Photos: Tibet – The Land of the Brave and Snow

Ganden monastery photo by Erik Törner (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Following images are from Jamin “Losang” Lee’s Instagram feed

Prayer flags along a 4925 meter/16,160 foot mountain pass in the Surmang region. Surmang is a beautiful nomadic region located in the Kham area of Tibet. This remote area has numerous snow-covered peaks that rise over 5500 meters

Just a few of the many thousands of homes stacked on top of each other at the Larung Gar Buddhist Institute in Sertar County. When you first lay eyes on Larung Gar, located at a little over 4000 meters/13,100 feet in elevation, you can hardly believe how massive the complex is. With well over 40,000 monks and nuns, Larung Gar is by far the largest Buddhist center of learning on the Tibetan Plateau.

A young Tibetan nomad woman with her horse outside her tent.

A nomad woman getting milk from a dri (female yak) on the grasslands at 3500 meters/11,500 feet. Tibetan nomad women are extremely hard working. They get up early each morning, even when it's -30° or colder, to do the milking and to get the herd ready to graze on the nearby mountains. They then go to the river to get the necessary water for the day and haul it back to their tent or mud brick home. In the winter, the river is usually frozen, so more work is required to break up the ice. After preparing breakfast, they begin collecting yak dung to be dried. With no trees on the high grasslands, yak dung must be collected and dried each day to be used as fuel for fires. Nomads usually have 3 or 4 children and the mother is the primary caretaker. The mother is also responsible for keeping the home clean and for cooking the meals. Tibetan nomad women are usually the first in the family to rise each morning and the last to go to bed. It is very common to see older nomad women hunched over from decades of back-breaking work.

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A nomad woman getting milk from a dri (female yak) on the grasslands at 3500 meters/11,500 feet.

Some men from Kham dancing during a summer festival in the Surmang region.

Nomad Tibetan man riding a yak at 4000 meters/13,125 feet.

A Tibetan woman praying while walking around the Gyanak Mani Temple in Jyekundo.

#Nomad #Tibetans are some of the most interesting people on our planet. Living in one of the harshest environments, they find a way to exist. This woman lives year round in her #yak wool #tent at an elevation over 4600 meters/15,100 feet. The nearest small village is many hours away and the nearest town with supplies takes nearly 2 days to reach on horseback. Summer temperatures climb only slightly above freezing during the day, while winter temperatures reach -30° or colder nearly every night. This woman and her family have no electricity, no running water, no bathroom facilities and face danger from bears, leopards and wolves. With no trees within 450 miles/725 kilometers, nomads here rely on dried yak dung for fires. Like I have many times before across #Tibet, I camped alongside this family for a few days learning more about their unique #culture. #ig_captures #buddhism #ic_adventures #insta_international #thelandofsnows #travelgram #wilderness #worldingram #lonelyplanet #neverstopexploring #natgeo #special_shots #asia #mountain #mountains #marvelshots #nationalgeographic_

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This woman lives year round in her yak wool tent at an elevation over 4600 meters/15,100 feet.

A young nomad Tibetan boy on the left with his little sister outside their tent on the high grasslands.

A long line of Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims walking the #pilgrimage route around Labrang monastery.

A #Tibetan mother with two of her daughters. They insisted that this baby #yak be in the picture! #Nomad #Tibetans usually have between 3 and 6 children. It still is quite common for nomad girls to marry by age 17 or 18. It is also still common in some remote nomadic regions for Tibetan women to have multiple husbands. When a women has multiple husbands, the husbands are almost always brothers. Polyandry exists mainly so that yak herds do not have to be divided between brothers. By brothers having one wife, the large yak herd is able to be kept together. Nomads are dependent on their yak herds for a large percentage of their income. རྨ་ལྷོ་ཁུལ་རྩེ་ཁོག་རྫོང་ #tibet #culture #tradition #wilderness #world_specialist #plateau #portrait #nature_specialist #mountain #mountains #marvelshots #superb_shots #elevation #igers #icatching #ic_adventures #insta_international

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A Tibetan mother with two of her daughters. They insisted that this baby yak be in the picture!

Yaks outnumber Tibetans about 2 to 1

An older #Tibetan man on the high #grasslands at 4600 meters/15,100 feet above sea level. This harsh region experiences severe weather all year round. Winter temperatures plunge to -40 and summer blizzards are common. The area has over 340 freezing days per year. Every 7 to 10 years, this area experiences worse-than-normal winter storms where as much as 2 meters of snow can fall, decimating the yak herds the people rely on. The people in this region are semi-nomadic. They live in #traditional #yak wool tents in the summer months and live in simple brick homes in the #winter. These brick homes are uninsulated and poorly constructed. Most do not have electricity and no one has running water. These tough people live in one of the most #desolate and inhospitable regions of #Tibet. #asia #portrait #photoyourworld #culture #altitude #mountain #mountains #global_highlights #ig_asia #ig_captures #kham #wilderness #worldphotos #lonelyplanet #buddhism #natureshot #special_shots #nomads

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An older Tibetan man on the high grasslands at 4600 meters/15,100 feet above sea level.

I recently came upon this small group of #Tibetan women who were on a #Buddhist #pilgrimage to the capital city of #Lhasa. Their journey began in far eastern #Tibet on the #nomad #grasslands of Amchok. Walking for 10 or more hours a day, their #journey of nearly 2000 kilometers across the worlds highest and most remote #mountains will take them about 4 months to complete. These women, who were all #yak herders over the age of 50, will sleep out in simple tents in temperatures as low as -30C. Their food consists of tsampa (roasted Tibetan barley) and dried yak meat. After chatting with them for a short time, I gave them some fruit and wished them a safe journey. #mountain #buddhism #religion #landscape #culture #tradition #world_shotz #portrait #marvelshots #master_pics #ig_captures #snow #wilderness #worldphotos #master_shots #globe_travel

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Small group of Tibetan women who were on a Buddhist pilgrimage to the capital city of Lhasa.

A group of Tibetan Buddhist monks walking through snow and sub-zero temperatures at Labrang Monastery

A #Tibetan #nomad woman outside her home, which is a hand-sewn #yak wool #tent on the high, barren #grasslands at 4750 meters/15,600 feet. Even when this picture was taken in early November, the high temperature only got to -12C/10F. By January the low temperatures will be consistently around -30C/-22F. To keep warm, Tibetans constantly keep a fire going. Since this region is nearly 550 kilometers/350 miles away from the nearest tree, dried yak dung is all that can be burned. Tibetans here wear long robe-like coats called "chuba", which are lined with many sheep skins. Days away from places with electricity, running water, medical facilities or towns, these nomads like a very primitive lifestyle with few modern amenities. Despite being extremely #poor, this family was so #hospitable and giving, always filling our cups with butter #tea and giving us fresh bread and raw yak meat to eat. #tibet #remote #wilderness #cold #altitude #mountains

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A Tibetan nomad woman outside her home, which is a hand-sewn yak wool tent on the high, barren grasslands at 4750 meters/15,600 feet.

Check out thelandofsnows Instagram feed for more Tibet pictures.

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7 thoughts on “Photos: Tibet – The Land of the Brave and Snow

  1. Those are stunning photographs. I’ve been wanting to travel to Tibet for sometime. I’m going to have to look into it again before it’s completely transformed.

    Thanks for the reminder.

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