LHASA AND CENTRAL TIBET.«
By G. Ts. Tsybikoff. &
After a journey of twenty-two days over the sparsely populated north Tibetan plateau, our caravan of pilgrims camped July ] 9,^ 1900, on the banks of the San-chu, at the northern foot of the Bumza Mountain. The caravan had been formed at the Kumbum monastery in Amdo, and started April 24 on the way to Lhasa. There were about 70 persons in the party, almost all of them Amdo and Mongo¬ lian Lamas, and were quartered in 17 traveling tents. About 200 mules transported men and baggage.
We here first met inhabitants of Central Tibet. Close to the road was a great black tent in which lived the local soldiery, an advance post on the lookout for foreigners. They had special orders to watch during the present year for P. K. Kosloff's Russian expedition, of which the authorities at Lhasa had received information as early as April.
The guards immediately approached our camp, but seeing that it was an ordinary caravan of pilgrims, the men were soon busied in making trifling exchanges to supply their wants, our men keeping a watchful eye on articles that might readily be stolen. After four short marches from here we reached the Nakchu monastery, the resi¬ dence of two governors of the local nomads, appointed hj the central government of Tibet. One of them belongs to the clergy and is called
«Translated from the Izvestia of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society, St. Petersburg, vol. xxxix, 1903, part in, pp. 187-218.
'^ " M. Tsybikoff is a Buriat by birth, and a Lamaist by religion, who finished his education at a Russian university, and, after having prepared himself for this journey, went quite openly, like so many other Buriat pilgrims, to Lhasa. There he remained more than twelve months, making an excursion to Tsetang (or Chetang) and visiting some of the most venerated monasteries, after having previously stayed, during his journey to Lhasa, in the Mongol monasteries of Labrang and Kumbum. During his stay at Lhasa he made, moreover, a most valuable collection of books, written by all the most renowned Lama writers during the last nine centuries. This collection represents 319 volumes on philology, medicine, astronomy and astrology, history, geography, and collections of ku-rims (praises, prayers, and incantations, and soon). It has been presented by the Russian Geographical Society to the Academy of Sciences."—The GeographicalJournal, London, January, 1904.
cThe dates in this paper are old style, or twelve days behind the Gregorian calendar.
SM 1903 47 727'
The English translation of "Lhasa and Central Tibet" by G. Ts. Tsybikoff appeared in the "Annual report of the Smithsonian Institution" in 1903. The original report was published in "Izvestia" of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society. The report provides an account of the journey made by G. Tsybikoff to Tibet in 1900 and 1901. G. Ts. Tsybikoff, a Mongolian Buriat and a Buddhist lama, went on pilgrimage to Lhasa at the time when no foreigners were allowed in Tibet. Tsybikoff was educated at a Russian university and wrote his report for the Imperial Russian Geographical Society. The report is accompanied by 50 photographs. Some of the photographs were taken by Tsybikoff, while others by Ovshe (O. M.) Norzunoff, the Kalmyk who visited Tibet three times (in 1898, 1900 and 1901).