Photographer's Note

A typical Tibetan house in Old Tingri, Tibet.

Painted in white, with the windows being covered with a thick strap of black and red, houses in Tibet are generally two-storey buildings, with the lower part reserved for the animals and the upper floor for the people. There is a courtyard in the middle. Each corner of the roof is decorated with the colourful prayer flags, representing five elements of nature, i.e., the sky, wind, fire, water and earth. They are everywhere in Tibet, be it in private houses, monasteries or passes, to bless people.

The dried yak dung you see in front of the house is an important fuel, used all over Tibet, and is often the only fuel available on the high treeless Tibetan plateau. The dung is also used in the construction of houses as building material.


Tingri used to be an important trading post where Sherpas from Nepal exchanged rice, grain and iron for Tibetan wool. livestock and salt. It gives its name to the broad upland basin more than 4,500 metres high that is known as the Tingri Plain. One must cross the pass known as the Lakpa La (5,220 m) to the north to reach the Tsangpo Valley system. Shallow, fast-flowing rivers of melted snow water make its grassy meadowland ideal for grazing by Tibetan animals. The plain used to abound with gazelles, blue sheep, antelopes and khyang or wild asses but, unfortunately, most of the animals are gone now.

Source: Tingri

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Additional Photos by Erdem Kutukoglu (Suppiluliuma) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 266 W: 105 N: 604] (3931)
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