PHOTO DOCUMENTATION: TIBET-EXPEDITION'1998: CROSSING WESTERN AND NORTHERN TIBET ON THE TRAIL OF SVEN HEDIN

Klaus Dierks

©  Dr. Klaus Dierks 2004-2005

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©  Dr. Klaus Dierks 2004: Photo: Chuku Gompa with the Sacred Mount Kailash

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Copyright: Lonely Planet Publications, 3rd Edition, 1995

Western Tibet is the most inaccessible region of the Tibetan Autonomous Region of the Peoples Republic of China. The Chinese authorities do their best to make it even more inaccessible by putting as many hurdles as possible between individual travellers and the main attractions of the area: The sacred Mount Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, the cultural treasures of the more than one thousand years old Western Tibetan Kingdom of Guge (Tholing and Tsaparang) and the even more inaccessible Tschangtang Province in the north of Tibet. After the successful 1997 Tibet Expedition into some "forbidden areas" along the Tibetan Sikkim border, I planned to visit western and northern Tibet as an individual traveller, together with my wife, Karen Dierks, née Von Bremen and even visit some areas in northwestern Tibet, which in 1998 were still closed. The plan was to follow the trails of the Swedish Tibet explorer, Sven Hedin who explored these remote areas at the beginning of the 20th century and the Austrian mountaineer, Heinrich Harrer (Seven Years in Tibet) who fled in the 1940s from the British Prisoner-of-War Camp in Dehradun in India to Tibet and stayed there until 1950. When Sven Hedin visited western Tibet in 1908, this area was so marginalised as to almost disappear from the history and geography books. The legend of a holy mountain (Mount Kailash) and a lake (Lake Manasarovar) from which four of Asia's mightiest rivers flowed was largely ridiculed by western cartographers. When Hedin returned from his arduous journey he was able to prove that there was indeed such a holy mountain and such a lake, and that the remote western part of Tibet was in fact the source of the Tsangpo/Brahmaputra, Indus, Sutlej and Ganges (Karnali) rivers.

When in 1990 I was elected as Member of the first independent Parliament of the Republic of Namibia and appointed as a Minister of the Namibian government I was able to start working to make this plan to become a reality. In the mean time I had been to many trekking and mountaineering expeditions in many parts of the Himalaya and Karakoram and to the central and eastern parts of Tibet. Due to the fact that for many decades there was a very close relationship between SWAPO of Namibia and the Peoples Republic of Namibia, a special permit with authorisation of the Chinese Prime Minister was granted that I was able to visit as an individual tourist these areas and some still closed areas in northwestern Tibet in 1998 (from April to June 1998).

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FROM ZANGHMU (KHASA) AT THE NEPAL-TIBET BORDER TO SAGA AT THE YARLUNG TSANGPO

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Copyright: Edward Stanford Ltd. 1992


The following photo documentation gives an impression what we had experienced in 1998. Our Mini-Expedition consisted of two vehicles, a Chinese Toyota Landcruiser for us and the guide and a Chinese Dofeng truck for all our supplies for more than a month. The expedition route took us from the capital of Nepal Kathmandu to the Tibetan frontier at Zhangmu (Khasa) and from there to the Tibetan high plateau which we reached at Nyalam. We crossed the first pass of more than 5 000 m, the Lalung La. From there we left the 1997 route at km 613,5 (from Lhasa) and turned to the west (red route on map). We travelled via Siling 4 580 m (exit point to the Shisha Pangma 8 013 m) to the Paiku Tso (See) 4 595 m and two passes (Tschakyung La 5 200 m and Ma La 5 700 m) to Gunda 3 900 m (Longda called by Heinrich Harrer) and from there in direction to Gyirong (Kyirong which Harrer called the "happy village"). From there we travelled back to Gunda and the Ma La to Jonkha Dzong (which Harrer called Dzongka). There we missed the track and travelled - wrongly - to the west, before we found the correct track again to the Lodu Loney Tso and to Saga 4 600 m, north of the Yarlung Tsdangpo.

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Zhangmu is the First Town in Tibet at the Nepalese Border: View from Nepal (Kodari) into the Bhote Kosi Gorge and to Zhangmu in Tibet
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Zhangmu 2 200 m in Tibet
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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The Bhote Kosi (Bö Chu) Gorge north of Zhangmu
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Nyalam 3 750 m , the first Town on the Tibetan High Plateau
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Milarepa's Cave at Nyalam at Km 682 (measured from Lhasa): The Buddhist-Tibetan Sect of the Kagyu-Pa (Transmitted Command) has a Number of Branches but all go back to the Indian Masters: Naropa and Tilopa and ultimately back to Buddha Vajradhâra (Yogas of Naropa: Heat Yoga (Dumo) and the Yoga of the Bardo). The spiritual Founder was Marpa and his Disciple Milarepa (1052-1135). Milarepa's most influential Disciple was Gampopa (1079-1153) whose Disciples found three Sub-Branches: Karma-Pa (Black Hat Sect)(Tsurphu Monastery), Drugpa (Bhutan and Ladakh) and Drigung-Pa. Milarepa was the greatest Poet of Tibet and lived in a Cave near Nyalam: Left Photo taken in April 1998, Right Photo in June 1998
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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The Lalung La (Pass) 5 050 m is situated between Nyalam and the Tibetan Village Siling to the West
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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The Lalung La: View to the South, to the Nepal Border and the Himalaya Main Range: with Gaurisankar 7 154 m in the Rolwaling to the Right and the Melungtse 7 181 m in the Khumbu (Nepal) to the Left
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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The Lalung La: View to the West into Tibet in Direction Siling and Shisha Pangma 8 013 m
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Typical Tibetan Landscape West of the Lalung La: View to North in Direction Khomen Tso (Lake)
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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The Tibetan Village Siling (Village of the Dragon): Exit Point to Shisha Pangma 8 013 m
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Siling: View to the South to Shisha Pangma 8 013 m
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Dragon Village Siling
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Landscape South of the Paiku Tso: View to the South towards Nepal with Langtang Ri 7 205 m
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Paiku Tso 4 595 m: View to the North towards Yarlung Tsangpo
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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The Ma La between Jonkha Dzong in the North and Gunda in the South is with 5 700 m probably the highest motorable Pass in the World: View to the South with the Langtang Lirung 7 234 m in Nepal in the Background
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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View from the Ma La to the East in Direction Paiku Tso
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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South of the Ma La lies Gunda 3 900 m (in the Background) which Heinrich Harrer called Longda
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Gunda with the Langtang Lirung 7 234 m in Nepal in the Background
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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In Gunda is a Shrine which is dedicated to Tibet's Greatest Poet, Milarepa: Trakar jaso was destroyed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and is not re-built until now (1998)
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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From Gunda we try to reach Gyirong (Kyirong called by Heinrich Harrer) through the Trisuli Bhote Kosi Gorge which flows into Nepal
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Half Way to Gyirong, the Trisuli Bhote Kosi has destroyed the Track and we have to return to Gunda and the Ma La in order to reach the Yarlung Tsangpo Valley in the North
Copyright of Photo Dr. Klaus Dierks

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On Route back via the Ma La 5 700m to Jonkha Dzong (Dzongka according to Heinrich Harrer): View from the Pass to the South with Gunda in the Background
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Landscape near Jonkha Dzong and the Lodu Loney Tso: View to the North into the Yarlung Tsangpo Valley and the Trans Himalaya behind it
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Near the Lodu Loney Tso we loose our Track and deviate to the West: The friendly Tibetan Nomad refers us back to the right Track to Saga Dzong
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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North of the Lodu Loney Tso we cross an Unnamed Pass 5 200 m: View into the Yarlung Tsangpo Valley
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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View to the North into the Yarlung Tsangpo Valley and Saga Dzong 4 600 m
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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FROM SAGA DZONG ALONG THE YARLUNG TSANGPO TO THE SACRED MOUNT KAILASH AND LAKE MANASAROVAR

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Copyright of Map: Mapping Bureau of Tibet Autonomous Region, 1993

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Copyright of Map: Nelles Verlag

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Copyright of Map: Lonely Planet Publications, 1995

The second phase of our Tibet'98 Expedition brought us from Sago Dzong along the Yarlung Tsangpo to the, for Tibetan Buddhists and Indian Hindus, Sacred Mountain of Kailash (Tibetan: Kang Rimpoche) and the Holy Lake Manasarovar. We were travelling to the Monastery Targyailing (Tarjiling) which was destroyed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and was rebuilt since then. From there we went via Dongpa (also Zongba, Tsongpa) to Zhadun (Zhabdün (called by Heinrich Harrer Tradün, the "Red Monastery with the Golden Roof" (Seven Years in Tibet)). The original important town of Zhadun was completely destroyed by the Chinese authorities (except the rebuilt monastery) and re-located to Dongpa. Via Paryang (called Gyabnak by Harrer) our route brought us via Truksum (Heinrich Harrer) to Samsang (Schamthsang) and Tsesum. Although it is already middle of May, the Schamthsang  plains and the Kailash areas are still covered with thick snow. This winter (until June 1998) western Tibet experienced the heavist snowfalls in human memory. We saw thousands of dead Kiangs (Tibet's wild horses) on the Schamthsang plains who died in the heavy snow. We visited the source of the main tributary to the Matsang Tsangpo (Maquan He). We crossed the Mayum La (Maryum La) at 5 151 m, the watershed between Matsang Tsangpp and Sutlej River which was discovered by Sven Hedin in 1906/07. We reached the Kongyu Tso (Kunggyü Co), the source of the Sutlej River. Via Lulung (Lhölung) at the western foot of the Mayum La and Dakacheng (Togqên or Thokschen) we reached Hor near the MapamYumtso or Manasarovar Lake. From Darchen (Daerzheng) at the foot of the sacred Mount Kailash 6 714 m we did the Kailash Pilgrimage Circuit (Kailash Kora) to Chuku Gompa, visited the Manasarovar Lake with several Tibetan monasteries (Chiu Gompa) and Burang or Purang (Tagla Kbar) at the foot of majestic Gurla Manadata 7 728 m near the Nepalese border.

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The Monastery Tardjiling (Targyailing) Gompa, approximately 20 km west of Saga Dzong: The Gompa was destroyed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution during the 1960s but rebuilt since then
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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The Liasi Plains are situated about 100 km west of Saga Dzong: In the South the Himalaya Main Range and Border to Nepal: From the Left to Right: Himal Chuli 7 893 m, Manaslu 8 163 m, Annapurna Range with Annapurna I 8 091 m and Dhaulagiri Group 8 167 m to the extreme Right 
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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The important Tibetan Administrative Centre of Tradün (Zhadun or Zhabdün) was destroyed by the Chinese Administration in the 1980s and re-located to Dongpa in the East: View to the South West to the Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri Ranges in Nepal
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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The Gompa Tradün which Heinrich Harrer called the "Red Monastery with the Golden Roof" (Seven Years in Tibet))
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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102 km West of Liasi lies Shuo with the upper Reaches of the Yarlung Tsangpo, here called Matsang Tsangpo (Maquam He) between the Sand Dunes: View to the South to the Nepalese Border Mountains into the Dolpo  
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Yaks West of Paryang with View to the Northwest into Direction of the Matsam Tsangpo Source and the Trans Himalaya  
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Paryang Gompa: Paryang was called Gyabnak by Heinrich Harrer : To the Right a Kailash Pilgrim from Eastern Tibet (Kham) who walked five Months to Paryang
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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The Schamthsang Plains: View to the North into the Trans Himlaya, also called Kailash Range (in the old Times Sven Hedin Range): Peaks between 6 309 m and 6 450 m
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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A Tibetan who we met near Schamthsang
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Near Tsesum, at the Foot of the Maryum La (Mayum La), is the Source of the Matsam Tsangpo (Maquam He)
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Near Lhölung (Lulung) at the Western Foot of the Maryum La 5 151 m: Watershed between Matsam Tsangpo (Maquam He) and Sutlej River which has its source in the Kongyu Tso (Lake) in the Background: The Watershed between Matsam Tsangpo and Sutlej was identified by Sven Hedin in 1906/07
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Near Hor at the Northeastern Corner of the Manasarovar Lake: View to the North into the Trans Himalaya and the Sutlej River behind the Horses 
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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View from Chiu Gompa onto the Holy (for Buddhists and Hindus) Manasarovar Lake (Mapam Yumtso): View to the Southeast to Nepal 
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Manasarovar Lake: View to the South with Gurla Mandhata 7 728 m North of the Tibet-Nepal  Border: May, 10th 1998   
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Manasarovar Lake: View to the South to the Tibet-Nepal Border    
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Manasarovar Lake: View from Chiu Gompa to the South to the Tibet-Nepal Border   
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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On the Western side of Manasarovar Lake lies the Monastery Chiu Gompa   
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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First Glimpse from Chiu Gompa to the Sacred Mount Kailash (Kang Rimpoche) 6 714 m: View to the North   
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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On the Roof of Chiu Gompa wwith View to the Sacred Mount Kailash to the North   
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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From the Western Shore of the Manasarovar Lake (View to the South in Direction Nepal) we travel to the South via Rakas Tal and the Gurla Mandhata La to Purang Tagla Khar near the Nepalese Border   
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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The Most Western of three Holy Kailash Lakes is Rakas Tal or Langngag Tso: View to the West into the Upper Sutlej Valley in Direction Gartok    
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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South of Rakas Tal lies the Gurla Mandhata La 5 320 m at the Western Foot of Gurla Mandhata 7 728 m: View to the South in Direction Purang and Nepal    
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Purang Tagla Khar (Burang) near the Corner of Three Countries: Tibet, Nepal and India   
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Manasarovar Lake on our Way to the Mount Kailash: View to the South to Gurla Mandhata   
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Manasarovar Lake: View to the East into the Changla Himal at the Tibet Nepal Border  
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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View to the Sacred Mount Kailash (Kang Rimpoche) 6 714 m from the South: Left Photo shows the Northeastern Corner of the Lake Rakas Tal  
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Darchen (Daerzheng) is the Point of Exit to the Sacred Mount Kailash (Kang Rimpoche) for the Kailash Pilgrimage Circuit (Kailash Kora)
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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The Kailash Kora starts nothwest of Darchen. The 53-km Kailash Kora is the holiest of all Tibet's Pilgrimages. Like all other Pilgrimage Circuits, the Kora describes a clockwise Circumambulation of the Mountain and includes various Sites of Religious Significance along the Way. If you meet Pilgrims coming from the Opposite Direction, they are likely to be Followers of the Pre-Buddhist Tibetan Bön Faith, who make an anti-clockwise Circumambulation of the Mountain. The first of the Kora Stations is the Tarboche Gate.
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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From Tarboche we follow the Lha Chu Valley to a Bridge which is one of the most beautiful Sections of the whole Kora, with Kailash towering above. From the Bridge, it is possible to walk up on a steep Climb to the Monastery Chuku Gompa 5 600 m perched high on the Hill that rise from the Left Bank of the Lha Chu. Due to the unnormal high Snowfalls in Western Tibet still persisting into the Summer Months 1998, it was for us not possible to complete the whole Kora, because no Pack Animals or Porters were able to cross the Dolma La 5 600 m due to the deep Snow. Our Kora ended at Chuku Gompa.
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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View from Chuku Gompa to the South in Direction Tarboche, Darchen and the Rakas Tal with the Himalaya Main Range at the Nepal/India Border in the Background
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Chuku Gompa  5 600 m is probably the most beautiful situated of all Tibetan-Buddhist Monasteries
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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FROM THE SACRED MOUNT KAILASH ALONG THE GAR TSANGPO TO GARTOK AND SHIQANHE (SENGGEZANPO OR ALI) AT THE INDUS RIVER NEAR THE BORDER BETWEEN LADAKH AND TIBET

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Copyright of Map: Nelles Verlag

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Copyright of Map: Lonely Planet Publications, 1995

The third phase of our Tibet'98 Expedition brought us from the Sacred Mountain of Kailash and the  Lake Manasarovar to the isolated areas of West Tibet. We firstly saw for hours the Kailash in the North east. We followed the Gar Tsangpo, one of the main tributaries of the Indus River. We travelled via Möntshe (Moincêr or Misar) to Bar where we left the track along the Gar Tsangpo and turned to the south. We crossed a high Pass, Nunga La 5 134 m, and went parallel to the Sutlej River (Xiangquan He or Langgchen Khamba) to the west. Turning south into the Sutlej Valley we had stunning views to the south into the Sutlej Gorge, the deepest gorge in the world, with the Indian Himalayas, towered by Kamet 7 756 m, in the background. Thöling (Tsada) and Tsaparang were the centres of the ancient Buddhist Kingdom of Guge which restored the Tibetan Buddhism in the 9th century. The monastic complex at Thöling was founded by Ringchen Zangpo, a monk who worked under the patronage of the Guge King Yeshe Ö in the 10th century AD.Thöling was once Western Tibet's most important monastic complex, and was still functioning in 1966 when the Guards of the Chinese Cultural Revolution shut down operations. Unfortunately all the Buddhist art work in the Tibetan monasteries of Thöling and Tsaparang were destroyed by the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s. Fortunately the art work is till preserved in the former Tibetan Polity of Spiti which formed part of the Guge Kingdom and is now part of India. Spiti lies just south of the present-day (approximately 40 km) Tibet-India Border. As comparison the wall paintings of some monasteries in Spiti, which I visited in 2003, will be shown in this documentation. From Tholing we travelled back into the Gar Tsangpo valley in the north, and joined the east-west track at Namru. Via Gartok, the old Tibetan administrative centre of West Tibet, we reached Shiquanhe (Senggezanpo or Ali) where the Gar Tsangpo joins the Indus which sources north of Mount Kailash. Ali is situated near the border between Tibet and Ladakh.

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We travel along the Gar Tsangpo and see for Hours the Mount Kailash in the Northeast
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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The Upper Reach of the Gar Tsangpo, important Tributary of the Indus River: View to the Southeast with Rakas Tal and Gurla Mandhata in the Background
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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The Upper Reach of the Gar Tsangpo, important Tributary of the Indus River: View to the West in Direction Möntshe
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Our Camping Site near Möntshe (Moincêr or Misar): View to the South
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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The Nunga La 5 134 m between the Gar Tsangpo and the Sutlej Valley: View to Southeast
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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View into the Sutlej Gorge: Deepest Canyon in the World, Deeper than the Grand Canyon in the USA and the Fish River Canyon in Namibia: View to the South to the Indian Himalaya: Towered by Kamet 7 756 m to the Right and to the Left: Nanda Devi 7 817 m more in the Background
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Thöling (Tsada) and Tsaparang in the Sutlej Valley were the Centres of the ancient Buddhist Kingdom of Guge which restored the Tibetan Buddhism in the 9th Century. The Monastic Complex at Thöling was founded by Ringchen Zangpo, a Monk who worked under the Patronage of the Guge King Yeshe Ö in the 10th Century AD.Thöling was once Western Tibet's most important Monastic Complex, and was still functioning in 1966 when the Guards of the Chinese Cultural Revolution shut down Operations. Unfortunately all the Buddhist Art Work in the Tibetan Monasteries of Thöling and Tsaparang were destroyed by the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s: Photos show what was left of the Thöling Monastic Complex
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Tsaparang also was destroyed by the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, although it has been gracefully falling into Ruin since its Slide from Prominence in the 17th Century: The Monastic Caves extend along a Ridge with the two Main Areas of Interest: The Red (Lakhang Marpo) and White (Lhakang Karpo) Chapels and the Tsaparang Dzong
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Tsaparang Dzong is entered via a Tunnel and Stairway in the North-East Section of the  Fortress Complex which leads to a Platform with Stunning Views: View on the Tsaparang Temples (Left) and to the North to the Sutlej Valley and the Trans Himalaya (Right)
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Buddha Sakyamuni in the White Chapel (Lhakang Karpo)(No Flash allowed): One of the few Wall Paintings left by the Cultural Revolution
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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The Remainders of the Chinese Cultural Revolution in the Red Chapel (Lhakang Marpo)(No Flash allowed)
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

BUDDHIST ART WORK IN THE FORMER SPITI POLITY WHICH WAS PART OF THE WEST TIBETAN KINGDOM OF GUGE WHICH WAS NOT AFFECTED BY THE CHINESE CULTURAL REVOLUTION IN THE 1960s BECAUSE IT NOW FORMS PART OF INDIA

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Dankar Gompa is like other Spiti Gompas one of the oldest (maybe the oldest) Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries in Western Tibet (formerly belonging to the Guge Kingdom). Dankar was also the first Capital of the Spiti Polity
Photos: Copyright: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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View from the Dankar Gompa to the East into the Spiti River Valley and in Direction Tabo and Sutlej Valley towards the Tibetan Border
Photos: Copyright: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Dankar Gompa: The inner Yard of the Monastery
Photo: Copyright: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Dankar Gompa: The Lhakang (Prayer Hall) of the Monastery
Photos: Copyright: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Dankar Gompa: More than 1 000 Years old Buddhist Frescoes (Guge Culture) in the Lhakang (Prayer Hall) of the Monastery
Photos: Copyright: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Lalung Gompa is like other Spiti Gompas one of the oldest Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries in Western Tibet (formerly belonging to the Guge Kingdom).
Photos: Copyright: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Lalung Gompa: More than 1 000 Years old Buddhist Frescoes (Guge Culture) in the Lhakang (Prayer Hall) of the Monastery. The Lhakang has no natural Light Source, therefore my Wife (to the left), Karen Dierks, née von Bremen, has to keep the Torch in order to focus on the Frescoes (for the first Time published)
Photo: Copyright: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Lalung Gompa: More than 1 000 Years old Buddhist Frescoes (Guge Culture) in the Lhakang (Prayer Hall) of the Monastery
Photos: Copyright: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Lalung Gompa: Entrance Hall
Photos: Copyright: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Kungri Gompa is situated in the Pin Valley (in the Background). The Pin River originates from the Pin Parbati La (5 319 m) which leads into the Kulu Valley in the West. Kungri Gompa is like other Spiti Gompas one of the oldest Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries (more than 1 000 Years old) in Western Tibet (formerly belonging to the Guge Kingdom).
Photo: Copyright: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Kungri Gompa: The Lhakang (Praying Hall)
Photos: Copyright: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Kungri Gompa: More than 1 000 Years old Buddhist Frescoes (Guge Culture) in the Lhakang (Prayer Hall) of the Monastery: To the Right the Kanjur (108 Volumes of the Tibetan Buddhist "Bible")
Photo: Copyright: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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From the Sutlej Valley we travel back to the North to the Gar Tsangpo Valley: View to the South in Direction Thöling and the Indian Himalaya with the Towering Kamet 7 756 m in the Middle
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Gartok in the Gar Tsangpo Valley is the Former Administrative Centre of West Tibet: View to the South
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Landscape near Garyacsa west of Gartok: View to the West
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Landscape near Gar (Gunsa) west of Garyacsa: View to the South
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Shiquanhe (Senggezanpo or Ali) is present-day a modern Chinese Town. It is situated where the Gar Tsangpo joins the Indus which sources north of Mount Kailash. Ali lies near the Border between Tibet and India (Ladakh)
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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FROM THE INDUS RIVER AT THE BORDER BETWEEN LADAKH AND TIBET THROUGH TIBET'S REMOTE NORTHERN PROVINCE TSCHANGTHANG BACK TO SAGA AT THE YARLUNG TSANGPO

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Copyright of Maps: Nelles Verlag

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Copyright of Map: Lonely Planet Publications, 1995

From Shiquanhe (Senggezanpo or Ali) we followed on our fourth section the course of the Indus River for about 100 km. There the road turns into a north eastern direction to Yuenkotan and further to Zoco (Sotso). We followed the course of the River Shiquan He (Sengge Khamba) to Gëgyai (112 km from Ali). In Gëgyai we left Tibet's Western Province Ngari and entered Tibet's Northern Province Tschanthang which lies north of the Trans Himalaya. Some kilometres east of Gëgyai the road turns to the north into the direction of the mountain range Ngan Glong Kangri. Pongba is situated 105 km from Gëgyai. Travelling to Pongba we crossed the Ngan Glong Kangri range on a high pass. From there the road runs more or less in a west-easterly direction. Pongba is a dismal little place populated by "alcoholic Tibetans, mad dogs and broken beer bottles". From Pongba to Gertse the distance is 180 km. First we passed a ravine and crossed a high pass before we travelled along two salt lakes, the first is Yanhu Tso which has a small salt-mining community at its western end. Via Oma we travelled to Gêrzê or Gertse, the most northern point we reached in the Tschangthang Province. From Gertse we went further east to a another salt lake, Dong Tso. From there the east-west road turns in a south-easterly direction to Tsochen near the Tschari Namtso Lake. The road to Tsochen is a bumpy, arduous ride. At Tsochen we found a well preserved monastery Mendong Gompa and, here in the middle of nowhere a digital telephone exchange where we could phone Namibia in an instant. The road from Tsochen to Saga where the Tschangthang Road joins the road from Lhasa to Saga is in a shocking state of repair. The one compensation is the frequently breathtaking scenery the road winds through. Some 150 km south of Tsochen the road passes a series of lakes, their waters a miraculous shade of the deepest blue imaginable. Shortly before joining the Lhasa to Saga road we experienced some hot springs and geysers. In Saga we closed our circuit through western and northern Tibet. At many places we touched Sven Hedin's research expeditions he undertook in the years 1906/07.

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Copyright: Lonely Planet Publications, 1995

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The Indus (Siquen He or Sengge Khamba) approximately 55 km northeast of Ali
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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In Yuenkotan we have a View into Tibet's Western Province Ngari: View to the East
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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In Gëgyai (112 km northeast of Ali) we left Tibet's Western Province Ngari and entered Tibet's Northern Province Tschangthang
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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A High Unnamed Pass east of Gëgyai in the Tschangthang
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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The Tibetan Nomads of the Tschangthang, west of Pongba
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Pongba in the Tschangthang
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Tibetan Nomad at the Yanhu Salt Lake in the Tschangthang
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Tschangthang Landscape west of Oma: View to the East
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Oma: View to the South
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Gêrzê or Gertse is an Important Administrative Centre in the Tschangthang
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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The Tsong Tso Salt Lake was discovered by Pandit Nain Singh in the 19th Centrury and re-discovered by Sven Hedin in 1906/07
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Landscape southeast of the Tsong Tso Salt Lake: View to the East
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Nomads of the Tschangthang between the Tsong Tso Salt Lake and the Dawa Tso (Moon Lake) with an Unnamed High Peak 6 430 m in the Background
Copyright of Photos Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Dawa Tso (Moon Lake) in the Tschangthang: View to the West
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Tsochen with the Famous Mendong Gompa is an Important Administrative Centre in the Tschangthang: Tsochen is situated near to the Tchari Namtso which Sven Hedin called Teriman Tso
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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The Gyagong La 5 490 m forms the Border between the Tschangthang and the Trans Himalaya which Sven Hedin called the Trans Himalaya Pass: View to the South into the Trans Himalaya
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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The Daja Tso is one of the many Trans Himalaya Lakes, their Waters a miraculous Shade of the Deepest Blue imaginable: View to the West
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Approximately 20 km north of Raka (Raga) where the Tschangthang Track meets the Lhasa to Saga Road, we experienced some Hot Springs and Geysers
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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Approximately 10 km west of Raga we crossed a more than 5 000 m Pass to the West in Direction Saga where we closed our circuit through Western (Ngari) and Northern (Tschangthang) Tibet
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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FROM TIBET'S REMOTE NORTHERN PROVINCE TSCHANGTHANG AND FROM SAGA AT THE YARLUNG TSANGPO BACK TO NEPAL WITH A TREK TO THE SHISHA PANGMA (XIXAPANGMA FENG OR GOSAINTHAN)(8 013 m) BASE CAMP (5 095 m)

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Copyright: Edward Stanford Ltd. 1992

From Saga at the Yarlung Tsangpo we followed on our fifth and last section of our Tibet'98 Expedition the already known tracks back to the Paiko Tso, Siling, the Lalung La 5 050 m, Nyalam and back to the Nepalese Border at Zanghmu. From Siling we undertook a trek to the Shisha Pangma (Xixapangma Feng or Gosainthan)(8 013 m) Base Camp (5 095 m).

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Nomads at an Unnamed Pass 5 200 m south of the Yarlung Tsangpo at Saga
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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View to the South to the Nepalese Border to the Gang Benchnen 7 295 m
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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View to the East to the Paiku Tso with Cho Oyu 8 201 m in the Background
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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View to the Southeast to the Paiku Tso with Shisha Pangma (Xixapangma Feng or Gosainthan)(8 013 m) in the Background
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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View to the North to the Paiku Tso
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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View to the South to the Shisha Pangma (Xixapangma Feng or Gosainthan)(8 013 m): Nomads at the Beginning of our Trek which commenced at Siling
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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View to the South to the Shisha Pangma with the nearly 8 000 m high Molamentschin to the East (Left) and the nearly 8 000 m high Risum to the West (Right): From Shisha Pangma Base Camp 5 095 m
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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View to the South to the Shisha Pangma with the nearly 8 000 m high Molamentschin to the East: From Shisha Pangma Base Camp 5 095 m 
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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View to the South to the Shisha Pangma with the nearly 8 000 m high Risum to the West: From Shisha Pangma Base Camp 5 095 m 
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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View to the South to the Shisha Pangma from Molamentschin to the East to Risum to the West: From Shisha Pangma Base Camp 5 095 m
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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On our Way back to Nepal: View to the South from the Lalung La 5 050 m to the Himalaya Main Range: Rolwaling with Gaurisankar 7 134 m to the Right and Melungtse 7 181 m in the Khumbu to the Left
Copyright of Photos: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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On our Way back to Nepal: View to the South from the Lalung La 5 050 m to the Himalaya Main Range in Direction Cho Oyu 8 201m in the Khumbu in Nepal
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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On our Way back to Nepal: View from the Southern Slopes of the Lalung La 5 050 m to the Himalaya Main Range in Direction Rolwaling in Nepal
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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On our Way back to Nepal: View from the Southern Slopes of the Lalung La 5 050 m to the Himalaya Main Range in Direction Nyalam and the Langtang Himal in Nepal
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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On our Way back to Nepal: View to the South in Direction Nyalam and the Langtang Himal in Nepal: The Summer has arrived on the Tibetan Highlands in June 1998
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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On our Way back to Nepal: View to the South in Direction Nyalam and the Langtang Himal in Nepal: At Milarepa's Cave Gompa our Trekking Expedition to Western and Northern Tibet'98 is coming to an End
Copyright of Photo: Dr. Klaus Dierks

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