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Kang Rinpoche: Precious Snow Mountain | by The  Wandering Hermit
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Kang Rinpoche: Precious Snow Mountain

Mt. Kailash *(South Face)* from Diaraphuk.

 

Though other westerners like the Jesuit priest Desideri & in the early part of the 1800's amp; William Moorcroft (with Hyder Jung Herseay) had put Mt. Kailash on the map one of the first westerners to measure it was Henry Strachey, a lieutenant in the 66th Bengal Native Infantry and belonging to one of the most outstanding and influential British families who made their mark in Brtish India.

During the hot weather of 1846 ostensibly on sick leave but determined to visit the holy lake Mansarovar and unfettered by a new government ban on travel to Tibet he made his way to Milam and with the assistance of Deb SIngh Rawat (grand father of Nain Singh Rawat the first explorer Pandit) he crossed over the Lampiya Dhura Pass disguised as a Hindu pilgrim. Traveling fast and keeping off well known paths and passes he reached the south west corner of Rakas Tal in 5 days after crossing the border.

After measuring the flow rates of both the Rakas Tal and Mansarovar, his attention was taken up by the "most beautiful peak he had ever seen. " A King Of Mountains, full of majesty which he estimated to be 21,000 feet high ... This clandestine trip won him the Patrons Gold Medal of The Royal Geographic Society as well as a place in the British Mission to Ladakh.

 

In 1848 it was the turn of his younger brother Richard Strachey, who was serving as an Engineer in the Bombay Army. Richard was perhaps the most talented of the 5 generation of Strachey's who served in India. He also started his clandestine visit from Kumaon again with the help of Deb Singh Rawat, taking as his guide his son Mani Singh Rawat. After confirming his brothers figures and drainage of the holy lakes he turned his attention to establishing the position and height of Kailash , later topographical figures showed that his figure of 22,000 ft to be just 28 feet on the low side.

 

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Taken on April 8, 2009