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Among the Tibetans

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By: (1831-1904)

Isabella L. Bird was an English traveller, writer and natural historian. She was travelling in the Far East alone at a time when such endeavours were risky and dangerous even for men and large, better equipped parties.

In "Among the Tibetans", Bird describes her tour through Tibet with her usual keen eye: From descriptions of the landscape and flora to the manners, customs and religion of the local people we get a fascinating account of a world long past.

First Page:

AMONG THE TIBETANS

CHAPTER I THE START

The Vale of Kashmir is too well known to require description. It is the 'happy hunting ground' of the Anglo Indian sportsman and tourist, the resort of artists and invalids, the home of pashm shawls and exquisitely embroidered fabrics, and the land of Lalla Rookh. Its inhabitants, chiefly Moslems, infamously governed by Hindus, are a feeble race, attracting little interest, valuable to travellers as 'coolies' or porters, and repulsive to them from the mingled cunning and obsequiousness which have been fostered by ages of oppression. But even for them there is the dawn of hope, for the Church Missionary Society has a strong medical and educational mission at the capital, a hospital and dispensary under the charge of a lady M.D. have been opened for women, and a capable and upright 'settlement officer,' lent by the Indian Government, is investigating the iniquitous land arrangements with a view to a just settlement.

I left the Panjab railroad system at Rawul Pindi, bought my camp equipage, and travelled through the grand ravines which lead to Kashmir or the Jhelum Valley by hill cart, on horseback, and by house boat, reaching Srinagar at the end of April, when the velvet lawns were at their greenest, and the foliage was at its freshest, and the deodar skirted mountains which enclose this fairest gem of the Himalayas still wore their winter mantle of unsullied snow... Continue reading book >>


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