National Geographic : 1916 Mar
Photograph byJohn Claude White VIEW OF THIE FORT OF KIIAMBA JONG, BUILT ON A PRECIPITOUS LIMESTONE CLIFF ATANELEVATION OFNEARLY 16,000 FEET, IN TIBET, 20 MILES FROM THE INDIAN FRONTIER The origin of the jongs, or forts, which are dotted all about this part of Tibet, is very obscure, and Icould getnohistory ofthis one. The Jong-pen, or governor, evidently knew nothing, nor could he produce any old documents which could throw any light onthesubject. My observations led me to believe that in the not very distant past these regions received a much largerrainfall than they doatpresent. With this heavier rainfall, there was better grazing and consequently a far larger population, and this is proved bythevery large number ofdeserted villages and houses to be seen in all directions, as well as by the old water channels for carrying watertocultivated areas. There arethousands of houses in these valleys now standing empty. These forts were a necessity in more prosperious times, when thepopulation was comparatively great, and were required for protection against raids as well as for administrative purposes.