National Geographic : 1931 Jul
KONKA RISUMGONGBA, HOLY MOUNTAIN OF THE OUTLAWS armed image. Outside, tied to posts, were all kinds of offerings, left there by perambulat ing pilgrims - brace lets, rings, beads, feathers, bells - even hairs. There was noth ing beautiful whatever, only filth and evil smells. The few pray ing lamas were dressed in rags shiny from yak butter, for their robes serve as towels as well as handkerchiefs. A CONSTANT STREAM OF BANDIT PILGRIMS Next to my quar ters stood a small square building con taining a large prayer wheel and a fresco portraying the trinity, Risumgongba. An ever-moving stream of evil - looking pilgrims entered the little house, gave the prayer cylin der a complete turn, and then moved on, continuously circum ambulating the old and, to them, sacred buildings. A MEMBER OF TII Tsengu Gomba is a combination of mon- HeisaHsifan,orC astery and nunnery, which ro for here are housed both monks and nuns, even in the same room. The nuns were lean and lanky old creatures, six feet or even taller, and wore high Tibetan boots. Their mouths were toothless, their heads shaven, and trousers covered their limbs. Only when they spoke was it possible to distinguish them from men. My nights here were most disagreeable. The smoke from the open fires in the cen ter of the rooms below found its way into my quarters and made my eyes smart; my nose and throat were irritated by ammonia like odors from the surrounding stables, which are never cleaned. I decided to leave sooner than I had expected, much to the E AUTHOR'S ESCORT ON TIIE SECOND KONKA LING EXPEDITION hrame, from Kulu, and wears the skins of blue sheep am the mountains of the Konka system. delight of my lama guide, who felt the re sponsibility of his charge most heavily. PEERLESS JAMBEYANG We left on the final lap for a pass up Shindze Valley. There we camped at 15, 800 feet, where we could view both Jambe yang and Shenrezig to the best advantage should weather conditions permit. We spent two nights at this high camp, called Bayu. The second morning, with a tem perature of 400 Fahrenheit, on June 26, my lama awakened me at 4:30 a. m., call ing into my tent, "Behold the glory of Jam beyang and Shenrezig-your luck indeed is great !"