Thursday, March 31, 2005

Whatever happened to that "bandit monastery" at Konkaling?

Chonggu Si, Yading, originally uploaded by mutikonka.

After many days of difficult travelling from Muli over passes and through barren canyons, Rock finally made it to the bandit monastery of Konkaling, where he came face to face with the bandit leader, the notorious murderer, Drashetsongpen.

"After an arduous, cold wet march, we reached Tsengu Gompa, a small and dilapidated monastery situated at the comparatively low altitude of 14,120 feet, on a spur near the junction of the Bonquende and Shindze rivers. We were ushered into one of the stone buildings, black and dingy, word having been sent by Drashetsongpen to take us in and extend such hospitality as the place afforded.
The caravan unloaded in the tiny courtyyard in the pouring rain, while we entered the old building through a dark, narrow corridor. On both sides opened small dingy, smoke-filled rooms, in which Tibetans were cooking over damp wood fires."

Now the Chonggu Gompa - as it is known in Chinese - is a base camp for Chinese trekkers who come to circle the three peaks. The monks are friendly these days, if sometimes overwhelmed by the numbers of visitors. They have erected marquees as temporary accomodation and will fry up some rice and spuds with chillis and yak meat for you.

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