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Travel Logue 65004

Journey to Tsaparang

 Film Details


 : Global Television
 Episode Number: 65004
 Title: Journey to Tsaparang
 Languages: E De
  26 Mins
 Produced: 2020

For centuries, Tibet was a closed country, not just for political reasons, but also due to its geographical location and climate. It was therefore only visited by a handful of explorers, traders and Jesuit missionaries. At the beginning of the last century, British soldiers occupied Tibet for a few months and in the fifties the People's Army Of China came with the intention of remaining there. Since the nineteen eighties the country has been open to tourism.

Our route takes us to the shores of Brahmaputra, which here is called Yarlung Zangpo, the largest river in Tibet and begins close to the sacred Kailash Mountain. By way of the Khamba Pass is Yamdrok Tso, one of Tibet’s four holy lakes. The Yamdrok Tso is a dead lake with has no natural outlet, its water level being maintained by sparse rainfall.

The Pass that leads to Gyantse is over five thousand metres high. Because of global warming, the glaciers of Tibet are melting faster than expected.

Shigatse is the historical capital of the province of Tsang and the second largest city in Tibet. It is also the location of the Tashilunpo Monastery whose abbot is the Panchen Lama who is second in the hierarchy of the Yellow Hats after the Dalai Lama.

For eight centuries Tsaparang was the capital of the legendary Guge Kingdom, whose dynasty came to power in the ninth century. The first western visitors to reach Tsaparang were Jesuit missionaries. In 1626, under the leadership of the Portuguese, Antonio d'Andade, the first Christian mission was set up, and inside the city wall a church was built.

The story of Tsaparang also tells us of the unwholesome consequences of religious and political fanaticism, of the transience of both power and of wealth.