Near the caves and a mile down at
Ambu-phuk there are some more hot springs.
About f of a mile up Tagpotong on the left bank
of the Tag are hot springs and some. boiling and
bubbling geysers. This place is called Tomo-mopo.
About 44 miles N.W. of Manasarovar is Tirthapuri
where there are some more thermal springs, near
which the demon Bhasmasura is said to have been
burnt to ashes. There are large deposits of calcium

carbonate and other calcium compounds all around
the hot springs, which change their positions now
and then and sometimes disappear altogether.
There are a few more hot springs on the Sutlej at
Khyunglung, a days march down Tirthapuri. It
is interesting to note that, like the beads on a string,
there is a series of hot springs on the Tag at Tomo-
mopo Tagpotong, Chhu-phuk and Anbu-phuk, in the
bed of Manasarovar, in the Ganga Chhu, at Tirtha-
puri, and at Khyunglung.

The People
The people both men and women in general are
strong, sturdy, and hardworking; they are primitive
and dirty in habits and customs, though lamas and
officials are highly cultured and polite. It is only
the Purang valley that is fairly well populated with
fixed abodes. These abodes are flat-roofed and are
often in two stories built of big sun-dried bricks and
the little timber that they get from the Indian
borders. The roofing is made of light timber and
hushes over which mud is spread. The compara-
tive sparseness of houses in the Kailas-Manas region
is due to the fact that transit of timber to these
inaccessible regions, negotiating difficult passes
on yaks and ponies, is highly expensive. Sometimes
even two or three houses go to make a village. Their
monasteries are built similarly but on a larger scale.
About half the population of the region subsists
on cattle-breeding, especially the yak, sheep and
goat. They live in tents made of yak-hair, and
wander from valley to valley grazing their cattle.
A part of the population of Purang also lives
in caves in the hills which are made into regular
houses by construction of walls and gates in the
front sides. Some of the caves are even two or

"three-storied. Such houses are found mostly in
Gukung near Taklakot, and in the villages G-aru,
I)oh, Ringung, Dungmar, Kardung, etc. Gukung is a
typical cave-village situated on the right bank of the
Karnali about half a mile from Taklakot Mandi.
There is a gompa also in a three-storied cave-dwell-
ing. On the southern side of Manasarovar, situated
in the uppermost part of the Namreldi valley are
:some caves, where the people of southern shores of
the Manas took refuge in severe cold, when the
brave Kashmiri General, Zoravar Singh, invaded the
Manas region (in 1841?).
The staple food of the people is meat (fresh,
dry, cooked, or roasted), roasted barley powder
(tsampa or sattu), and large quantities of dairy pro-
ducts. In the morning and evening they take
thukpa, a semi-liquid dish, that is prepared by boil-
ing tsampa and meat in water, with salt added to it.
The people of the Purang valley eat rice and bread
.also, which are supplied in large quantities from
Nepal and Indian borders. They use Chinese tea in
large quantities. Tea is boiled for a long time, salt
:and butter are added, and churned thoroughly.
According to their means they drink 50 to 150 cups
of tea during the day and night till they retire to bed.
'They take tsampa made into a thick paste, by mix-
ing it with tea. Chhang, a light beer made from
barley, is their national beverage, in which men,
women, children, and monks indulge, more often on
festive occasions. Tea, and chhang are taken either
in small wooden cups silvered or otherwise, in China
cups or China-made stone cups by the rich, which
are kept on silver stands with silver lids.

The whole region being at a height of 12,000'
feet above the sea-level, it is very cold; and so
Tibetans wear long double-breasted woollen gowns
with a kamarband or waist-tier. They wear woollen
.shoes, called Ihani, coming almost up to the knees,
which they need not remove even while entering
the Sanctum Sanctorum of the temples in the
monasteries. In winter they wear coats, trousers,
and caps made of sheep or lamb-skins. When it is
hot, they remove one or both hands off the coat,
thereby exposing the shoulders. Women wear
almost the same kind of dress as men, with the
addition of a horizontally striped woollen piece in the
front, from waist down to the toes, and a tanned
goat-skin on the back with fur outside. Men freely
use English felt hats which are brought from Cal-
cutta and other places and sold in their marts. Rich
people, officers, and lamas wear costly dresses and
Polyandry is common, most probably an
economic adjustment to prevent the increase of
population, where struggle for existence is very hard.
So when the elder brother in a family marries a wife,
she thereby automatically becomes the wife of all'
the brothtrs and all of them live together peacefully.
The wife is held in common, though the younger
.brothers are servants to the elder. As a result the
Tibetans to-day have only as many houses
and families as they had centuries ago. Monks
and nuns shave their heads and wear a sort
of violet-red gowns, whereas householders both
men and women plait their hair. Women
dress their hair in several plaits. They enjoy

full social liberty. As a mark of respect or
salutation Tibetans bend a little, put their tongues
out and say khamjam-bho or simply khamjam
or joo. Monks and nuns generally live freely but
cannot marry legally, though sometimes nuns are
seen with babes in their arms. Since monks and
nuns are initiated into the order when they have
absolutely no idea of the life they are to lead, it is
no wonder if they do not have a high standard of
morality. It is the system rather than the indivi-
duals, which is at fault. They take to all callings in
lifeof Gurus, high-priests, corpse-cutters, officials
high and low, traders, shepherds, servants, cooks,,
coolies, pony-drivers, shoe-makers, smiths, culti-
vators, and so forth from the highest to the lowest
rankDalai Lama to an ordinary cooly.
The manner in which the higher order of monks
give their blessings, varies according to the status
and social position of the blessed. The monk brings
his head hear the head of the other and gently touches
it if he is also a high monk, or places both his hands
on the heads of those he loves most, or to whom he
wants to show a greater favour. In other cases he
blesses the other with one hand, two fingers, or only
with one finger. The last mode of blessing is by
touching the head with a coloured piece of cloth tied
to a short stick. The principle underlying all these
is that there should be some contact of the blesser
and the blessed in order to pass some power of
efficacy to the latter from the former, besides invok-
ing the usual blessings.
Tibetans have a peculiar way of killing sheep
lor meat. They suffocate the animal to death by

tying the mouth and nostrils tightly with a rope,
for it is enjoined in their religious texts that
the blood of a living animal should not he spilt.
The dead bodies of well-to-do monks are
cremated while those of poor monks and. householders
;are hacked to pieces and thrown to vultures or cast
into a river if there is one near by. Both birth and
death ceremonies are many and complicated, vary-
ing with individual means, and are much akin
to those of the Hindus. When the dead body is
into a small pyramid which is kept in a monument
known as chhorten corresponding to the stupa in
Buddhism was first introduced into Tibet in
the time of King Srongehen Sampo, who reigned
'between 630 and 698 A.D. It flourished for several
years under the royal patronage. The religion of
the Tibetans is primarily Buddhism with a queer
admixture of Tantricism or Saktaism and the old
Bon Dharma (pre-Buddhistic religion of devil-
worshipping). Tibet is predominantly a priest-
ridden country, and as such some Western writers
call the religion of Tibet Lamaism. One or two
children from every family are initiated into the
order of monks and nuns at the age of two or three.
Nearly one-third or one-fourth of the population
consists of monks and nuns and the standard of
morality is low. The Buddhism prevalent in Tibet
is of the Mahayana School.
Most of the monks are attached to the monas-
teries called gompas, solitary places. Gfompas are
.a combination of a temple (where the images of

Buddha and other Buddhistic deities are kept and
worshipped), a math (where monks have their
board and lodging), and a dharmashala (where
travellers and pilgrims get a lodging). The first
monastery in Tibet was built between 823 and 835
A.D. at Samye on the model of Udantapuri. Bigger
monasteries also serve the purpose of schools and
are big educational centres. As a matter of fact,
the four great Universities of Tibet are situated in
the monasteries of Depung with 7,700 monks, Sera
with 5,500 monks, Ganden and Tashi Lhumpo with
3,300 monks each.
Elementary education is generally given to
monks in almost all the monasteries of Tibet. One
has to go for higher education to some of these big
Universities near Lhasa as there are no big educa-
tional centres in Western Tibet (Ngari). All the
above-mentioned Universities or Monastic Colleges
are residential. Besides religious education,
grammar, literature and medicine, image-making,
engraving, painting, printing, etc., are also taught.
All these Universities and monasteries are main-
tained by big landed properties attached to them,
by public charity, and also by the trading and bank-
ing business conducted by some of the monks in the
monasteries. Out of the total strength of the Uni-
versities only half the number are regular students
and the rest of the monks are servants, conductors,
managers, tradesmen, etc. Students from different
places like Rampur Bushahr State, Ladakh, South-
ern Russia and Siberia, and China go to [these
Monastic Universities for study. Almost all of them
are monks.

Monks are of two orders: lamas Or superior
order of monks and dabas or ordinary monks. It is
.after studying both religious and ritual texts for
several years that one is made a lama. There are
-different ordershigh, middle, and lowamongst
lamas also. All monks including lamas indulge in
drinking and meat-eating. Tibetans in general have
no religious bigotry though they are very supersti-
tious and their monasteries can be visited by people of
any religion. All the monasteries of Western Tibet
were built after the ninth century A.D.
The two great Tibetan works in the shelves of
a Tibetan library are Kanjur (or Kangyurtransla-
tion of Lord Buddhas actual utterances) in 108
volumes and Tanjur (or Tangyurtranslation of
Shastras) in about 235 volumes. These works com-
prise different Schools of Philosophy, Kavyas,
Grammar, Astrology, Astronomy, Devata Sadhana,
Tantras and Mantras besides the commentaries on
several books of Kanjur and Tibetan translations of
the Chinese renderings of some original Sanskrit'
works.- Tanjur also contains the translations of
several other Sanskrit works, whose originals
were for ever lost in the bonfires of the various
ruthless Muhammadan invaders and kings. It also
.contains the lost works of the great astronomer
Aryadeva, Dingnaga, Dharmarakshita, Chandra-
kirti, Shantirakshita and Kamalasila, the unknown
works of Lokananda Natak, Vadanyaya tika of the
great grammarian Chandragoumi, and also several
lost works of Aswaghosh, Matichitra, Haribhadra,
Aryasura, and others and some works of Kalidasa,
Dandi, Harshavardhana, and other great poets.

The medical works of Ashtanga Hridaya of Nagar-
juna, Shilihotra and others with commentaries and
glossaries and the translations of some Hindi books
and also, of some of the letters of Yogishawar Jagad-
ratna to Kanishka, the letters of Dipankara Sree-:
jnana to Raja Nayapala (of Pala Dynasty) are in
the volumes of Tanjur. Besides these two volumi-
nous collections of works the lives of Nagarjuna,
Aryadeva, Asanga, Vasubandhu, Shantarakshita,
Chandrakirti, Dharmakirti, Chandragoumi, Kamala-
sila, Shila, Deepankara Sreejnana and other Indian
Buddhist Pandits are also written in Tibetan
When Buddhism was introduced into Tibet in
the time of King Srongchen about the year 641
A.D., at his order his minister Thonmi invented
an alphabet on the model of the characters of the
Kashmiri Sharada'alphabet then current, in order to
put the Tibetan translations of Pali and Sanskrit
Buddhist and other works into writing. Necessary
modifications have been made, so as to include the
sounds peculiar to the Tibetan language. Thonmi
wrote the first grammar of the Tibetan language.
Before his time writing was unknown in Tibet.
In the beginning of the fourteenth century
Rinchhen Grub collected all the translations of
Buddhas works under the title Kanjur and all the
Shastras under the title Tanjur. It was in the year
1728 (?) that the Kanjur and the Tanjur were printed
for the first time during the regime of the seventh
Dalai Lama. But according to another version it
was in the middle of the seventeenth century, the
regime of the fifth Dalai Lama, that these works

were printed. Whole pages of books are engraved
on wooden blocks and printed. Books are printed
on country-made paper of three qualitiescommon,
superior and superfine. Books produced in the last
edition have thick strong paper and the letters are
printed in gold. If the two works of Kanjur and
Tanjur were to be re-translated into Sanskrit, it
would come to about 20 lakhs of slokas.
About the year 1027 A.D., Pandit Somnath of
Kashmir translated the Kala Chakra Jyotisha
into Tibetan and introduced the Brihaspati cycle of
sixty years called Prabhava, etc. (Rabyung in
Tibetan). This cycle of sixty years is divided into
five sub-cycles of twelve years each. At the begin-
ning of each of these sub-cycles (i.e., once in twelve
years) a big fair is held near Kailas at Sershung.
The Kumbha mela of India, which recurs once in 12:
years, has nothing to do with this fair, as confounded
by several people. Marcjasirsha Sukla Pratipada
(which fell on December 14 in 1936) is observed as
New Years day on the southern shores of Manasa-
rovar, as in the days of the Mahabhamta, and this
may be of interest to the Indian astronomer.
Tibetans of that region say that the sun begins his
northward journey from that day. Pushya Sukla
Pratipada (which fell on January 13 in 1937) is
observed as New Years day on the eastern side of
the Manas (Horba) and Magha Sukla Pratipada
(which fell on February 12 in 1937) is the official
New Years day throughout Tibet. Special pujas and
services are conducted in the monasteries on the
New Years day, and feastings and merry-making
take place for 10 to 15 days, in which monks and

i I. Central part of Kailas-Manasarovar region, from a
Tibetan painting [ See pages 5,6, 13


12. The Governor of Taklakot and his
Secretary [ See page 65

householders, both men and women, freely partici-
The third day of the bright half of a lunar
month, dedicated to. Padmasambhava or Guru
Rinpochhe, the eighth day dedicated to Devi, the
full-moon day dedicated to Lord Buddha, and the
new-moon day, are the days in each lunar month,
on which special pujas are performed in the monas-
teries, besides some other days which differ from
place to place. Damarus, conchs, drums, cymbals,
bells, clarinets, flutes, pipes of human bones, and
some other musical instruments, dorje (thunder-
bolt), human skulls, several cups of water and barley,
incense,-butter-lamps, chhang, tsampa, meat, butter,
cakes, and several other things are used in the wor-
ship of deities in the monasteries. A loosely woven
gauze-like white linen called khatak, about 9 inches
broad and 3 feet long, is used as a garland for the
deities in the image-halls. It is also offered to the
officials and monks before having an interview with
them. Now and then big yantras are drawn and
images of tsampa and butter in several colours are
made of different deities and elaborate pujas are
conducted from 3 to 30 days, mostly according to
tantric rites. On the last day of the worship a big
havan is performed. Several water-colour paintings
called thankas or banner paintings are hung in the
image halls, library halls and other rooms. The
paintings represent deities, lamas, scenes, yantras,
etc., and have silk borders and veils .over them to
protect them from being damaged. Tibet owes a
great deal to India for the development of her reli-
gion, civilization, learning, painting and other arts.

Om-ma-ni-pad-me-hum is the most popular and
sacred mantra of the Tibetans, which is ever on the
lips of all men, women, children, monks, and house-
holders. They always repeat this mantrawhether
sitting, walking or travelling. Even the ordinary
Tibetan repeats this mantra for a greater number
of times than a most orthodox Brahmin does his
Gayatri Japa in India. The meaning of this formula
is The Jewel of Om in the Heart-Lotus. The
word hri is also added to it very often. As in
Tantric schools, Tibetans assign certain colours to
each letter of the mantra and they believe that the
utterance of this six-syllabled formula extinguishes
re-birth in the six worlds and secures Nirvana. The
colours of the letters are white, blue, yellow, green,
red, and black respectively. Hri is also said to be
white. The mani-mantra is said to be an invocation
of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteswara.
The mani-mantra is inscribed, embossed or
painted on walls, rocks, stones, slabs, caves, monas-
teries, on horns, bones, flagson everything. The
mantra is engraved on round stones or slabs which
are kept on walls at the entrance of villages, on the
tops of passes at camping grounds, on the way to
holy places and monasteries, at spots wherefrom
some holy place is seen, and at every important place.
The mantra is written several times on slips of paper
which are kept in a small brass, copper or silver
cylinder with a handle. The prayer wheel, cylinder
or mill (korlo) is turned round and round in the
clock-wise direction by all monks, beggars, men and
women. One round of the wheel is believed to be
productive of as much virtue as the repetition of the

mantra as many times as it is written on the slips in
the cylinder. Several such mawi-cylinders of different
sizes are set up at the gates of and inside the monas-
teries, and are revolved by the pilgrims when they
visit them. I saw some such big -mam-cylinders
in Ladakh, driven by water-power, like pan-chakkis
(water-mills). They contain slips of paper, on
which the mani-mantra is written a lakh, a million
or even ten million times.
Just above the Taklakot Mandi, situated on the
top of a hill, overlooking the Mandi and the neigh-
bouring villages and the Karnali with its feeders,
is the famous Similing gompa, the biggest monas-
tery of this region. It has about 8 branch monas-
teries at Siddikhar, on Manasarovar and at other
places. Including the branches it has about 250
monks of whom 6 are lamas and the rest dabas.
There is a regular school for the junior monks of the
monastery. Some of the village boys also are edu-
cated here. In the central image-hall of the monas-
tery there is a big gilded image of Lord Buddha,
about 6 feet high, seated on a high pedestal, with
butter-lamps kept burning in the front. Once in a
year there are held general feasts, merry-making,
and devil-dances by the monks, lasting for a week
or two. In the devil-dance, they wear long gowns
and a variety of masks of devils and demons of queer
shapes. The devil-dance of Similing monastery is
called Torgyak, that of Khochar gompa Namdong,
and that of Siddikhar monastery Tsege. When any
distinguished person visits a monastery, the monks
receive him to the accompaniment of the musical
instruments of the gompa. There are some hun-

dreds of Tibetan books in the shelves of the library'
rooms of the monastery, including the two volumi-
nous works of Kanjur and Tanjur.
Situated on the left bank of the river Karnali
is the famous Khochar or Khocharnath gompa, at a
distance of about 12 miles south-east of Taklakot
Mandi. Khochar is one of the most interesting
monasteries in Western Tibet. In the image-hall
there are three beautiful images of three of the most
important Bodhisattvas, made of ashta dhatus
(eight metals), standing on a beautifully designed
pedestal or a bracket about 5 feet high.- The middle
image Jambyang (Manjushree) is about 8 feet high
with four hands, of which two are golden and two1
of silver. On its right is the idol of Chenresi (Avalo-
kiteswara) 7 feet high, and on the left is the idol of
Ghhanadorje (Vajrapani) 7 feet high and of blue
complexion. These three images are erroneously
described as, and believed by, many credulous people-
to be those of Kama, Lakshmana and Seeta. It is
interesting to note that all the three images are of
male deities Tibetans believe that these images
along with the pedestal (simhasana) on which they
are set up have sprung out of the boulder on which
they stand through some divine origin and not made
by any human hand. The images and the pedestal are
of South Indian pattern and were prepared by the
Nepalese sculptors. There are several cups contain-
ing water, and butter-lamps made of gold and silver,
artistically arranged in front of the images. There
are six big and fierce-looking images each about 8
feet high at the entrance gate of the monastery.
These images are probably of lokapalas. I under-

stand that there are about 50 dabas with a Tnlku
lama in the monastery. There is a big hall in the
second building of the monastery, where a type of
devil-dance called Namdong and annual feasts are
held. In the hall are hung a stuffed wild yak and
an Indian tiger on one side. There are also the
images of Ghamba* (Maitreya), Mahakala and
Mahakali, Sange-Pavo-Bapdun,t and Yum-Chhamo-
Chhok-Chu-Sange, I placed in different rooms.
There is a big muni-cylinder 10 feet high and 5 feet
in diameter.
Several sensational articles are freely published
both in the East and in the West about the Mahatmas
and Siddhas§ in this little seen and less studied
part of the world, namely Tibet. Most of the
stories gaining currency here are mere exaggera-
tions or misrepresentations and are more of the
nature of stunts than anything else. I may mention
here that I visited altogether about 50 monasteries
(i.e., almost all the monasteries of Western Tibet
and most of them in Ladakh) and met not less than
1,500 monks, both lamas and dabas. But never did
I come across any great Siddha or a Yogi worth
mentioning in the whole of Western Tibet. There
are no doubt several lamas who are learned in their
scriptures and well-versed in the external Tantric * §
* Also pronounced 4 Champa.
f Buddha-hero-seven or Seven Buddhas. These seven idols are
not of those of SaptarshisAgastya, etc., but of the seven Buddhas
Kashyapa Buddha, Maitreya Buddha, Goutama Buddha, etc.
+ Mother-great-directiona-ten-Buddhas. These eleven idols are of
Great Mother and of Ten Buddhas, but not of Eleven Rudras as
believed and described by the Hindu pilgrims.
§ One who has attained high psychic and supernatural powers*.

rites and incantation-performances, which are
elaborately conducted for days together. People in
general are very superstitious, religious-minded,
devotional, and mystic in temperament. I did not
meet any really spiritually advanced lamas or yogis
nor any monk 90 or 100 years old, though some
people claim to have seen sages like Vyasa and
Aswatthama and other monks thousands of years old
with corporeal bodies. Personally I would neither
accept such credulous statements nor would force
others to disbelieve them but would prefer to leave
the matter to individual judgment and discrimina-
This is not to say, however, that really great
Mahatmas or saints and Yogis do not exist; nor
should this statement be misconstrued to mean
that I am sceptical about the reality of the
existence of these advanced souls, as I consider my
own Revered Master Dr. Swami Jnanananda to be
one such adept, who, though he failed in the Matri-
culation Examination, could give out through his
intuitional knowledge (knowledge revealed in higher
spiritual states) certain equations in the Spectro-
scopy of X-Radiations* which turned out to be more
precise than the existing equations of Sir William
Bragg. It took about three years of continuous and
laborious work for the equations to be verified experi-
mentally in the Charles University of Prague. The
simple fact remains that really spiritually advanced
yogis or lamas are as rare a phenomenon here as
* One can refer to 4 New and Precise Methods in the Spectroscopy
of X-Badiations by Dr. Swami Jnanananda, M.M.P.S., F.R.S.S;.

anywhere else. I was, however, informed by the
Governor of Purang Taklakot, of monks being im-
mured for some years, and in a few cases for life, in
Eastern Tibet. But this practice is in the nature
of mortification or miracle rather than a symbol
of high spiritual attainment. During my several
visits to Tibet I had the good fortune df coming
across a lama from Lhasa (aged about 50) in the
year 1936 and of having the rare privilege of attend-
ing some Tantric rites (which non-Tibetans are not
allowed to attend) he conducted in the Similing
monastery of Taklakot for three days continuously.
He was a good Sadhaka and a Tantric. I also met
a young Tulku lama (incarnation monk) aged 16, in
Ponri gompa* in the year 1928, who, I felt was
an elevated soul. These are the only notables;
whom I happened to meet. It is really regrettable
to find some people fabricating curious and funny
stories which are utterly false, to trade upon the
credulity of the innocent and religiously minded folk.
There is no doubt, however, that the surroundings of
the Holy Kailas and Manasarovar are highly charged
with spiritual vibrations of a supreme order, which
make one exhilarated and elevated.
There are many more things of interest, to some
of which only it is possible here to make a mere
passing reference. I have often been asked about,
the existence of golden lotuses, pearls and the tradi-
tional Rajahansas or royal swans in Manasarovar
and about the Mahatmas and Tibetan mystics around
Kailas and Manasarovar. In this connection I may
*The fifth monastery of Manasarovar.

say without any fear of contradiction that the first
two are totally mythological. As regards the third,
namely swans, it may be noted that there are chiefly
three distinct species of water-birds in these regions.
The first, called ngangba in Tibetan, which to my
mind corresponds to the traditional swan, is white
or pale-ash in colour. Local people assert it to be
a pure vegetarian that lives merely on moss, grass
and water-reeds. It does not touch fish, oysters or
snails. This is considered holy and the Tibetans do
not kill it even for their table although they are not
as scrupulous about the eggs, which are freely con-
sumed. This species of the bird exists on the
smaller islet Lachato in the Rakshas Tal even more
abundantly than in the Manas, the reason probably
being that except for a short period in winter, neither
men nor wolves can reach there and lay hold on
them or their eggs. These swans daily go to the
so-called old bed of the Sutlej in winter, to
eat grass and moss. The servants of Kardung goba
go to the island in the first week of April for collect-
ing eggs. They go there and return within two
weeks, for, after that time the island is cut off from
the mainland by the breaking of ice near the shores.
It is said that 2 to 4 thousand eggs are collected in
those two weeks. These eggs are 3 to 4 times the
size of a normal hens eggs. Swans are found in large
numbers in the Manas near Thugolho, Yushup tso*
Gussul, Tseti tso, Chiu gompa, Ganga Chhu,
Knrbyal Chhungo, Ding tso, and at the mouths of
the Samo and the Tag. These swans lay their eggs
under small sand-hills. In late spring one can see
these birds breasting the waves in pairs, keeping a

number of young ones in tbeir midst. They swim
in the water producing diverging ripples in the calm
The second variety of birds, called ngaru-
sirchung, are like ducks and almond brown in
complexion. The third variety, called chakarma, are
snow-white in colour except at the head, tail, and
part of the wings, which are black. They feed freely
and mostly on fish, etc., and resemble partly the swan
and partly the stork. Herons are also seen near
Ling tso, Kurkyal Chhungo and in the so-called
old bed of the Sutlej. I am of opinion that
swan, goose, wild goose, duck, wild duck, gull, etc.,
are all of the same family or genus and that the swan
is not a mere mythological creation as some believe
it to be, since we see the black variety with graceful
necks in Australia and the white one in India.
Recently I read in some scientific magazine that
swans had been known to attain their second
century. It is for the ornithologist to give a final
Smooth pebbles of various shapes and colours
are picked up from the west coast; a sort of violet
sand named chema-nenga, which is a mixture of
five sands of red, black, yellow, wdnte, and green
colours, is picked up from the east coast, where it
is found in thin layers, only for a distance of about
three miles, and the water of the Lake is taken in
corked bottles or vessels by pilgrims as prasads or
mementos of the Holy Manasarovar. This sand of
Manasarovar is found on chemical examination to
contain emery, iron, and titanium, the last two of
which are used in the manufacture of steel. A

variety of light-scented artemisia plant (davanam)
is also taken as the incense of Manasarovar, which
can be purchased from the monasteries. Another
variety of scented fern, called Kangri po or Kailas
incense, grows around Kailas at a height of over
16,000 feet above the sea-level. This fern is dried
and used as an incense.
Fishes, big and small, abound in the Lake,
which, when beaten by high dashing waves, die and
are drifted to the shore and stranded. These dead fish
are picked up, dried in the sun and are taken by
the pilgrims as prasad of the Holy Lake. They are
preserved carefully, or are used as incense, which is
said to have the efficacy of dispelling evil spirits, of
effacing the evil influence of planets and of curing
various cattle diseases. Dried fish are sold by the
monks in the monasteries. But nobody kills a
fish in the Lake.

Agriculture and Economic Life
The whole valley consisting of about 30 villages
including Taklakot is called Purang valley and is-
cultivated. Excepting the villages in the Purang
valley the whole of Kailas-Manasarovar region is a
barren tract. Barley and pea are grown in sufficient
quantities in the valley. The fields are cultivated
by water from the hill-streams distributed into
small nice channels. The channels are bordered by
green grass and present a pleasing appearance in the
bleak and barren country. Ploughing is done by
jhabbus (cross breed of Indian cow and Tibetan
bull the yak) or ponies since yak is not good for
ploughing though useful for carrying heavy loads.
It is said that agriculture was introduced into Tibet
in the beginning of the Christian era during
the reign of Byakhri. King Srongchen Sampo
(630-698) introduced the earthen pot, water-mill
and hand-loom. There are water-mills (pan-
chakkis) for grinding barley, in some of the villages
of the valley wherever there are hill-streams or
channels taken out of them.
Yak, horse, a variety of snow-leopard, wolf,
ibex, goat, hare, and a variety of marmot or a big
monkey-like rat are the chief wild animals of the
Manas region and Tibet in general. The marmots-

remain in hibernation in their holes under several
feet of snow for 4 or 5 months in winter. It is
perhaps by observing these marmots and frogs that
yogis evolved Khechari Mudra, in which they
remain for days together in Samadhi (trance) with-
out any signs of external growth or decay. The fat
and skins of these marmots are considered very
^effective for rheumatism, which is very common in
those cold regions. Excepting vultures, crows,
pigeons, and birds of the swan family I did not notice
many birds. Wild yaks live in herds at heights above
16,000 feet as at the source of Brahmaputra and the
Dunglung valley on the north-west of Kailas. These
are ferocious animals and are hunted by Tibetans
for meat. Wild horses, called kiyangs, roam in large
herds throughout Tibet on the table-lands where
pasture is in abundance ; but they are neither tamed
nor hunted. Musk is collected in large quantities
from the musk-deer in Eastern Tibet and exported to
China. The chief domestic animals are yak (Tibetan
hairy bull), jhabbu, horse, mule, ass, sheep, and
goat. There goes a Bhotia saying that sheep, goats
and yaks are the chief crop and wealth of Tibetans.
Occasionally once in 7 or 8 years, when the snowfall
is heavy, the pasture-lands are buried under snow
for days together, and hundreds of animals from
the herds have no alternative but to die of starvation
.and severe cold, as all domestic animals including
-dogs, sheep, horses, yaks, etc., are always kept in
open compounds without roofs, even in the severest
The yak is a great beast of burden and carries
heavy loads even on bad roads and higher altitudes,

but it cannot withstand the hot climate and dense
air ol lower altitudes nor can it be used for tilling
the land. Jhabbu on the other hand can withstand
hot climate and dense air of the lower altitudes, and
the cold climate and the rarified air of higher alti-
tudes. It is useful both for ploughing the land and
for carrying loads. So the Bhotias of the Mandis
in Tibet and the Tibetans of Taklakot keep a good
number of jhabbus. Some of the yaks and jhabbus
with nose-strings are also used for riding.
Tibet is a big wool-producing country. Thou-
sands of maunds of wool are imported into India
every year from the Manasarovar region and other
parts of Tibet. All the woollen mills of northern
India and Bombay get the major part of their wool
supplies from Tibet. Sometimes there are indents
for Tibetan wool from foreign countries. If the wool'
produce of Tibet is controlled and improved scienti-
fically, Tibet will become one of the finest and big-
gest wool-supplying countries of the world-market,
like Switzerland. Besides supplying wool, the
millions of sheep are the chief means of conveyance
in and across the Himalayas for carrying enormous
quantities of wool, salt, and borax from Tibet to
India ; and grains and miscellaneous goods from India
to Tibet. Though Tibet is purely a Buddhist
country by religion, half the food of a Tibetan con-
sists of mutton. There is a Bhotia saying that sheep
are the goods trains, ponies and mules mail trains. It
is a pleasant sight to watch hundreds of sheep moving
slowly with double panniers of salt or grains on their
backs, going along the trails up and down the mighty
Himalayan ranges, plodding their weary way,.

picking up every now and then hurriedly a blade of
grass here and a mouthful there. The approach of
these laden sheep is often announced by the rising of
clouds of dust and the peculiar whistlings of the
Bhotia drivers and by the voice of the little bells tied
to the necks of some of the animals, the tinkling of
Avhich sounds and resounds along the forest roads.
G-enerally the Tibetan sheep are not unloaded till
they reach the destination, for it is a very tedious
business to load these restive and turbulent creatures.
Cheese (called chhura in Tibetan), butter, milk,
and other dairy products of the Singi Khambab
locality are considered the best in the whole
of Tibet. There are thousands of yaks and demas
(Tibetan bulls and cows) and millions of sheep and
goats in Tibet. Good dairy farms may be started
on up-to-date scientific lines with great profit and
advantage, as Tibet is mainly a pastoral country
where the chief occupation of the people is cattle-
breeding. Crude Tibetan cheese can be had at the
rate of two annas per pound and butter at the rate
of 2 to 3 pounds per rupee. Butter is very badly
stored in raw sheep-skins. Thousands and thou-
sands of sheeprather solid and compact masses
of sheep, spread over miles and miles together, are
seen moving and grazing on the shores and slopes
of Manasarovar.
There are several Mandis or marts of Bhotia*
merchants in Western Tibet, most of which are
* Indian borderland of North Almora, North Garhwal, North
Tehri, etc., is called Bhot. People of Bhot are called Bhotias. Bhot;
and Bhotias should not be confused with Bhutan State or the Bhutanese.
Tibetans are called Hunias by the Bhotias.

situated in the Kailas-Manas region. These Mandis
are held for periods ranging from a fortnight to five
months. Gyanima Mandi (also known as Kharko)
of Johar Bhotias, Chhakra 'Mandi (also known as
Gyanima Chhakra) of Darma Bhotias, Taklakot
Mandi (also known as Pilithanka) of Chaudans and
Byans Bhotias, Nabra Mandi of Niti Bhotias, and
Gukung Mandi of the Nepalese are the biggest.
Tarchen (Kailas), and Thokar (Thugolho-
Manasarovar), and Gartok Mandis come next in
order, of which the first two are big wool-shearing
centres. Puling, Tuling, Lama Chhorten, and
Dayul Chhongra Mandis are smaller. Gyanima
is the biggest of the Mandis in Western Tibet where
a transaction of about 25 lakhs of rupees is done
annually. In almost all these Mandis wool, coarse
Tibetan blankets, sheep, ponies, mules, borax, salt,
hides, etc., are either sold for cash or exchanged for
the commodities of the Indian merchants, namely,
piece-goods, gur (jaggery), barley, wheat, rice,
utensils, Chinese tea, etc. All the commodities
which are available in Indian markets are also pro-
curable here.
There are freebooters of nomadic tribes every-
where in Tibet. They are shepherds wandering
from place to place with their sheep, ponies, yaks,
kith and kin, and some of them move towards Kailas
and Manasarovar also for trade and pilgrimage
between May and October. Since no restriction is
imposed by the Tibetan Government as regards
possessing arms, these nomads carry swords,
daggers, old Tibetan matchlock guns, Russian and
German pistols, revolvers and rifles with plenty of

Full Text






DEDICATEDTol"HEHON'BLERAIBAHADUR LALA RAMASARANDAS,C.I.E.,M.C.S..,of Lahore, with LoveandAdmirationfortheinterest hehastaken in theAuthor'stour totheHOLYKAlLASandMANASAROVAR..onvarIOUSoccasions.




ForewordPrefaceCONTENTSPARTIPAGEXIIIXVIIAT'VELVE-MONTHON-THE-HOLYKAlLASANDMANASAROVAR Ai ount J(ailas and Lake M anasarooar CHAPTERIMount I(ailas and Lake Manasarovar 1 -Manasarovar -circumferencemonasteries,etc.-Tibetantraditions-sIndiantraditions-Tibetanmythology ofGanga Chhu-s-islandsin RakshasTalclimate andweatherconditionsCIIAPTERIIFreezingof Manasarovar 16 Temperaturereadings-earlypremonitions-actualfreezingof theLake-causeof fissuresilltheLake-peculiarphenomena


xCONTENTSCHAPTER 1\,T PAGESourceofthe KurnaliConclusion134 136ApPENDIXIGlossary of 'I'ibetan andotherWords....141ApPENDIXII158145 15U... 161 jtDDENDUl\I Routes totheSources ofthsFourRivers TableI.'I'archen totheSource oftheIndusbytheLhela and back bythe'I'opchhenla-92miles...145,,II.ParkhatotheSources oftheBrahmaputraandtheTagandback toTaklakotbytheGurlala-193miles150"III.ParkhatotheSourceoftheSutlejatDulchuGompa -22 miles ...157"IV.TaklakottotheSource oftheKarnaliatMapcha Chungo-23. miles,,v.Abstract of Mileage betweenImportantPlacesinKailasKhandaandKedarKhanda


CONTENTSILLUSTRATIONSXlSwamiPranaviinandaFrontispiece Facing page 1.Northern ,Tie,,, of l\10untKailas1 2.SunriseonLakeManasarovar23.GurlaMandhataPeaks 16 4. Raising of TUl'lJochhe (flag-staff)nearKailas 16 5.Gourikund(Thuki Zingboo) 17 6.AvalanchedescendingfromMountKailas 17 7.Southern Vie,,' of Kaila.s Peak32 8.IslandLachato32 9.SwansonLachato33 10.IslandTopserma 33 11.CentralpartofKailas-Manasarovarregion, from aTibetanpainting4812.TheGovernor ofTaklakotandhisSecretary49 13.Fissuresin frozenManasarovar64 14. UnfissuredIceofRakshasTal,seenfromLachato64IslandtowardsTopserma15.Manasarovarfrozen,withfissures "and regular65 blocks ofice piled upintoembankmentsduetocoastalexplosions 16.Irregularblocks ofIce 65 17.A Pool ofwaterin frozenManasarovar 80 18. Zebra-like Deposits ofSnowonsouthernshores 80 of RakshnsTal 19.Gukung, Cave-village near Taklakot81 20. Om.nuini meliuni 8121. Tanka, 'I'ibotanCoin--obverse and reverse 81 22. SimilingGompaof Tuklakot 96 23.GyanimnMundi9624. l\fount I{nilas on a full-moonnight 25.Alaptchc,withflags,streamers,1nanistones,97 yak-horns, etc.,near'I'irthapuri "26. Chema-yungdung-puGlaciers 112 27. TumchokKhambabChhortcn112


xu UONTEN'TS ]i'acing1Ja g e28.Tamchok Khambab KangriGlaciers 1'13 29.DulchuGompa11330. }{anglungKangriGlaciers 128 31.ChiuHill,withGangaChhuflowing at itsfoot 128 32. SingiKhambab 12U 33.MapchaChungo... 129 MAPS(Attheendofthebook)I.VariousroutestotheHolyKailasandManasarovarandthesources oftheSutlej,Indus,Brahmaputra, andKnrnuli withthefollowinginsets:1.AsketchoftheislandLachato2.AroughsketchoftheislandTopserma3.HowManasarovarfroze4.FissuresinManasarovar5.HowManasarovarmelted6.Theregion oftheManasarovarandthesources ofthegreatIndianrivers asrepresentedontherra-ch'ingmap(afterDutreuildeRhins)7.Author'ssketchoftheRealSource oftheBrahmaputra8.EkaiKawaguchi'smapII.TheHolyKailas and Manasarovar


FOREWORDItgivesme greatpleasure towriteafew linesinappreciationofthislatestworkof Rev.Swami'Prullavallanda-"ExplorationinTibet."Ihadtheprivilege ofmeetingSwamiPranavanandaforthefirsttimeinCalcuttaaboutayear'ago,whenhe showedmesome of11isnotesandjottingsontheKailasandManasarovarregionandaskedmeto utilizethem as bestasIcould.Hisardentzealandunquenchableenthusiasmhave alwaysstruckmesincethen,duringourdiscussions onthesubject.Onmysuggestion, heeventuallyagreed towriteaconnectedaccountofhisobservationsrelatingtothesources ofthefourgreatrivers-s-theBrahmaputra,theIndus,theSutlej,andtheKarnali.ThatpaperwassubsequentlyreadbeforetheCalcuttaGeogra phical Society,andwaspublishedlaterintheGeographical JournaloftheRoyal Geographical Society,London.TheSwamithenwroteanotherpaper"ATwelve-monthontheHolyKailasandManasarovar"fortheCalcuttaGeographical Society. As aresultofourdiscussions onthesubjectintheJight ofthesetwo.papers,it,wasfinally decided to re-arrange the matter witha view to publishingitintheform ofa book.ItisamatterofgratificationtometomentionherethatwhenDr.S.P.Mookerjee, former'lice-Chancellorofthe


XIVFOREWORDCalcuttaUniversity,wasapproachedforhelpand advice, hesoverygoracio11s]y and kindlyconsentedtogetitpublishedbytheUniversity;anditsoutcomeisthepresentmonograph.TIle bookconsistsoftwoparts.Inthefirstpart,theauthorafter givillg a generaldescription of the areadealswiththevariousphenomenathat he observedduringthefreezingandthomeltingoftheIakes-e-Mnnasarovar andRaksbaR Tal. The crevasse, locallyknown as iruuiur,along the edge ofwhichblocks oficearepiledup, is apeculiarsurfacefeatureofManasarovarwhenitfreezes.TheSwamiisthefirstexplorer ,,,110 studiedthelakescontinuouslyduringthewhole ofthewinter and theearlyspring,and has givell11Sa vivid and picturesquedescriptionofthechangingsurfacefeaturesofthelakesduringthisperiod.Hisdescriptionsofthepeopleand.theirmodeofliving,thoughbrief,areno lessinteresting.Inthesecondpartofthebook,theauthor takes upthequestionofthesources ofthefourgreatriversandattemptstotackleitthoroughlyillallexhaustivemanner.TIleproblemof fixingthesources ofriversis a difficultone,especially illaregionlikeTibet,whereriversarecontinuouslycuttingbackbyheadwatererosion.Itrequiresadetailedandcarefulstudybeforeanythinglikea"lastword"canbesaid011thispoint.IamgladtofindthattheSwamiisnotdogmaticillhieassertions,farlessegoistic.Heexaminessystematicallythedifferentcriteriawhichprofessionalgeographerausuallyapplyinthecaseofthefourgreatrivers,andarrivesattheconclusionthatitwould bemostreasonable


FOREWORDxvandnearerthetruthto acceptthetraditionalsources.Hedrawstheattentionofthereadertocertain111consistenciesillDr.SvenHedin'streatmentofthesubject,thoughIamaure,thattheSwamisadmirationandregardforDr.SvenHedinasanexplorer and oneofthe greatest g'eograpllers,areill110 ,vay lessthananybodvelse's.Iamconfidentthatthisbook willbewidelyappreciatedbothillIndiaand abroad, andIhopethatitwill dolunchtostartlively discussions011thefourgreat Indian rivers,andtorivettheattentionofgeographersalltheworldover onthisimportantproblem-thesources oftheseriversonceagain.WhatevermaybethefinaloutcomeofSUCllasearchingenquiry,atthisstageIcannotbutcongratulatetheauthoron hIs workwhichIamto concede iswell-neighanachievement,ifitisborneinmindthathedidallthissingle-handed,unaidedbyeitherthetechnicalknowledge of atrainedsurveyorlikeStracheyorRyder,orbythevastresources illmenandmoney,likethegreatexplorerDr.SvenHedin.Iamcertainlyofopinion that hisresultswouldthrowfreshlightonthe several problemsrelatingto'I'ibetangeograpI1Yandwouldusherillanew era whenIndiangeographerswillonceagaintaketheirrightfulplaceamongst explorers ofTibetandtheHimalayanregions.Incommendingthismonographtothereadingpublic,Iwishtodrawtheirattentiontothe fact thatgeographyorexplorationis110ttheauthor'sprofession.HisfieldisSpiritual Sadhana and his object,therealisationoftIleULTIMATE.SwamiPranavanandahadbeentotheKailas-Manasregion


XVIFOREWORD(Manas Khanda) of Tibet already four times, andhad spent awhole year asaninmateof Thugolho monas tery onthesouthernbankofLakeManasarovar-arare privilege never beforeaccordedtoanon Buddhist monk, aswe learn fromMr.PaulBrunton'sbook'AHermitintheHimalayas.''Mayhislife and career inspirethereaders ofthisbookto under take tasks asnobleashis,beitinamore material istic sphere, and inasselflessa manner.Icannot resistthetemptationof concluding ITl} Forewordwithan observation madebyT.G. Longstaff recently : "TI10sewhohave travelledillTibetmustadmire the character of the Swami, displayed byhis omission ofall reference tothehardships hemusthavesuffered during his winter journeysillthese inhospitableregions."DEPARTMENTOFGEOGRAPHY, CALCUTrAUNIVERSITY,June 27, 1939.S.P.CHATTERJEE


"Search. for theiruih.isthenoblestoccupationofman; its publication isaduty.""I revelled illtheconaoiousnessthatexcepttheTibetansthemselves, nootherhuman beings butmyselfhadpenetratedtothisspotNotwith-outpride,butstillwithafeeling ofhumblethankfulness, I stoodthere,consciousthatI wasthefirstwhiteman 'Vl10 haseverpenetratedtothesource oftheIndusandBrahmaplltra."TIllISdeclaredDr.SvenHedinin1908inhis''Trans-Himalaya. Sincethen,theentireGeographicalworld believedthathiswasthelastword onthesubject of'TIleSources oftheFourGreatRiversoftheHolyKailasandManasarovar.''I'hirtyyearshadelasped beforeitfelltothelot ofahumbleIndianSwamiinthepersonoftheauthorunaidedbyanyoftheessentialmodernequipmentforexploration,tofindoutcertaindis crepanciesanderrorsillthefinding's ofSvenHedin.Hereinliestheexplanationforbringingoutthepresentwork;forto discoverNature'sSecrets, to realise'I'ruth,andtodisseminateknowledgeareasmuchthedutyandprivilege ofaspiritualaspirantasofascientist.


XVIIIPREFACE0]1 account ofthewide spiritual appealofMountKailns andLake Mannsarovar,andtheexquisite beauty and grandeur oftheentireneighbouringregion,theauthorthinksfittogivearatherelaborateaccountinthefirstpartofthismonograph.Inpresentingthisvolumetothepublic he wishestodrawtheattentionofthereadertothefact that when11evisited Calcutta in 1038, hiswork was appreciatedby Dr.ShibaprasndChatterjee,M.Sc.,Ph.D.(Lond.),D.Litt.(Paris),F.G.S.,Lecturerill-ChargeofGeography,CalcuttaUniversity,andawordofencouragementwasalsog.jvenbytI10Surveyor-GeneralofIndiaandthoDirectorof 1VTap PublicationDepartment.TIlesubject-matterofthe bool\: comprisesofthetwopapersreadbeforetheCalcuttaGeographicalSociety.Abriefnote011thesubjectwasalsopublishedintheJournaloftheRoyalGeographicalSociety,London,forFebruary,1939. Asummaryofthepaperonthesourcesoftheriverswasalso read intheGeographySectionofthe 26tIl SessionoftheIndianScienceCongressAssociation,held at Lahore in January,1939.With a viewto obviating thenecessityofCOllsultingSvenHedin'sworksconstantly011thepartofthereaderinfollowingthepointsofdispute,andelucidatingthearguments.110hesitationhasbeenfeltingivinglengthyquotations. As referredtointhetext,theauthorhadbeentotIleKailasManasarovarareaaltogetherfourtimesandoneachoccasion proceededsystematicallytoexplorethesources,resolvingdoubts,if any, pertainingtomaterialscollected ontheprevioustour.'I'hrough out thisenquiry,he 11

PREFACEX1Xintheforefrontnume'y,to leave nothingshroudedillmysterynor giYe 1'00111forspcculaton.The authorthinksfit to appendtheglossary ortranslation.of afC\\T 'I'ibetnn and otherwordswhichareusedillthebodyofthebook.HehasalsogiventwomapswitheightinsetstoenabletIlereadertofollowthe discussion ill full,obviatinganydifficulty and confusion that In ight otherwiseariseillabsenceofthese.Theauthorconsiders his labourto have notgoneillvain if thebook succeeds illinducingevenaIewreaderstoundertakeanexpeditionandthrowfurtherliglltby ,vay of confirmation oftheauthor 8 topographyandhydrographyoftheKailas-Manasarovarregion.It is withthegreatestpleasurethat the authortakesthisopportunityofexpressinghisveryheartythankstoDr.Shibaprasacl Chatterjee fortheencouragementhehasgiven11irnandthekeeninteresthehastakenilldiscussingthesubject,butforwhichtheworkwouldnothaveseellthelightofday 80 SOOll.TIleauthordesirestoexpresshisgratefulthankstoDr.SyamaprasadMookerjee,M.A.,B.L.,D.Litt.,Barrister-at-Law,M.L.A.,Ex-Vice-OhancelloroftheCalcuttaUniversity,andtoMr.J.O.Chakravorti,M.A.,Registrar,forthekindinteresttheyhavetakenillthenewdiscoveriesembodiedinthebookand.givillgpublicitytothem.TIleauthorexpresseshisgratitudeandthankstoBrevet-ColonelL. II. .Iackson,I.A.,theSurveyor GeneralofIndia,andtoLt.-001011elO.Slater,M.C.,R.E.,theDirectorofMapPublicationDepartment,SurveyofIndiaandtoMr.M.Mahadevan,M.A.,theSuperintendent,fortheircourtesyandkindness


xX PREFACE inincorporatingtherecentobservationsandcorrectionspointedoutbytIleauthor,intothelatest.mapswiththevariousinsets,andfor gettillg'thempreparedandprintedfor hirn illtheSurveyOffice;andalsotoCaptainC.A. 1(. WilsOll,R.E.,PhotoLitIIOOfficeforexpeditingthoprintingofthemaps.TIleauthorfurthertendershisloveandaffectiontohisfriendsMessrs. A.Jogarao,M.Sc.,andS.Raju,M.Sc.oftheDepartmentofChemistry,BenarcsHinduUnivcrsity,for helpful criticismofferedandsuggestionsgivenillthepre-parationofthevolume;andtoMr.DinabandhuGallgllli,B.A.,Superintendent,CalcuttaUniversityPressforhavingattendedtothepromptpublicationofthebook. Tileauthor'saffectionatethanks are duetoShreeBhupendraNathSinha,RajaSaheb of Barwari(Bhagalpur) 'VI10 defrayedthemajorportionoftheexpenses forhisstayonManasarovarforayearandforhisvisitstothesources oftheFourGreatRivers;andalsotoSrimansKeshabMohan'I'hakurandSurajMohan'I'hakur,ZemindarsofBarariEstateandtotheseveralotherfriendswhohelped 11=111 financiallyandotherwise,fortheundertakingof his travelstotheHolyKailasandMauasarovarregionillTibet011variousoccasions. CALCUTrA, }August, 1939.8\'1A1\11 PRANA'i!NANDA(oftheHolyKailasand.IVlanasarovar)






i NorthernViewofMountKailas[SeepageI


CHAP"TERIMOUNTKAlLASANDLAKEMANASAROVARTwo hundred andfortymilesfromAlmorain U.P.and800milesfrom Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, stands Mount Kailas with Lake Manasarovar constituting oneofthe grandest ofthe Himalayan beauty spots.Theperpetual snow-cladpeakoftheHolyKailas(styledKangRinpochheinthe Tibetan language)ofhoary antiquity and celebrity, thespot lessdesignof Nature's art, ofmost bewitching and overpowering beauty, hasa vibration ofthe supreme orderfrom the spiritual point ofview.Itseemsto stand asan immediate revelation ofthe Almighty inconcreteform, which makesmallkneeldOWIlandbowhisheadinreverence.Itsgorgeous silvery summit, resplendent with the lustre of spiritual aura, piercesintoaheavenly height of 22,028feetabovetheleveloftheevenbosomofthe sea.Theporikramaor circumambulation oftheKailasParvatisabout32miles. There are:fiveBuddhist monasteries(go1n.pas)*aroundit singing, yearinandyearout,thegloryofthe Buddha,theEnlightened, andhis five hundredBodhisattvas,saidtobeseatedonthetopoftheSacred Peak of*Also pronouncedfgonpa.'


EXPLORATIONINTIBET.Kailas. Mount Kailas is reverenced In Sanskrit literature as the abodeoftheAll-blissful Lord 8hiva, which from 20 milesoffis overlookingtheHoly Manasarovar and the RakshasTalbedecked with graceful swans, onthesouth. TIle Holy Manasarovar,theTso Map7ta11t orTso Mavang of the Tibetans, is the holiest, the most fascinating,themost inspiring, andthemost famousofallthelakesin the worldand theTI1C.,stancientthatcivilization knows."Manasarovvarwas the firstlake known to geography.LakeManasarowar isfamousinHindumythology; ithad illfactbecomefamousmanycenturies beforethe lakeofGenevahadaroused an}T feelillg'of admira tion illcivilizedman.Beforethedawn of history Manasarowar had becomethesacredlakeandsuch ithas remained forfour millennium.''*811e'is majestically calmanddignifiedlikea huge bluish green emerald orapllre turquoise set between the two mighty and equally majestic silvery mountains, the Kailas on thenorthandtheGurla Mandhata on the south and between the sister-lake Rakshas Tal or RavanHrad(Langak'I'soof the Tibetans) on thewestandsome hills ontheeast.Herheaving bosom, reflectingtheresplendent goldenraysof the waningSUllandthemyriad pleasant huesof the vespersky,orher smooth surface mirroring'the amber columns or silvery beamsof the rising sun ormoon,addsa. mystic charm, all her own,tothealready mysteriously charming Lake.Fromthe :r S.G.BurrardandH.H.Hayden, A sketch ofthe geographyandgeologyoftheHimalayamountainsandTibet,'Delhi, Survey of Indi31 (1934),PartIII,p.228.


[Seepage 2


)fOUNT KAILAS.ANDLAKE 3spiritualpointof view, shehasamostenrapturingvibrationofthesupremestorderthatcansootheandIl111eventhemostwanderingmindintosublimeserenityandcantransportitintoinvoluntary-ecstacics.*Stretchingmajestically overanexten sive cradle oftheTibetanplateauandhangingata heavenlyheightof14,950feet abovethesea-level,thevastexpanse oftheLake,witha circumference ,ofabout54 milesandadepthofnearly300feet, .coversallareaof200squaremiles. 'I'herestand.'eightmonasteriesontheholy shores,whereinBud. dhist'monksstrive alltheirlives toattaintheau bli-mityoftheeternalsilence ofNirvana.Inorder to realiseandappreciatefullythe.grandeuroftheHolyLake,onehasactuallyto spendatleastatwelve-monthonhershores.Forthosewhohavenotevenpaidhera casualvisit,itwould be difficult, ifnotimpossible, toimaginethediverse aspects ofbeautythat s-he presentsthroughthedifferent seasons oftheyearto closer observers.Byfarthemostmagnificentandthrillingofone'sexperiences would beinwinterwhentlleentireLakefreezeshard,andagaininspringwhenshebreaksinandmeltsintoclear bluewaters.Itis onlytheinspiredpoet or divineartistwhocandescribeandrepresentadequatelythebeautyandgrandeurofsunriseandsunsetonthe.Lake.Theactualcircumference ofManasarovaris .about 54 miles atthemostandnever 200 or80miles*Fora fullertreatmentofthe subject read theauthor'spamphletI Spiritual Vibration.'


4EXPLORATIONIN TIBE1.' asthe Japanese Buddhist monkEkaiKawaguchi (who travelled in Tibet for three years)andsome other casual visitors, who themselves neverundertookthe circuit ofthe Lake, wouldaskusto believe. Outofmy nine circumambulations ofthe Holy Manas, Ididsomeinfourdays,somein three days andOlleintwodays. Skull-like, the Lake is much broaderinthenorththaninthe south. Theeast,. south, west, and north coastsof the Lake are rough ly16,10,13and15milesin length respectively. Theparikramaof Manasarovar visiting allthe eight monasteries is about 64miles. Tibetans dotheparikrama(calledkora)oftheHoly Lakein winter when the entire surfaceofthe Lake alld allthe rivers and streams flowing into it arefrozen,sothattheymightgoothroughout alongthe shores; orinearly winter or spring whenmostof the smaller streams aredryand the bigger ones contain less water soastobeeasily fordable.Inthe summer and rainy seasons,one cannot goalongtheshores throughout. Onthe' northern sideoneshallhavetoleave the shoresandgoohigher up.Moreover,allthe streams andrivers flowing into the Lake willbein highfloods in summer dueto melting snowandwouldbeflowing very furiously, which oftentimes become unford able after midday. Onsuchoccasionsonehasto stopforthenightand wait till the next morning forlow-tide.Moreover,atthe time when Indian pilgrims visit Kailas andthe Manas, the shoresof the Lake are much frequented bynomadrobber"tribesgOillgupanddown.'I'hosewho want to go roundthe Holy Lake in summer or rainy season,


MOUNTKAlLASANDLAKE lVIANASAROVAR. 5should dosoinpartiesguardedbyarmedmenalldtheyshouldtakegood ponies oryaksto crosstherapidriverson.*OrthodoxTibetanstake3or13roundsoftheKailasandtheManasand Borne ofthemorepiouspilgrimsdothesashtanga-danda-pradakshina(prostrationcircuit) ofManasarovarinabout28 daysandofKailasill15days. SeveralTibetansdotheporiicramaofKailasilla single daywhichis calledchhokar.Somerichandsick peoplewhocannot(10theparikramathemselvesengagebeggarsor coolies todothecircumambulationsoftheKailasorManasarovarandpaysomeremunerationbesides provisions forthelaboriousundertaking.Itis believedthatoneparikramaoftheKailaspeakwashesoffthesin.of one life,10circuitswashofftheSillof onekalpa,and108parikramassecureNiroanainthisverylife. TIleeightmonasteriesroundManasarovarare: {I) Gossul g'ompa (west), (2)Chiugompa(N.W.),(3)Cherkipgompa(N.),(4)Langponag'ompa(N.),(5)Ponrigompa(N.),(6)Seralunggompa(E.),(7)Yerngogompa(S.),and(8) 'I'hugolhogompatorThokar(S.).Therearefourlingsorchhoriens(memorialsof somegreatlamas)andfourchhak-chhal-gangs(wherefromsashtanga-dandapranamaniorprostrationsaluteis made)roundManasarovar.Thef011rchhortensareatChiu*Forfuller details ofthepilgrimage,onecan refer totheauthor'sPilgrims'CompaniontotheHolyKailasandManasarovar,published byRaiSahebRamDayalAgarwala,Allahabad. f Itisinthismonasterythattheauthorlivedforoneyear


6 EXPLORATIONINTIBETgornpa,LangponagOlnlJa,Seralunggompa,andTllug'olilogonlpao The Jourchhak-chhal-gangsareatMomodonkhang(SoW.),Serala(W.),Havasenimadang(E.),andRiljung(S.E.).TIlefivemonasteries of Kailasare(1)NyanriorClllll1kugompa (VV.), (2) Diraphukgompa(N.),(3)Zunthulphukgompa(E.),(4)Gengtag'ompa(S.),and(5)Silunggompa*(S.).Therearef011r shap:fes orfootprintsoftheBuddha,f011rchaktaks or'chains,andfourchhalc-chhal-qtmqe,round Kailas. 'I'hereisabig' flag-staff calledtarbochheatSershung011thewesternside of I\:allas. Abig'fairis heldthere011VaisakhoSuklaChaturdasiandPurnima(full-moon day.illthemonthofMay),whentheold flag-staff isd11g'outandre-hoistedwithnewflag's,thatfull-moondaybeingthedayofbirth,Enlightenment,andNirvanaofLordBuddha.Situateel011theeasternside oftheKailaspeakisGourikund, called 'I'hukiZingbooby'I'ibetans.Itisasmallbeautifuloval-shapedlakecoveredwithsheetsoficealmostalltheyearr01l11d.Thedescent of a valanchesintothelakefromthesouthernheightsisratherafrequentoccurrence.011thesouthernfootoftheMountisTsoKapala.I(angri.Karchhak-tile'I'ibetan]{ailasPurana thatKailasisinthecentreofthewholeuniversetoweringrightupintothe sky likethehandleofa mill-stone,thathalf-wayonitsside is I(alpCt Vriksha(wish-fulfillingtree),thatit has. squaresides of goldandjewels,tha] theeasternfaceiscrystal,thesouthernsapphire,thewestern *' Also pronounced Serlung."


lVIOUNT KAlLASANDI.JAKE IVIANASAROVAR7ruby,andthenortherngold,thatthepeak is clothedinfragrantflowersandherbs,thattherearefourfootprintsoftheBuddhaonthefoursides sothatKailasmightnotbetakenawayintotheskybythedeities ofthatregionandfourchainssotIlatthedenizensofthelowerregionsmightnottakeitdown. TIlepresidingdeityofKailasisDemchhok, also calledPavo.Heputs011tigerskinsandgarlandsofhumanskullsandholdsdamaru(vibrantdrum)illonehandandkhaiam.(trident)illtheother.RoundKailasaresomemoredeitiessitting'in990 rOV\7s' with500ineach.Allthesealsoputontigerskins,etc.,likeDemchhok.Bytheside ofDemchhokisa femaledeitycalledKhandoorEkajati.BesidestheseLordBllddhaandhis500'Bodhisattvasaresaid toberesiding011theKailas.AtthefootofthesacredpeakisseatedHanumanju,themonkey-god.Therearealsotheabodes of severalmoredeitiesaroundtheKailasandManasarovar. Allthesedeitiescould be seenonlybythepious few.Soundsof bells,cymbals,andother musical instrumentsareheard011thetopofKailas.'I'hereareseven rows oftreesroundtheHolyManasarovar,andthereisabig'mansionillit,inwhichresidestheking'ofNags(serpent-gods)andthesurface oftheLake is arc-likewithahugetreeinthemiddle. TIlefruitsofthetreefallintotheLakewiththesound ja111t,. sothesurroundingregionoftheearthisnamed'Jambu-ling,'theJambudwipaofHinduPuranas,SomeofthefruitsthatfallintotheLakeareeatenbytheNagsandtherestbecome. goldandsinkdowntothebottom.


8EXPLORATIONINTIBETTIlescripturefurthersays,thatthefourgreatrivers called (1)theLangchenKhambabortheElephant-mouthedriver(Sutlej) onthewest, (2) theSillgiKhambabortheLion-mouthedriver(Indus)onthenorth,(3)theTamchokKhambabortheHorsemouthedriver(Brahmaputra)011theeast,and(4)theMapchaKhambaborPeacock-mouthedriver(Karnali)011theSOUtIl,havetheirsourcesinTsoMapllanl-tIleLakeunconquerable(Manasarovar);thatthewateroftheSutlej iscool,thewateroftheIndusI10t,thewateroftheBrahmaputracold,andoftheKarnaliwarm;andthattherearesandsofgoldintheSutlej,sands of diamondsintheIndus,sandsof emeralds illtheBrahmaputra,andsandsof silver illtheKarnali.Itisalso saidthatthesefourriverscircle seventimesroundKailasandManasarovarandthentaketheircoursestowardswest,north,east,andsouthrespectively. According totheTibetantraditionsandscriptures,thesource oftheSutlej isinthespringsnearDulchu"gomlJa,about30 miles west ofManasarovar;thesource oftheIndusisillthespringsofSingiKhambab,north-eastofKailas,about62 miles from .Manasarovar ;thesource oftheBrahmaputraisilltheChema-yungdungglaciers,about63 milessouth-eastofManasarovar;andthesource of .theKarnaliisillthespring'MapchaChungo,about milessouth-westofManasarovar.Thesources of these four rivers are withina distance ofabout45 miles (asthecrow flies) fromtheshores oftheHolyLake.Sothedescription oftheTibetanscriptures*Also pronounced'Duncbu.'


l\fOUNT I{AILASANDLAKE 9thatthese four riverstake their sources from KailasandManasarovarisnotfarfromthetruth,also becausetheauthoroftheKangri'KarchhakmustcertainlyhavetakenKailasandManasarovarincludingtheareasurrounding them extendingIIp totIle sources of these rivers as'Kailas-Manasarovarregion."Itis011thisscorethatI would liketocalltheregionsurroundingKailasandManasarovar,extendinguptotheriverChhinku011thewest,thesource oftheIndus011thenorth,thesource of theBrahmaputraontheeast,andtheIndianborders onthesouth, as'Kailas-Manasarovarreg'ioll'orsimply'Manasarovarregion 'or'ManasaKilanda.'Sincetheadvent ofAryancivilizationintoIndia,TibetandespeciallytheKailas-Manasarovarregion have beengloriofleelilltheHindumythology aspartoftheHimalayas,TIleRanuuuinaandthe Ai ahaoharata,allthePuranaein gelleraland lVI anasakhandaofS kandaPuranainparticularsingtheglory of Manasarovar.Sheistheorcationofthemonas(mind) ofBrahma,thefirst oftheTrinityoftheHindumythology ;andaccording tosometheMaharajaMandhatafoundouttheManasarovar.Mandhatais said to have done penance onthesI101'esofManasarovaratthefootofthemountainswhicharenowknownafterhisname.InsomePaliandSanskritBuddhistworks,Manasarovaris described asAnavatapta-Iakewithoutheatandtrouble. IIIthecentreisatreewhichbearsfruitsthatare'omnipotent'inhealingallhumanailments,physical aswellasmental,andassuchmuchsought after bygodsandmenalike.ThisAnavataptais described astheonlytrueparadise onearth.Itis


10EXPLORATION INTIBETalso saidthatmightylotuses, asbig'astileAmitabhaBuddha,bloomintheHolyLake,andtheBuddhaandtheBodhisattvas oftellsit011those flowers.HeavenlyRajahansaswillbesingingtheircelestial melodies astheyswimontheLake.On thosurroundingmountainsoftheLakeare foundtheshaia-mulikasorhundredherbs, Ata distance of It to6 miles tothewest ofManasarovaristheRakshasTal,aso1{110'Vll as. RavanHrad,RakshasSarovar, orRavanSarovarwhereRavanaofLankafame "vas said to have done penance topropitiateLordShiva,thethirdoftheHindu'I'rinityandthedweller of Kailas,Theregoesa story ill 'I'ibetan scriptures about tIleRakshasTalandtheGangaChhu,theoutlet ofManasintotheRakshas.RakshasTalwas originallytheabode of demons ;as such nobodydrankwateroutofit.'I'wo golden fishthatwere illtheManasfoughtagainsteachotherandone pursuedtheotherinto,RakshasTal.Thecoursewhichthegolden fish tookthenisthepresentcourse oftheGangaChhu..Whenthe110lywatersoftheManasflowedoutthroughthecourse oftheg'oldellfishintoRakshasTal,thelatterbecame san.ctified.Fromthattimeonwards, people began todrinkthewaterofRakshas'I'al. I tookninerounds oftheHoly.ManasarovarandfoundGangaChhutobetheonly outlet,whichIs40to100feetinbreadth.Sothestatementand' belief of several people, whohadnever made even onefull circuit ofManasarovar,thattheBrahmaputraandtheIndustaketheirrise ontheeasternandnorthernbanksrespectively, are absolutely ground, lessanderroneous likethestatementsthattheIndus


l\TOUNT KAlLASANDLAKEMANASAROVAR11hasitssource atthenorthernorsouthernfootof Kailaspeakandflows011itswesternorrsouthern. side,andthattheSutlej takesitsriseinGourikundandflows011theeasternside ofKailas.'I'here are two islandsinRakshasTal,oneLachatoandtheother'I'opserma (or Dopserma).Ivisitedtheseislands on April15and16,1937",whenthelake was completely frozen. Iwentoverthefrozen lake fromeastto westandfromsouthtonorth011a yak.Lachatoisa rockyandhillyisland11avingtheappearanceofa tortoise withtheneckstretchedouttowardsapeninsula011 southerns1101"e.TIledistancebetweentheneckoftheislandandthecape ofthepeninsulaisabouthalfa mile. TIle circumference oftheislandisnearly011emile.011thetopofthehillisalapiche,a heap of stones,with On'thewestern and easternsides ofthehill there' are walled enclosures of egg-gatherers. 'I'here were severalswans(or wild geeseassomemightliketocallthem)onthelevelgroundoftheeasternsideoftheisland. TIleeggo-gatllerersofthegoba(headmall)ofthevillageKardungwere expectedthereillthelastweekof April,whentheswanswouldbegintolayegogos.Two accidentsthathadoccurredinRakshasTalseveral years agoweronarratedtomebyanoldTibetan.Onenightwhentwo'egog-goatIlererswere ontheLachato,RakshasTalbrokeinallof a suddenandtheywerestrandedontheisland.Theyhadtoliveonwhatlittleprovisionstheyhadwiththem,onthefleshofthefewharesthatwere ontheisland,andontheeggs ofswans;they


12EXPLOR,ATION IN TIBET remainedontheislandtillthelake frozeinthenextwinter,enabling"themtoreachthemainland.Buttheywere verymuchemaciatedforwantofsufficientfoodandoneofthemsuccumbed toitafew (laysafter. Nobodyhadtheidea ofmakinga small skillboatorarafttobringthestrandedmentothemainland,011anotheroccasion,inearlyspring,whenafullyloadedyakwascrossing"thelake,theiceunderitsfeet gave ,vay anditsankdownunderits 0\\711 weight.Topserma,thesecond island, is completely rockyandhilly liketheLachatobutmuchbigger.Itssouthernpartisnamed'I'umuk.Theisland isaboutamilefromeastto westandaboutthreefourths ofa mile fromnorthto south.011theeasternprojection ofthehill isapucca-walledhouse illruins,inwhichaKhampaLamawassaid to have lived for seven years sometimeago.Heused tocomeouto.ftheislandtotheshores illwinterafterthefreezing ofthelake totakeprovisions. I picked upa small clay-made image ofChenresi(Avalokiteswara) fromtheruins,asamementoofmyvisit totheisland. Iamthefirstnon-Tibetan ,7\7 110hasever stoodonthetops ofthehills011thesetwoislandsinRakshasTal.Downbelowtheprojectiontherearetwo orthreecamping" walled enclosures.TopsermaisunderthejurisdictionofthegobaofShungba.Therewere noaquaticbirdsonthisislandwhenI visitedit.InthemapsofDr.SvenHedinandoftheSurvey ofIndiaoffice,threeislandsareshowninRakshasTal,althoughthenamesof'onlytwoofthemaregiven.Further,thisthirdisland


ldOUNT!\:AILAS ANDLAI\:E l\lANASAROVAR13andTopserma aredrawnill broken lines.Frommy personal observationandinformationI found onlytwo islands intheRakshasTal.Ifthereisathirdisland atall,itmusthave been completely hiddenundersnow,whenIwentoverthelake illwinter.IwentroundtheRakshasTalleavingthesouth-western andnorth-westernparts.Secondly,thegobaoftheRakshasTalarea gothis110l1seconstructed abouttheyear1930,withinthree miles fromtheisland Topserma,whichisunderhisjurisdiction.Hetoo saysthatthereare only two islands illtheRakshasTal.'I'hirdly,inAugust,1938,I procured a water-colourpaintingoftheKailas-Manasarovar regiondrawnbyalatemonkofthefamousSimilingmonastery ofTaklakot,whichhasabranchmonastery, Tsapgye, onthewest coast ofRakshasTal.TIle monkmust,therefore, have surely gotanintimateknowledge oftheRakshasTal.Hehas shown onlytwo islandsintheRakshasTalillhispainting.Lastly,whenSvenHedinwentroundtheRakshasTalhehadwithhimlocalTibetangllides, vVI10 doubtless would have givellhimthenameofthethirdisland also,ifithadbeen there.Itis, therefore, evidentthatboththemaps are doubtful abouttheexistence ofthethirdislandandaboutthecorrect position ofTopserma;yettheyshowthethirdisland also.ThatSvenHedinhimself has no definite knowledge about these islandscanbeseen fromthefollowing: "TIle.two islands are easily visiblein"thesouth western corner ofthelake,butonecanonlyseldom makeoutthattheyare real islandsandnotpartsof promontories. 'I'heremaypossibly bethreeof


14EXPLORATIONINTIBET -tllem. TIlegreatestis calledDopserma,though.otllerTibetanscalled(sic)Dotser." TheclimateofKailas-ManasarovarregionillparticularandofTibetingelleral is very cold, dry, .andwindy.Monsoon sets illlateandrainfallisscanty;butwhenitrainsitdoesintorrents,Insummerallstreamsandrivers flow veryrapidlyandsometimesbecome unfordableintheevenings, due to melting' Sl10,\T. Thesunispretty110tinsummerbutitbecomes very coldasSOOllastheskygetscloudy.Duringthepilgrimseason (JlllyandAugust),veryoftentheHolyKallasandtheMandhatapeaks would be envelopedincloudsandbe playing' hide-and-seekwiththevisitors.Duringthecloudypartofa dayandduringnightsitwould be very cold. 'I'here willbetempestuouswindsfromthebeginningof Novemberuptothemiddle ofMay.Weatherchangesliketheweather-cock.Nowyou will beperspiringprofusely illthehotsun;inafewminutescool breezesgentlyblow :thenextmomentyOllwill11ave clouds with terrificthundersalldlightningsfollowedby drizzling' ordOV\Tll1)011rSofwaterintorrents; sometimesyOllwill seearainbow;shortlyafteryoumayhaveahail-stormfollowedby showers of snowfall.Hereisbright alittlefurtherawaya shower ofrain;andfurtherIIplashingrains.Hereis perfectcalmness;thenextmomenttherebreakoutwhizzingtempestuouswinds.Nowyouareonthetopofamountaininthebrightsun;below,yousee columnsof.cloudsrisinglikesmoke;andfurtherdownitisraining.*Sven 'SouthernTibet,'Vol.II,p.167.


l\10UNTKAlLASANDLAI{El\'fANASARO\TAR15Hereona conical peaktheiceis glitterillg'inthesunlike abarofsilver;there011a dome-like peak arehanginggoldencanopies;thefar-offmountainranges are envelopedinthickwreathsofinkyblackclouds;thereappears a belt ofamberclouds ortheseven-coloured semi-circularrainbowencirclestheKailasDome;orthenear-byMandhatasgianthoods are ablaze in scarlet flames whenthesunbegins to dipinthe"rest;orthemeagre snow-cladPonripeak raisesitshead intothepitch-darkmessengers ofIndra.Hereinfront ofyoutherisingsunpours forth molten gold011theazure expanse oftheenchantingLake,throwingyouintoadeepspell;thereafar-off valley givesoutthickfumes ofsulphurunderpeculiarweatherconditions,indicatingthepresence ofbig"thermalsprings.From.onesidewarmwinds giveyouagood welcomeandfromanothervalleysllivering"cold blastsattackyou. Sometimesitseemsthatdayandnight, morning, n0011and evening,andallthesix seasons oftheyearhavetheirsway simultaneously.


CHAPTERIIFREEZINGOF MANASAROV ARWhen Iwasontheshoresof Manasarovar in 1936-37, winter had already begun tomaksitself feltfrom the middle of September.FromOctober1 onward uptoMay14,1937,theminimumtemperature persistently remained below the freezing point. TIle maximum temperature duringthatyear was67F.onJuly19,intheverandah ofmyroomand theminimumwas-18"5F.on Feb ruary18,whenthesputum ofa person standing011the balcony wouldbecomesolidbeforeit reachestheground.The lowestmaximumtemperature was2F.onFebruary16.The maximum tempera ture remained below the freezing point for nearly 3! months :andonseveraloccasionsevenat110011thetemperature wouldbe-10F.Ofcourse the winter of1936-37was unusually severeinthe KailasManasarovar region. Occasional snowfalls began from the second weekof September,butneverwere they morethan I! feetontheshoresof Manasarovar, although around Kailas there wereseveralfeetofheavy S110"\i\T fall. Tempestuous winds began tohowlinanever increasingmannerfromthefirstofNovember.Fromthemiddleof December, water near the edges ofthe Lake began tofreezetoa width oftwofeet.


3. Guria Mandhata Peaks[See pages 2,94.RaisingofTarbochhe(flag-staff )nearKailas[Seetsage6




FREEZINGOFMANASAROVAR17Fromthe 21st, water towardsthemiddleofthe' Lake frozehereand there toa thickness of 2 to4inches and sheets ofice about 50to100yardsinedgewere drifting towardstheshores. Cyclonic' galesfromthe Mandhata peaks were giving risetohugeoceanicwavesintheLake, which were roar ing and thundering aloud.LamasandotherTibetans foretellingthattheLakewould freeze inherentirety onthefull-moon dayofthemonthofMargasirsha.Itwas'Monday, December 28, 1936. Some howthatday,Icame out ofmy meditation unusually at7A.M.,I cannot say why, and lookedaround;itwasalllikethedeadofnight,absolutely silent and perfectly calm. Curious toknowastowhathad happened I went totheterrace ofthemonasteryandstoodup,andinaninstantfelta thrill andlostall physical consciousness forsome time-h9V\T longIcannot exactly tell.AsI regained consciousness,.I was stunned by the sight oftheHoly Kailas ontheN.W.,piercing" intotheblueskyanddyedin amber robesofthe early morning sun (which hadnotyet reached other places)and overlookingtheHolyLake y inall majesty and dignity, bewitching eventhein animate creation. Notevena single sheeporlamb inthe sheep-yard bleated.WhileIwas musing over the splendour and overpowering. beauty oftheHoly Mount, it rapidly changed severalrobesof various coloursandhuesand ultimately decided.upontheusual perpetual silver garment, which was reflecting intheclearandcalmbluemirrorof the mid-Lake. Dazzled atthesight, Iloweredmyeyes towards the


18 EXPI-JORATION INTIBETLake,thatwas justinfront ofme.TIleveryfirstsightoftheHolyLakemade me forget myselfand eventheLakeherself forsome time, andbythetimeIcouldseetheLakeagain,thesunwas sufficientlyhighontheeastern horizon.Foroveramilefromtheshores,thewaters intheLakewere frozen into milk-white iceall around.Itwasan unforgettableandmemorablesight-themiddle oftheLakepicturesquelywithitsunfrozen deepblue watersquitecalmand serene, reflectingtheKailas and thesnowycapof thePonripeak andtheresplendent rays ofthemorning sun. OhlhowhappyIwas!Iutterly;failto describetheblissIenjoyed andthemystic charm oftheenchantingLake.There was pin-drop silence everywhere.Likethe eternal 'silenceof Niroana there was perfect stillness all around.Whatcreature could there beonthe face'OTI earthwhich wouldnotfeel and becomeonewiththatsublime serenity ofsilenceoftheAlmighty? I leaned againsttheparapet of'theterrace andstooddumb-struckby the mostenrapturingsplendourand lustre ofthesublime serenity ofthespiritualauraofthetwo holiest placesonthefaceoftheearth.Howfortunate Ifelt myself tobe under such a wonderful spell! At about 10A.M.Iwasrousedbythehail ling shouts ofthevillagers. The wholevillagewas 'onthehouse-tops, hoisting colouredflags,burningincense and hailingthegodsaloudSo! So!!So!!! There haddescendeda thorough changeinthewhole atmosphere (bothphysical and mental and spiritual) andIfeltasifIwasinan altogether newworld.By December 30,i.e.,infull "three days,theentire surface oftheLake


FREEZINGOFMANASAROVAR19was frozen likethemythological oceanof curds.Butcuriously enough SvenHedininhis ,Trans-Himalaya'reportsthatthewholeof .Manasarovar freezesoverinan hour !*FromJanuary1, occasional sounds and rumb lings began tobe heard nowandthenandfrom the 7tIl they becamemore disturbing and terrible for about a month, asiftheLakewas reluctant and resisting toPllt011thewhite robe. These sounds subsidedtoa great extent astheseverity of winter increased, perhaps indicatingherassent forsome time,butwere heard again intenselyinearly spring 'before thebreaking oftheLake. AboutamonthaftertheLakeandherfeedersfroze(excepting-at the mouths oftheDingtsoandtheTag, andnearChiu gompa),Ifoundthatthe level of the water in the Lake felldownbyover 12 inches below the ice, which, consequently, under its own weight cracked 'with tremendous soundsandfissureswereformed. 'Thelevelofthewater in theLakemusthavefallen downstill further, later onillwinter, whichIcould 'not note andrecord.'I'hesefissuresor chasms which are3to6feet broad partition tIle entire Lake, soto speak, into a number of divisions or compart.ments.Within 2 or3days,thewaterinthefissures freezes again and breakswiththeresultthatslabs .andblocksoficepileuptoa height ofsixfeet. 'Sometimes thoseslabsandblockspileIIploosely rover the chasms and sometimes they are cemented -to either sideof the fissure. Such kinds offissures .and eruptions arealso formed along the shores just*(1910)Vol.II,p_180.


20 EXPLORATIONINTIBETneartheedgesorafewfeet insidethe Lake; andtheseI name 'coastal eruptions 'in contradistinotion tothemainfissuresintheLake.Lateron, whentheLakemeltsinthemonthofMay,itbreaksa1011g'thesefissures.TIle disturbance beneaththeice,dueto hot springs inthebed,mayalsobethecauseof cracks, sounds andhllgefissuresill Manasarovar. Afraid ofthecracksandsounds and alsoon account ofthedanger of going down intotheLakedueto explosions andfissures(calledmauurinTibetan) none daresgooonthefrozen Manas even onfoot.Inspiteofthewarning's given tomebythemonks, IwentovertheLakefor morethana mile ill order tocrossitfromChillto Cberkip gompa. Allofa sudden Iwasfacetofacewith a bigfissure-eruptionwithblocksof iceloosely piled uptoa height of5feet. AsIwas unprepared forthesituation Ihadtocrossthefissureatagreat .riskandwithutmost difficulty. Before reaching Cherkip I hadtocrossone more fissure-eruption andone coastal eruption. Atthattime Iwas reminded of thelinethat"Thegreatestpleasure illlifelies ill doing'whatpeoplesayyoucannot do" (Bagehot).Butifoneiswell equipped, onecancrossthefrozenLakeilltheearlyhours ofthedayinmid-winter.Itis differentwiththeRakshas Tal. Loaded sheep, yaksand ponies and evenmellonhorse-back crossthe frozen Rakshas Tal from east towest and from south to north.Theabsence of major fissures and eruptions heremaybeduetothefactthatthewaterthatpercolates outofitby subterraneanpaths


FREEZINGOFMANASAROVAR 21 is being compensated forbythesupply of water into itfrom its eastern neighbour,theManas, through underground waterways. There isno appreciable void created beneaththeice between itandthewater illtheRakshasTalandhence perhaps there are110tmanyfissuresand eruptions illit.There areno doubt agoodmanycoastal explosions and eruptions andafewminor'fissures hereand there. I actually crossedtwo small fissures (onefootbroad) while visitingtheislands illtheLake011April 15and IB, 1937. Iwas, however, toldbyanold 'I'ibetanthatrarely, onceill8or10 years, agoodnumberoffissures maketheirappear anceevenonthefrozen Rakshas Tal.BoththeManas and Rakshas freeze into pure white opaque iceinthebeginning andwithinamonthorsoitbecomestrausparentgoreellisllblue.Thethickness ofthefrozen ice ranges from 2 to6feetIleal.'thebanks, asfarasmy observation goes. A series of peculiar phenomena takes placeonthefrozenLakeof Manasarovar whichitis impos sibleto describe fully.IIIone corner towardsthesouth oftheNimapendi,theice on theLakecracks, and innumerable glassy panes ofice2to4tenthsofan inch in thickness are hurled out into heapsinaminuteasifby magic,FromThugolho to Tseti tso,dueto coastal explosions huge blocksofice 20 to50 cubic feetinvolumeget hurled and cast ashore to distancesrangingIIpto60feet;someof which take nearly amonthto melt away, afterthebreakingoftheLake.Dueto coastal explosions blocks ofice3to4feet thick rise like embankments 10to 21,feet broad and6to 9 feet high, continuously for


22 EXPLORATIONINTIBETdistances of hundreds of yards,Oillyto. collapse suddenly like somanypacks of cards,on''some evening, duetowavesof quakes caused by subterraneandisturbances,startlingandconfoundingthekora-pilg'rims',WI10mightbe moving slowly alongtheshores, unmindfully tellingtheirprayers onthebeads oftherosaries. These blocksoficeare irregularinshape from 'I'hugolho to Yushup tsoandregular up to Gossul.FromGossul to Tsetitsothere are piles of perfectly plane slabs1to 2 inchesinthickness.FromTseti tsotothevolcanic rock projection of MalIaThakthereareirregular heaps ofice mixedwiththeshore-drifted soft water-reeds: AttheMalIaThak,atthemouthoftheGyumachhuandatsome other places "Tater is frozenintocrystal cleartransparentgreenish blue ice,rightdown to thebottom,exhibitingthepebbles, sands,andwater-reeds,andtheactive livefishinthedepths of theLake,asthroughtheglass casesinanaquarium.Aquarterofa mile beyondthevolcanic rock-projec tion, about50yards fromtheshore,therewas an oval patch ofwater30 feetill diameterinthe frozen Lake,onJanuary 28, whentheminimumtemperatureilltheverandah ofmyroomwas 2F. and when theentireLakewascoveredwithice 2 to6feetthick.Twoscoresofsome aquatic birds,but110tswans, were merrilyswimmingand playinginthepool and ontheice near-by.Thismakes meCOllelusively believethattheremustbesomehotspringsinthebedoftheManasarovar. Onthesouth ofthispoolofwatertwoscoresof birds were frozen alive and sandwiched intheLake.Forabout 2!'miles from herethesurface oftheLakeis almost


FREEZINGOFMANASAROVAR 23plain, withsomeblocksofice here and there, andthenupto Chang Donkhang there are huge blocksof alltypes.FromChang Donkhang uptothemouth of the Gyuma chhu, there isaseriesof parallel banks of white opaque ice,onefoothighandthreefeet apart andrunningintotheLakefor half a mile like the furrows ina potato field. These parallel banks make an angle of about 50withtheshore towards theS.E.AtthemouthoftheGyuma chhu hundreds offish,bigand small, arefrozento death ina swimming posture, which couldbeseen clearly through the transparent ice.FromtheGyumachhu toShamtso there arefinemodelsofregularmountainrangeswithpeaks, valleys,passesandtablelands, allof opaque white ice not exceeding eight feetinheight.Inoneoftherounds ofthe Lake I mused myself likeaschool-boyforfull two hoursin these ranges tofindoutthelikeness ofthevarious peaks of the Himalayas. Icouldfindinthese ranges varieties ofpeaks-pyramidal,conical,. tetrahedronal, trapezoidal, slant, steep,wedge shaped, hood-like, wall-like, spade-like, club-like andsoOll-thollghnotinthesameorderasintheHimalayas and other ranges.FromShamtsouptothe mouth of Gugta,itisa vast fieldoficewithmarks exactly resemblingthehoofsofyaksand horses, asinarice-field made ready for plantation byseveral bullocks. Asamatteroffact,inmy first winterparikramaoftheHolyLakeI mistook them forthefootprints ofwild horses' and yaks. There is water almost alltheyear round atthemouth oftheGugta ;for a. mile beyondthatplace, onesees beautiful formations ofice,likecoralreefs..


EXPLORATIONINTIBETFromhereupto 'I'hugo could be seen all varietiesofformationsanderuptionswithoutanyspecial featuresatanyparticularplace, exceptingatthemouthoftheNimapendi.Mostly betweenthemouthsoftheGyumaandtheTag,all alongtheedgeoftheLake,thereisafine foot-path ofice6to10 feet broadwherebeginnerscanpractiseskating'andwhereI used to slide onmerrily.Besides these, I wouldjustmentionafewmoreinterestingfeatures ofthefrozen 'Manasandthenproceed tothebreakingoftheLake.NowandthentheiceontheLakeburstsforthandfountainsofwatergushoutandsmall poolsareformedtemporarilyalltheice, only tobe frozenhardduringthenight:butSUCllpools formed ill earlyspringareof bigger dimensionsanddo110tfreezeagainto welcometheearly-coming adventurouspairsof swans.Insome corner,thousandsofwhiteneedlesandpins,flowersandcreepers of various designs formunderandoverthetransparentgreenishblue ice. Occasionally onesees several regularly-beatenwhitefoot-pathsandlines alltheentiresurface ofthetransparentLake,whichvanishalsoinanightillall equallymysteriousway.Thesemaybetermed'miniaturefissures,'thoughthereareno chasms.WhentheLakebreaks,thebiggersheets ofice collidewithoneanotherandsplit upintosmaller pieces along thesepathsandlines. Sometimesitisonewhitesheet ofice from edgetoedgeandsometimesthewholeLakebecomes turquoise-bluewithinnumerablegeometrical lines,diagramsanddesigns.Whenthereisa freshheavy snowfall; thewhole surface becomespurewhite.


FREEZINGOF 25 Theice nearthecoasts bursts sometimes, andhuge blocksoficeare pushed onto the shoresupto 24 feetwithheapsof small pebbles,big"stones, sand, etc., .fromthebedof the Lake. Sometimes massive blocksoficearebodily lifted and hurled from the bedof theLake011totheshore, carryingwiththemsmallpebbles,big"stones, mud, and sand. 'I'hese blocksofice meltawayin spring and the pebbles, stones, sand, etc., areleftill heaps or spread inbeds on the shores, which conspicuously stand outdifferentfromthose011the banks.Whenpilgrims go there in summer, they are perplexed tosee the materials from the bedof theLakeontheshoresat such distances from the edges.


CHAPTERIIIMELTINGOF MANASAROVARTIle breaking" oficeand its melting into clear blue waters isevenamore interesting andawe-ills piring sightthanthe freezing ofthe Lake. A month before thawing setsinalongthewestandsouth coasts,atthe mouths ofthe Ding tsoandtheTag, icemeltsandformsafineand picturesque blue border,100yardstohalfamilein breadth, tothemilk-white garment of the Lake. Here and there areseen pairs ofgracefulswans majestically sailing onthe perfectly smoothsurfaceofthatblue border setting-upsmallrippleson either sideoftheir; course. Especially inthe mornings they donot playinthe waters orengagethemselvesin'bellyfilling", but sailcalmly towards thesun with half closedeyes111a meditative moodandatthesame time enjoyingagood sun-bath. Onesuch sight isa hundred times moreeffective, impressive, andsuffi cient toputoneintoa meditative moodthana seriesof artificial sermonsorgot-upspeechesfroma pulpit. SoitisthatourancestorsandRishisused tokeep themselves intouch with Mother Nature to haveaglimpseofthe Grand Architect. Small sheetsandpiecesoficearealsoseen drifting inthe blueborders, with aflyingcoupleofswans resting


MELTINGOFMANASAROVAR27onthemnow andthen,About 11days before breaking,thedisturbance illtheLakebecomes most intense between 6 and 10 A.]\{. andterrible sounds,rumblings,groanings, crashes resemblingthe roars of lions andtigers,trumpetsof elephants, blowing upofmountainswithdynamites, and booming of cannon are heard. Onecanhearnotes ofall sorts of musicalinstrumentsand cries of all animals. TIle agitation andthesounds are,inall probability, duetotheicetearingitself off and breakingasunderboth illthefissures, and theminorlines of cleavage, for,thechasmsinthemainfissuresareseen50to80feet broadwithblue waters.Thewhiteicegarment011theHolyLakepresents afine and beauti ful spectacle like a huge Bengalisariwithbroad blue borders both attheedg'es andinthemiddle.Nineclays beforethebreakingoftheLake,thecoastwardsheets ofice,rangingill length from afew yards to half a mile, get isolated fromthemainsheet oficealong-thefissures and the' otherlines of cleavageandare drifted by winds mostly tothewestern, southern,andpartsoftheeastern shores, tobe strandedthereinpart,dependinguponthewayandvelocitywithwhichtheyapproachthebanks,Theremainingportions ofthesheetswhichstillremainfloatingintheLake,dash against oneallother. and break into pieces,thesmaller of which melt awayinadayandthebiggerremainforafewdays moreneartheshores,sharingthefate of others,Whenthese sheets ofice drift towardstheshoresintheevenings,theyappear tobe moving very slowlybuttheirvelocitycanvery wellbe perceived whentheyare


28EXPLORATIONINTIBETpartlystranded011theshores to lengthsrangingfrom 6 to90feet.Itisthrillingtoseethelightningrapiditywithwhich these tornpiecesoficegetupontheshoreswithgreatgratingnoises. These are stranded011theshoreseitheras1to 2 feetthicksheets orill heaps 2 to6feethighorinsmaller heaps of smooththinglassy sheets.Itisrathercurious to110tethatthestranded sheets of ice break upintosmall and big brick-like pieces,thesidesof which resemblethesidesof pieces. ofmercurysulphide. After exhibitinga series ofinterestingandversatile transformations,thewholeoftheremainingLake,allofa sudden, onenightbreaksintoa clear beautiful andcharmingblue expanse tothesurprise andjoyofthevillagers and pilgrims ontheshores,thenextmorning,who immediately climb uptotheirhouse-tops and hailthevast ex panse, extending beforethemeven liketheverysky overhead :they SI10"V thesameenthusiasmastheydowhentheyfindherfrozeninwinter,hoisting coloured flags,burningincense, telling prayers,andexclaiming' words of praise tothegoodsin heavens,TibetansbelievethattheHolyManasarovar breaks011thefull-moon or new-moon dayor011the10thdayofthebrightor dark half ofthelunarmonth.Butcontraryto their traditionsthe Manas broke onthe12thdayofthedarkfortnig'ht-Vaisakha Krishna Dwadasiaccording toNorthIndianalmanacand .ChaJitra Krishna Dicadasiaccording toSouthIndiancalendar, corresponding' toMay7,intheyear 1937. One forgets himself for hours togethergazingatthebeauty,charm,andgrandeur of the


MELTINGOFMANASAROVAR 29 oceanic Lake, teemingwithpairs of graceful swans hereand there merrily tossedupanddownthewaves.allaccount of the high waves dashingagainst one another, illusory pairs of white foamy swans maketheirappearance, whichitisverydifficulttodis tinguish from the real ones.WhentheLakebrokefinally,some bigger sheets ofice remained unmelted andwere drifted to thenorthcoast which also eventually collided against one another on account ofsevere winds andbroke into piecesand melted awaywithinthree daysintheblue depths. Twoor three weeksbeforetheLakebreaks, a peculiar change occursinthetexture and hardness of the ice.Whatcouldnothavebeen struck and broken into smaller piecesevenby means ofcrow bars in winter, l10vV becomesso brittlethatablowwitha stick breaks itIIp into small pieces.Thesheets oficethathave drifted andpiledIIpon the shores (during the weekbeforethe ,breaking oftheLake), when kicked, crumble downto small crystals, likethoseof saltpetre.WhenIwouldgo outforawalkin the eveningsIusedtoknockdown severalsuchheapsof brittle iceand amuse myself as they crumbled down intotinycrystals to melt a,vayillacoupleofdays.One cannot geta solid pieceofhardice, as bigasa cocoanut, fromanyof theseheaps;butsomeofthehugeblocksoficethatare hurled andpiledIIpon the shoresby coastal explosions during winter, cannot bemovedby half adozen strongmenand exist foras m-any as20to30days after the breaking oftheLake. UnliketheManasarovar,theRakshas Tal freezes15to20 days' earlier and melts again 2 to 4


30 EXPLORATIONINTIBETweeks later.Itmaybe mentioned in passingthatthisis quitetheopposite ofwhatSvenHedinrelates, namely,that"Langak-tsobreaks up half amonthbeforethe'I'so-mavang."*RakshasTalfroze about 20 days earlierandbroke IIpagainnearly amonthlaterthanManasarovar.Therearemanymajorandminorfissures and coastal eruptionsinthefrozen Manas, whereastheRakshascontains only a very few. Anotherpointof difference betweenthetwo lakes isthatittakes about aweekfortheRakshasTalto'freeze completely and a little morethanthattimetomeltagaincompletely. Sheets of iceareseen floating and drifting fromsidetoside illtheRakshasTalforseveraldayseven afterthebreaking ofthelake, somuchsothattheBhotiamerchantsgoing early to 'I'archen Mandi (Kailas) oftentimes notice aheetsofice floatinginRakshasTal,butnotintheManas. I noticed,and'I'ibetans tooaffirm,thattheRakshasTalregion ismuch.eolderthantheManasarea andthatthereare greaterandmore massive deposits ofsnowall roundtheRakshas.Also,thezebra-like formations ofsnowinwell-marked stripesintheupsanddownsand 'valleys, especially011thesouth and westinwinter,andtheislands and irregular shoreswithbays, gulf's, promontories, peninsulas, straits, isthmuses, rocky .shores, etc., lend all additional element tothepicturesqueness ofthelandscape aroundtheRakshas,RakshasTal wouldformagoodmodelfor learning .geographical terms. TIle Manas is nearly 300feet in depth, whereastheRakshasisonly half asdeep*'I'rans-Himalaya, ,Vol.II,p.180.


MELTINGOFMANASAROVAR31011the northern side; onthe southern sideitmay bedeeper but hasnotbeensoundedup till now.The Manashas eight monasteries andsomehousesonits shoresand the Rakshas hasonlyone monastery, Tsapgye,*on the north-west and the onlyhouseofthegobaof Shungba onthewest.Theareaof the Manasis200 square milesandthatofthe Rakshas 140squaremiles.Thecoastsofthe Manas are more regularthanthoseofher western companion. Rakshas Talisinnoway inferior to Manasarovar in physicalbeauty;but fromthe spiritual pointof viewtheManasis. unparalleled. An interesting observation, which isa bit difficultto explain, is the temperamental difference between thetwolakes though they arenext-door neighbours toeach other possessing'areasalmostofthesameorderof magni tude.Itmaybeduetosomelocalwindsthatthe Rakshas Talismore stormy andcolder than the Manasarovar. The comparative shallownessofthe Rakshas Talmayalsobe responsible forits8110resbeingcolderthanthoseof the Manas, andforits freezing earlier and melting later. Sven Hedin writes, "Inwinter thesurfaceof tIle Tso-mavang falls20inches beneath theice, whichconsequentlyiscrackedandfissured,and .dipsfromthe shore;butLangak-tso sinksonlyone"two-thirds ofan inch. This showsthatit receives water constantly from the eastern lake, but-onlyparts with a trifling quantity in winter. '.'t.SvenHedin wasonthelakes during the months of Also pronouncedIChapgye.,t'Trans-Himalaya,'Vol.II,p.180.


32 EXPLORATION INTIBETJulyandAugustbutnotwhentheyfroze;andsothiswholeinformationaboutwintermustbeahearsay from someof hisTibetanguides or servants, whodidcertainlyinformhimwrongly.WhentileRakshasreceiveswatercontinuously fromtheManasbutpartswithonlyatrifling"quantity,whathasbecomeofallthe 20 inches ofwatertllathasbeen filteredoutofthe.Manas?If,as SvenHedindescribes,onlya triflingquantityofwateris filteredoutoftheRakshas,theleveloftIlewatermustrise.ButinthesamebreathhesaysthatwaterintheRakshasfell down by1or i ofaninchlCould SvenHedinexpect such accurate figures fromtheordinary'I'ibetans, whogavethefigures ofthelevels ofwaterilltheManaswithdiscrepancies of severalfeet?So,contrarytowhatSvenHedinwrites, Imaintainthatitisnota triflingquantityofwaterthatR.akshasTalpartswith,butalmost asmuchquantityasitreceives fromtheManas,nay,even more,eitherbysubterraneanpassages or otherwise,through. the so-called "oldbedoftheSutlej."


7. Southern View ofKailasPeak8.IslandLachato[See page 11


9.SwansonLachato[ Seepage1110.IslandTopserma[Seepage12


CHAPTER IVVEGETATIONTibetwas originally called Bod-yul,lateronBoth,To-both, Tu-bat, T'i-both, andfinallyTebet;hencethemodernnameTibet.Evennow Tibetans callthecountryBothor Bod or Ghang thang (northern plateau), although there isaseparate province called Chang-thanginTibet.Tibet istheloftiest tableland intheworld ranging' from 12,000 to16,000.feetabove the sea-level,withmountains coveredwitheternal snows.Ithasan area of 814,000 square mileswitha population of about 3,000,000.Theregion round abouttheKailas and Manasarovar, extending-upto the river Chhinku onthewest,thesourceoftheIndusonthenorth,thesourceoftheBrahmaputraon the east, andtheIndianborders onthesouth iscalled'.',c.Kailas Manasarovar region,""Manasarovarregion '.'or. Manasa Khanda."Theregion is about 130 miles from east towestand90to100miles fromnorthto south.Thepopulation oftheregionmayroughly be computed tobe about 5,000.Insome villages oftheLake-regionthegrass is smooth likevelvetwitha carpet of brillianttinyflowersinrose,violet,and yellow colours; at other placesit is sharpandcuttinglikesteel blades.In 3-1229B.


34EXPLORATIONINTIBETtheupperpartsofsomevalleysare countless designsofflowersof various hues over which botanists could verywelldevotesometimetofindout new materials for research. Ononeside there isa sort ofsweet scented artemisia(davanarn,).usedasincense;onanothersidea different variety of incense fern grows in still higher regions' asontheslopesof Kailas ; here and there aretheprickly ruggeddamabushes (a sort of juniper), which providesthepeopleof thesepartswithfire-wood,since it. burns evenwhengreenandfreshly cut. Excepting.thedamabushwhichis hardly two.tofourfeet high, there arenobig trees. A variety of willowis speciallyg'rov\Tnhere and thereillthePurangvalley,but110big trees which would yield timber, although poplars and other trees grow insomeplacesofEasternTibet. Soitisonlythe.artist's stretch of imagination andthestroke ofbis brushthatmakeLordShiva andParvatisit under a huge tree atthefootoftheperpetual snow-clad peak of Kailas or under a tall deodar tree onthebanks of Manasarovar. Aplantcalledjinbu,theTibetanonion, growswildlyin abundancenearthehot spring'softheTagtsangpo, atTirthapuri,Nabra, Dapa,'Puling, : andatseveral other placesinWesternTibet.Khampas(Tibetans domiciled in India) carryhundredsof mule-loads ofdriedjinbuplanttoIndia,where it isusedfor spicing dishes..Jeeraisawild growthinKardungvalley and. other places.Insome .riverbedsathornybushcalledtarchimayieldsa .small sour fruit. There are plenty of water-reedsintheLake,-underthesurface of water. Sometimes Iusedto


VEGETATION35feelthesmell of iodine while going ontheshores. Soitisjustprobablethatthereedsmightcontaintraces of iodine,whichshouldinteresta chemist.Hereandthereontheshores are swarms ofaharmlessandnon-malarial variety of black mosquito, whichmayinteresta researchstudentofthe'I'ropical Bchocl of Medicine.Hereontheshores of Manasarovar I found a wonderful drug calledthuma.Itisa marvellous specificfor spermatorrhceaandan excellent aphrodisiac.Thumaistheroot ofatiny-creeperthrivingataheightof15,000feet abovethe' sea-level.Itisnotpossible to collect evenhalfa pound ofitina, whole day,'There is, however, ,aninterestingwayof procuringit.Whentheroot iswell ripe, wildratscollectandstoreitintheirholesinthemonthof October foruseinwinter.Thepoorfolkof thesepartsdeprivetheratsoftheir winter provisions . Just as. vidarikanda,abigtuberusedinimportant'medical preparations by Kavirajs or Vaidyas, is eatenasfoodbysomeofthewild tribes,thisroot is. alsoeaten bythe p.oor, asfoodfora'fewdays.'I'he well-to-do useitasa delicacy on special occasionsliketheNewYear'sday.Theclaims ofthisparticulardrugmaybe verified andputtotestbymedicalmen.


CHAPTERV MINERAL RESOURCES Almost parallel tothe Ganga Chhu ata distance of about amileonthe south there isaveinofgold deposits extending fromtheshoresoftheManasright'upto the Rakshas. They were mined some yeats ago but nothing'isdone now-a-days.Duringthe lastminingoperation,itwassaidthattherehad been an outbreak of small-pox which wasattributedbythe Tibetans tothewrathof the' presiding deity ofthemines and consequentlythemining was stoppedbythe Government. During'thelastmining operation itwasalsosaidthatonegold nugget asbig as adog (according to another version, adog-like nugget) wasfound.Attheplacewhere'thenugget wasfound,achhorten was constructed',called'Serka-khiro'(gold-dog). This placeisat.a distance ofa'mile south ofChiugompa. Some'20days; march northwards from the' shoresofthe Manas leadsonetothe extensiveandrich gold-fieldsat Thokjalung, Munakthok, Rungmarandseveral other places, where they are being workedby the most primitive methods, scarcelyworth the name of mining. Twenty years ago Tibetan goldwassoldatthe rate of Rs. 10 pertalaatLhasa,according to the account given by the


MINERALRESOURCES37Governor of Taklakot.Itisthemining experts .andtheenterprisingcapitaliststhatcanascertain.andfind waysandmeansto exploit these vast gold fieldson up-to-date scientific methodsandona commercial basisandcan explore some more virgin :g'old-fields, borax-fields,andothermineralwealth. 'Silver, copper, iron, coal,mercuryandshilaliitarealsoobtained illEasternTibet.LakeTseti tso,threemilesnorth of Gussul';gompa,bythesideof Manasarovar,haslarge depositsofborax andsoda both ontheshores and ontheislandsinit.TIleTibetanGovernment has110Wstoppedtheworking-of borax atthat place duetothesuperstitious beliefthattheminingdeity became .enraged,Butsomeofthewhitedeposits are carried bythepeopleillthesurroundings and used for washinghands and clothes.Thereareverybigborax-fields atLangrnar(about 140 miles fromtheManas) illWesternTibetand at several other places, whereintheyear 1928it "vas soldatthe rate of20 to4.0pounds per rupee orasmuchasabiggoat.couldcarry.Tibetsupplies thousands ofmaundsofsalt fromhersalt lakes toa greaterpartoftheHimalayanregions ofIndia.Therearered-andwhite-wash materials on theeastandthebest pottery clayonthesouth-east of .Manasarovar.Thereareironandtitaniumsands .calledche'11w-nenga ontheeast coast and smooth pebbles onthewest'coast.Insome other corners -there are slabsandrounded stones used'for 'inscribingthemani-mantra.Here'is'a"I volcanicifock orhill,therearealabaster-likealabsorold


38EXPLORATIONINTIBET grani te boulders, andinathird. corner are some .strataandfossils which may beofsome importance toa geologist. There are three hot springs ontheGanga Chhu.abouttwo:furlongsfrom Manasarovar down the .Chiu hill. One spring ison the leftbank(with a: kundtotake abathin), oneon therightbank, and one boiling spring onasmallrockinthemiddle ofthe'Ganga Chhu. There aresomein the bedoftheManasarovar, especially i ofamile south of the' beginning oftheGanga Chhu. About3or4 miles fromtheshoresofthe' Manas upontheleftbankof theTagtsangpo there areseveralhot springs at 'I'agpotong varying ill range from lukewarm to boiling temperature spread overa large area,outof which a regular stream ofhot water flows intotheTag. Opposite these springs ontherightbank of theTagaresomecavescalled Chhu-phuk, where a few monks live inwinter.Justnearthe caves there aresomechhortensand mani-walls andthefoundationof'an.old ruined monastery, saidtobeofGuruPadmasambhava andpulleddownbytheGurkha invaders. Some shepherds of Nonokur camp hereinearly spring andautumnforacoupleof months ineachseason. Near the cavesandamiledownat-;Ambu-phuk there are some more hot. springs .. About i ofa mile up Tagpotong ontheleftbankoftheTag are hot springs and some, boiling and bubbling geysers.This place iscalled Tomo-mopo. About44milesN.W.of Manasarovar is 'I'irthapuri where there aresome more thermal springs,nearwhichthedemon Bhasmasura issaidto have been burnt, to.ashes, Therearelargedepositsof calcium


MINERALRESOURCES39'carbonate and other calcium compoundsall around thehot springs, whichchange their positionsnow and then andsometimes disappear altogether. There areafewmorehot springs ontheSutlejat Khyunglung, a day's march down Tirthapuri. is interesting tonotethat,likethebeadsona string, thereisaseriesofhot springs onthe Tag atTomo mopo Tagpotong, Chhu-phuk and Anbu-phuk,in the' bed.of Manasarovar, intheGangaChhu,at'I'irthapuri, andat Rhyunglung.


CHAPTERvrTHEPEOPLEThepeoplebothmenandwomeningeneral are strong, sturdy, andhardworking;theyare primitiveand dirty inhabitsand. customs,thoughlamasandofficialsarehighly culturedandpolite.ItisonlythePurangvalleythatisfairlywellpopulatedwith fixed abodes. These abodes are flat-roofedandare oftenintwo storiesbuiltofbigsun-dried bricksand'thelittletimberthattheyget fromtheIndian"borders.Theroofingismade of light timberand bushes over whichmudis spread.Thecompara tive sparseness of housesintheKailas-Manas region is duetothefactthattransitoftimberto these inaccessible regions, negotiating difficult passes"on yaks andponies, ishighly expensive. Sometimes even twoorthreehouses goto make a village.Their monasteries arebuiltsimilarlybutona larger scale. About halfthepopulation oftheregion subsistsoncattle-breeding, especiallytheyak,sheepand goat, The)" liveintentsmade ofyak-hair,and wander fromvalleytovalleygrazing their cattle. A part ofthepopulation ofPurangalsolives 'in caves inthehills which aremadeinto regular housesby construction ofwallsandgatesinthe front sides, Some ofthe caves areeventwoor


THE-PEOPLB41 -three-storied. Suchhouses are found mostly inGukungnearTaklakot,andinthevillagesGaru,Doh,Ringung,Dungmar,Kardung,etc.GukungISatypical cave-village situatedontherightbankofthe.Karnali abouthalfa mile fromTaklakotMandi."I'hereisa gompa alsoina three-storied cave-dwelling. Onthesouthern sideof Manasarovar,situated -in theuppermostpartoftheN amreldi valleyare.some caves,wherethepeopleof southern shoresof"-theManastook refugeinseverecold,whenthebraveKashmiriGeneral, ZoravarSingh,invadedtheManas region(in1841?). -Thestaple foodofthepeopleismeat(fresh,-dry,cooked,or roasted), roasted barley powder(tsa11tpaorsattu),andlargequantitiesofdairypro -ducts.Inthemorningand eveningtheytakethukpa,a semi-liquiddish,thatis prepared by boilingtsampaandmeatinwater,withsaltadded toit.'The peopleofthePurangvalleyeatriceandbread .also, which are suppliedinlarg-equantities from NepalandIndianborders. -Theyuse Chineseteain "large quantities.Teais boiled fora longtime,salt.andbutterare added,andchurnedthoroughly" According totheirmeanstheydrink50to150ClIpSofteaduringtheday andnighttilltheyretiretobed."I'heytaketsampamadeintoathickpaste,bymix-ingitwithtea. Ghha11,g, a light beer made from 'barley, istheirnationalbeverag-e,inwhichmen,. women children,andmonksindulge,more often onfestive oceaaions. Tea,and chl111Jl,garetakeneither 'in small woodencups silvered orotherwise,illChina-oups 01 China-made stone cupsbytherich,which.are kept onsilver standswithsilver lids ..


EXPLORATIONINTIBETThewhole region being ataheightof 12,000\ feet abovethesea-level,itis verycold;andso Tibetans wearlong double-breasted woollen gowns witha komarband or waist-tier.Theywear, called lham, coming almostIIptotheknees,whichtheyneednotremove even whileenteringtheSonctuniSanctorumiofthetemplesin the monasteries.Inwintertheywearcoats, trousers, and capsmadeof sheep or Iamb-skins.:Whenitishot,theyremove oneorbothhandsoff the coat,. thereby exposingtheshoulders..Womenwear' almost thesamekind-ofdressasmen,with the addition ofahorizontally striped woollen pieceinthefront from waist down tothetoes, and a tannedgoat-skin onthebackwithfuroutside. .Men freelyuse English felt hatswhichare brought from Cal cutta. andotherplacesandsoldintheirmarts.Rich people, officers,andlamaswearcostlydressesand silks. Polyandryiscommon, most probablyan. economic adjustment to preventtheincreaseof population, wherestruggle for existenceisverybard. & when theelderbrotherin a. familymarriesawife, shethereby automatically becomesthewife of all tble brothtrsandallofthemlive together peacefully . Thewif'eis heldin common,though theyounger' servants totheelder. Asa result theUH13J' 113veonly as manyhouses andfamilies as theyhad centuries ago. Monks'and nuns shave their headsandweara sortm'violet-re(}whereas householders both menaDd women plaittheirhair'. Women', tbcir hair inseveral plait. Theyenjoy'


THEPEOPLE43fullsocial liberty. Asamarkof respect or salutation Tibetans benda little,puttheirtongues. outandsaykhamiam-bhoor simply khamja1n or[oo.MonksandTIlInSgenerally livefreelybut. cannotmarrylegally, though sometimesnunsareseenwithbabesintheirarms. Since monks and .nuns are initiated intotheorder whentheyhaveabsolutely110ideaofthelife they aretolead,itis rio wonderif they' donothaveahighstandard of morality.Itis the systemratherthantheindivi duals,whichisat fault. Theytaketoall callingsilllife-ofGurus, high-priests, corpse-cutters, officials. high andlow, traders, shepherds, servants, cooks,. coolies, pony-drivers, shoe-makers, smiths, culti vators, andso forth fromthehighest tothelowestrank-DalaiLamatoan ordinary coaly. Themannerillwhichthe higher orderofmonksgivetheirblessings, varies according tothe status andsocialposition oftheblessed.Themonkbrings'hishead nearthe headoftheother and gentlytouchesitifheisalsoahighmonk, orplacesbothhishandsontheheadsof those heloves most, ortowhomhe wants toshowa greater favour.Inother eases heblessestheotherwithonehand,twofingers,or onlywithone finger.Thelastmode of blessingisbytouching the headwitha coloured piece of clothtiedto a. shortstick.Theprincipleunderlyingallthese is thatthereshould be somecontactoftheblesser811dtheblessedillordertol)asssome po,,"erof officncv to the latter fromtheformer, besidesinvok. ing' theusualblessings,'I'ibctuus havea peculiar ,vul" ofkillingsheep "JOI' ,meat.'Theysuffocatetheanimal-todeath l>y


F.JCPLORATION INTIBETtying'themouthandnostrilstig-htlywitha rope, foritis enjoined illtheirreligioustextsthat-tIlebloodofa livinganimalshouldnotbespilt.TIle dead bodies of well-to-domonksarecrematedwhile those of poormonksandhouseholders.are hacked to piecesandthrowntovulturesorcastintoariverifthereis onenearby.BothbirthandIeath ceremoniesaremanyandcomplicated,vary.ingwithindividualmeans,andaremuchakin.tothoseoftheHindus.Whenthedead body is {cremated,theashesaremixedwithclayandmoulded.intoa smallpyramidwhichiskeptinamonument'known aschhoriencorresponding tothesiupainIlldia.Buddhismwas firstintroducedintoTibetillthetimeofKingSrongchenSampo,whoreigned 'between 630and698A.D.Itflourishedforseveral years1111dertheroyalpatronage.Thereligion of--the'I'ibetans isprimarilyBuddhismwithaqueer-admixture ofTantricismorSaktaismandtheoldBon Dharma(pre-Buddhisticreligionof devil -worshipping').Tibetispredominantlya priest.riddencountry,andassuchsomeWesternwriters.callthereligion ofTibetLamaism.Oneortwo-ehildrenfromeveryfamilyareinitiatedintothe.order ofmonksandnunsattheageof two orthree.Nearlyone-thirdorone-fourthofthepopulation-eonsistsofmonksandnunsandthestandardof.moralityis 10"'. TheBuddhismprevalentinTibetisoftheMahayanaSchool. Mostofthemonksareattachedtothemonas-teries called'gompas,solitaryplaces.Gompasare:acombinationofatemple(wherethe images of


THEPEOPLEBuddhaandotherBuddhisticdeitiesarekeptandworshipped), a maia(wheremonkshavetheir'boardandlodging),andadharmashala(wheretravellersandpilgrimsgeta lodging).ThefirstmonasteryinTibetwasbuiltbetween823and835A.D.atSamye011themodel ofUdantapuri.Biggermonasteriesalso servethepurposeof schoolsandarebigeducationalcentres.Asamatteroffact,thefourgoreatUniversitiesofTibetaresituatedill.themonasteriesofDepungwith7,700monks,Serawith5,500monks,GandenandTashiLhumpowith3,300monkseach.Elementaryeducationis.generallygivento'monksinalmostallthemonasteriesofTibet.Onehastogoforhighereducationto some ofthesebigUniversitiesnearLhasaastherearenobigeduca-tionalcentresinWesternTibet(Ngari).Alltheabove-mentionedUniversitiesorMonasticCollegesareresidential.Besides religiouseducation,grammar,literatureandmedicine,image-making,engraving,painting,printing,etc.,arealsotaught.AlltheseUniversitiesandmonasteriesaremaintainedbybiglandedpropertiesattachedtothem,bypubliccharity,andalsobythetradingandbankingbusinessconductedbysome ofthemonksinthe'monasteries.OutofthetotalstrengthoftheUniversities onlyhalfthenumberareregularstudentsandtherestofthemonksareservants,conductors,managers,tradesmen,etc.Studentsfromdifferent placeslikeRampurBushahrState,Ladakh,SouthernRussiaandSiberia,and China goto MonasticUniversitiesforstudy. Almost allofthem.are monks.


:'-EXPIJORATIONINTIBET Monks areoftwoorders:lamas or superior ,orderof monksand'dabasor ordinary monks..Itis.afterstudyingbothreligiousandritualtextsfor several yearsthatoneis made alama.Thereare .differentorders-high,middle, and low-amongstlamas also.All monks includinglamasindulgein-drinkingandmeat-eating.Tibetansingeneral have110religious bigotrythoughtheyare very supersti tious andtheirmonasteries can be visited by people of.allYreligion. Allthemonasteries ofWesternTibetwerebuiltaftertheninthcenturyA.D.TIletwo greatTibetanworks illtheshelves of aTibetanlibraryareKaniu(orI{angyur-transla tion ofLordBuddha'sactual utterances)in108volumes andTiinju(orTangyu1o-translation.ofShastras)inabout 235 volumes, These works com prise different Schoolsof Philosophy,Kavyas,Grammar,Astrology, Astronomy,DevataSadhana,'I'aniraandMant1asbesidesthecommentaries on severalbooksofKanjurandTibetantranslationsof the Chinese renderings ofsome originalSanskritworks.. Ttiniu also containsthetranslationsof severalotherSanskritworks, whose originals were foreverlostinthebonfires ofthevarious ruthlessMuhammadaninvadersandkings.Italso .containsthelost works ofthegreat astronomer Aryadeva,Dingnaga,Dharmarakshita,Chandra :kirti,ShantirakshitaandKamalasila,theunknown'works'ofLokanandaNatak,Vadanyayatikaofthe.greatgrammarianChandragoumi,andalso several .lost works of Aswaghosh,Matichitra,Haribhadra,Aryasura, and others .andsome works of Kalidasa,Dandi,Harshavardhana,and othergreat poets.


THEPEOPLE47'Themedical worksof AshtangaHridayaof'N agarjuna,Shilihotra and otherswithcommentaries and glossaries and the translations ofsomeHindibooks'andalso.ofsomeoftheletters ofY ogishawarJagad-.ratnato Kanishka,theletters of Dipankara 8ree-;jnanafoRaja Nayapala (ofPalaDynasty) arein thevolumesof Tanjur. Besides these two volumi110UScollections ofworks the livesof Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Asanga, Vasubandhu, Shantarakshita, Chandrakirti,Dharmakirti,Chandragoumi, Kamala sila, 'Shila, Deepankara Sreejnana and otherIndianBuddhistPanditsarealso writteninTibetan language.WhenBuddhism was introduced into Tibet ill the time of King Srongchen abouttheyear641A.D., at hisorderhis minister 'I'honmi invented all alphabet onthemodelof the characters oftholeKashmiri Sharada 'alphabetthencurrent,inorder toputthe Tibetan translations ofPaliand Sanskrit Buddhist and other works into writing. Necessary modifications havebeenmade,soasto include, the sounds peculiar to the 'Tibetan language. 'I'honmi wrotethefirst g'rammar oftheTibetan language. Beforehistimewriting was unknowninTibet.Inthebeginning ofthefourteenth century Rinchhen Grub collectedallthe translations 0' Buddha'sworks underthetitle Kanjur andalltheShastras under the title Tanjur.Itwasintheyear 1728(?)thatthe Kanjur and the Ttmiu were printed for the first time duringthe regime of the seventh Dalai .Lama.Butaccording to another versionitwasinthemiddleof the seventeenth century,theregime ofthe fifth DalaiLama,thatthese works


48EXPLORATIONINTIBETwereprinted.Wholepages ofbooksare engraved! on wooden blocksandprinted.Booksareprintedoncountry-madepaperofthreequalities-common,superiorandsuperfine. Books producedinthelasteditionhavethickstrongpaperandthelettersareprintedingold.Ifthetwo works ofKanjurandTanjurwere tobere-translatedintoSanskrit,itwould cometoabout20lakhsofslokas.Abouttheyear1027A.D.,PanditSomnathofKashmirtranslatedthe"KalaChakraJyotisha"intoTibetanandintroducedtheBrihaspaticycleofsixtyyears calledPrabhaoa,etc.(RabyunginTibetan)"Thiscycleofsixtyyears is dividedinto five sub-cycles of twelve years each. Atthebeginningof each of these sub-cycles(i.e.,onceintwelve' years) abigfairisheldnearKailasatSershung. Kumbhamela ofIndia,whichrecursoncein 12: years,hasnothingtodowiththisfair, as confoundedbyseveral people. Sukla Praiipada(which fellon December 14ill 1936) is observed asNewYearsdayonthesouthern shoresof.Manaaarovar, asinthe days oftheMahabharata,andthis,maybeofinteresttotheIndianastronomer. 'I'ibetans ofthatregion saythat "the sunbegins his northwardjourney fromthatday.Pushya Sukla Pratiptuia(whichfellonJanuary13in1937) is observed as NewYear'sday ontheeasternside oftheManas(Horba)andMagha Sukla Proiiptula.(whichfellonFebruary12in1937) istheofficialNewYear'sdaythroughoutTibet.SpecialpujasandservicesareconductedinthemonasteriesontheNewYear'sday,andfeastingsandmerry-making takeplace for10to1days,inwhich monks and


i I.CentralpartofKailas-Manasarovarregion,froma"fibetanpainting[Seepages5,6,/3


I. 112.TheGovernorofTaklakotandhisSecretary[Seepage65


'THEPEOPLE 49 householders,both'menandwomen,freely.participate.Thethirdday.ofthebrighthalfofalunarmonth,dedicatedto.PadmasambhavaorGuruRinpochhe,theeighthdaydedicated .toDeoi,thefull-moon daydedicatedtoLordBuddha,and.thenew-moon day,arethedaysineachlunarmonth,onwhichspecial.pujasareperformedinthe.monasteries,besides some 'other dayswhichdifferfromplace to place.Damarus,.conchs,drums,cymbals,. bells,clarinets,flutes,'pipesofhumanbones,andsomeother.musicalinstruments,dorje(thunderbolt),humanskulls, severalcupsofwaterandbarley,incense.ibutter-lamps,chhang,tscmpa,meat,butter,cakes,andseveralotherthingsareusedinthe-wor shipof deities-inthemonasteries.Alooselywovengauze-likewhitelinen calledkhauilc,about9inchesbroadand3feet1011g,is used asagarlandforthedeities illtheimage-halls.Itisalsoofferedtotheofficialsandmonksbeforehavinganinterviewwiththem.'Nowandthenbigyantrasare.drawnandimagesoftsampaandbutterinseveralcolours' are madeof different deities and elaborate.pujasare conducted from3to'30days,mostlyaccording totantricrites. Onthelast day oftheworshipabighavanis performed. Several water-colourpaintingscalledthankasorbannerpaintingsarehungintheimagehalls,libraryhallsandotherrooms. The paintings.represent deities,lamas,scenes,yantras,etc.,andhave silk bordersandveils loverthemtoprotect.them frombeingdamaged,Tibetowesagreatdeal ,toIndiafor the .development ofherreligion, civilization,learning,.paintingandotherarts.


EXPLORATIONINTIBETOm-ma-ni-ptul-me-huniisthemost popularandsacred.mantraoftheTibetans,whichiseveronthelips ofallmen,women, children, monks,andhouse holders.Theyalways repeatthis n1,ant1a-whether sitting,walking or travelling.EventheordinaryTibetanrepeatsthismantrafora goreaternumberoftimesthana most orthodoxBrahmindoes his GayatriJapainIndia.Themeaningofthisformula is"TheJewelofOmintheHeart-Lotus."Thewordhriisalsoaddedtoitvery often. AsillTantricschools,Tibetansassigncertaincolours toeachletterofthemantraandtheybelievethattheutteranceofthissix-syllabled formula extinguishesre-birthinthesixworlds and securesNirvana.Thecolours oftheletters are white, blue, yellow, green, red,andblack respectively.H1iisalso said tobe white.Themani-manirais said tobeaninvocationoftheBodhisattva Avalokiteswara.Themani-manirais inscribed, embossed or painted on walls, Tacks, stones, slabs, caves, monas teries, on horns, bones,flags-oneverything.Themantrais engraved on round stones or slabswhichare kept onwallsattheentrance of villages, onthetopsof passes atcampinggrounda, onthewayto holyplaces and monasteries, at spots wherefrom Rome holy place isseen,andateveryimportantplace.'Themantraiswrittenseveral times on slips ofpaperwhich are keptina small brass, copper or silver .cylinderwitha handle.Theprayer wheel, cylinder:01'mill(korlo)isturnedroundandroundinthe.clock-wise direction byall monks, beggars,menandwomen. One round ofthewheel is believed tobe .productive ofas much virtue astherepetition ofthe


THE PEOPLE U.L -maniraas many times asitis written ontheslipsin -the cylinder. Severalsuch ofdifferent 'sizesaresetupat the gatesofand inside the monas teriee, andarerevolvedbythe pilgrims when they visit them. Isawsomesuchbig1nani-cylinders' in Ladakh, drivenby water-power, likepan-chakkis(water-mills). They contain slipsof paper, on which themani-manirais written a lakh, a million oreven ten million times.Justabove the Taklakot Mandi, situated onthe topofahill,overlooking the Mandiandthe neigh bouring villagesand the Karnaliwithitsfeeders, is the famous Similing g'ompa, the biggestmonas tery of this region.Ithasabout8 branch monas teries at Siddikhar, on Manasarovar andat other places. Including the branches ithasabout250 monks ofwhom6arelamasand the restdabas.There isa regular schoolforthe junior monksof the monastery. Someofthevillageboysalsoareeducatedhere.Inthe central image-hall ofthemonas tery there isabiggildedimageof Lord Buddha, about 6feet high, seatedona high pedestal, with butter-lamps kept burning inthe front. Onceina year there areheldgeneralfeasts, merry-making, anddevil-dancesbythemonks, lasting foraweek ortwo.Inthedevil-dance, they wearlonggowns anda variety ofmasksofdevilsanddemonsofqueer shapes.'Thedevil-danceof Similing monastery is calledT01egyak,thatof Khochar gompaNamdonq, and thatof Siddikhar monasteryTsege.Whenany distinguished person visits a monastery, the monks receive him to the accompaniment of the musical instruments ofthegompa. There aresome hun-


52 EXPLORATIONINTIBETdredsof Tibetan booksintheshelvesof thelibraryroomsofthemonastery, includingthetwovoluminousworks of Kanju1andTanjur.Situated on the left bank oftheriver Karnali isthefamous Khochar or Khocharnath gompa,ata',distance ofabout1miles south-east of Taklakot. Mandi. Khochar isoneofthemost interesting monasteries in Western Tibet.Inthe image-hall there are three beautiful imagesof three ofthemost important Bodhisattvas, madeofashia'dJwtus(eight metals), standing ona beautifully designed pedestal ora bracket about5feet high. The middle' image Ja11'l-byang (Manjushree) isabout8feet high with four hands, of which two are goldenandtwo' ofsilver.On its right is the idolofChenresi(Avalo kiteswara) 7feet high, andon the leftistheidolof"Chhanadorje(Vajrapani) 7feet high andofblue' complexion.These three imagesare erroneously describedas,andbelievedby, many credulouspeople' tobethoseof Rama, Lakshmana andSeeta.Itisinteresting tonotethatallthe three images are of" male deities! Tibetans believethattheseimagesalong with the pedestalieimhascno)on which they aresetuphavesprungoutoftheboulderon which they stand through somedivine origin andnotmade' byany human hand. Theimagoesand the pedestalare'ofSouthIndianpattern andwere prepared bytheNepalese sculptors. There areseveralcupscontaining water, and butter-lamps madeofgoldand silver, artistically arranged infrontofthe images. There" aresixbigandfierce-looking images eachabout8 feethighatthe entrance gateofthe monastery. These images are probably oflokapalas.Iunder--


THEPEOPLE53.standthatthereare about 50dabaswitha'I'ulicu.lamainthemonastery. 'I'here isabighallinthe.seoond building ofthemonastery, where a type of devil-dance calledNamdonqandannualfeasts are 'held.Inthehall arehunga stuffed wilclyakaud'anIndiantiger011oneside. 'I'here arealsotheimagoesofCha11tba*(Maitreya),Mahakalaand.Mahakali, Sange-Pavo-Rapdun,tandYum-Chhamo Chhok-Chu-Sange, + placedindifferent rooms. 'There isabig1nani-cylinder 10feethighand feet in diameter. Several sensational articles are freely published 'both intheEastandintheWestabouttheMahaimasandSiddhasillthislittle seenandless studiedpartoftheworld, namelyTibet.Most ofthe'stories g"ainillg currency here are mere exaggerationsormisrepresentations andare more ofthenatureofstuntsthananythingelse.I may mention'herethatI visited altogether about 50 monasteries.ti.e.,almost allthemonasteries ofWesternTibetandmostofthem ill Ladakh)andmetnotlessthan1,500monks,bothlamaanddabas.Butnever did'Jcome across any greatSiddhaoraY og;i worthmentioning" inthewholeofWesternTibet.Thereareno doubt severallamaswho are learnedintheir.scripturesandwell-versed intheexternalTtintric*Also -pronounced'Champa.'tBuddha-hero-seven orSeven Buddhas. These sevenidolsare notof'thoseofSoptor his-Agastya, etc.,butofthesevenBuddhasKasliyapa Buddha, Maitrey&';Buddha,GOlitam6'Buddha, etc. ::: Mother-great-directions-ten-Buddhas. These elevenidolsareof Great Mother andofTenBuddhas,butnotof Eleven RU,dras as believed,' and described bytheHindupilgrims.Onewhohasattained highpsychicand supernatural powers..


54EXPL'ORATIONINTIBET'rites and incantation-performances, which are' elaborately conducted fordays together. People ill general arevery superstitious, religious-minded, devotional, and mystic ill temperament. Ididnotmeet any really spiritually advanced lamas oryogisnor any monk 90or100yearsold, though some' people claim tohaveseensageslike Vyasa and Aswatthama and other monks thousands of years oldwithcorporealbodies. Personally Iwouldneitheracceptsuch credulous statements norwould force others todisbelieve.thembutwould prefer toleavethematterto individual judgment and discrimina tion. This isnottosay,however,thatreally great Mahatmas or saints andYogisdonotexist; nor should this statement be misconstrued tomean'thatIam sceptical aboutthereality oftheexistence of these advanced souls,asI considermyown Revered MasterDr.SwamiJnananandatobe' one such adept, who, though hefailedintheMatri culationExamination,couldgiveout throughhisintuitional knowledge(knowledgerevealedin higher spiritual states) certain equationsintheSpectro scopyof X-Radiations* which turned outtobemore' precisethantheexisting equations of SirWilliamBragg.Ittook about three yearsof continuous and laborious workfortheequations tobeverified experi mentally intheCharles University of Prague.The'simple fact remainsthatreally spiritually advanced yogisor lamas areas rare a phenomenon hereas* One can refer to Newand Precise Methods inthe Spectroscopy of X-RadiationstbyDr.SwamiJnanananda,M.M.P.S., F.R.S.H.,. Prague.


:rHE PEOPLEanywhere else.Iwas,however,informedby the GovernorofPurangTaklakot, ofmonksbeing im muredforsomeyears,andinafewcasesforlife,inEasternTibet.Butthis .practiceisinthe nature of mortification or miracle ratherthanasymbol' of high spiritual attainment. During myseveral visits to Tibet Ihadthegood fortuneofcoming acrossa lama from Lhasa (agedabout50)inthe.year1936andof having therareprivilegeof attend ing someTantricrites (which non-Tibetans arenotallowedto attend) heconductedin theSimiling monastery of Taklakot for three days continuously.HewasagoodSadhakaandaTantric.Ialsomet, ayoungTulkulama(incarnation monk)aged16,in Ponri gompa*intheyear1928,who,Ifelt was anelevatedsoul. These aretheonlynotables: whomI happened tomeet.Itisreally regrettable tofindsomepeoplefabricating"curiousand funny stories which are utterly false,to trade uponthecredulity of the innocent and religiously minded folk. There isnodoubt,however,thatthesurroundings of the Holy Kallas and Manasarovar are highly charged with spiritual vibrations ofa supreme order, which makeone exhilarated andelevated. There are many more things of interest, to some ofwhichonlyitispossibleheretomakeamere passing reference.Ihaveoftenbeenasked about, the existenceofgoldenlotuses,pearlsand thetraditionalRajahansasorroyalswansin Manasarovar andabouttheMahatmasand Tibetan mystics around Kailas andManasarovar.Inthis connection I may:r Thefifth monastery of Manasarovar.


56 EXPLORATIONINTIBETsaywithoutanyfear of contradictionthatthefirsttwoare totally mythological. Asregardsthethird,namely swans,it ma.y be notedthatthere-arechieflythreedistinct speciesof water-birdsinthese regions.The first,calledngangba.inTibetan,whichtomymindcorresponds tothetraditional swan, iswhiteorpale-ashincolour. Local people assertittobea plITe vegetarianthat.livesmerely on moss, grassandwater-reeds.Itdoes not touch fish, oysters or snails.Thisis considered holyandthe'I'ibetansdonotkillitevenfortheirtablealthoughtheyarenotas scrupulousabouttheegogs,which arefreelyCOl1sumed.Thisspeciesofthebird exists011thesmalleris'etLachato in theRakshasTaleven moreabundantlythanintheManas, the reason probablybeing.thatexcept forashort periodinwinter,neithermennorwolvescanreachthereandlayholdonthemortheireggs. These swans daily gototheso-called"

THEPEOPLB '5.7 .number of young onesintheirmidst.Theyswiminthewaterproducing diverging ripplesinthecalm'Lake.Thesecond variety of birds, called ngaro .sirchunq,are like ducksandalmondbrownin-complexion,Thethirdvariety, calledchakarma, are snow-whiteincolour except atthehead,tail,andpartofthewings,whichare black.Theyfeed freely and mostly onfish,etc.,andresemblepartlythe swan .andpartlythestork.Heronsare also seennearDing'tso,KurkyalChhungoandintheso-called "oldbedoftheSutlej."Iamof opinionthat.swan, goose, wild goose, duck, wild duck,gull,etc.,.areallofthesame family or genusandthattheswanisnotameremythological creationassome believ-e 'ittobe, since weseetheblack varietywithgraceful necksinAustralia andthewhiteonein India,". Recently I readinsome scientific magazinethat" swanshadbeen known toattaintheirsecond..century."Itisfortheornithologisttogiveafinal 'verdict. Smooth pebbles of various shapesandcolours .are picked up fromthe "rest coast;a sort of violet sand namedchema-nenqawhichisamixtureof five sands ofred, black,yellow,white,andgreen-colours,is picked up fromtheeastcoast, whereitis foundinthinlayers, only fora distance ofaboutthree miles, andthe "rater oftheLakeistakenin-corked bottles orvesselsbypilgrims asprasadsormementos ofthe HoI)! Manasarovar.Thissandof Manasarovar is found011chemicalexaminationto-containemery, iron,andtitanium,thelasttwoofwhich are usedilltilemanufactureof steel.A


58EXPLORATIONINTIBETvarietyof light-scented artemisia plant (davanamlis also taken astheincenseof Manasarovar, which canbe purchased fromthe monasteries. Another variety ofscentedfern,calledKangripoor Kailas incense, grows around Kailas ata height ofover feetabovethesea-level. This fernisdried andusedasan incense. Fislles, bigandsmall,aboundinthe Lake, which, when beaten by high dashingwaves,dieand' 'are drifted totheshoreand stranded. Thesedead fish: arepickedIIp,driedinthesunandare taken by .the pilgrims asprasadof the Holy Lake. They are' preserved carefully, orareusedasincense,whichis saidtohavethe efficacy of dispelling evil spirits, of effacingtheevilinfluenceof planets andofcuring various cattle diseases. Dried fisharesoldby the monksinthe monasteries.Butnobodykills ru :fish in theLake.


CHAPTERVIIAGRICULTUREANDECONOMICLIFEThewholevalley consisting ofabout30 villages including 'I'aklakotiscalled Purang valleyandis cultivated. Excepting thevillagesinthePurangvalleythewholeofKailasManasarovar regionisa barren tract. Barley andpeaaregrowninsufficient quantities inthevalley.Thefieldsare cultivatedbywater fromthe hill-streams distributedintosmallnice channels. Thechannelsareborderedby greengrassand present a pleasing appearance inthe bleakand barren country. Ploughing isdoneby jhab-bus (crossbreedof Indiancowand 'I'ibetan bulltheyak)orponiessinceyakisnotgoodfor' ploughing though usefulfor carrying heavyloads.Itissaidthatagriculture was introduced into Tibet inthe beginning ofthe Christian eraduring" the reign of Byakhri. King Srongchen Sampo (630-698) introduced the earthen pot,water-mill' andhand-loom. There are water-mills(panchakkis)for grinding barley,insomeofthevillages. ofthevalleywherever there are hill-streams or channels taken outof them. Yak,horse,a variety ofsnow-leopard,wolf, ibex,goat,hare,anda variety of marmot orabig monkey-likeratarethechiefwild animals of the Manasregionand Tibet ingeneral.The marmots


EXPLORATIONINTIBET:remaininhibernationintheirholes under several 1 feetof snow for4or5monthsinwinter.Itisperhapsby observing tllesemarmotsandfrogsthat,yog"isevolvedKhechari Mudra,inwhichtheyremainfor daystogetherin Sa111adhi (trance)with-out anysigns ofexternalgrowthor decay.Thefatand skinsofthesemarmotsareconsidered very -effectiveforrheumatism,whichis verycommoninthose coldregions,Exceptingvultures, crows, pigeons,andbirds oftheswanfamilyIdidnotnotice .mallY birds.Wildyaks liveinherdsatheightsabove16,00'0-feetasatthesource ofBrahmaputraandtheDunglungvalley011thenorth-westofKailas,These .' areferociousanimalsandarehuntedbyTibetansformeat.Wildhorses,calledkiy.angs,roaminlarge.herdsthroughoutTibetonthetable-landswherepastureisillabundance;buttheyareneithertamednorhunted.Muskis collected ill largequantitiesfrom the musk-deerinEasternTibetandexported toChina.TIle chief domesticanimalsareyak(Tibetan',hairy bull),jhabbu,horse, mule, ass, sheep,andgoat. 'I'here goesaBhotiasaying"thatsheep, goats.andyaks are.the chief cropandwealthofTibetans.-Occasiona'Iyoncein7or8years,whenthesnowfall isheavy,thepasture-landsareburiedundersnow .for days together,andhundredsofanimalsfromtheherds haveBO'altern-ativebuttodieofstarvation'.andsevere cold,asall domesticanimalsincluding-dogs,sheep, horses, yaks,etc.,arealwayskeptin-open compoundswithoutroofs, evenintheseverest -winters.. The yakisa greatbeast of burdenandcarriesheavyloads' even on,bad roadsandhigher


AGRICULTUREAND ECONOMICLIFE61 but it cannot withstand thehot climate and dense airoflower altitudes norcanitbeusedfor tilling' the land.Jhabbuonthe other hand callwithstandhot climate anddense air ofthelower altitudes, andthe. cold climate andtherarifiedairof higher altitudes.Itisuseful both for ploughing the landand"for carrying loads.So the Bhotias ofthe Mandis in Tibet andtheTibetans of Taklakot keepagood' number of jhab'btts. Someoftheyaksandjhabbus'with nose-strings arealsousedfor riding. Tibet isabig' wool-producing country. Thou sandsof maunds ofwoolare imported intoIndiaevery year fromthe Manasarovar regionandother par.tsof Tibet. All the woollenmillsof northern India .and Bombay the majorpartoftheirwool supplies from Tibet. Sometimes there are illdents, for 'I'ibetan woolfromforeign countries.Ifthe wool' produceof Tibet iscontrolledandimproved scienti fically, Tibet willbecomeoneofthefinestandbig gest wool-supplying countries ofthe world-market, like Switzerland. Besides supplying wool,the'millions ofsheepare the .chief means ofconveyance inandacrossthe Himalayas for carrying enormous quantities ofwool, salt, andboraxfrom Tibet to India ;and grains and miscellaneous goodsfrom India. to Tibet. Though Tibet is purely a Buddhist country by religion, half the foodofa Tibetan con sistsofmutton. There isaBhatiasayingthatsheeparethegoods trains, poniesandmules mail trains.Itisa pleasant sight to watch hundreds ofsheepmoving slowly with .double panniers ofsaltor grains ontheir'."backs,goingalongthe trails upanddownthemightyHimalayan ranges, ploddingtheirwearyway,.


EXPLORATIONINTIBET picking upeverynowandthenhurriedly abladeof grass here anda mouthful there. The approach of these laden sheepisoftell announced bythe rising of cloudsofdustandthepeculiar whistlings oftheBhotia drivers andby the voiceof the little bells tied to the necksofsomeof the animals, the tinkling of,vhichsoundsand resounds along the forestroads. Generally the Tibetan sheeparenot unloaded tilltheyreachthedestination, foritisavery tedious businees toload these restive and turbulent creatures. 'Cheese(calledchhurainTibetan), butter, milk, and other dairy products oftheSingi Khambab locality are consideredthebestinthewhole of Tibet. There are thousands ofyaksanddemas(Tibetan bulls'andcows)and millions ofsheep and goats inTibet. Good dairy farms maybe started on up-to-date scientific lineswithgreat profitand .advantage, as Tibet is mainly a pastoral country where the chiefoccupation of the peopleis cattle breeding. Crude Tibetan cheesecanbehadat therateoftwo annas per pound andbutteratthe rate -of :2 to3 pounds per rupee.Butterisvery badly s-tored inrawsheep-skins. Thousands and thou sands ofslleep-ratllersolidand compact masses ofsheep, spread over miles and miles together, are seen moving and grazing on the shoresandslopes :of Manasarovar. There areseveral Mandis ormartsof Bhotia* merchants inWesternTibet, most of which are *' Indianborderland ofNorthAlmora,NorthGarhwal, North Teln'i, etc., is called Bhot.People ofBhotarecalled Bhotias,BhotandBhotias should notbeconfusedwithBhutanStateorthe Bhutanese. 'TibetansarecalledHuniasbythe Bhotias.

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AGRICULTUREAND ECONOMICLIFE 63 situated intheKailas-Manas region. These Mandis areheldforperiodsrangingfroma fortnight to:fivemonths. Gyanima Mandi (also known as Kharko) ofJoharBhotias, Chhakra Mandi (also known as Gyanima Chhakra) ofDarmaBhotias, Taklakot Mandi (also known as Pilithanka) of Chaudans and Byans Bhotias, Nabra Mandi of Niti Bhotias, and Gukung Mandi oftheNepalesearethebiggest. Tarchen (Kailas), and Thokar (Thugolho Manasarovar), and Gartok Mandis come nextinorder, of whichthefirsttwoarebigwool-shearing centres, Puling, Tuling,LamaChhorten, and Dayul Chhongra Mandis are smaller. Gyanima is the biggest oftheMandis inWesternTibet where .a transaction of about 25 lakhs of rupees isdone annually.Inalmostallthese Mandis wool,coarse 'I'ibetan blankets, sheep, ponies, mules, borax, salt, hides, etc., are either soldfor cash or exchanged forthecommodities of theIndianmerchants, namely, piece-goods,gUT(jaggery), barley, wheat, rice, utensils, Chinese tea, etc.Allthecommodities which are available inIndianmarkets arealsoprocurablehere. There are freebooters of nomadic tribes every whereinTibet. They are shepherds wandering fromplacetoplacewiththeirsheep, ponies, yaks,kithand kin, andsomeofthemmove towards Kailas .and Manasarovar alsofor trade and pilgrimage between MayandOctober.Sinceno restriction is imposedbytheTibetan Government .as regards possessing arms, these nomads carry swords, daggers, old Tibetan matchlock guns, Russian andGermanpistols, revolversandrifleswithplenty of

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G4 "EXPLORATION INTIBETgunpowderandca-rtridges.When they comeacrossanyunarmedtradersorpilgrims,theylootthemand"makegoodtheir escape intosome ravines ortosome-"distantplaces.TheTibetanGovernmentmakesnoarrangementtoarrestthem.

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13.FissuresinfrozenManasarovar[See page 2014.UnfissuredIceofRakshasTal,seenfromLachatoIslandtowardsTopserma[See page 20

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CRAPTERVIIIADMINISTRATIONThewholeof Tibet isruled'byDalai Lama(the HighMonk, said to betheincarnation oftheBodhisattva A valokiteswara) andthecouncil ofnativeofficers (both monks and household;ers) actingundertheadviceof the Chinese Resident.Itis saidthatthefirst DalaiLamawasbornin1391A.D.andthe'thirteenth died'in December; 1933. Otherssaythatthis system of"incar11atio11 DalaiLama". came into existence in 1284. TIle capital isatLhasa(11,900feet)witha population ofabout: 40,000, about one-half of which consists ofmonks. and nuns.WesternTibet, wherein are situatedtheHoly' Kailas and Manasarovar, isg"overnedbytwoGarponsorUrkos(Viceroys), one seniortUrko-Konq)and'onejunior(Urko-Yok)..Thesummer capital' is GartokandthewintercapitalGargunsa. Western. Tibet isdividedIntofour provinces,viz.,Rudok,Purang-Taklakot,Dapa,andChhabrang, each in: charge ofaZongorZongpon.TheKailas Manasarovar region is underthejurisdiction of" PurangZongexceptingthetractwestofChhakra Mandi. Gyanimais under thejurisdictionofDapaZong,. 5-1229B

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66EXPLORATIONINTIBETBesides thesethereareChhasusorTaxCollectorsinthemarts,YungChhongorGovernmentTradeAgents orMerchants,and'I'azamsorTarzams Dr Tcsams(Post-stages or conveyance officesandofficers)whoarereadily to supplytransportanimalstoGovernmentofficials going upanddown.TheseT'asamealsoconveyStatemailsbetweenLhasaandGartokandotherGovernmentcentres.Outofthe 25TaSa111JS stationedalongtheLhasa-GartokhighroadthreeareintheKailas-Manasregion.Forthelastfour years,regularpostalstampshavebeeninuseinTibetfor 'conveyance oflettersandparcels fromLhasato variousGovernmentcentres,Alltheabovementioned fromLhasaforatermofthreeyears,whichmaybe extended byoneor two moretermsinsomecases.Theadministration.of villagesandwanderingtribalcamps is carried onbyGopasorGobas(headmen)and lVl agpons(Patwaris)over groups of villages,GopaandMagponarehereditaryposts .andareheldbymenofthevillages ooncerned. None.oftheofficialsispaidbytheCentralGovernment.atLhasa;onthecontrary,these officials have topaycertainfixedamountstotheCentral Government,andtheyhave to raisethissumaswellastheir.ownprofit fromthecivil,criminal,andrevenue.administrationoftheplacesundertheircharge. Besidesthisincome allofficials11avetheirown.enormous personaltrade,forwhichtheygetcon veyances fromthe'I'asarnspractically free.Forsimple offencesthehandsoftheculpritaretightlyboundtogetherwitha woollen ropeuntiltheybleed"clothesarestripped off,andheis awarded40to'

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ADMINISTRATION 67300 lashes onhis"buttocksandback. For serious offences like dacoitiesthehandsoftheoffender are .cutoffatthewristsandthendippedintoboiling oil.inorder to preventthewound from becomingseptic;for more serious crimesandfor political offences .againsttheState,theaccused isb-rutally killed by Tedhot ironrods beingthrustintohistemplesand the removal oftheeyes, orby being hurled downfromthetopofa steep rock or hill. Oftentimesboththepartiesillacaseare heavilyfined-suchfinesforming agreatsource of income tothe.offioers.Over one-half oftheGovernment postsareheldbymonks.Womenarenotdebarred from holding 'high Government positions, including even those of theViceroysandGovernors. 'I'here is practically nostandingarmyorregularpoliceeitherattheViceregal centre atGartokortheGovernors' centres,thoughoflateeffortsare beingmadeatLhasato.maintaina regularly-trained policeandmilitaryforce.Wheneverall emergency arises,mencanbemusteredfrom villages, since allTibetansknowtheuseof firearms.Taklakotistheheadquarters ofPurangZongandisata distance of11miles fromtheLipuLekhpass, ontheIndianborder. Onthebackof a hillock arethequartersoftheGovernorandthefamousSimilingmonastery.Thereisaprisonhouse insidetheZong'sbuilding, wherewhipsandhandcuffs are stored. OnthenarrowplateaucalledPilithanka,situatedatthefootofthehillock, is held abigMandifromthemonthofJuneto-October,TheBhotiamerchantshold the market

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68 EXPLORA'EIONi INTIBETinwalled-enclosures of sun-dried bricks,Tentsareset uptemporarilyoverthewalls, since, according to:the treaty of1904madebetweentheBritishand.the'Tibetan Government,Indiansarenotallowedtoconstructroofed houses inTibet.According' tothesametreatythreeBritish'Trade'Agoentsareappointed-c-oneinEasternTibetwith,headquartersatGyantse, one atYatung, and, oneinWesternTibetwithheadquartersatGartokforsixmonths,itis said, tolookafter the interestsand, grievances oftheIndiantraderswho. holdmarketsinTibetevery year.TheBritish!TradeAgentofWesternTibetstartsfromSimlain' the monthof May, goestoGartok,visits the'importantmarts,goesagaintoGartok,andcomesbackto India bythe.LipuLekhpassandAlmora,inthemonthof November.AtravellingPostOfficealways.accompanieshimwhereverhegoes,whichdeliversanddespatches mails, once week, as long: ashe is inWesternTibet.Garbyang. (30 miles' from Taklakot) and.MilamaretheIndianPostOfficesnearesttotheKailas-Manasregion. About3milesnorthof Taklakot isthe village Toyo,wherethereisthe'eaanadhi.or graveofG.eneralZoravarSingh,who invadedTibetand annexed: Ladakh: toKashmirin1841(?)..Tibetans; believe t'hat.ZoravarSinghpossessed.supernaturalpowers, and, that' noordinaryleaden bullet could penetrate.hisbody;theysay that'he wasshotin'theendwitha golden bullet,thathewasafterwards: hackedto,piecesand: that. a monument: wasconstructed overthehacked: pieces. 'There still existsthe monument: Iin.theform.ofa.chhorien):

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ADMINISTRATION69Tarchen, atthefootof Kailas,NyanriandZunthulphukmonasteries ofKailas,Cherkipgompa oftheManasarovar,thevillages ofDungmar,Ringung,Doll, Khochar, GezonnearGartok,Itsegompa,Gonphu,Gesur,Sammar,and afew other placesinWesternTibet belongtotheStateofBhutan,These placesare governed bya Bhutan.ese Officer,whose headquarters areatTarchen,where there isabig' building ownedbytheBhutanState.Tankaortangaisthecommon silver coininusethroughout Tibet.Halftangacalledjavisalso current.Thecopper'coinsinuseillTibetarekcrma-nqa (! tanga),shogang (1 tanga),andchhegye tanga)which are exchangeable only atLhasa.Forthelast few years currency notes and silv-er rupees havebeellilluseatLhasa.IndianRupees arefreelyused everywhere ill Tibet in transactions. Tibetans prefertheIndianRupee totheirTanga.Thepresent rate of exchange is eighttangasper rupee illWesternTibet and 10or12atLhasa.TheIndianRupee iscalledqormoinTibetan.Forconvenience oftransit,highTibetanofficialstaketheIndiancurrency noteswiththemwhentheygo toLhasa,as these arefreely exchangeable there.Thepossibilities ofan expedition to reachthetopoftheKailas (if such a venture beatallallowed bytheconservative, superstitious,andsuspicious Tibetans) can be investigated and surveyed fromtheeastern sidealone, since ontheremainingthree sidesthepeak rises almost perpendicularly and since avalanches slidedownitheadlong.Fineaerodromesmaybe constructed anywhere on'ParkhaMaidan north-west of Manasarovar, or

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70EXPLORATIONINTIBETontheplains011thenorthor south-west, or011anyotherplainliketheoneatGyanimaor Chhakra, fortho landing oftheaeroplanes of any enterprising KailasManasarovar Air Service Company,"thatmaybe startedinfuture. Seaplanescancon veniently descend intotheManas ortheRakshas. Several pilgrimandtourist parties visit Kailas and Manasarovar, from year to year. Thousands ofBhotiamerchants gothereannually for trade.Butnobody takes interestinhaving a boattripontheManas ortotheislandsintheRakshas.Itwould indeed bea fine thingifsome generous donor gives some boats and motor launches fortheinauguration(ifpossible)ofan" All-India Kailas-Manasarovar

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IXMISCELLANEOUSTheHolyManasprovidesfinecavesonher"shores near GossulandCherkipgompasfor hermits, andfine camping groundsandgoodsiteshere and there for Tibetans tobuild monasteries andhouses.Itis marshy at certain places,androckyor sandy at others. Onecomesacrossbouldersassmooth androundaspebbles,andalsoslabsasfinelycutand shapedasslates.Itis warm ontheGossulsideand verycold011other sides. Inspite oftheexistenceof hot springs theChiuhill side isverycold.Fromone monastery theManas presents afineviewof her northern neighbour, the Kailas, andfrom another shecompletelykeepsitout of sight, whilefroma thirdmonastery the Rakshas Talis presented beauti fully. There aresomelakeletsandlagoons scattered allroundthe Lake, likeYushuptso011the south-west, Tseti tsoonthewest, Kurkyal Chhungo, Sham tsoand Ding tsoonthe north and north-east.InTibetan scriptures Kurkyal Chhungo isdescribedastheheadof Manasarovar, set apart fordeoatasorgodsto bathein.Inwinter shepherds flocktohershoresandin summer they move totheupper parts ofthevalleys. Indians hold a market ononesideandtheNepaleseontheother.

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72 EXPLORATIONINTIBET'Certain monasteriesareowned byLadakh,othersbyBhutan,somebyTaklakot,andstillothersareaffiliated totheUniversities or monasteries ofEasternTibet.Severalpathsfrom differentparts'oftheworld converge tothisholy spot.Itwould 'beno exaggeration ifI stylethisregion asthecynosureoftheworld, forboththeBuddhistsandtheHindus,consisting ofnearly70 crores of souls, lookuponKailasandManasarovarastheholiest of regions. Onecannotgenerally escape org'etawaywithoutnoticing.atragicspectacle hereandthereintheManasarovarregion.Itis,for example, apatheticsighttoseehundredsoffish frozenandcrushedintheswimmingpostureunderthetransparentice(asatthemouthoftheGyumachhu) ;or.awhole flockorgroupofswanswiththeiryoung ones frozen todeath.and sandwiched ontheeverchangingmysteriousLake;or scores of new-bornlambsandkids frozen todeathina shepherdcamp,ona single coldnight,forwinteristheyeaningseason of sheepandgoats. Sometimesgrcupsofkiyangsarefrozen todeathonall fours,inthedeep snows. OnepeculiaritywiththeLakeisthatattimes.whentherearehighwavesneartheshoresthemiddle iscalmandclear like amirrorreflectingthesilvery lomeoftheKailasif seenfromthesouthernside ortheMandhata'sgiantheads if seenfromtheN.E.Onfull-moonnights,withthefull-moon overhead,thescene issimplyindescribable. Atsunsetthewhole oftheKailasrangeonthenorthbecomes afieryregionallofa sudden,throwing an observer into

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MISCELLANEOUS 73 aspelloftrance,and b}' thetimehereturnsto .consciousness hesees onlythesilverypeakinhisfront.011anotheroccasion atthetimeofsunsetthewhole oftheMandhatacatches fireandterrible'flameswithrollingcolumnsof smoke riseinthe'west, only tobeburiedverysoonintothedepthsofabysmaldarkness.Sometimesthemorningsun.gildstheKailasandMandhatapeaks orpoursforthmoltengoldontheHolyLake.Onanother-occasionthewhole oftheKailas-Manasregionis completely coveredwithathickblanketofsnowfromheadtofoot,makingit impossible topointoutwhichiswhich.Onecannottell.a'housefromatent,ortheLakefromtheland.Onecannotdistinguishthegroundfromthepit,orthemoundfromthebush.A moonlitnightwitha .clearskybeggars descriptionandone becomessimplyspell-bound.Perhapsmoonlightisbrightestonthe'Tibetanplateau.Nowyou have scorchingsun;thenextmomenthailsandsnow fallcopiously;and.shortlyafterhavinganapandcomingoutofyourroomyou will see aclearblueskyandbrig-htsunaboveanda bed of pearl-likehailsandwhitesnow-ontheground.Hencetheoft-quotedHindicouplet:" efitil I filiff;rR r'.,'WhocallapproachMallasarovar whereSI10Wfalls'withoutclouds? ".Suchphenomena.form sufficient'materialfortheecstaticoutburstsofa poet.ThustheKailas-Manasregion engagestheattentionofa person ofanycalling orprofessionwhetherhebea poet orapainter,aphysicistora
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74EXPLORATIONINTIBETsurveyor, H geographer orahistorian,ahunteror a' sportsman, askaterora skier, a physiologist ora psycholog-ist, an ethnologist ora sociologist, a pilgrim' oratourist,ahermitora householder, a clergyman ora tradesman, atreasure-hunteroraspirit-hunter,atheistoranatheist,a scholar ora politician,. young orold,manor woman. withwavesrisinguptothesky androaringasinan ocean,andnow presenting a perfectly still clear-blue sheet ofwatermirroringthemoonandthestarsandtheKailas ortheMandhata;nowlike a sheet ofgoldinthemorningsun,andnow like a mass of molten silver illthefull-moonlight;now rocking"theKailas andtheMandhataonhergentle' ripples asinacradle;now calm, serene,andsilent evenlikethespace beyond,andnow disturbedandroaring", dashing andlashingtheshores;some timesraisingtempestuous winds flinging eventhesheep and goatsinthesurroundings ;nowa beautiful blueand110Wahardwhitemass,LakeManasarovar,withherhundreds ofAoauirasandmyriadsofchangingforms, offersan enigma tothepunyselfconceitedhumanbeing tothink,meditate, and' perhapsultimatelytofailto comprehend all these. All hail, oh Manas,LakeoftheRoyal Sages and: Swans!Victory toThee!

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EPILOGUEOnecall spend daysandnightstogetherlike so'ma11Yminutes,watchingtheweirdgrandeur,splen dour,andmajestyofthesacredKailaspeakwithoutbeingtired, orinpeacefulmeditationandcontemplation,bythesideoftheturquoise-bluesurface ofthecharmingLakeManasarovar,lulled byherawe-inspiringsolemnity. Onebreathesmorehappilyandwithgreaterease;onefeelsrealpleasureinlife,andyearns toremainsailingindefinitelyonthefascinatingblue depthsandthesacred waves. DiscoveriesinthedomainofgeologyorgeographyoftheMountKailasorstudyofthehydrographicrelationofthisuniqueLaketo lakessimilarlysituatedillotherpartsofthe world areno doubt extremelypleasantpastimesandmaybeattemptedbya person ofan average intellectualcalibre;butthe'innerjoywhichonefeelswhenoneisfacetofacewithanobject ofsupernaturalbeautyandeternalcharm,suchasispresentedbythissummitunder' .a cupola ofperpetualsnow, where, accordingtoHindutraditions,Shiva(theUniversal Spirit)abidespermanentlywithHisDivineConsortParvati(thepersonification ofPrakritiorNature)andwhere,.intermsoftheTibetanscriptures,theBuddharesideswithhishierarchyof500Bodhisattvas,maybe'betterdescribed byonemoregifted poeticallyandsesthetically disposedthantheauthor.HowcouldKailasandManasarovarbetheobjects ofDivine

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'76EXPIJORATION INTIBEThonourfrom two religions so different asHinduismandBuddhism,unless itbethattheiroverpoweringbeautyandcharmhave110tonly so appealed tobutmadeanindelible impression onthehumanmind,tIlattheyseemed to belongratherto heaventhantoearth!Eventhefirst view fromtheGurlapass or from the hills ontheshore causes aIletoburstintotears ofjoyatthemagnificentlandscape;a moreintimateassociation undoubtedly throws oneintomystictrances,whenonefeelsnearertheDivinePresencethanatanyothertime.TIleauthorfeelsthatifhehasbeen abletostimulateinterestinanyof his readers toundertakethisvery educativeandwholesome journey tothisabodeof Bliss (KailasandManasarovar)intheregion of snows (Himalayas) .andtofeelthatinnerjoywhichis surely tobefeltbyreverymortallike himself,hislabours will havebeenamplyrewarded. Besides, ifsome devotee,havinghimself been inspired bytheAugustPresence, .canhandovertheTorchofIlluminationtohisfellow brothers,thegratifyillg reflection ofhavingoriginatedandperpetuatedthischainofinspirationwillfilltheauthorwithsupremesatisfaction-anaturalandlegitimate result ofthefulfilment ofa nobleandself-imposed mission of servinghumanity.

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INTRODUCTIONKanqri Karchltak-the TibetanKailasPurana-saysthatthe four great riverscalled(1) Langchen* Khambab,tor the Elephant-mouthed river (Sutlej), onthewest,(2) Singi Khambab, or the Lion-mouthed river (Indus), onthe north, (3) Tamchok Khambab, orthe Horse-mouthed river (Brahmaputra), on the east,and(4)Mapcha Kham baborthe Peacock-mouthed river (Karnali), onthesouth, have their sourcesinTso Mapham, the lake unconquerable (Manasarovar). Accordingtosomeother'I'ibetan traditions thesefourrivers take their sourcesfromthe Hol)7 Kailas 'and have500 tribu taries each. 'Therehadlongbeenacontroversyover the sourcesoftheserivers,till matters were taken to have been setatrestbyDr. SvenHedin'sverdictin1907 -1908.Ihad the good fortune in1928to travel in Western Tibet ona visit to the Holy Kailas and Manasarovar. Iwentfrom Srinagar (Kashmir) through Ladakh, Demchok, Gartok, Tirthapuri, Gyanima Mandi, roundKailasand Manasarovar, :i" Theword'lang, means 'bull,'andtheword' langchen means '. elephant.ttTheword'Khamba'(comingfromthemouthof)isalsousedinitsstead. Pronunciation of severalTibetan words varies from district to districtandsometimes altogether different termsareused.

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80EXPLORATIONINTIBETtoTaklakot,againtoGartok,andback to RishikeshbytheNitipass.In1935Imade' a second journey fromBhairavgha ti(Gangootri), bytheJelukhagapass, toTuling,GyanimaMandi,Kailas,Manasarovar,andbacktoRishikeshbytheDamjan-Nitipass. III1936-37I travelledfromAlmora bytheLipllLekhpassandreturnedbythesameroute.DuringthethirdvisitIstayedforafullyearinthe'I'hugolhomonastery,onthesouthernshore oftheManasarovar,whenIhad the rareopportunityofvisitingtheSources oftheFourGreatRiversoftheHolyLake.In1938I visited. those placesagainfrom Almora bytheLipuLekh pass andreturnedbythesameroute. IfeelthereforethatI havetherighttosaysomething"abouttheverdict of SvenHedinregardingthesourcesoftheSutle],theBrahmaputra,andtheIndus.Attheveryoutset,I would like to ask geographers,geologists,andsurveyors astohowthesource: of aparticularriver istobefixed.Iftheriverin,questionhappensto havemorethanoneheadstream;whichofthemistobe consideredthemainriver?Isit decidedbythequantityof waterthat, itbringsdown orbythelengthoftheparticularheadstream,oristhesource located fromthetraditionsofthelocal people?Ifall'thethreefactorsaretogethertobetakenintoconsideration,itwouldbeimpossible to locatethesources ofthefour great. rivers oftheHolyKailasandManasarovar,andotherHimalayanrivers,inasmuchasnoneoftheheadstreamsfulfilsallthethreeconditions.Ifall the*Alsoknown as& Sangchok la. '

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17'. APoolofwaterinfrozenManasarovar[ See page 22 --l j I!18.Zebra-likeDipositsofSnowonsouthernshoresofRakshasTal[ See page30

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19.Gukung,Cave-villagenearTeklakot[Seepage4/o20.Ommanipadmehum[See page 5021 Tanka, TibetanCoin-obverseandreversel See page69

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INTRODUCTION81threeconditionsarenotfulfilled,whichofthemshouldbegiventhegreatestweight?TheSutlej,theIndus,theBrahmaputra,andtheKarnaliareconsidered sacred bytheTibetans,andtheirsourcesareregardedasevenmoresacred .. InTibetitisthecustomtoerectmonumentsillholyplacesand011thetopsof passeswherefromaholyplace is first seen.ThemonumentmaytaketIleformofachhorien.(a pagoda-likestructure) n'lan'i-wall (a wall onwhich or slabs are kept),some1nan,i-stonesor slabs (onwhichtheTibetansacredmantra, On1, manipadme hU111" is carved),cairns,coloured flag'sandfestoons ofrags,oratleastheapsofstones(knownaslaptcheillTibetan).Soitis110tstrangeto expectsuchholytl111lgs at thesources ofthefourgreatriversoftheHolyManasnrovar:SvenHedintoo gives detailed descriptionsofthematthesource oftheInd11S,atthespringLangchenKhambab ,011 thebanksoftherragtsangpo,atthespringChakko(itscorrectnameisChhumik'I'hungtol)andat several otherplaces, asg'ivell below."Upalltheslab of rockstandthreetallcairnsand a smallcu bicallhatocontainingvotivepyramidsof clay.Andbelowthelhatoisaquadrangularmani,withhundredsofredflagstones, some coveredwith:finecloseinscriptions,somebearingasinglecharacter 20 incheshigh.Ontwothewheel of lifewasincised,andonanothera .divilleimage,whichIcarriedoffasasouvenirofthesource oftheIndus."OurguidesaidthatthesourceSingi-kababwasreverenced because ofitsdivineorigin.Whentravellersreachedthisplaceoranyotherpart.ofthe6-1229B

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82EXPLORATIONINTIBETupperIndus,theyscooped upwaterwiththeirhands,drank.ofit,andsprinkledtheirfacesandheadswithit.',*"Langchen-kambaisasmallside-valley ontheright,fromwhichrobbersarewontto sallyforthagainstdefenceless travellers.Justbelowthevalleyaspringbubblesforthwithcrystal-clearwateratatemperatureof38.Itis considered holy,and is markedbyapole bedeckedwithragsandstreamerslike a scare-crow.Thisspringisalso calledLangchen-kamba."A littlefurtherdownthespringChakkostandsonasteel)slopeontherightbank,andits "rater (40'3)is collectedinaroundpit3feet deep. A wall is erectedaboutit,coveredwithflat stones, onwhichfigures ofBuddhaandholytextsarecarved.Leavesfromtheholyscripturesarethrustbetweenthestones ofthewall,andstreamersandragsfly from a pole.Throughthewater,clear as.amirror,could beseell blueandred beads,twoinferiorturquoises, some shells,andothertrash,throwninas offerings by piouspilgrims.Thewateris supposed tohavemiraculouspowers. Mu.rmuringprayers,ourguide filleda wooden bowlwithwaterandpoureditovertheheadandmaneofhishorse toprotectitfrom wolves.'tWhenSvenHedindescribesthesource oftheBrahmaputra,he howevermakesnomentionofany'such holy symbols,whichareso verycommonin *SvenHedin,Trans-Himalaya,' VoL II,p.212.tOp. cit., pp.105,106..

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CHAPTERISOURCEOFTHEBRAHMAPUTRAAccordingto Tibetan traditions, thesourceofiheBrahmaputraliesnotintheKubiglaciersas claimed bySven Hedin, butintheChema-yungdung glaciers. While locatingthesourcesof theIndusand the Sutlej, SvenHedintries toreferto 'I'ibetan traditions in support ofhisfindings, though hehas not faithfully adhered to them infinallyfixing the .sourceofthe Sutlej.But,unfortunately, allthe quotations which SvenHedin cites arefromChinese .geographersandnoteven a single direct reference ismadetoany Tibetan work. Inspite ofthefactthatnoneoftheChinese geographers haveeven mentioned the name of the Kubi, Sven Hedin per sists in making the Kubi the principal branch of the Tamchok Khambab.Wecannot give greater pro minence toChinese geographersthantothe Tibetans themselves onsuch questions concerning Tibet. SomeoftheChinese geographers themselvesplace the sourceof the Brahmaputra inthe Chema-yung .dung.LetmequoteSvenHedin'sown remarks, .',Wehaveseenthatsome" of the Chinese writers.*Special attention ofthe reader isdrawntothe italicised passages in the quotations fromSven Hedin. The italics arethe author's.

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84EXPLORATIONINTIBETmake theChematheprincipalbranch:comingfrom 'I'amchok-kabab,otherssaythatChemaisonlyatributaryjoining'Kubi.Inall instances, both western andeastern,the Kubi-tsanqpo has,houieoer, beenalmost ignored. TheChinese authorities donotmentionitsname,althoughatleast!in011ecaseitis calledtheYere-tsangpo. OnlyKawaguchiseems to havehearditsnameKubi-chu.''*Whenthequestion ofthesource oftheBrahmaputracomesin,hedoesnotgive allyTibetanauthority,except for a vaguequotationfromthe,ElementsofHydrography,,bytheChineseauthorChiChao Nan (1762),which l"Ul18 thus,"Langchen-kabab(mountain)lies aouth-east ofKailas.OntheeastofthismountainstandstheTamchokkababmountainwhichisthesource of 'I'amchokkababortheBrahmaputra."t"WhentheChineseauthorinformsusthateastofLangohen-kabablies 'I'amchok-kabab, which isthesource oftheriverY ere-tsangpo(Brahrnaputra),wemustadmitthathisdescription isquiteill accordancewiththetruth,asI,theiirstEuropean. to visit this countru,haoe l1'Lyself discooeredAndthattheTage-tsangpowas atonetimeconsideredbythe Tibetans tobetheheadwateroftheSutlej isapparentfromthefactthatitsname,Langchenkamba,is still applied tothellpper ofthetwosacred' sourcestreamsillthevalley oftheTage-tsangpo." t" Eventhissinglequotationgivesmoresupporttomyfinding'sthanto those of SvenHedin, because-*' SvenHedin,' SouthernTibet,'Vol.I,p,118.t Trans-Himalaya,'Vol.II,p.183. ::: Opecit.,p.185.

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SOURCE OFTHEBRAH1vIAPUTRA85theChema-yungdungglaciersareeast ofandnearertotheKnaglungkangriglaciers (the source oftheTag"),whereastheKubikangriglaciers (where Sven .Hedin placesthesource oftheBrahmaputra)are onthesouth-east ofKanglungglaciers,andnot011theeast, ashasbeenmentioned by theChineseauthor,whoseauthoritySvenHedincites illhissupport. 'I'akingtheTibetantraditionsintoaccount,thereisamonument(called 'I'amchokKhambabChhorten)atthesource oftheBrahmaputraneartheChema-yungdungglaciers, SI10lVll tomebymy'I'ibetanguide. TIlere isabig"boulder about12feethigh,allthetopofwhicharethefootprints of aBuddhisticdeity,andoverthefootprints asmallhutbas been erectedwithloose stone-wallsandroof,withthehornsofa wildyakplaced onthetop.Out of thetwo clay-made divine images keptinthissmallshrine,Icarried a'ivay one(withtheconsentoflily guide) asa souvenir of-thereal source of the.Brahmaputra,whichIvisited onJune17and18, 1937.Adjacent totheboulder arethreedonkhangs(Tibetandharmashalasorresthouses), ofwhichonewasroofed. 'My guide toldmethattheNyakora(meaning,tirtha-yatrior pilgrim)tribeofnomads.gooverthereforyak-huntingattheendofsummer,asitaboundsinagoodmanywild yaks. Allroundtheboulder arehundredsofcairns.TheChinesemapoftheTa-ch'ing(1744A.D.)preparedbyDutreuildeRhinshasvery correctly locatedthesource oftheBrahmaputra.Hislake.' .DjimaYoungrang'mustbethenetworkoftheseveralmorainelakes (whichthe'Chinesegeo-'.

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86EXPLORATIONINTIBETgraphorsmighthave noted asone continuouslakefrom a distance)intheupper course oftheriverChema-yungdung, andthe"Mt.Goumang, corres ponds exactly totheChema-yungdung-pu;' ashasbeenrightlysuggestedbySvenHedin.'I'his Chema-yungdung-pu massive couldbeseen fromadistancebutMt.TamtchoukKababcannot beseen from a distanceandcan beseenonlywhenone actually goesrightuptotheChema-yungdung-pu, since theMt.TamtchoukKabab is about I! or miles west ofthepll. 'I'hismountcorresponds totheTamchokKhambabKangriofmy sketch oftheactual sources oftheBrahmaputra,soveryfaithfully indeedthattheChinese geographers ofthe'I'a-ch'ingplacedtheMt. 'I'amtchoukbeyondtheChema-yungdung-puthoughtheyhavenotactually visitedtheplace.Theyhavenotconnectedthe TamtchoukKababtothestreamattheMt.Goumang,perhaps becausetheyhavenotactually seentheplace.Hereinliesthereliability oftheirwork! Ii wasdone similarlyinthecaseofthesource ofIndus,Mt.Senghe Kabab, wherefrom nostreamwas shown coming out, sincetheChinesewritersdidnotactually visittheplace.TheonlymistakethattheTa-ch'ingcommitted isthatitplacedtheTamchokKhambabnorthofGoumanginsteadofonthewest.Thismistakeis excusableinviewofthefactthattheChinese geographershadnotbeen actually totheplacebutgotsomeinformationfromthelocal people. So SvenHedinneednotbe sur prised ifthelittlestreamthatflowsintothelakeDjimaYoung rong isnot joined upwards with the'Mt.TamchoukKabab,inthe map.

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SOURCEOFTHEBRAHMAPUTRA87TheChinese CivilOfficerJ.Klaproth(1840)writesthattheBrahmaputratakesitssourceinthe'I'amchokKhambabsnow-mountain from out ofa little lake called' Djimagoungroung, situated east oftheLangchonKhambaborthesourceoftheSutlej 'Djimag'oullg'rollllg' isthecorrupt formof Chema-yungdung. So,theChinese geographerKlaprothcorrectly places tIlesourceoftheBrahmaputraintheChema-yungdung.Itoo came across several moraine lakesillthebedoftheChemayungdungaswellas in thatoftheAngsi, whenIvisitedtheactual source oftheBrahmaputra.'I'here arealsooneortwo small lakelets intheChema yungdung-pu glaoiers themselves, a little upthe.tongue where there are huge debris. Yet, SvenHedin t'\vists Klaproth 'splainand correct statementsinorder to support his OVVll views,andthenaccusesd' AnvillewithmisunderstandingtheChinese hydrography. SvenHedinwrites, "SofarasI couldseethecourseoftheriver Chema-yundung nolakewas visible.....He(dAnville)seemssofarto have misunderstoodtheChinesehydrography,thathehasplacedthenameYarou Dsancpou ouTsanpouR.alongtheriverwhichcorresponds to Chema yundoung. ''*D'Anville,inhismapof 1733A.D.,rightlyplacedthesource oftheBrahmaputraintheChema y.ungdung (his Yarou Dsancpou). Commenting onit,SvenHedinsays,"Ifd' Anvillehadonly placedthenameYarou Dsancpou along: thislast-mentionedbranch(Kubi), hismapwouldhave been correctin :f1 Sven Hedin,'SouthernTibet,' Vol.I,p.94.

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88EXPLORATIONINTIBETthispoint.''*How queerand unjust arehis wishes and remarks! Since yaru means 'upper'in the Tibetan language andsincethe Chema-yungdung isthe upper of the tworivers,itistheChema yungdungthatmust bethe Brahmaputra but not the I{ubi Lloydand Gerard write, The Brahmaputra is named 'I'anjoo Khampa, or Erechoomboo, andone ofits streams takesitsrisetothe south-east of Manasarowar. "t At another place Gerard remarksthat"Onestream,uihich.isreckonedtheprincipal, risessouth-east.ofMansurowur,andthereareothers[rom.the eastward." t Indeed this principal stream must certainly be0111"Chema-yungdung andthe.' others fromthe eastward must necessarily bethe Kubiand others. So, according to Gerard, the Kubi isonlya tributarybutneverthe principal stream.HenryStrachey (1846)very correctly describes the Chema-yungdung tobethe Brahmaputra. The valleyof the Chema-yungdung iscovered with white sands fromthesourcedowntoa distance ofabout ten miles.The white sandstchema)ofthe river areveryconspicuousandcouldbeseenfromlong distances asif there hadbeena'freshsnowfall. As hegivesgoraphicdescriptions ofthesandsoftheChema-yungdung itisveryprobablethatStrachey might havegootfirst-hand information fromsome authentic Tibetan sources. Even in this case,SvenHedinsummarily dismisses Strachey's findingsmost*'SouthernTibet,'Vol.II.,p.220.tNarrative of a Journey, etc., bySir Lloyd and Capt. Alex.Gerard'sAccountofanattempt,etc London 1840,Vol.II,p.186. t Ibid. : .

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SOURCE OFTHEBRAHMAPUTRA89peremptorilyhiding"hisface fromtruth.Hereis'SvenHedin,"Heretheconfusion comesin:TheTamchok-kambarisingfrom a place called Chemayundung. Where thenisTamchok-kababorthe"Horseriversituated?Chema-yundungmayeasily bethenameofasandyregion,buttheriverthat flOV\TS throughitisnot'I'amchok-kambabutChema-yundung."Ifwearetoarguelikethis,theriverwhichflowsoutofhisKubi g-Iaciers canonly betheKubitsangpo,as11ehimselfputsit; 'lilovv canitbe,I ask,the'I'amchokKhambab? Andthesource ofthisriverisa glacier, orperhapsseveralglaciers illthemountaincalled Chemayundung-pu.Inthisparticularpointeventhevague ofKawaguchiisbetterthanHenrySt1eachey's. "Howunjustandunfairitisonthepartof SvenHedinto comparethegreatgeographer Strach.eywithKawaguchi, vVI10 wasin-capable ofholdinganythingbutcrude geographical notions,viz.,thatthecircumference ofManasarovarwas200 miles,that11ehadagooddrinkoftheGangeswater,atthespringChhumikThungtol,ontheeastofManasarovar,andsoOIl!A mere'incidentalmentionofthenameoftheKubibyKawaguchiis goodenoughfor SvenHedintociteinorder to explodethemostauthenticandfirst-handinforma tion ofStracheyandtosupporthisownviews Inhisbook'TllreeYearsin'Tibet,' EkD,i Kawaguchiwritesthathe crossedtheriverKyangchufirst "whichwasaboutfourhundredandfiftyyardswideatplaces,whileitnarrowedtosixtyyardsorsoatothers,',*andthreeorfourdayslater :rP. 104.

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90EXPLORATIONIN TIB,EThecrossedtheTamchokKhanbab,thewidthofwhich".wasnotmorethana little overamile."*'I'henafteraboutthreedays' journey11ecrossedtheChema-yungdung-gi-chu, which wasa hundred and eighty yardswideandwassodeepthat11ehadtoswimacross.tThiswasonhis onward journeytotIleHolvLake. 0-1 011hisreturnjourney fromKailas,Kawaguchiwrites,he"finally reachedthelower courseoftheriver Chema-yungdung, where Ihadnarrowly escaped drowning a shorttimebefore. "t Aftertwodays'furtherjourney,attherateof 25 milesaday, fromtheChoma, ",ve reachedtheBrahmaputra,known1]1thisregionas Martsan-gi-chuorKobeichuaccording"tothedistricts which it traversed. TIlelordlyriver was quite shallow andcould be crossedwithouttrouble, andIdidsoas before ontheyak'sback."After:fiveorsix days'furthermarchfromtheBrahmaputra,Kawaguchi writes,"Ifoundthefamiliar Kyang-chu river, whichIwas delighted tosee."II"Icrossedtheriveraboutninemiles abovetheplace whereIhad crosseditonthepreviousoccasion.Y'[Fifteendays after, he'again"crossedtheBrahmaputra.' ,** TIle readermaynote fromKawaguchi'smapthatthereare onlytwo rivers which arecut'byhis.route on his onwardandreturnjourney fromKailas, *' P,110.tpp.120,121. ::: P.184.P.185.IIP.195.. P.196.**P.208.

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SOURCEOFTHE BRAEmlAPUTRA 91besides athird011ewhichisdefinitelythe'Brahmaputra.Ofthetwohe gavethename'KyangchuR'tothefirst one.Nowcomesthequestionasto'whatmightbetheU1111amedriver?ItmustbeeithertheBrahmaputra,whichI1ecalls 'I'amchokKhanbab'011 his onwardjourneyand'Martsangi-C1111orKobei-Cll11'onhisreturnjourney,orthe,Chema-yungdung.'Ifitisarguedthatthisis the'Brahmaputra,wherethenistheChema-yungdungwhichwassodeepandbroad,thathehadtoSWil11alongwayto crossit,andinwhichhewasdriftedawayandnarrowlyescapeddrowning?Indeed,be didshowonhismaptheKyang-chu,amuchshallowerandsmallerriverthantheChema;whythendidhe110tindicatetheriverChema,byfarthelongerand thebigger011e?Ifit is arguedthattheunnamedriverinhisnlapistheChemaitself,IlOW "vas itthatheomittedto givetheTamchokKhanbabwhichwas011emilebroadandthebeachontheeasternsidewastwoandahalfmilesbroadandthatonthewestern side halfasmuch?So fromhismapandwritingsitis evidentthat his hydrographyandtopographyofthisareais hopelessly vague,confusing",andmisleading.Certainly,hemusthaveheardthenames'Martsan-gi-chu,,'Kobei,'and, Tamch.okKhanbab,,buthavingmadeamessof allthese,he confusedtheChemawiththeothers;because hewritesthataftercrossingtheChemahe crossedtheBrahmaputra,whichhe calledMartsang"i-cllUorKobei.ButtheKobeiisnotatall calledMartsan-gi-chu,andtheonehedidactuallycrosswasnottheMartsan-gi ,as,itisstatedbyhim,semedayslater11e eros-sed theKyang-chuagain..

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92EXPLORATIONINTIBETEitherbymistakeorthroughbeingmisinformed,Kawaguchiincidentally mentionedtheKobeiandtheMartsan-gi-chutobetheBrahmaputra.SvenHedingivesabig'name' hydrography'-with a nullifying adjective vague'-tothesingle line ofthemeagreandwronginformationofKawaguchi.Itisthis' vague hydrography ,thatSvenHedinexultantlybringsforwardill order to' explode 'themostauthenticinformationofthegreatgeog'rapherStracheyandto support his own theorythattile Kobei isthemainBrahmaputra!Itmaybe.interestingto110teherethatthe 10V\'er course oftheriver Chema-yungdung isalso calledMartsangtsangpo orthe'I'amchokKhambabevenmuchaboveShamsangwheretheKubijoinstheChema. 'I'his goesto provethattheChema-yungdungistheprincipalbranchoftheBrahmaputra.SvenHedin'senthusiasmfor fame seems to have gotthebetterofhim,therebyleadinghimtoadeliberatesuppression of facts.Itisforthegeog'raphers to conduct a thorough investigationintothetruthofthematterandtestthevalidity of SvenHedin'sclaims.SvenHedinfurtherremarks,"ItisnotsurprisingthatStrachey'sinformantknewonlytheChema-yundungandconsequently believed that itwasthesource ofthegreatTsangpo.Fortheordinaryroad over 'I'amlung-la touchesChema-yundungbutnotatalltheprincipal river,whichisKubitsangpo. 'The nomads preferthegrass oftheChemayundungwhich is moreabundantandeasier tog'etat. A12d there 111ay, perhaps,beTibetans,whoreallyreqardtheChema-uundunqastheSOU1ceofthe Tsangpo,ill which case, however,the'I'amchok-

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SOURCEOFTHEBRAHMAPUTRA93kababwouldhavetobe placedatChema-yundungpu,whichisnotthecase.''*WIlenSvenHedincould findoutsomanydetailsabouttheChema-yungdung,isitnotreallysurprisingto110tethat11ecould110tfindoutthelakesilltheChoma(thatwerenotedbytheChinesegeographers),andthat11edidnotcare togoototheChemaformakingfullerinvestigations?Itseems alsothatSvenHedinhadstudiedtheChinesegeographers,0111yafterhehadfixedthesourceintheKubi,HadhestudiedtheChinesegeographersbefore hewenttoTibet11ewouldhavecertainlyagreedwiththemandwouldhaveplacedthesource oftheB-rahmaputraintheChema,asI did.Since11ehadat first fixed hissource ofthe Brahmaputra intheKubibeforeCOIISl11tillg'theChineseg'eo g'rapliers, he had perforce tostrugglehardagainsttheChinesefindingsandstrivevigorously totwisttheirrecords forthesupportofhisfindings,GrahamSandberg'wasquitorightindescribingtheChema-yungdungastherealsource oftheBrahmaputra.ButBve11Hedindisposes ofhisfindings asbeingincorrectandconsoleshimselfbypassing' some shallowremarksandatthesametimeclaiminghimselftobethefirst discoverer ofthesource oftheBrahmaputra.Somehow,NainSinghalsomakestheChemayungdungtheprincipalbranchoftheTamchokKhambab,WhetherMajorRydergotactualinformationorwhetherhesimplyconjuctured,ineithercase,he*SvenHedin,'SouthernTibet,'Vol.II"p,224.

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EXPLORATIONINTIBETwas perfectly correctandjustified inmakingthe Chema-yungdungthemainriver oftheTamchokKhambabortheBrahmaputra,andtheKubionlya .tributary.Thefact underlyingthewhole affair isthat.SvenHedincouldnotgetan opportunity togototheChema-yungdung.Hethoughthewouldbeableto investigatethesources oftheSutlej andtheIndusalsoonthesame basis (bymeasuringthequantities of water) asinthecaseoftheBrahmaputraand never .evendreamtthathewould miserably failtodoso, andthathewouldbeforcedtofall back ontheTibetantraditions to supporthisfindings. Tohisgreat dis advantage and disappointmenttheTibetanGovern rnent wereputtingobstaclesinthefreedom ofhismovements. Asamatterof fact hehadto exercise .greattactand eludetheTibetanofficersatParkha(midwaybetween Kailas and Manasarovar), sothathemightget an opportunity ofvisitingthesource oftheIndusfromthenorthernsideof Kailas.Whathehadcontrived to achieve his objectwasthis.Hedespatchedthewholeofhiscaravan, from Khaleb toGartokbythetasani(high-road)withinstructions tomarchveryslowlyand himselfwentto the Singi .Khambab, tellingtheTibetanofficersthathewae .going only forafew days' excursionintothemountains011thenorthandthathewould80011comebacktojoinhismainpartybythetasam;sohehadneitherchoice nortimetofixthesourceoftheIndusandtheSutlej after dulymeasuringthe-quantityofwaterwhichthedifferent headwaters discharged andthentoproceedtothehead ofthe'biggest ofthem.Norcouldhewillingly letthe

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SOURCE OFTHEBRAHMAPUTRA 95 results ofthework hehaddoneattheKubigoinvain. Besidesotherthings, hedid not like to spendmuchtimeattheSingiKhambab,inmeasuringthe water inthedifferent head-streamsandingoing tothesourceofthebiggest, because he wasnotcertain asto which ofthetwostreams-theSingi ortheGartong-s-would carry more water, since hehadyettomaketheactual measurements.Ifthelatterhappened to carry more water, as itdoes oftentimes (which factIg-atheredfromlocal infor mation),11ewouldhavetoplacethesourceoftheIndusatthehead oftheGartong chhu, according tohis"theory of greaterquantityofwater"(asinthecaseoftheBrahmaputra),and consequentlytheresults11ehadworkedoutattheSingiKhambabwouldbeill vain. Sohehadtofall back solelyonthe'I'ibetan traditions and rest contentwiththeremarksthat"TIle problem cannot be settledin any more satisfactory waythanto accepttheTibetanview,"and"Anyattemptto persuadetheTibetans wouldfail,forit hadtraditioninits favour."Hasthissapient explorer, whoSI10WSoff"hisbroad mindedness towards other civilizations, cared astrawforthe'I'ibetan traditions infixing-thesourceofthe:great riverBrahmaputra,oneofthefour holiest rivers oftheTibetans?SvenHedinwouldhaveservedthecause oftruthbetter ifhe had .frankly admittedthedifficulties of deciding upon suitable and consistent criteria for fixingthesourcesof these rivers' instead of struggling desperately fortheacIlievementofthecoveted honour ofbeing-the firs-t and original discovererof-the sources of;t'hesethree rivers.By.givingpre-

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96EXPLORATIONINTIBET,ference tothequantityofwaterinthecaseoftheBrahmaputra,traditioninthecaseoftheIndus,andfar-fetchedtraditionandlengthinthecase .oftheSu tlej,11ehasnothesitatedto. sacrificemercilesslyall consistent, reasonable,anduniformprocedurewhichhastobe adoptedindealingwithsuchimportantproblems.HadnotSvenHedinbeen compelled togobya devious route for securing guides and yaks, he would certainly have gonetotheheadoftheChema-yungdung,and,would, I am sure,have,withoutanyhesitation whatsoever,fixedthesource oftheBrahmaputraintheOhemayungdungglaciers,inconfirmation ofthereportsofthenomadsandthepeople ofBongba11ewouldmeetonhis ,vay. Andlater011he would have foundthattheChinese geograpllersincludingOhiOhoNanandI{]aprotIl, RllillS,D'Anville, LloydandGerard,Strachey,Sandberg,NainSingh,MajorRyder,andothers werequiterightinplacingthesource oftheBrahmaputraintheOhema-yungdung.Littledid118dreamthata lay 1110111{,who would be011aspiritualmissionattheHolyLakeall several occasions, possessing" none ofthefacilitiesandequipmentthattileWesternexplorers always have attheirdisposal, would upsethistheoriesin1937 TIle following lines from SvenHedinwill speak for themselvesregardingthe 110110'''11ess ofhisargumentsandthehelplesswayinwhich11ebegsthequestion:"Icannot,however judge in thiscase, as I neverwentuptothesource oftheChema-yundung-chu.. .Theproblem will havetobe solved inthe[uiureandthevery sourceoftheOhema-yundung, evenifwell-knownbycertain

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22. SimilingCompaofT aklakot[See page 5/23.CyanimaMandi[See page 63

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24.MountKailasonafull-moonnight[ See page 7225.Alapiche,withflags,streamers.mani-stones,yak-horns,etc.,nearTirthapuri[ Secpage 81

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SOURCE OF THEBRAHMAPUTRA97Tioetao:tribes,hasnotyetbeendiscovered'by any' European:"*Thus Sven Hedin consoleshimself,.illhis inability to visit the Chema-yungdung under forced circumstances, by sayingthatithasnotyet beendiscoveredbyany other European.Further,whileadmittingthat"The problem willhavetobe solvedin the future," he,at the same time, claims himself tobe the firstdiscovereroftherealsourceof theBrahmaputra!Some travellers previousto SvenHedinhadseen the Chema-yungdung froma distance andlocated jt as the sourceofthe Brahmaputra;evensodidSvenHedinsimply see the Kang lung kangri froma distance andfix the sourceof the Tag (andhence the Sutlej)init.Ifthe actualvisitingofthe glacier isa necessary condition, Sven Hedin too cannot claimtohavediscovered the sourceofthe811tJejinthe Kanglung kangri since11edid110tactually gototheglacierandmakea thorough investigation asinthecaseof Brahma putra, for there ismorethanoneglacierinthe anglung groupasinthe Kubi, A little further Sven Hedin says,"Themost comfortable and shortestwayto Tag-la orTamlungi;L wouldhavebeentofollow the courseof the Chema yundung andits tributary Angsi-chu tothewest, which wouldhavesparedusthe.Marnyak-la; butIhadto take thelongerandmoredifficult way tothenorth toreachaCampwherenewguidesandyakscouldbehad,asmymen from Shamsang had returnfromIlere."t'.'.TIle Chema-yundung SvenHedin, SouthernTibet,'Vol.II,p.248.tOp.cit.,p.264.7-1229B

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EXPLORATION INTIBETseemstobeafewmileslongerthanthe'Kubi."80in length andabsolute height the western branch is nodoubtmore distinguishedthanthe eastern.Butthevolumeofwateris overwhelming in the latter, andallwhoin future see both rivers willagreewiththeChineseand Tibetans, asIdid,andcalltheKubi-tsangpo thesourceofthe Brahmaputra.'.'*Inspite ofthefactthatthe Chema-yungdung is the traditional sourceandismore distinguished. by its length andabsolute heightthantheKubi, SvenHedinoverlooksallthese points, andgives prefer encetothevolumeof water and puts thesourceintheKubi glaciers.Butinfixing the sourcesoftheSutlejandthe Indus hegives absolutely noplaceor consideration whatsoever tothevolumeof water. Cananybodypronounce suchfindingstobe scientific? "Sven Hedin hadmoreoveran advantage over l\foorcroftand Strachey, inthathewasa Tibetan linguist andon friendly termswiththe Tibetans."tAssuchSven Hedin shouldhaveatleastpondered overthe meaning oftheword Tamchok Khambab.Ta-horse,amchok-s-enxe,kha111bab-coming from the mouth of.Sothe meaning oftheword Tamchok Khambab is 'Horse-ears-mouthed rivers.' t The Ibid.tBnrrard and Hayden,Opecit.,p.229. ::: This isthe derivation ofthe term Tamchok}{hambab' given tomebysome Nyakora nomads onthespot.Duringmy recent visit to Tibet one learned Lama of Taklakot toldmethattheword'Tamchok' means superior or celestial horse.Letme plainly confessherethatIamnotamasterofTibetanlanguage though Iknowa little ofit and thatIbadoftentodependuponmy interpreters.Soevenifthefirst meaning ofthe term isnot correct, itdoesnot materially .affect my general findings.

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SOURPE OF 99 sources ofthe four great rivers are locatedbyTibetansincertain springs, towhichtheyattributetheappearance ofthemouths of various animalsjustastheHinduscallthesourceof the Ganges,Goumukh'or Cow-mouth.Therearetwoglaciers, called Chema-yungdung-puandtheTamchokKhambabkangriwitha broad-faced peak separatingthem.Themonumentortheshrineis situated ontheleftbankof the Brahmaputra(whereitiscalled Chema-yungdung chhu) between these two glaciersandoppositethebroad-faced peak. There isadryspringnearby, which is said to containwaterinthesummerandrainyseasons.Thetwo glaciers arethetwo ears, andtheboulder isthemouth.Boththese glaciers together gobythegeneral name of Chema-yungdung-pu, or simply Chema-yungdung.Thedistance betweenthetwo glaciers is about Ii or2 miles. A little tothenorthor north-west ofthe'I'amchokKhambabglaciers is another smaller glacier orsnow-field behind which istheAngsi glacier.Itis really regrettable tonotethatSvenHedindid not care tomakeinquiries fromthenomadsandfromtheBongba pilgrims to Kailas whom he passedinthe" broad open valley oftheChema-yundung river, which descends fromavery extensive glacierinthesouth belonging totheChema-yundung-pu massive." Besidesthis, he trieshislevel besttoplacethesourceoftheBrahmaputraintheKubikangri glaciersbygiving us facts and figurestoshowthattheKubitsangpo discharges morewaterthantheChema-yungdung.Butunfortunately he totally forgetsthis" theory of greater discharge of

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100EXPLORATION INTIBETwater,"whenhe locatesthesources oftheIndusandtheSutlej,Regardingthesource oftheBrahmaputra,SvenHedinwrites,"Noothertravellerhadever been'inthisregion,and1 would on no accountmisstheopportunityofpenetratingtheactualsource of the'Brahmaputraandfixingitsposition definitely. ..AtShamsangthesource-streamsmeet,andbelowthispointtheunitedriverbearsthenameMartsangtsangpo.Firstof all, Imust,of course,gaugethequantitiesofwaterinthesource-streams,and,iftheywerenearlyequal, we must becontentto saythattheBrahmaputrahasseveral sources...1 betook myself first, onJuly8,tothepointonthesouthern' sides ofthevalleywheretwostreamsruntogether,theKubi-tsangpofromthesouth-westandtheChema-yundungfromthewest. Ashortday'smarchfurtherwesttheChema-yundungreceivestheMarium-chu,whichcomes fromtheMarium-la.Firsttheunitedstream "vas g'allged,andfound to discharge1554cubic feetofwaterpersecond,andimmediatelyaftertheChema-yundung,whichdis charged almost 353 cubic feet.Subtractingthisfromthevolume oftheunitedriver, weget1201feet as thedischarge oftheKubi-tsangpo.Thisriver is thenthreeandahalftimesas large astheChema,anditshould be rememberedthattheChema also receivesthewateroftheMarium-chu,so thai its353 cubic feet representtheunitedvolumes of twotributariesTo arrive atthesource wehadonly toknowthattheKubi-tsangpoisfarlargerthanthetwoothers, sowe have tofollowitscourse IIpintothemountains,whichnone ofmypre-

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SOURCE OFTHEBRAHMAPUTRA101.decessorshaddone.TheTibetansalso saidthattheKubiwastheuppercourse oftheMartsangtsangpo. ',*I'Wecrossedanothersaddle, Sen-kamba-Ia, -toreachthebroad open valley oftheChema-yundungriver,whichdescends from avery extensive ,glacierinthesouthbelonging totheChema-yun dung-pu massive.Herewere severalnomadtents,andsevententsinhabitedbypilgrims fromBongba.stood011a rise. TIley were011theirwaywithkithandkinto Kang-rinpoche tomakethepilgrimageroundtheholymountain.Most ofthepilgrimsfromthefar easttakethissouthernrouteandreturn.overthe'Marium-Ia.',*Infact, according totheTibetantraditionthe.sourceoftheChema-yungdung isthesource oftheBrahmaputra,andtheChema-yungdung isthe.actualBrahmaputra;itisalso longerthantheKubi.Sowhetherlengthortraditionsbetakenintoconsi-deration,thesource oftheBrahmaputracannotbe :pIacedintheKubiglaciers,andmustbe placedinChema-yungdung glaciers.Butifone persistsinplacingthesource oftheBrahmaputraintheKubi,glaciers onthegroundofitsquantityofwater,thepresentlocation of sources oftheIndusandtheSutlej .must betakenas incorrectandshould, therefore, be shifted tosomeotherplaces.Ifthesources oftheriversaretobefixedaccording-tolocaltraditions,as isdoneinthecaseoftheGangesandseveral other rivers,thesource of the Brahmaputrashould be shift-red.fromtheKubitotheChema-yungdung. So which*" Trans-Himalaya,'Vol.IT,pp.90,91.

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.. 102EXPLORATIONINTIBET ever theory befollowed,SvenHedincannot claimtob'ethediscovererof the sourcesof the Brahmaputra, the Indus, andthe Sutlej, ashe asserts thus,"Ifgeographers hadbeenaskedin the year1906to point outonalarge-scalemapof Western Tibet thesourceofthe Brahmaputra, they wouldhavebeenconsi derablyperplexed,andeachwouldhavelaid his: fingeronadifferentplace. Even thosewhoknew Ryder's results wouldhavegivenundecided answers. Noone,noteven Ryder himself,couldhaveplaced'thepoints ofcompassesona particular point.andsaid ,Here.'Theposition oftheSutlejsourcewould havebeenfixed with still greater uncertainty, and onlythosewhoknewtherecordswouldhaveansweredthatthequestionhadnotyetbeendecided.Thesourceofthe Indus might havebeen located within' a narrower circle, though its radius wouldhave measured 20 miles;butnoEuropeanhadtriedto' reach it,and Montgomerie's pundits hadbeen obligedtoturnbackwhen there werestillseveral days' journeyfromthesource.Atlastintheyear1907IsucceededinfindingmywaytotheSOU1cesofallthreerivers.''*Inspite ofSvenHedin'sverdictin1907,and the subsequent acceptanceofthesameby Burrard' oftheSurveyof India, thesourcesofthefourrivers SutIej, Indus, Brahmaputra" and Karnali were,as H-' matteroffact,as uncertain, intheyear1936(i.e.,30years after Sven Hedin) evenastheyhadbeeniII the year1906.Atlastitwasintheyear1937thatT'o succeeded indiscoveringthesourcesofthesefour-*tus.,p"103.

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SOURCEOF'THE '103rivers fromall the points ofview,namely,tradition,volume, length, andglaciers. Here onemore point conspicuously attracts our attention. Onaclose observation ofSvenHedin'smapwenotethathegivesthe Tibetan namesof only three sub-glaciers ofthe Kubi-kangri group (Langtchen glacier, Absiglacier,andNgomo dingling glacier) but notofthe Brahmaputra glacier. Brahmaputra glacieris theIndianname and certainlynotthe Tibetan name.WIlYshouldhe parti cularly evade giving the Tibetan name of the Brahmaputra glacier,whenhecouldgiveusthe Tibetan names of the sourcesof the Sutlej (Gang lung glacier)and the Indus (Singi-kabab)? IsitbecausethatSven Hedin believedthat"Providence hadreservedforhimthe triumph of reaching the actual sourceof theBrahmaputra"?The Tibetan name of the Brahmaputra glacierwouldhavegiven usaclueasto whether the Tibetans really considerthattobe the sourceof the Tamchok Khambab.Ifthere bean impartial judge,Iwould stand beforehimandclaim the trophy for having dis coveredtherealsourcesofthefour great rivers after actually visiting them. Except for the "I'ibetans 'themselves,Icansay without fearof contradictionthatIam the. firstto visit anddiscover the sources of all the four rivers simultaneously, inspite ofa completelackofthe expeditional equipment which allthepreviousexplorershad.Ifanybody wants to verify the validity ofmyfindings,I 'am readyto accompany any expedition party andguideittothe various sourcesofthese rivers andprove thetruthofmy statements totheir.entire. satisfaction.HadSven

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104 EXPLORATION INTIBETHedincaredatleasttonotethetraditionalsourceoftheBrahmaputra,11ecould have very easilygottheinformationfrom allYnomadtentorBongbatents.whichhecameacross allhis"ray toManasarovarfromtheKubi.FromallthatI have discussedanddescribed ifone judgeswithanunbiassedmind,onecannotbutconcludethatDr.SvenHedineitherconsciously evadedthequestionoftraditionalsource illthecase oftheBrahmaputrainordertohavethesalecreditofbeing'the" firstwhitemallandEuropean"to discoverit,ormadea grievouablunderill locatingthesource illtheKubiglaciersinsteadofplacingitintheChema-yungdungglaciers. 11:y readersmayhesitateto acceptthefirst view,butIamreluctantto acceptthesecondinview ofthefactthatSvenHedinhadtravelled for several daysamongstthosetractsandamongstpeoplemostofwhomvery "Tell knewtheChema-yungdungtobethereal source oftheBrahmaputraaccordingto 'theirtraditionandseveral ofwhomactuallygootothe very source oftheBrahmaputrafor wild yakhunting.OfthethreeheadwatersoftheBrahmaputra-e.theKubi,theChema-yungdung,theAngsi,andtheMariumchhu-theKubiisthebiggest (3! timestheChema),andassuchitssourceintheKubiglaciersshould be regarded asthesource oftheBrahmaputraifthequantityofwateristakeninto account.Butiflengthshould bethedeciding factor,theChema-yungdung,whichis '6 or7mileslongerthantheKubi(whichSvenHedinhimselfadmits),should bethemainstreamoftheBrahmaputra.TheKubi glaciers areat a distanceof.nearlyfour shortdays' march from the Chema-

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SOURCEOFTHE BRAIUMAPUTRA 105.yungdung glaciers.ThenagainAngsichhumaybeabitlongerthantheChema-yungdungandtheAngsi glaciers also are equally massive.Itseems, therefore,thatwemayhavetoshiftthesource of .theBrahmaputratotheAngsi. One moreinterestingpoint before I finishwiththeBrahmaputra.TheIndianBhotiamerchantswhogo fromtheManasarovar beyondtheKubitsangpo* for purchase ofwool, considertheTamu.lung tsotobethesource oftheBrahmaputra,inasmuchasastreamfromitflowsintotheAngsichhu.and subsequentlyintotheChema-yungdungwhichis considered 'I'amulung tso'Brahmakund,,andconsiderit.sacredandbatheinit.Bbotiascal] it Kupiehhu,'

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.'Iv. : ICHAPTERIISOURCEOFTHESUTLEJ.AboutthesourceoftheSutlejSvenHedin. writes, "Themonks(ofDolchu-gompa)believe that.thewater comesfrom Langak-tso,butnever theless they callit(the spring atDolchu)theLangchen-kabab, the river whichflowsoutofthemouth oftheelephant."*HereIwouldliketodrawthe attention ofthe' reader tothefollowing passage:"Ayear later I followedtheoldbeda day's march further west,and foundat Dolchu-gompa permanent springs ofabundantwater, which likewisewelluponthe bottom ofthebed.Fromhereandallalongitscourse through the Himalayas the Tibetans call the Sutlej Langchen-kamba, the Elephantriver;thehillonwhich theconvent Dolchu-gompa is built issupposed tobearsomeresemblancetoan elephant, andhence' the name. The spring atDolchuiscalledLangchen-kabab, orthe mouth outofwhichthe Elephant river comes,justasthe Brahmaputra sourceisthe' Tamchok-kabab, orthe mouth outofwhichthe Horse rivercomes,andthe Indus sourceisthe Singi kabab, orthe mouth fromwhichthe Lion river' comes.'I'he fourth in the seriesisthe Mapchu-

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SOURCE OFTHESUTLEJ107kamba, the Peacock river or Karnali.The Tibetans assertthatthesourceoftheSutlejisatthemonastery Dolchu,notuithe HimalaqasortheTransHimalaua, f1'0111t uihich, houieoer,itreceives very ooluminous tributaries.They arealsoconvinced'thatthe source water of the Langchen-kamba origi nates from Langak-tso. AndIwould draw parti cular attention tothefactthatthe firstofthetwoholy springs which pourtheirwater intotheTage tsangpo isalsocalled Langchen-kamba, aproofthatillold times the sourcewassupposedtolietothe east ofTsomavang. The above passage is characteristic ofSvenHedin'sargumentation. Onecannotehowhededuces inferences to suit his purpose.Hefurthersays,"Worthyof notice is the circumstancethat,according tothelamas of Tirtapuri, the Sutlej came from Rakas-tal, though the channel betweenthetwolakes wasdry,and therefore no water couldflowout of the western lake unless through subterranian passage. Hence itseemsthatthe monks trace backtheSutlej to Rakas-tal, inspite of climatic variations which cause the water tofail periodically."t Colebrooke,however,adds the suggestionthatthelake when itrisessufficiently may discharge its surplus' "rater to Rakas-tal, from which the Sutlej .originates.'.....Itisnot enough tosaythattheManasarowar is the sourceof the Sutlej.The' largest' :0the streams'thatfeedthelakeis the upper moat course of the Sutlej. And,as the Tage-tsangpo :" .! I Opecit.,p.182.t
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108EXPLORATION IN , verymuch Iarger thanall the rest, there canbe.. no doubt where the real sourcelies." The statement ofSven Hedinthat'cThe Tibetans assertthat the sourceoftheSutlej isattheanonastery Dolehu,notin'theHimalayasorthe Trans-Himalaya,from which, however,itreceives very voluminoustributaries.'isinconsonancewith 311din corroboration of .theKanqri Karchhakwhich-deseribes that,Ie theSutlej (Langchen Khambab) .takesitsrise from out ofthespringsintheground, onthewest of Manasarovar,atapagche(distance of.a day"sjourney) from Kailas, "Itisclearly written fumfine,Tibetanscripture theKanqri Karchhakthat 1tlhltef(ollmrgreat rivers taketheirrise fromthefour ofthe Kailasand Manasarovar,thatthe :Laumg
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SOURCEOF THESUTLEJ inthesprings of Singi Khambab and doesnottrace jt backtothesourceofanyriver liketheBokharchhuintowhichthewater ofthesprings flows. According to Sherring alsotheactualsourceoftheSutlej isinthespringsatDulchugompa."Theactual source ofthisriverisatthemonastery ofDnljuwhere there isa large spring,thoughadrychanneliscontinueduptotheRakshas tal, andin places in:this channel water is found.Thelocalstatementsallagreeinassertingthatthere isan underground flowof water throughouttheentire length ofthisdrychannel, which occasionally comestothesurfaceonlyto disappearlateron. There canbeno doubt,thatduring aseasonofvery heavyrainandfloodsthisdrychannelwould connectthesourceatDulju with the Rakshas tal. ,,* 'I'here isyet one more issue of serious consideration for further exploration and thatisasfollows. SomeTibetans believe andsaythattheSutlej (Langchen Khambab) disappears at Lejandak and reappears inthesprings at Dulehu monasteryanathatiswhythey holdthesprings at Dulchutobe the traditional sourceoftheSutlejaccordingtotheirscriptures.ButoneJoharmerchantatTarchen (southern footof Kailas) told methathe had travelled from Dulchu toLejandakonhiswaytoKailasalongtheSutlejinthe years 1937 and19&.Ciand saw "rater flowing very slowlyinit.I cannot definitely' say whetherhe actually saw theSutJejor mistook some other stream for the Sutlej. So the flowofwaterillthe Butlej fromthe camping

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110EXPLORATIONINTIBETgroundLejandaktoDulchu(ashortday'smarch)isamatterwhichremainsyettobe definitely ill vestigated. As argued by SvenHedininfixingthesource of theBrahmaputra,ifthequantityofwateristaken'into consideration,thesource oftheSutlejcannotbe 'placedintheKanglungglaciersbutsomewhere else. Personally I preferthelocaltraditionsinfixingthe'source ofarivertoanyotherconsiderations.ButIamsimplyoffering a suggestionincasethecriterionfor decidingthesource ofariveris changed .Aboutthreemiles down 'I'irthapuri, ariver,calledLangohentsangpo (bythesamenameasthe"I'irthapuribranch,coming fromtheRakshasTal)joinstheSutlej.WhenI askedmyguidewhythisriver was calledLangchentsangpo he told methatboththisandtheDulchubranchwenttomakeuptheLangchenKhambab(the Sutlej)andsothisbranch'also was calledLangchen.TheLangchentsangpo .oarriers morewaterthantheTirthapuribranch."The fourrivers-theChhinku,Guniyankti,Dannayankti,andtheGyanimabranchjointogetherto. 'form theriverLangchentsangpo.TheChhinkuandtheGyanimabranchescarrymuchless water,thantheothertwo.TheGuniyankti(calledChhuMinjunginTibetan)andtheDarmayankti(Ohh11Minjing)takenindividually carries morewatereachthantheTagtsangpo, whereitfallsintotheManasarovar.Ofthese two rivers,theDarmayankti.carries more water. 'TheDarmayanktitakenindivi dually also often carries morewaterthantheTirthapuribranch.Soifthequantityofwateristakeninto.account,thesource oftheDarmayanktishould be.

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SOURCE OFTHESUTLEJ11:1thesource oftheSutlej ;thatis,itisintheZanskarrangenearDarmapass.Evenaccording to SvenHedin,theLangchentsangpo carried 2,943 cubic feetofwaterpersecond, whereastheTirthapuribranch(Sutlej) carried3,009cubic feetofwaterintheyear1908.Inotherwords,theLangchencarried 66 cubic feetlessthanthe'I'irthapuribranch.Eventhissmall difference of66 cubic feetisduetothefacts,thatSvenHedinmea sured thewaterintheChukta, Goyak, Trokpo-shar,andTrokpo-nupjustafter heavyrains,whereasthewaterintheSutlej, downtheLangchentsangpo was measured ona clear day.Hadalltheabove-men tionedstreamsbeen measuredunderthesame cir cumstances, certainly, evenintheyear1908BvenHedinwould have foundtheLangchentsangpocarrying1110rewutcrthanthe'I'irthapuribranch.CouldIgeteventheslightest hell) from any geogra phical society or fromtheSurvey ofIndiaoffice,I wouldhave easily measuredthevolume ofwatersimultaneously011anyparticularday and would have shownthattheLangchencarries morewaterthanthe'I'irthapuribranch.Surely SvenHedinwas conscious ofthisfact, forlateronhe remarksthat,"llndo1lbtedlytheDarma-yankticarries atcertaintimes morewaterthanthebranchofTirthapuri." So far asI have seen and sofarasmyinformation goes,theLangchentsangpo carries morewaterthantheTirthapuribranch.HundredsofBhotiamerchantsofJohar and Khampasgoing toGyamimaMandi,Tirthapuri,andGartokevery year cross these riversGuniyankti,Darmayanktiand'theTirthapuribranch,andtheyall testify to

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112EXPLORATIONINTIBETthiseffect.Thestreamswhichgoto formthe'Langchentsangpo, especiallytheDarmayanktiand.theGuniyanktireceive largequantitiesofwaterfromthemonsooninrainyseasonandfrom glaciers. alltheyear round, whereasthenortherntributaries. oftheTirthapuririverreceive lesswaterfrom these sources. SvenHedinhimself says, "Santtang Rangdol(his 'Tibetan g'uide)affir1nedthatthis river (Haltshor-chuorLangchentsangpo of Survey maps) hadas larqea ooiurne ofwaterastheSutlejitself, and therefore was held by some tobethepresentheadwateroftheSutlej.' '* WhenHenryStracheysuggeststhatthesource oftheriverDarmayanktimaybethesource ofthe' Sutlej, SvenHedindisposes ofthemattersummarilybysaying, Shortly after,intheautumnof 1846,HenryStracheyaccomplishedhiswel1knownjourney tothefrequently discussed lake district,turninghissteps firsttotheRaksas-tal,whichwas less known,andwhichseemed tohimmoreinteresting,becausetheSutlejranoutof its north-westerncorner.Hisexaminationconvincedhimthatno visible water-course leftthelakeandthattheonly outlet hecould:findwasthroughthe' permeable ground.Buthedid110tdenythatabund ant precipitationmightraisethesurface oftile lakes tosucha degreethatthesurplus water mightflow awaythroughthebed still visiblein the northwest. lie alsoputsthequestionwhethertheDarmayankti,atributarycoming fromthesouthandjoiningtheSutlej ofTirthapurimaynotbethetrue'*&Trans-Himalaya,'Vol.ill,pp.241, 242.

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26.Chema-yungdung-puGlaciers[See page 9927.T amchok KhambahChhorten[Seepages85 99

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28.TamchokKhambabKangri Glaciers[See page 9929. DulchuGompa[See page 106

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SOURCEOFTHESUTLEJ113source of the Sutlej. 'Thedecision,however,heleft forexact measurements.Undoubtedly,theDermayankti carriesatcertaintimesmorewaterthanthebranch.of Tirthapuri."*Sven Hedin passedbythis roadonlyonceandatthattime measured the water ofthevarious tributaries oftheSutlej under different circumstances and conditions, which supported his view,andeven then the Tirthapuri branch carried only66cubicfeetof water morethanthe Langchen tsangpo. Soitis evident, hewouldnotrelyon Tibetans for accurate information; howcouldhe then say with any certainty,"Undoubtedlythe Darma-yankti carries at certain times more water thanthe branch ofTirthapuri."?Evidently Sven Hedin "vas fullyawareofthefactthathetookthemeasurements of water inthedifferent streams under different circumstances. This shirking of thetruthonthepartofSven Hedin is worth noting. No doubt Strachey leftthedecisionforexact measure merits.Thatisfair,andhis statement wascorrect. OfcourseSvenHedingavethe measurements;butthey were taken under different conditions, andyetI1edisposesof Strachey's sllggestion, holdinghis own observations tobe quite correctand claiming for himself the credit of discovering" thesourceof the Sutlej. Sven Hedin continues, "Butifwearetomove thesource onepointtoanotheraccording to thevolumeofeitherstream,wemayaswellgive 1lp theproblem.asunsolvable.'Reckonedfromthe sourceoftheTage-tsangpotheTirihapuribranchisthelongest."tHere he brings into consideration*'Trans-Himalaya,'Vol.III,p.221.tIbid.8-1229B

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114EXPLORATIONINTIBETthelengthoftheriverandthelocaltraditionsandbegsthequestion.Buthe completely overlooksboththese pointswithoutanyheedin the caseofBrahmaputra."Somewritersdefinethesourceoftheriverasthepointofitssource,thatis most remote fromitsmouth.Colonel GeorgeStrahanhasshownthatifthisdefinition be applied totheGanges,itssource willnotbeHimalayanatallbutwilllienearMhowinCentralIndiaattheheadoftheChambal.',*If quantityofwateristakenintoaccount,thesource ofthefamousHolyGangescannotbe placed atGoumukh,butshould be located at theNitiortheManapassinasmuchastheAlakananda,whichtakesitsrisethereis twice asbigas the Bhagirathi(which comes from Goumukh) at Devaprayag where these two rivers meet.Hereistheobservation of LongstaffwhichbearsoutthecontentionthattheDarmayanktishould be regarded asthetruesource oftheSutlej, shouldthequantityofwaterbethecriterion."Ontheway wefordedtheDarmayankti,Gunyankti,andtheChu-Naku, allrapidglacierstreamswith011lyslightlysunkenbeds.Theformer is undoubt edly, asSirHenryStrachey suggestedin1846,thelongestbranchoftheheadwaters oftheSutlej ; whilethethreestreamswhichcombine to formChu-kar(Langchentsangpo of SurveymapsandHaltshor-chuof SvenHedin)mustcarry agreatervolumeofwaterthantheSutlej where I fordedatTirthapuri."t*BurrardandHayden,.op.cii.,p.184.+T.G. Longstaff, M.A., M.D.,Geographical Journal,February '[907., p. 208.

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SOURCEOFTHE SUTLEJ115WhenIhada talk with thegobaof 'I'archen about the findingsofSvenHedinregarding the sourcesof Tibetan rivers, he argued with meas follows: The Trokpo-shar, which jointstheSutlej..about sixmilesupTirthapurimonastery is much biggerthanthe Sutlej itself which comesfrom .Dulchu,as the Trokpo-shar brings large quantity of .glacial water. So,WIlYnotplace the sourceof the Sutlejin the Kailas Range, wherefromtheTrok po-shar takes its rise?' Logically speaking the goba'ssuggestion alsois certainly worthnoting;for according toSvenHedin'scalculation, the stream "I'rokpo-shar carried 953 cubicfeetof water per second, whereas the Dulchu branch carried only 661cubicfeetof water intheyear1908.Infixing the sourceofthe Brahmaputra, SvenHedingives preference tothe Kubi tsangpo over the Chema-yungdung, asthe Kubi is three andahalf times aslargeas the Chema.; but inthecaseof Sutlejhepaysnoheed whatever, even though the affluent Chukta is50 times aslargeas the source s.treamofthe Sutlej.LetSven Hedin speakfor himself."Theaffluent Chukta falls through a gapin the erosion terrace anddivides into fivedelta arms with thick greyish-brown foaming water above thegravelly ground. Thefifth arm of this river, which risesin the 'I'rans-Himalaya, was58yards broadand discharged 530cubicfeetpersecond.Itwas,indeed,aboutfiftytimesaslargeasthe source-streamoftheSutlej,.butthe latter flowsall theyear round, whereas the Chukta swellsup after rain butfails altogetherinthe coldof winter."**'Trans-Himalaya,'Vol.III,p.184.

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116EXPLORATIONINTIBET'I'houghtheChukta isfifty times as large as thestream oftheSutlej coming fromthesprings at Dulchu, SvenHedingives preference tothelatter'oilthegroundthattheformermightbecome dryinwinter, whilethelatter carriesthespringwaterfrom Dulchu alltheyear round.Iftheflowofwaterthroughouttheyear isa necessary condition, how couldSvenHedinsaythattheSutlej is coming from RakshasTalor Manasarovarthoughthechannel fromDulchutoRakshas Tal (a distance of two days' march) andtheconnecting channel from Manasarovar toRakshasTal aredryalltheyearround, according tohisown observations oratleast; forthemajorpartoftheyear according totheobservations ofhis predecessors?Eventheflow fromthesprings atDulchuand SingiKhambabisonly fora short distance, atthemost fortwo furlongs or even less.Hencetheflowof water alltheyear round fromthespring' sources, should notandcouldnot be broughtinasanargumentinthecaseoftherivers of these regions,Ifargued from the similarity of names eventhentheconclusion is irresistablethattheLangchentsangpo (Haltshor-chu ofSven Hedin) should bethe' principal headwater oftheSutlej, which we have already discussed. Nyanri gompa (the western monastery of Kailas), situatedalltherightbankofIJIla chhu, contains twobig' elephant tusks,whichareeach 20 inches in circumference attheirthicker' endsand54 inches long',and there isthefamous cavecalled' Langchen-phuk (elephant-cave) near' the monastery. Similarly, theZunthulphukgompa (eastern monastery of Kailas), situated ontIleright

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SOURCEOFTHE SUTLEJ117bankoftheZhongchhu(the.easterntributaryoftheIJIlachhu)containstwoelephanttusks,smaller than those illtheNyanrigompa. Sowhynotthesource oftheLIlachhuintheLhelaor 'I'sethi labe consideredthegeneticsourceoftIle Sutlej,inview ofthefactthattheLIlachhucarriesgreaterquantityofwater ,,'11e1'e it enters theLangakTsothantheTagwhereitfallsintotheTsoMavang,andinview ofthefactthateven ill tllis casethetraditionalsourceremainsilltactatDulchugompa?According to SvenHedin,theLhachhucarried 280 cubic feetofwaterpersecond, afew miles upNyanrig"ompa,intheyear1907. TIleZhongchhu,whichjoinstheLhachhuis almost equally big. 'Sothecombined river alongwiththeaffluents "I'archenchhuand Khalebchhucertainlycarry' over600 cubic feetofwaterpersecond, bythetimeitenterstheLangakTso; whereastheTag"tsangpobringsonly397 cubic feet of waterintothe'Mana .sarovar. SvenHedinleft no stoneunturned,rightlyorwrongly,byallmeans,to assertandclaimthathe "vas thefirstwhitemanto discoverthesources ofthethreegreatHimalayanriversunderdiscussion."Tosupporthisviews,inthecaseofIndus,he callsthesmallstreamBokharchhuasBokhartsangpo(big"river),whichisnotconsidered tobeatsangpobythelocalpeople;inthecaseofBrahmaputrahecallstheKubi,a'tsangpo';andmakestheChema-yungdung,a C chhu,,(which, also is called tsangpoaftertheAngsichhujoins it);andinthe-caseofLangchentsangpo(Darmayankti),whichis 'infactabigriverhe reducesittoanordinary

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118EXPLORATIONINTIBETstream'Haltshor-cIlll.'He does 110teven mention the name Langchen tsangpo 'lesttheverynameshouldgo against hisfindingsandbeproposedby someoneasthe Sutlej, on the likeness ofthename, Langchen 'andthebignessofthe river 'tsangpo.' Sven Hedin did,nodoubt,moreexploration workinthe unknown Tibetthanmany ofhispre decessors.Butthatisno argument whyweshould accepthisfindingsabout the sourcesoftheriversunder discussion asfinaland correct, especially when wesee quite a number ofreasons against these. Idonot mean tosaythatthe Rakshae Tal,theManasarovar andthe Tag are110tinthe catchment areaof the Sutlej basin. Myonly contention is: that,should the quantity of water bethe criterion fordecidingthesourceofa river, thesourceofthe' Sutlej certainly cannot beplacedin the Kanglung kangri but shouldbeplacedattheheadoftheDarmayankti, Trokpo-shar, Chukta, or L4a chhu asthe' case may be.AsSvenHedinargues, shouldthename of the spring Langchen Khambab on theTagbe a proofthatinoldendaysthesourceof theLangchenwassupposedtolietotheeastof Manasarovar, evenonthathypothesis, the Langchen tsangpo,theprincipal head-stream of which is Darmayankti, must carry greater weight soastodeducethatthe Langchen tsangpo isthe main head-stream of the Langchen Khambab and consequentlythatthe actual sourceis near theDarmapass.Ganga C1Lhu (theoutletofManasarovarinto Raksluis Tal):WhenSvenHedinvisited the ManasarovarI1efound"The highest point of Ganga

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SOURCEOFTHE SUTLEJ 119 chhulyingITIOrethan 6! feetabove the level of. Manasarowar andthebedoftheGangachhutobe dry.',IcrossedtheGanga Chhu just neartheChiu gampa, about a hundred yards from theManasarovar, on September 4, 1928.Thatyear itwasexceptionally dry,and there wasvery little rainfall," yet the Ganga Chhu was 3! feetdeepandtheflow wasvery rapid.Icrosseditasecondtimeon August 21, 1935, twomilesfromtheRakshas"Tal.TIlecurrent was gentle anditwas nearly 3feet deep.Icrosseditathirdtimehalf a mile from Manasarovar on September 5, 1937, anditwasnearly. feetdeep.Iagain crossedtheGanga Chhu011six other occasions near the Chiu* gompa earlyinwinter of 1937: whenIwasdoingthecircum ambulations oftheHoly Manasarovar.Thestream of water I! feetdeepwasfrozenen block in the bed of the Ganga Chhu.Butnear the hot springs (about 2 furlongs from Manasarovar) there was flowing water 6 inches deep.Ifollowedcloselythesix-mile winding courseof the Ganga Chhualongitsleft bank fromtheRakshas TalrightuptotheManasarovar on April 14, 1937, andIfoundiceand snow throughoutthebedoftheGanga Chhu, al though atseveralplaces regular slowflowofwatertowardstheRakshas Talwasseen.ThewaterwnsverymuddywheretheGanga Chhu wasflowing into the Rakshas Tal.Icrossed the Ganga Chhu again onJune26,andJuly17, 1937, when there wasa flowing' water about10inches deep.Icrossedit once again forthethirteenthtime onJuly 27, 1937; *Also pronounced'Jiu.'

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120EXPLORATIONIN TIBET andthewaterwasabout16inches deep.IcrossedtheGangaChhuat tV\70 places forthefourteenthtimeonAugust20, 1938,firstlyneartheChiugompaabouta100yards fromtheManasarovar,wherethewaterwas3feetdeep,andsecondly over 2 furlongsdowntheChiu hill (oroverhalfa milefromtheManasarovar) whereitwas21inchesdeep.Thecurrentofwaterwassufficientlyrapid.Icrossedittwiceagainatthesameplaces forthefifteenthtimeonAugust26,1938 where thewaterwas 3! feetand 27 inches deep respectivelyandtheflow wasrapid.Duringthecourse ofthese10yearsfrom1928to1938I crossedtheGangaChI1Uill different seasonsduringfive yearsandfortheremaining" fiveyearsenquiredaboutthesameoftheBhotiamerchantswho cross itannually.Iwasinformedthattherewasflowofwaterduringthoseyears also.Duringotheryears previous to1928 Ialsoenquiredof some elderlyIndiantradersWIlDannuallygooto'I'archenMandi(Kailas) fromDarma(NorthernAlmora).Butnone could tell meofanyyear'inwhichtheydid not wadetheGangaChhuandinwhichthebed oftheGangaChhuwas completelydry.Therearesufficient grounds to believethatariseillthelevelofthewaterofManasarovarandtheconsequent flowofwaterintoRakshasTalthroughtheGangaChhumaketheflowcontinuousintothenowso-called" OldbedoftheSutlej "fromtheRakshasTal.TheriseofwaterintheMana...sarovarandtheconsequent overflowintotheRakshasTalthroughtheGangaChhumaybecausednotonlybyheavyrainsbutalsobymeltingsnowdue tobrightsunnydays..

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SOURCEOFTHE SUTLEJ121 Manasarovar and RakshasTalmighthave been zD11e continuous lake011ceandtherange of hillsnowseparatingthetwo lakesmightbeduetoa subsequentupheaval,theGangaOhhu formingtheoutlet of Manasarovar into RakshasTal.Thisoutlet is40to100feetinbreadthand 2 to4feetindepth generally duringthesummer andrainyseasons. I took nine rounds of Manasarovar (outof which-onewasdoneintwodays)andfoundtheGangaChhutobetheonlyoutlet oftheLake.Sothestatementand belief ofseveralpeoplewhohadnever undertaken evenonefull circuit of Manasarovar,thattheBrahmaputratakesitsrise from Manasarovar onitseasternbankis absolutely ground .. lessanduntruelikethestatementsthattheIndushas its SOllI'Ce atthenorthernfootof Kailasandflowsbyits western side.Oldbedofthe S11tlej: 'I'hatpartoftheSutlej whereitiswrittenontheSurveymaps:"oldbed-oftheSlltlej," containedwaterand there was conti nuous flowfrom RakshasTalupto Lejandak which isaday'smarch,I noticed itin August 1928 and 'alsoinAugust1935.Sotheword"oldbedoftheSutlej should be deleted fromtheSurvey maps,in -view ofthefactthatthere has been a continuous -flowofwaterfromtheManasarovar intotheRakshasTalthroughtheGangaOhhu and fromtheRakshas.Talintothenow so-called'' old bedoftheSutlej."Eventakingfor grantedthattheGangaOhhu or --the so-called"oldbedoftheSutlej "becomesdry-onsomerareoccasions inthecourse ofa century, we cannot callthatportion, Lejandak, an"oldbedoftheSutlej." Moreover

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122EXPLORATION INTIBETSvenHedinhimself writes, "Worthyof notice is: thecircumstancethataccording tothelamas of 'I'irthapuri the Sutlej came fromRakshasTal.Henceitseemsthatthemonks trace backtheSutlej toRakshasTal, inspite of climatic variations which causethewatertofail periodically." Ido110tknowwhyandwithwhatmeaningand significancetheSurvey maps write"oldbed of theSutlej "from RakshasTalto Lejandak (in. blue dashes)and"dry channel "from Lejandak toDulchu(in black line)andyetkeepthesource of theSutlej in'theKanglungglaciers.Inall probabilitytheSurvey ofIndiaOfficemighthaveborrowed'thenomenclature from SvenHedin.Ganges-SutlejConiusion:Forseveralgenera tions therehasbeen a hopeless confusion ofthe' rivers GangesandSutlej, which ismainlytwo-fold" Most oftheWesternaswellastheEasternexplorers, ,surveyors, tourists, and pilgrims totheManasarovarlakes prior toSvenHedinwere underthewrong notionthattheGanges andtheSutlej tooktheirrise frorn Manasarovar and Rakshas 'I'al,while' somehaveconfoundedtheGangeswiththsSlltlej ,or made onethetributaryoftheother..HinduPuranasdescribetheGanges asdes cending fromtheMount Kailas,IsbrantsIdes' (1704)was informed byJesuitsinPiking,whoin''turngotthenewsfrom Chinese sources,that the Manasarovar and Rakshas 'Talgavebirthto the .Ganges. Desideri (1715 A.D.) describesthe Ganges'as: takingitsriseintheKailas and Manasarovar ...FatherGaubil (1729)saysthatthree head-streams

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SOURCEOFTHE SUTLEJ123 of the "Gangesflow intotheManasarovar..D'AllvilIe (1735) makestheLangchenKhambab(Sutlej) identicalwiththe Ganges.FatherJoseph Tiffenthaler (1765?) confusestheGangeswiththe"Sutlej.Purangir,who accompanied Bogle andTurnerto Tibet (1773) reportsthattheGanges has its sourceon Kailas andfrom thereitflowsintotheManas andfromthe'Manasitflowsout again. MajorJ.Rennell (1782)describestheGangesasrunningoutof Manasarovar. CaptainF.Wilford (1800) writesthattheGangesis the only riverthatreally issuesfrom Manasarovar. 'ThesourceoftheGanges wasfinallydiscoveredtobeat Gangotri (Goumukh) in1808byLieutenantWebb;yet Webber(1866)placedthesourceoftheGanges onthesouthern flankof Gurla Mandhata ;andEkaiKawag'UCIli,tIle Japanese Buddhist monk, who travelled throughIndiaand Tibetin1897-1903, drank deep of the sacred water of the Ganga at the spring' Chhumik 'I'hungtol 'onthesouth-eastern sideof Manasarovar, andmade the Sutlejatributaryofthe' Ganges 'Ineednot mention the names ofthe' severalpiousHindupilgrims, whostillbelievethattheGanges takes its risefrom Manasarovar.ButIIp till nownone,notevenSven Hedin,hasexplained satisfactorily whySUClla confusionwas made repeatedly evenby great explorersand writers. Certainly there must besome reason which hasallalong misled somallYpeople into making-such incorrect statements,Evento-day man}' orthodox and religious-mindedHindusaswellasthecultured Indians.confoundthe channel Ganga Chhu (the outlet of Manasarovar into Rakshas Tal)with

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124 EXPLORATIONINTIBET.Ganga (River Ganges),*astheword'Ganga'is .commoninbothandsaythat" liketheIndus,theBrahmaputra,theSarajuandtheSutlej,theGanges(thethirdbiggest oftheHimalayanrivers) alsohasitssource in Manasarovar,"thoughtheGanges has -absolutely110connection whatsoeverwiththeRiver Ganges. No doubt, one CaptainF.Wilfordwas 'about topointouttheroot cause ofall the confusionwhenhe quotedtheTibetanscripture-thus:'.'thefour sacred rivers,springingfromtheManasarovara according tothedivines ofTibet,aretheBrahma-putra,theGanges,theIndusandtheSitaeTIleGangoesistheonlyonethatreally issues fromthelake. and ifthethreeothers doitmustbethroughsubterraneanchannels ; andsuch communi cationswhetherreal orimaginaryarevery common "in thePuranas."tEvidentlytheCaptain was "citingthepassage fromtheTibetanKailasPurana. But most unfortunately tIle passage was quoted wrongly illpart.SvenHedinalso quotes fromthe. 'translation ofsomeTibetanworksthefour rivers 'Ganges, Sindu,Pakshu,andSitaas coming from -the mountainswithfaces respectively ofan elephant,'agaruda, a horse,andalion;but the' coursesoftheserivers arenotdescribedinthecommentary as intheKang1iKarchhak,'Thereal solution is very simple, provided onehasa chance ofhavinga glanceintotheKangri*,Ganges'isthe corrupted English formoftheoriginal(Sanskrit wordGanga.GangaisthecommonhouseholdtermforGanges'throughoutIndia.tCaptainF.Wilford, quotedbySvenHedininhisCTrans.. lHimal$ya,' Vol.ill,p.

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SOURCE OFTHE 125' I{a-rchhak. Ganga,Sindhu,SitaandPakshuorVakshuaretheIndiannames, as givenbythe I(angTi !(arch,haktotheLangchenKhambab'(Sutlej),theMapchaKhambab(Karnali),theSingi I{11ambab (Indus), andtheTamchokKhambab(Brahmaputra)respectively. SecondlyHardwar:is called ChomaGanga"byTibetans.ThirdIy,theSutlejhas beendescribedastakingitssource onthewestof Mallasarovarandflowing towardsthewestinTibetandinIndiaforsome' distance.Itisfurtherdescribed as having takena turn towards ,the east, flowingnorthofBuddhaGayaandfinally fallingintotheocean ontheeast.Itisonthesupport of thesethreepointsthatTibetansbelievetheGangaChhuandconsequentlytheSutlejtobethesame astheGages atHardwar.Oritis alsojustpossiblethatbased onthiswrongandcon foundedunderstandingthe above statementsabouttheSutlej havebee11recorded illtheKangriKatchhak.Anywaythereis undoubtedly a confusion of namesandnotionswhichrequires clarification. Soitistheword'GangaChhu'whichhas misledtheIndiansandtheearly explorersandwritersto believe that tho Gangeshasitssource ill theManasarovar;anditistheIndianequivalent ,Ganga'fortheSutlej intheKanqriKarchhak,whichhasmisledTibetansto believethattheGanges atHardwaristho same astheGangaChhuandconsequentlytheSutlej.Itis these wrong*Choma means' nun;,so Ch01110 Ganga. means Ganga-1VIayiof. theHindusor' Mother Ganges 'inEnglish.TheGanges atHardwaris also calledChhumo(big river)Ganga.

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126EXPLORATION INTIBETnotions prevailing amongst the Indians and 'I'ibetans 'that havetoa great extent influencedandmisledthevarious explorers,surveyors, travellers, pilgrims, and geographers up till now.I fervently hopethatthispieceofuseful information will throw afloodoflightonthesubjectandgivea death-blow tothe Ganges-Sutlej confusion which hasbeen perpetuated forsomanycenturies.

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CHAPTERIIISOURCEOFTHEINDUSRegardingthesourceoftheIndus,SvenHedinwrites, Our camping ground onthebankoftheIndus(16,663 feet)iscalled Singi-buk.Eastwardsthevalley is broad and openbuttheIndusitself is here an insignificant stream. Iwas thereforenotastonished when I heardthatitisonlya shortday'sjourneytothesource, which, Iwastold,doesnotproceedfrom SI10V,T oragolacier,butsprings up out oftheground. 'I'hemencalledtherivertheSingi tsangpo, or Singi-kamba, and the source itself Singikabab."* A little later we camp attheaperture ofthespring, which issowellconcealedthatitmighteasily beoverlooked without aguide."t"Atthispoint,thesituation whichhadbeen discussed and searched for during some 2,000 years,thefamous Singi-kamba orIndusis born.But the infantricerwhichisa mere brook, lis muchshorterthanboththeLungdepandtheMunjam.Continuing north-eastwards one still remains fora considerable distancewithinthedrainageareaof* Trans-Himalaya,'Vol.II,p.210.. .tOp. cit .., p. 2l9.

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128EXPLORATION INTIBETtheIndus,forinfactandstrictlyhydrographicallytheSingi-kambaisonly a rightornortherntributarytotheBokhar-tsangpo, VV hich,itself, is011ly a veryinsignificantbrook.Comparedwith the latter, both Lunqdep andMun.ianl haveagreater qltantit.y ofuiaterand11iaybesomeuihatlarqer thantheBokhar,thoughallofthemareveryshortFrom a. hydrographicPOi11tof viewit 1rtay besau! to be amatteroftaste which ofthese dilfeTent brooksshouulbereqardedastheprincipalsourceofthe' Indus.Thequestionisofnogreatconsequence, for,whicheverbranchshould be chosen,its sourceissituatedat a shortday'smarchfromtheSingikabab.The problem. cannotbeset-tledin.any 1110re satisiacttm; 1.cny iluin.toaccepttheTibeuuiviewand l"egaTd the Singi-kabab astheSOU1"CeoftheIrulus,inspiteofitsbeingtheshortestandone ot thesmallestoftheseoeralsourcebranches.Anyattempttopersuadethe'I'ioeumsthattheSin/(Jikababicerenotthe Teal SOU1ce 1V01tld fail,[orithastraditioninits[aoour,isa sacred place adorned witl11'11ani pyramidsandprayerstones,anditis one ofthefour famouskababs.r'"" 'I'he velocity oftheSingi-kampawastwiceasgreatasthatoftheGartong-chu.Thevolume oftheSingi-kampawas 9 cubicmetrespersecond,thatoftheGartong-chu6Havingdecidedthatthe'Singi-kampamustbe regarded as issuingfromthetruesource oftheIndus,SvenHedin,followedthismainbranchoftherivertoitsoriginintheTrans-Himalaya.Thefirstbranch SouthernTibet,'Vol.II,po213.

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l ..' ..... 30.KanglungKangriGlaciers[Seepage108 ----, 31.ChiuHill,withGangaChhuflowingatits foot [Seepage119

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.. ; ..

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. ....

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32.SingiKhambab[ See pages 81,12933.Mapcha C:hungo [ See page 134

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SOURCE orTHE I:NDUS129 junction that he reached wasthat of Lungdep-chu : hefound thatthere was a greater volumeof water intheLungdep-chu than intheSingi itself, and he was inclined to regard itasthesourceoftheIndus,butasitwasheldbythelocal Tibetans tobea. tributary only,he acceptedtheir view, and perse vered in climbing the rocky bedoftheBingi.The volume of waterinthenexttributarytheMunjamflowing intotheSingi-kampa was very small (onethirdofa cubic metre), and SvenHedincontinued his climb totheparticular source, which the'I'ibetans calledthesourceoftheSingi-kampa.Thesource is known' as theSingi-kabab, theLion'smouth'andis 941 feet high.''*Insteadof first measuring thevelocity ofthe two rivers,theSingitKhambab and theGartongCll11U, at theirconfluence, andthengOillgouptheSingiKhambabtofindoutthesources oftheIndus,as described tousbyBurrard,SvcnHedinfirstfixedthesourceof theIndusintheSingiKhambabspringsandthenwent downto measure the velocity ofthewater illtheGartong chhu.It "vas an accidental coincidencethattheSingiKhambab carried more waterthantheGartong at. thattime. Evenifhehadfound Gartongchhucarrying more water, asitdoes oftentimes, Sven Hedin would certainly nothave shiftedhissource, ficin theSingi Khambab.Eventakingfor granted fora moment th:at SvenHedinmeasured atfirstthevelocities ofthe two rivers attheconfluenceand *' Burrard and Hayden,Opecit.,p.241. tAlso pronounced ISengi'orI Benge."9-B

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. 130EXPLORATIONINTIBETfoundtheSingiKhambabcarryinggreaterquantity of waterthantheGartongandthenwentupthe. SingiKhambahtotracethesource oftheIndus,whyshould he miserably fail to applythisvery '''.theoryofgreaterquantityofwater"onlyafterafew days'march,andjumpatthe traditiontheory,"whenhe reachedthevery :firstbranchjunctionnamely,theLungdhep?Butthegreatexplorer completely overlookedthetraditionsoftheIocalTibetanswhenhewentto:fixthesource oftheBrahmaputra!BoththeLungdhepchhuandtheMunjanchhu which flowintotheSingi, .andtheBokharchhuintowhichthetinybrook oftheSingiKhambabsprings flowsareall decidedly severaltimes' biggerthanthelittle brook formedbythesprings ofthe.SingiKhambab.InspiteofthatSvenHedinis liberal enough togive over-weightage tothe' Tibetantraditionsfor"tIleproblemcannotbe .settled, "Thefact is, SvenHedincouldnotspare moretimefor exploration illthecircumstancesunderwhich hehadto labour duetotherestrictions .ofthe'I'ibetan Government. Ofthedifferent source streams oftheIndus-the'I'sethichhu,theLungdhepchhu,theMunjanchhu,.andtheBokharchhu,theLungdhepchhucarries mostwaterandisthelongest ofallthestreams. Iwenttothesource oftheIndusbythe the laand.returnedbytheTopchhen la; therefore Idid not. see 'personallytheTsethichhu,butmyguide informed methattheLungdhepchhuisbig-gel"thantheTsethi.chhu.NextcometheMunjanand,theBokhare ,chhu,bothofwhichappeared to be almost ofthe

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SOURCE OFTHEINDUS131samesize;some shepherds heldtheBokhartobe biggerthantheMunjan,andmyguide saidthatthe..Munjan was bigger than.theBokhar,.butIamnotdefiniteaboutit.Anyway,theLungdhepchhuiscertainlythebiggestandthelongest,andassuchitssource,whichisintheTopchhenla, should be .consideredthesource oftheIndusifthequantity (of waterorlengthistakenas criterion for fixingitssource.Thestatementofsome writersthattheIndustakesitsrise fromthe northernfootoftheKailaspeak is absolutely wrong".Inspite oftheoverwhelming evidence tothe.contrary,SvenHedinseeksto showthatthecredit.ofhaving" discoveredthesourcesofthe'Indus,Brahmaputra,.andSutlejgoestohimascouldbe .seen from thefollowingpassages. "Butnopundithadsucceededinpenetratingtothesource,andtheone 'VI10 hadadvanced nearest to it, namely, toapoint30miles fromit,hadbeen attacked by robbersandforcedtoturnback.Consequently,until0111"timetheerroneous opinion 1)re vailedthattheIndushaditssource onthenorth'flankof Kailas, and, thanks tothosetuimirablerobbers, the discooeru ojtheIndussourcewas reservedJOT and five Ladakis.,, E andIrevelledintheconsciousness that,excepttheTioeiansthemseloes,noother humanbeuu;but 111yself hadpenetratedtothisspot. .Greatobstacleshadbeenplacedin 11ty way,but Providencehadsecuredfor rite the triumph ofreach-. .ingtheactualSOU1cesoftheBrahmaputra andIndus,andasceriainuu;the origin Ofthese two historicalriversNot without pride, but still

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132EXPLORATIONIN TIBETwithit feelingof humble thankfulness, Istood there" consciousthatIwasthefirstwhitemanwhohad'everpenetratedtothesourcesoftheIndus and' Brahrnapuira.,,* loved thisstream(Sutlej) tornowhiteman.hadeverseenits source before' now."t HadSvenHedingoneto the confluenceofthe' Gartong and the Singi in summer, before visitingtheSingi Khambab, hewouldhave certainly found thewaterintheformer tobe greaterthan in the'latterandwouldhavefixed the sourceoftheIndusat the head of the Gartong according to thequantityof water andhewouldneverhave cared either for'theSingiKhambabortheTibetan traditions and sentiments. Certainly the Gartong oftentimes, carries more waterthanthe Singi itself. However he foundthewater in the Singi tobe greaterthanintheGartong when he went there in early winter' and remarkedthus:"Accordinglythe Singi kamba, theLionriver isnotonlythelongerbutalsothemore voluminous of the two head-streams, andtheproblem issolved. Certainly itmaybe suggestedthatthedimensions givenaboveonly apply to lateautumnand winter, forin summer and' especially during therainyseasonvery different conditionsmayprevail. No doubtthis js thecase.Therainfall diminishes north-eastwards, and there fore morerainfallsinthebasin oftheGartong than inthatofthe Singi-kamba, which may berobbed of moisture bytheTrans-Himalaya.Thespring Trans-Himalaya,' Vol.II,pp.212-214.t C 'I'rans-Himalaya';' Vol. pp. 245.

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SOURCE OFTHEINDUS133'flood consequent011themeltingof snowISalso .greater illtheGartong.Howoftenirregularities.must occur ill consequence ofthedirection ofthewindandcapriciousvariationsoftemperature.Inthemeantimewemayconsideritprobablethatthe-Gartong carriesduringthewholeyearmorewaterthantheSingi-kamba,butwehaveatleastdiscover edthattheSinqi-kamoaisalargestream; (clisturbing influencesareatwork,whenthere is. no precipitation, andwhenthetemperatureintheiuio river basin l1tay beconsidered identical.''*The.conditionsmentionedinthepassagearenotoften fulfilled except fora couple ofmonthsorsointhe So shouldthequantityofwaterbetakenintoconsideration,perhaps,theGartongtmay-taketheprominentplace, yet tobethoroughlyinvestig-atedbyfutureexplorers.ButiftheTibetantraditionsaretakenintoaccountthesource oftheInduswould beinthespringsofSingiKhambab.only. TIle confusion oftheInduswiththeSutlej{LangchenKhambab o.r Elephant-mouthedriver)by.several explorersinthepastisperhapsduetothefactthattheuppermosthead-streamoftheriverGartong(which is itself oneoftheheadwaters of.''theIndus)is calledLangpochhechhu(Elephant-river). '* & Vol.III,pp. tI saw thesourceoftheGartong chhu(whichisattheheadof,the Langpochhe chhu)froma distance of Q fewmileson September '

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CHAPTERIVSOURCEOFTHEKARNALIAfter two days'marchfrom 'I'aklakot uptheKarnali,the fourth oftheseries ofthefour great rivers oftheHoly Manasarovar,Ireached a place called.Mapcha Chungo ontherightbankof the river. Attheec1g'eofthebankisabig l1'Lani-wall withseveral 111,ani-slabs and streamers.Gettingdownafew yards towardsthebedoftheriverIwas shown -the big spring of Mapcha Chungo (peacock head)gushingoutfromthewallofthesteepbankofthe' river. I visitedthisplaceon September 9, 1928, .andon August 23, 1936. There aresomemanistones. and afew streamersnearthespring'. TIle' .water gushillg'outofthespring flowsdowna beauti ful green velvetymoss(having'some resemblance totheneckofapeacock) intotheKarnali below.Thisspring isthetraditional sourceoftheMapchhu.orMapcha Khambab (peacock-mouthed river or Karnali)andas suchtheactual or genetic sourceoftheMap chhu orKarnaliisIleal'theLampiyapass, wherefromthemainstream oftheKarnalicomes. Some explorers haveplacedthesourceofthe' KarnaliintheRakshas Tal, because oneofitshead"'streams,theGurla chhu,has its sourcein the glaciers onthenorth-western slopesoftheGurla

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SOURCEOFTHEI{ARNALI 135 Mandhata peaks, south-east of Gurla pass.ThisGurlaCI1I1Uflows into the Karnali, about a mile downthevillage Kardung. Those whogoto KailasbytheLipuLekhpassand Taklakot, crossthis, stream atthe southern footoftheGurla pass.Thereis another small stream which hasgot its sourceon'.the south-eastern sideof the Gurla pass(notvery farfrom where Gurlachhutakes its rise)butflows to the northern sideoftheGurla pass into Rakshas Tal. TIle Gurla chhu isabig' stream whereas the other stream isavery small011e.'I'hoseWI10didnot trace the coursesofthetwo streams closely; confounded both andplacedthesourceoftheKarnali (Mapcba Khambab) either in Rakshas Tal orill the Gurla Mandhata. TIle Gurla chhu ismuch smallerthanthe Map chhu proper. Moreoverthe-traditional springsource-MapellaCIlungo-isontheMap ohhu, which is the longest aswellasthe' biggest headwater oftheKarnali. Sotheglacial sourceoftheKarnali is nearLampiyapassintheZanskarrange.Itmaybenotedthatthe combined river of Kali, corningfromtheLipuLekhpassandtheSarajucorningfrom the N andakot iscalled Sarada fromTankpurdownwards. TIle Karnali coming from'theMapcha Chungo, ofter its mountainous courseinManasa Khanda and Nepal, iscalled Gogra, which receivestheSarada atChouka ghat.FromChoukaghattill itfalls into the Ganges, down Chapra, the combined river 'is known by both the names of Gogra and Saraju. I make a mention of this fact here, because somepeoplebelievethatthe' river Saraju takes its risefrom Manasarovar.

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CONCLUSION'I'rtuiiiional Sources:IfTibetantraditions areiakenintoaccount to:fixthesources oftheriversunderdiscussion,thesourceoftheSutlej(LangchenKhambab) is inthespringsnearDulchugompa,"about 22 miles westofParkha;']thatof -the Indus(Singi Khambab) isinthesprings of SingiKhambab(half a milenorthofBokharchhu), north-east of Kailas,53miles fromParkha;thesource oftheBrahmaputra(Tamchok Khambab) is atthehead oftheChema-yungdung attheTamchokKhambabChhorten, 92 miles fromParkha;andthatoftheKarnali(Mapcha Khambab) isinthe'spring Mapcha Chungo, about 23 miles north-westofTaklakot.Whenonceithasbeen acceptedthatthesources.ofthe'I'ibetan rivers aretobe located according to 'thelocaltraditionI have no disputeinacceptingthe.sourceoftheIndus,as pointedoutby SvenHedin, since Itoo came tothesame conclusionwhenI 'visitedtheplace011July4, 1937, and stayedin the IvisitedDulchugompa onAugust30,1936,andtheKanglung onJuneis, i937. .'. _.', ......'.tDistancesaregivenfromParkha,as isthePost-stageand qffi.cial andManasarovar, Mileages giveninTibetan area are subjecttoslight corrections. .. .,

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CONCLU,SION137.surroundings forthreedays.ButI wouldcertainlymakeanemphaticnote of dissent'againsthisplacingthe oftheSutlejandtheBrahmaputraintheKanglungandtheKubiglaciersinsteadofinthetraditionalplaces,DulchugompaandtheChema.yungdungokangriglaciers respectively.Ifanyothertheorybutthatoftraditionis acceptedinfixingthe.sourcesof these rivers,thesources ofallthethreerivers,theSutlej,theIndus,andtheBrahmaputra.are tobe certainly shifted fromtheir present ,tions as given by SvenHedinandshould be placed .elsewhere after a fresh, systematic,andscientific -exploration.Itwillnotbeoutof placeifI quote here afew Jines fromtheJournaloftheRoyal Geographical Society, LOlldonforFebruary 1939, fromT.G.Longstaff's110teonmyshortpaperonthesubject 'publishedintheJournal: "Iaminfull agreement'withhim(SwamiPranavananda)inacceptingthetraditionalsources ofthefour rivers.Iflengthis tobethecriterion,thenfurthersurvey is required,Ifvolume istakenasthetest,then,withglacial sourcesandanArcticwinterclimate to contendwith,flowmustbe measuredthroughoutthe ye?r. savours ofimpertinenceforEuropeansto asserttheirviewsagainsttheusage ofothercivilizations. Ihavegotno objection if these riversaretracedtothegeneticsources'withoutdislocating the traditionalplaces, as it is logical and doesnottamperwiththereligious susceptibilitiesandusages of t4.9local people concerned.Thus'without -thetraditionalsources wecantrace tothegenetic.source,inthe case oftheSutlej, tQ the L)ie

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138EXPLORATIONINTIBETlaor 'I'sethi la,(30milesfrom Parkha) theheadof theLhachhu (accordingtothe quantity ofwater); ortotheKanglung kangri g'laciers(about65miles' from Parkba), attheheadoftheTag tsangpo (ac cording'to length). Soalsothegeneticsource of the Brahmaputra canbe taken tothe Chema-yung 'dung kangri glacier(or Tamchok Khambab kangri glaciers)amileupthe Tamchok Khambab Chhorten ; and the genetic sourceofthe Karnali tothe Lampiya pass(two short days' journey from the traditional source,MapchaChungo),bothinrespectof length andvolumeof water. 'I'henillthecaseofall these threerivers-Slltlej,Brahmaputra, and Karnali-s thesourcesshallbeglacial.Butinthecaseof Indus ifwe want togootothe genetic source, without disturbing the traditional source,itwouldbeat; the headofthe Bokhar chhu or near theLamala (a short day's march fromthe springs of, Singi Khambab), neither ofwhichisglacial.Moreover the Bokhar chhu is neither thebiggestnorthe longestofthe head-streams ofthe Singi.*Sources accordinqtotheQuantityof Water:'Shouldthe quantity of water bethecriterion, then' thesourceoftheSutlejisneartheDarma pass(four"days' journeyfrom Dulchu gompa),at the headof".ItwillnotbeoutofplaceifI just makea reference heretothesourceofthe river Kali, The genetic sourceoftheKaliis near the.LipuLekhpass,butthe traditional sourceisinthe springs ofKalapani,nine milesbefore reaching theLipuLekh. AstheriverKaliis considered the boundary between NepalandBritishIndia,the' territory of Nepal alongtheKali ends abruptlyat Kalapani. So' rb isclearthatinthecaseoftheKalialso,thetraditionalsource inthe springs ofKalapanihasbeenacceptedbytheSurveyOfficeanathe British Government.

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CONCLUSION 139' 'theriverDarmayankti;thesourceofthe Indus isnearthe, Topchhen la (26 miles fromParkha)at, "theheadoftheLungdhepchhu;thesourceoftheBrahmaputraisintheKubi glaciers atthehead of the Kubi river (3or4 short days'marchfrom the' Chema-yungdung glaciers); andthesourceoftheKarnaliisneartheLampiyapass (2 short days"marchfromthespring Mapcha Chungo).When'thusvolume istakeninto considerationthesources areall glacial. Excepting'inthecaseoftheKarnali,thetraditional sourcesofalltheother threeriversare dislocated. According tovolumethesourceoftheSutlejmayalsobe either attile head oftheTrokpo-shar chhu, oratthehead oftheChukta chhu, oratthehead oftheLhachhu, which has been already discussed ill detail under .the heading."Source oftheSutlej."SourcesaccordinqtotheLength:Should length bethetest,thesourceoftheSutlej wouldbeintheKanglungkangri.ButtheSarno tsangpo andthesouthern trib-utary (Ganga) oftheTagshould alsobegiven due consideration which, Iwas informedbysome nomads recently, are longerthanthe Tag andwhichneitherSvenHedinnor Idid investigatebygoing'totheirsources.Itmaybe rememberedthattheword' Ganga 'isa synonym of'Sutlej'in'Tibetanscriptures.The'sourceoftheIndus wouldbenearthe'I'opchhen laatthehead oftheLungdhepchhu;thesourceoftheBrahma-putra is intheChema-yungdung or TamcokKhambabkangri glaciers atthehead of the' river Chema-yungdung; andthesourceofthe Karnali isneartheLampiyapass.When length

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140EXPLORATIONINTIBETistakenasthetest,thetraditionalsources ofthethree Brahmaputra,andKarnali. areintact,andthatoftheIndusalone is dislocated; .butthesources ofalltherivers are glacial. SvenHedin'ssources oftheSutlejintheKanglungkangri,oftheIndusinthespringsof.SingiKhambab,andoftIleBrahmaputraintheKubiglacierswould110tsatisfyanyoneoftheabove three critcria-s-tradition, volume, orlength-inits.entirety;andas such11ecannot claim tobe" the firstwhitemanandEuropean"to discoverthe. sources of these riversfinally,unless one acceptshisfixing ofthesources at random, applying differentIcriteriafordifferentrivers, tosuithisownCOllvenience,whim,andtaste. Inowleavethematterfor serious consideration totheearnestandsincere seekersaftertruthinthisrealmof knowledge todrawtheirownjudgmentinthe lightofthefew factsIhave placed beforethem.'I'ruth willandshall have tocometolight.someday.Itcannot be hidden for ever.Letmeclosemythesiswiththefamous quota tion fromtheBriluulartuuialca Upanishad: IIFrom untruthleadmeto'I'ruth ;FromdarknessleadmetoLight;. From mortalitylead metoImmortality.

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APPENDIX IGLOSSARYOFrrIBETANANDOTHERWORDS[H.-Hindi;S.-Sanskrit;the rest areTibetanwords.]Bhot(H.)-Indianborderland ofNorthAlmora, North. Garhwal,NorthTehri, etc.Bhotia(H.)-PeopleofBhot.Bodhisattva (S.)-One who could have attainedNirvanabuthasdelayed itandhasremainedintheworld to helpthestrivinghumanbeingsand.preachtheLaw.Both or Po-Tibet.Chaktak-Chain.Chema-Sand.Chema-nenga-Fivesands.Chenresi-Avalokiteswara. place wherefromprostrationsaluteismade.Chhanadorje orChhagnadorje-Vajrapani. Chhang-Akindoflight beer madebyfermentingbarley.Chhansu-Tax-Collector.Chhorten-s-A sort! ofmonumentcorresponding to a ..stupa.Chhu-Water,river, rivulet, orstream. Chhura-Cheese.Chomo-Nun.

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EXPLORATIONINTIBETDaba-Ordinarymonk.DalaiLama-Ocean-monk;theSovereign,spiritual,andpoliticalheadofTibet,believed tobetheincarnationoftheBodhisattvaAvalokiteswara.Dama-Asortofthornybush,whichisusedas fuelandwhichburnsevenwhengreen.Damaru drum.Dema-Tibetan cow ..Donkhang-Dharmashalaortraveller'sbungaloworresthouse.Garpon-Viceroy.,Gompaorgonpa-Buddhistmonastery.Gopaorgoba-Villageheadman.Gormo-Rupee..Havan(S.)-Offeringstothefire.Huniya(H.)-rribetan..Jambyang-c-Manjusree.Jav-Halfatanga.Jhabbu-Cross-breedofTibetanbullandIndiancow.Jinbu-Tibetanonionplant.Joo--Salutationorthanks.Kangriorgangri-Glacier.KangriKarchhak-KailasPurana.}{angRinpochhe-HolyKailas.Kanjur-Translationof [Buddha's sayingsandteachings.Khamjam-bho-c-Salutation ..Khampa-Tibetandomiciled inIndia,oranativeofKham-s-aprovince inEasternTibet.Khatak-Looselywoven gauze-likewhitelinenusedin lieu ofagarland.Kiyang-Wildhorse.Kora-c-Circumambulation..Korlo-s-Prayer-mill.

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APPENDIXI143.La-Pass.Lama-Guru,Buddhistmonkof higher order.LangakTso-RakshasTalorRavanHrad.LangchenKhambab-Elephant-mouthedriverortheSutlej . Laptche-A heapof stones generally raised theendof ascents, wherefrom some, holyplaceisseenfirst,oratthetopof passes, orontheway toanyholyplace.Lham-Tibetanshoes coming uptotheknees.Mugpon-s-Patwari.Mundi(H.)-Marketor"mart.Mani-Themantra, Ommanipadmehum.Mantra(S.)-Mysticformula.MapchaKhambaborMapchhu-Peacock-mouthedriver ortheKarnali.JVlapham-Manasarovar,theunconquerable.Mavang-i-Manasarovar,theuri-enslaved.Mayur-s-Fissurc.Ngangba-Swun.Ngari-WesternTibet.Nirvana(S.)-Salvation.Phuk-Cave.Prasad(S.)-Somethingtaken.froma holy place asa sacredmemento.Puja(S.)-Worship. Purana(S.)-AbookofHinduMythology,Rinpochhe-Holiness,jewel,Orholy.Battu(H.)-Parchedbarley powder.Biddha(S.)-Onewhohasattainedhigh psychicandsupernaturalpowers.:SingiKhambab-Lion-mouthedriver ortheIndus.

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144 EXPLORATIONINTIBETTangaortanka-Silvercoin, equivalentto i of a rupee. 'I'anjur-s-Translationof all Shcsirae,Tantricism(S.)-Mysticcult. 'I'archok-s-Coloured flagsor festoons of rags. Tasam-Highroad. 'I'asam, 'I'azam, or 'I'arzam-c-Post-stage or Transport.Officeor Officer. Thanga-Plateau.Thanka-Abanner-paintinghunginmonasteries. 'I'hukpa-s-Semi-liquid dishmadeout oftsamp"a. Thuma-Arejuvenatingmedical herb.Tsampaortsamba-Sattuorparchedbarley powder. 'I'sangpo-s-Big river, alsousedfortheBrahmaputra.Tso-Lake.Tulkulama-Incarnationmonk. UrkoKong-ViceroySenior. Urko Yok-e-ViceroyJunior.Yak-Tibetanbull.Yankti(Bh.)-River.Yantra(S.)-Amysticdiagrammaticrepresentation.YungChhong-TibetanTrade Agent orStateMerchant..Zong-Fortor Governor's residential place, ortheGovernor.Zongpon-s-Governor.

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APPENDIXIIROUTESroTHESOURCESOFTHEFOURRIVERSTABLEI Ta1'chen totheSourceoftheIndusbythethelaandbeckbytheTopchhenla-92miles0 QJroas HaltNameofplace e s Remarks No. AQ-0.0f-4 Tarchen*...00 AlsopronouncedDarcben;15,100ft.,ParkhaTasa1nis 7! m.t.fromhere;Sershung... 3i hereistbeflag-staff called'I'arbochhc, dedicated totheLord Buddha; crosstheLhachhutoitsrightbanktoreachthegornpa;Nyanri... 1.1. also calledChhuku;first 4: monasteryofKailns;therearetwobig phunt tusksinit;thecaveLangchen-phukisverynearthemonas-tery;about5m.farthertheDunglungchhufallsintotheLhachhu,upperpartoftheDung-lungvalleyaboundsIn wildyaksandonepathgoesupthevalley totheSingiKhambab;*Tarchen is a'Village situated atthe southern footoftheKailas Parent,where Kailasparikramaboth beginsandends.This village belongstoBhutanState andisunder a Bhutanese officercalledTa.rchenLabrang,whoowns a bighouse. There arealsoafewhutsandSome black tm. == mileormiles.10-1229B

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146 EXPLORATIONINTIBETTABLEI-continued0 QJtlDas Halt m No.Nameofplace oSQJt.J Remarks Diraphuk 71 secondmonasteryof gompa* Kailas,thebestandthemostimposing view oftheMountKailascanbehadfromhere; leave thepcrikramaroutetotherightandproceednorthwarduptheLhacbhu; 31 SelungIna, 2* Chhulung-ma, Ii Kelungrna,! 111.to1Dolungba... 19i Dolungva, C.G.,tvery 4: cold, from here very steepascenttothepass,Lhela... 3! also calledLapcheChikpa la, cairns, andlapiches,steep descent toSharshumi... 5i c.G.,Lungdhep...6thestreamcoming fromchhuLhelafalls intotheLungdhep, tents. AMandi is heldherebytheBhotiasofJobarandDannaParaaanasforover 2! monthseveryyear.ProvisionscanbegotfromtheMandi.Thisisabig wool-shearing centreODecanhaveaglimpseoftheKailaspeakfromhere.*TherearethreeroutesfromDiraphuktogototheSingiKhambab: (I) uptheDunglungchhubytheDunglungla,(2)uptheLhacbhubytheTsethiand T8ethilachen la,and (3) bytheLheIa,which is theshortestofthethreeroutes.Thesecondrouteisaverybadandalongone,andthefirst isthelongest.ForreturningtoTarchenfromtheSingiKhambabtheroute by theTopchhenIaisthenearestandeasiest.TibetanPilgrimstotheSingiKhambabfollowtheroute given inthistablebecausein80 doing theycandothecircuitoftheHolyKailasavoidingthesteepascentanddescentoftbeDelma 10,. TheauthortookeightroundsoftheHolyKallas.tC.G.=C"ampingground.

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APP:B1NllIX'IT147i--ccmtiniLed' 0 Q,)cDo+;JmCl5Haltc.;ls:JQ) No.Name of place Remarks Q;..c 0 E-i 2Lungdhep 2}361 c.G.oneitherside ofcamptheriver, blacktents,(about a miledown this place,situatedontherightbankoftheriveristhehill LungdhepNingri,atthefoot of whichtheriver isformedintoabig lake, called Lungdhep-Ningri tso), crossthethigh-deep river toitsrightbank,aftersomeupsanddowns toRungmagem... 7t C.G., blanktents, m .. camp*very steep ascent, i ill,verysteepdescenttoBokharchhu, tm. fartherupto3SINGI246 SingiKhanlbabortheKHAMBABtSource oftheIndus,C.G., 16,950ft.,blacktentsinthesurround-ings,*Theupper courseoftheriver iscalledMunjanchhu,andthe lowercourseRungmagemchhutill itjoinstheSingiorthe Indus. There are hundreds ofyaksand thousands ofsheepandgoats,'inthisregionof theBingi, belonging totheshepherds ofAmdo. There are pasture-lands here.The dairy. products ofthese regions are consideredthebest in the wholeof Tibet. Onemaystartgood DairyFarmshere withgreatadvantage.tHereare three orfourfreshwatersprings welling upoutofthe ground.Nearbyis a quadrangular withseveral 1nant"-stones. Threaresome stones over I! feet high each containing a singleletterofthe 1nani-1nantrQ,. On another stone thewheelofLaw (Dhar"'1,lJOhakra) is inscribed. The temperature ofthecombined waters ofthe

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TIBET TA;BL:E J-co,ntinuedHaltNo. Narneof place 3 o E-f Remarks4Rungmagem...2Lungdhep-Ningri 41Lungdhepchhu2Nyimalung 4i; chhuFootofTop7t 66chhenla Topchhen la...571c.G.,c.G.,C.G., crossittoitsleft bank,.thisfalls intotheLungdhep chhu, one furlongdownbelow almost oppositetheLhe 131 chhu;4m.fartherupthevalley crossthekneedeepLungdheptoitsleftbank, 31 m.farthertoc.G., very cold,fromhereverysteepascentonstonesandthroughbig boulders to Topchhen la, 7m.verysteepdescenton stones, 5ID.descentdownthevalley ; Kailas isseenfrom here, i m.fartherspringswas 4SF. Thewater coming outofthesprings formsintoweedy pondsandflewsoutintotheBokharchhuas a small brook,half a miledownbelow.Justbythesideofthesprings,situatedontheedge of a huge slab ofwhiterockarethreepillar-like laptches, andsome 1nani-stones, ononeof which weresome colouredragsof cloth offeredby someTibetanpilgrims.Theruggedhillonthenorthofthespringsis called Bingi-Yura and tothesouthsituatedontheleftbankoftheBokharchhuis Bingi-Chava, crossing which one gets downtoRungmagemcamp. Tothenorth-eastoftheSinaiKhambabistheLama 131. I visitedtheSourceoftheIndus00July4, 1037, andstayedinthesurroundingsforthreedays.Singiisalso pronounced as'Sengi'orSenge'.Khambabis pronounced as'Ehamba'bytheEasternTibetans.

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TABLEI-concluded0 Q)b.OQ)CISHa.ltIn .sNo.Nameofplace s Remarks .s AQ) ....,::. 0 ..c8 1istheconflu ence oftheTopchhenchhuandtheLbam-chhikhir,campseverywhere from Topchhen la tothisplace;crossthethighdeepLham-chhikhrichhutoitsrightbank, Kailaspari-kramaroad, Ii m.toZunthulphuk 141 thethirdmonasteryofgompaKailas;therearetwosmallelephanttusksinthisgompa. 'I'archen... 6i92I. .

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150EXPLORATIONINTIBETParkha totheSources oftheBrohoncputraam.dtheTag an"tl backto Taklakot bytheGurlala-193milc0 Q)tlOe= 1 Ct1 Halt m No.Nameof place cdQ)s Remarks .s 0 ..c8 Parkha*...0 0Also pronounced Barkha,.15,050ft.,Tarchenis" 7! m.from here,1Ngalukro...1313C.Go,crosstheGyumachhuand proceed, onthewayto Seralung,. crossthePalchenchhuandthePalchungchhuandtheSarno tsangpo,2Seralungl01629sixth monastery of Manasarovar, fineviewoftheHolyLake,3Namarding...1544to NamardingviaChomo-kur,C.G., bigcamp,theManasis seen from here, 2m.inthevalley, m,ordinary ascent, 1J.. m, 4: Ivery steep ascent to--------*ParkhaisthethirdTasamonGartok-Lhasahighroad.There are two houses here, oneof which belongstothe TaSG1nand theotherisaRestHouse.Therearealsosomeblacktentsof shepherds where milk, curds,chhura,andbuttermaybe purchased.tTheroute fromTarchento Seralung isas follows:TarchentoZbongchbu3m.,toAvangchhu 2! m.,PhilungKongmachhu2mo,.PhilungPharma i m.,PhilungYongma 21 m.,Gyumachhu 2!m.; Kyocamp 1m.,andKuglungchhu 2t m,(total16m.,forthefirstday);Lungnakchhu st m.,KurkyalChhungo begins It m.,(thelakeisabout 21 m,long),Palcbencbbu 31 m.,Palchungchhu 11 m.,andBeraluug gompa 61 m.(total16m.,forthe second day).

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APPENDIXIITARLEII-continued151:HaltNo.4NameofplaceChangshala...ChhumikThungtol*LangcbenKhambab'IagramochheTakkarbula4 255RemarksChangshala, Ii m.very steel' descenttoaC.G.,2m.nearlytoChhumikThungtol,sacredspring"thespringismarkedbyseveralcairnsandabiglaptcheinwhichis fixed asmallpolebedeckedwithpieces of colouredragslike 81 scarecrow,thespringflowsthroughblackbouldersintotheTagthatisnearby; 1 m,farthertberearewhitesandsoneitherbankandinthebedoftheriverTagfor about,2m.;bigcamps(from here' onepathgoesup alongthe'I'agtsangpoforabout10m.totheKANGLUNGKANGRI,theSource oftheTag;) 1m.Tagramochbechhu,1m.tothelalapiche,for 51 m.proceed on alongboulders,stones,bedsofsharpgravel,overupsanddownsto* Chhu.=water, mik=eye, thung=aeet tol=-salvation orNirvana;i.e., whoever evenseesthiseye-like springobtainssalvation orNirvana.ThespringChhumikThungtolis situated inthedeepvalleyoftheTagtsangpo, between highvolcanicmountains.It is surrounded by a bigquadrangularm,ani-wall16by10yardswithflagsandfestoons(tarchoka)justoverhangingthespring,whichis3or4feetdeepand 8 feet indiameter.Throughthe turquoise bluewater,couldbe.clearlyseenthe.

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152EXPLORATIONINTIBETTABLEII-continued0 CDtoI:U) Halt co No.Nameof place ..... Remarks a:sCDas 8 CD0 8 Chamar...51Chamar,C.G.,ahillon 4: the.Ieff side oftheroad, onthetop ofthe"hillaresomeiarchokeandlaptches(this hill isjustoppositetheKang-lungglaciers), onthe ,vay aresomesmalllakelets,Tagla363 17,382ft.,laptchesand... '4 tarchoks,Tamlungtso 3! thislakeis calledBrahma-kundbytheBhotias,extensivecampsontheshores ofthelake,therearealso severalothersmalllakeletsconnect-edwithoneanother, 2! m, paralJel tothelake(astreamfromthislakeflowsoutintotheAngsichhu), 2l ID.fartheronepathgoeseastwardto Kong-yutso,Bongba,etc., 21 m.gentleuptowardsthesouth,. (Kongyu tsoisseenfromhereonthenorth),2.1m.descent.steep 4: descent, verysteepdes-cent,anddescenttoblueandred beads, four inferior turquoises, twobangles,Borneshellsandotherpettyarticles.throwninas offerings by pilgrims. Thewaterinthespring iscrystalclear and flowsoutfromthsbottom as a small brook into.the Tag on its rightbank 4t fewyardsbelow.Thenamesofthethreemountainabetween whichthespringis situated areOhenresi(white), IChhagnadorje (blue),andJambyang(yellow).There are severalcairnson.the"waytothespringandfurtherup.

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APPENDIXIT TABLE II-continue'd153HaltNo.Narneofplace Remarks5Angsichhu...ShiblaRingmo 4t la76Angsichhu,campsoneitherside oftheriver, crossthethighdeepriver,thevalley isfulloflakelets,very broadandgrand,good grass, m.Angsivalley, It m.mildandsteepascent,nearly 21 m.verygentleupontheplateautothepass,itis like anarrowlanebetweentwosteepbeautifulmountains,laptche(inthemiddleoftheplateau,ontotheleftandjustnearthepassaretwolakeletsofgreatdepth,severalherdsof wildgoats are seen, -! m.steepdescentdowna Darrow" gorge(ontheleftisabeautifullakelet), 3! m.upsanddowns on beds of stones, midwayisabeautifulsemicircularlakewithanislandinthemiddle,somemoreIakelets,cross astream, m, farther ascent, Ii m. verysteepanddan gerousdescenttothe

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APPENDIXIITABLEII-continued 0 tlOm HaltNameof place s No..s rt-a 0 ..c8 7Angsichhu... 4! 108TagJa138'I'agramochhe...8 129Chbumik 4! ThungtolTomomopo... 15i Tagpotong(?)...3150 4NimapendicbhuRemarksc.G., 17,382ft.,C.G., sacred spring, C.G.,after ID.cross the thighdeep furiousTag',toitsleftbank,1 11 m.fartheris 'I'omomo po, geysersandboiling.hotsprings, C.G.,C.G.,severalhotsprings varyingfromlukewarmto boilingtemperature;a regular'streamofhotwaterisflowingoutofthesehotwater springsintothe'Tag. Therearesome morehotsprings ontheothersideoftheriveroppositethisplaceatChhu-phukandatAmbu-phuk,1m.beyondthatplace;plentyofjinbugrowswildinthe'. surroundings; kneedeep, crossittoitsleftbank,inthisvalleythereare about 25 blacktentsofNonokurforthegreaterpartoftheyeardeep,between1beperpendicular ice-walls. NyakorancmadshepherdsgothereinAugustfor wild yakhunting,which istobefoundinlargenumbers.SvenHedinbaswronglyplaced the oftbeBrahmaputraintheKubiglaciersinsteadofintheCbema-yungdungglaciers.Thereisplentyof goodgrass intheChema-yungdungvalley.Thewhitesandsoftheriverareveryconspicuous for abouttenmiles fromthesource .'downwards,andtheycanbe seen from Ion" distauces,8S if there has been afreshsnowfall.

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APPENDIXII IIIParkhatotheSourceoftheSutlejatDulchuGompa-22miles1570 Q,) beca HaltNameofPlace Qc Remarks asQ,)c:.J No. +-'Q,)ca 0 .c8 Parkha...0 0Tsam, i m.farthercross.theDamachhuandinthecourseof3m.crossthreeramifica-tionsoftheZhongchhuor Lh31 chhu,Lhachhu... 3! CroBBthethighdeepLhaehhu,whichisabout1150yardsbreadand'veryswift,1Loma-goma... Bi 10C.G.,bythesideofthe-so-called"oldbed of3! theSutlej",Changje-changju C.G.tGyanima-Tarchenroad crosses,2DULCBUGOMPA* 8l 22monasteryandsomeblacktents,severalmani-walls;notfarfromthegompaareseveral springs offreshwaterwellingoutofthegroundwhichtheTibe-tansasserttobethetraditional Source of theLangcbenKhambabortheSutlej.Tirtha-puri(Tretapuri orPretapuriin Tibetan) isabout15m. from here.TheDarmapass wherein liesthesourceoftheDarms yankti (Langchentsangpo) is ata distanceoffour days' journeyfromhere.

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"158EXPLORATIONINTIBET rfABLE IVTaklakottotheSourceoftheKarnaliatMapcha".Ohungo231niles0 Q)coto HaltNameof place Q)tJs RemaksNo. Q) 0 ..c8 Takalkot...00Zong,monastery, Mandi,after 2i m.crosstheKarnalito Toyo...3village,ZoravarSing'schhorien,Delaling.... i village, crosstheGaruchhu,Ringungchhu 71 Before reachingthisstreamarethe villagesRonamontherightandSalungandDohsituatedontherightbankoftheMapchhu, 11ap chhuorKarnali1crossthethigh-deep river... 4" toitsright bank, 1Harkong... 3i14t villagewith3housesandsomeblacktents,Pass... 6.a last i m.steepascent, 4 2MAPCHACHUNGO*...2 23 ,first i m.verysteepdescent, traditionalSourceofMapchhuortheKarnali.*SituatedontheedgeoftherightbankoftheMapchhuisabig 1nani-wallwith andstreamers.Gettingdown a fewyards towards thebedofthe river isthebigspringof Mapcba Chungo (Peacock-head: gushing outfromthewall ofthe steep bankofthe river.Tberearesome 1nani-stones andafewstreamersnearthespring.Thewatergushingoutofthespring flowsdownabeautifulgreen velvety moss (having someresemblancetotheneckofthepeacock)intothe Map ehhubelow.Theglacial sourceoftheKarnaliisneartheI ... ampiyapasswhichis at8 distance oftwoshortdays'marchfromhere,

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APPENDIXIITABLEV 159 Abstract ofMileagebeiuieen.Important, PlacesinKailasKhanda andKedar Khanda*Miles1.AlmoratoRailas via LipuLekhPass237 2."Darma"233 :3. "UntaDhura"209 4. Joshimath"Gunla-Niti"2025.""Damjan-Niti"163 6."" ." Hoti-Niti 1607.Badrinath""Mana,2408.Mukhuva(Gangotri) Jelukhaga 2459.Simla"Shipkipass&Gartok443 10.""Tuling47511.Srinagar(Kashmir)"Ladakh60312.Pashupatinath(Nepal) "Muktinath&Khocharnath525? 13.LhasatoKailas800?]4.KailasParikrama3215.Circumference ofManasarovar5416. [Tarchen) totheSource ofIndus V1:a LheIaorTopchhenla 46]7.ParkhatotheSource ofBrahmaputra92]8."Sutlej (atDulchugompa)2219."'fag li5 20. 'I'aklakotj,Karnali23 2l.KailastoManasarovar1622.Tirthapuri3723.GyanimaMandi4024.Tirthapuri2725.Gyanima"Gartok7626. SibchilimMandi2827. Taklakot49 '" This table was originally on inset inthemop;butto give placetosome of-her insets,thishastobe printed as n separate table.

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160EXPLORATIONINTIBET V-concluded Miles 28.Taklakot"Thugolho 3,1 29. Khocharnath12 30.SibchilimNabraMandi 38l 31.NabraMandi Tuliog 33! 32.Tuling".BadrinathIOO?'33.BadrinathJoshimath 1934. HaldwaniAlmora(00foot) 41 35."""(hybus) 83 36. A lin oraPindariGlacier73 37.RishikeshJamnotri 38.""Gangotri145 39. Kedarnath 1331 40.Badrinath 167! 41. "Josbimath 148} 42.RamnagarBadrinath16443.Jamnotri"Gangotri 981 44.Gangotri"Kedarnath123 45.KedaroathBadrinath10146.MussooriJ'smnotri 8G 47.GangotriGoumukh1348.UttarkashiDodital1849.Kedarnath"Vasukital250.CharnoliGohan1651.PandukeswarLokpal1552.BadrinathSatopanth 19 53.MilamShandilyakund16 54.Dharchula"Chhiplakot2555.TarcbenSirdungChuksum756.."TaoKapala6

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ADDENDUlvrI]1 lSD0a bjg firebroke out in I(hocharnathgOlnpa nnddestroyedthetwoside-imagesof AV:1lo, kiteswara and \7 ajrapaui .Laterthey wer repairedbyNepalese sculptors. Another tradition saysthat allthe threei111agcR alongwiththe pedestal wer brought to thismonasteryfromLanka orCeylon. 8.ERAIKAWAGUCI-II'S MAPN.B.Thissketchwasoriginallyintendedtobetheeighthinsetin Map No.1.But,forwantofroomintheMapthishastobe given here asaseparateinset,

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