Widespread grassland, soaring eagles, galloping horses, herdsmen against the sunset, wolf howls haunting the Ali Wasteland, the ruins of the Guge regime, the Brahmaputra Great Canyon, drifting snow in desolate Tibetan landscape, imposing glaciers; all these elements add to the elegance of Tibet to visitors.
What is the most special about Tibetan Plateau that accounts for one quarter of China’s territory – means if to accommodate France it will be for four and a half times; is its identity as the “Roof of the World”. With imposing Himalayan peaks towering above the plateau, the region is home of Mt. Chomolungma; the highest peak on earth as well as Mt. Xixa Pangma and Mt. Cho Oyu both exceeding 8000 meters.
Ali Kingdom is often believed to be the closest to the sky. The snow capped Kailash peak in the Ali area is known as the God of Peaks for its aloof superiority, glittering like silver armor in the sunshine. Gyantse Dzong gilded in twilight glows with warmth. Nyingchi is reputed as “South China in Snow”, like an ink painting reproduced in life. Tibet is the cradle of mountains in a real sense.
Enveloped by banners shaped east-oriented clouds, it is taken as the “highest wind vane in the world” in the meteorological arena, as we can identify the air velocity based on the shape and location of the cloud. Some people interpret this natural phenomenon in a romantic way. In their eyes, these clouds are the veils at the forehead of the goddess.
The land also is home to myriad glaciers. Functioning as a vast reservoir of fresh water, these glaciers give birth to a number of world famous rivers and lakes. The raging Yarlung Zangbo (Brahmaputra River) river cuts open mountains, creating the largest canyon in the world. It then runs through the extensive plain south of the Himalaya Mountains into Nepal until it pours into the sea.
The snow-coated plateau nestling in a distant land enchants us not only for its unique scenery, but also for the local culture and the population’s pious beliefs and uncompromised values. In an age when most parts of the world are troubled with noise and restlessness, we can still find purity and tranquility here. Buddhism was introduced into Tibet in the seventh century and steadily gained influence until Buddhist practices evolved into an integral component of the Tibetans’ daily life. The Buddhist influences are evident in every aspect of the Tibetan life and festive celebrations. Every morning the Tibetans burn juniper leaves and fragrant branches in home-made “aromatic pagoda” to pray for the safety and happiness of family members. Before or after breakfast, they will make prayers by walking around the stupas, temples, palaces, holy mountains, holy trees or other holy locations. On religious festivals or the eighth, fifteenth and thirtieth day of a month in the Tibetan calendar, the Tibetans visit any holy places in their neighborhood to add butter to the ever-burning lamps and make prayers to the Buddha. Some pilgrims even start barefooted and known at every step until they reach the Potala Palace or the Jokhang Monastery hoping that the Buddha can answer their prayers.
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