The Land of the Lamas
This is the tale of a long and arduous journey through the wild backlands of China, Mongolia and Tibet in the years 1888-89.
Rockhill was an American diplomat in China who was fluent in Chinese and Tibetan. In 1888 he set out on an attempt to reach the attempt to reach the forbidden capital of Lhasa. He chose to enter Tibet via the remote northeast which in his opinion offered the best chance of travelling undetected.
He travelled from Peking (Beijing) to Lanchow by cart and thence by pony to the Koko Nor region of Tibet via Hsi Ning (Xining). He visited the great monastery of Kumbum. After repeated warnings against visiting Lhasa, he decided to head instead into the equally unknown areas of southeasten Tibet, passing through Drechu and Ta-Chien-Lu.
This book is Rockhill's day-to-day trip diary and a scholarly account of this fascinating journey. It includes much detailed historical, geographical and ethnographic information. The numerous drawings of coins, jewellery, riding boots, writing implements, prayer wheels, rosary beads and other everyday objects will interest many readers.
'A wealth of valuable material on Tibet and its people' -- Peter Hopkirk, Trespassers on the Roof of the World
'Rockhill's fame rests on his diplomatic career, but he was first and always a dedicated, pioneering, and prolific Orientalist. Whether he was uncovering and translating ancient Chinese and Tibetan classics or exploring remote parts of China and Tibet between 1888 and 1892, with amazing indifference to his personal safety, Rockhill was driven by the late nineteenth-century search for "objective," scientific truth and the love of knowledge for its own sake. Rockhill was one of a handful of Westerners to penetrate Tibet and Mongolia, and in 1908 he was honored by having several long conversations with the Dalai Lama, who sought the American's advice on his delicate relationship with the Manchu Court and Tibet's future. Over a period of thirty years Rockhill produced dozens of significant books, articles, and papers that vividly depicted the physical landscape and sought to understand Asian societies.' -- American
1. Peking, T'ai-yuan, Hsi-an, Lan-Chou Fu.
2. Lan-chou Fu, Hsi-ning, Kumbum, Tankar.
3. Koko-nor and Ts'Aidam.
4. Sources of the Yellow River, Northeastern Tibet.
5. Passage of the Dre Ch'u (The river of Golden Sands).
6. Ta-Chien-Lu (Darchedo)--its commerce. Notes on the government, commerce, system of taxation, population, foreign relations, etc., of Tibet.
7. Ta-Chien-Lu, Ya-Chou, Ch'ung-Ch'ing, I-Ch'ang, Shanghai.