Tibetan Pilgrim at Lake Manosarovar | Tibet Photo
We met this Tibetan Pilgrim in 2014 at Chiu monastery which is perched on a hill above Lake Manosarovar in Tibet.
He was exuberant and wanted his photo taking. Like us he was making the journey across western Tibet to perform the pilgrimage kora, or trek, around Mt Kailash.
Mt Kailash is a holy mountain for Buddhists, Hindus, Silks and Bon. The ancient Tibetans regarded it as the centre of the earth and it is the hope of all Tibetan Buddhists to circumnambulate it at least once during their lifetime. The summit is unclimbed rising to over 7000 metres as a solitary snow clad peak in the plains of Western Tibet. The trek climbs to 5900 metres, almost 19,000 feet. We would spend another few days days driving west towards the Indian border and the far Western Tibetan ruins of Tsaparang, to acclimatise to the altitude before turning back west to climb the kora around Kailash.
Tsaparang is a mountain citadel monastery built around the 12th century. Abandoned in the 17th century, its Buddhist statues survived until, like most of Tibet's monasteries, they were destroyed in Mao's Cultural Revolution of the 1960's.