The Way I See It

Posts Tagged ‘khampa

The Faces of Litang

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Litang is a rugged high-country town located in the Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province. Historically, it was part of the ancient Tibetan province of Kham. At 4,100 metres (13,450 feet) above sea level, it is >400 metres higher than Lhasa and one of the highest towns in the world.

These images are of the nomad family that my companions stayed with. We were all scheduled to stay in their tents but I got sick on the drive to Litang and ended up staying at a local guest house (I had it rough, I know).

Tibetan boy, Litang, Sichuan, China.

Tibetan girl, Litang, Sichuan, China.

 Tibetan father and child, Litang, Sichuan, China.


I made these images at the Ganden Thubchen Choekhorling Monastery on the northern end of town. The monastery was founded in 1520 and was home to the 7th and 10th Dalai Lamas, both of whom were born in Litang. One of the temples is being rebuilt and the morning that we visited, the town youth were moving planks and scaffolding into the great hall.

Tibetan youth at Ganden Thubchen Choekhorling Monastery, Litang, Sichuan, China.

Tibetan youth at Ganden Thubchen Choekhorling Monastery, Litang, Sichuan, China.


Written by xinapray

October 31, 2010 at 12:20 am


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Chatreng (Xiangcheng 乡城 in Chinese) is a picturesque community that occupies a lush, fertile valley surrounded by dreamscape-like mountains. On a hillside overlooking the town is the Sampheling Monastery of the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Sect.
Semphaling Monastery, Chatreng/Xiangcheng, Sichuan, China.


To respect the sacredness of this place of worship, photography is only allowed in one dimly-lit hall on the second level. I dialled up the ISO and made this image. It is a representation of the “present” Dalai Lama (not the man who currently occupies the position, but the idea that at any point in eternity, there is a Dalai Lama who has passed, one who is in the present, and future one who is yet to be born).
Dalai Lama statue, Semphaling Monastry, Chatreng/Xiangcheng, Sichuan, China.


This is Sonam our most capable guide, and a really interesting guy. He is a native of Chatreng so our visit to the town was a homecoming of sorts. He and his family generously invited us to visit with them. I shot this in the main living area on the second floor. To Sonam’s right is his dad, the patriarch of the family and a most gracious host.
Sonam and Dad, Chatreng/Xiangcheng, Sichuan, China.


Written by xinapray

October 28, 2010 at 1:28 am

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