Monday, November 17, 2014

Pic of the day: Deqin (Atuntze)

I tried to take this photo from the same spot where Joseph Rock took his photo in 1926 of Deqin (then known as Atuntze). His photo showed a forlorn village of just a few mud houses in a sloping valley. It was only when I climbed to the top of this hill above Deqin where the monastery used to be that I realised he had taken his photo much further away, from the curve of a track at the top of the valley. By this time it was too late in the day to get there, so I did a direct descent past a chorten, back into town. This vantage point is on the hill above the town square, reached by a twisting switchback road that passes a small valley with a waterfall. There is a more direct route straight up if you can find the obscure path that leads up there. The monastery is now being rebuilt in concrete, after having being demolished during the Cultural revolution and transposed to the other side of the valley (an unlucky spot, apparently). The site of the old monastery is now occupied by a village called Gusong.

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