1936 - 1937 Mission Diary

The official diary of the Gould mission to Lhasa sent by the British government. Read more about the mission diary.

Sunday, 11th October.

Morgan, Nepean, Dagg and Chapman climbed the hill nearest to our house but on the other side of the Kyi Chu, to collect seeds and take photographs. As this is the nearest hill to Lhasa there is an excellent bird's eye view of the city, Potala, and surrounding monasteries.

In the tranquil early morning the whole vale is obscured in a thin mist of smoke drifting from the city. This is not only the result of innumerable dung fires, but each roof has at least one stone incense-burner where fragrant leaves are burnt to propitiate the gods.

As we prepared to cross the Kyi Chu in coracles we saw herds of ponies brought down to the river-side to drink. At this time of the year, when the floods have subsided, and while there is still abundant pasture, herds of ponies and mules are brought down from Mongolia to Lhasa when they command a surprisingly high price; the average figure is about 200 rupees, while as much as 1,000 rupees is paid for a good ambling mule.

Author: Frederick Spencer Chapman [see handwritten annotations in Diary by Hugh Richardson in MS. Or. Richardson 2, Bodleian Libary, Department of Oriental Collections, University of Oxford]

Page Reference: Pt VIII p.1

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