Odoric set out on his travels about 1318, and his journeys embraced parts of India, the Malay Archipelago, China and even Tibet, where he was the first European to enter Lhasa, not yet a forbidden city.
In 1715 Fathers Desideri and Freyre made their way from Agra, across the Himalayas, to Lhasa, and the Capuchin Friar Orazio della Penna resided in that city from 1735 until 1747.
He left Holland in 1718, went by land through Persia to India, and eventually made his way to Lhasa, where he resided for a long time.
He went thence to China, returned to Lhasa, and was in India in time to be an eye-witness of the sack of Delhi by Nadir Shah in 1737.
Nain Singh explored the sources of the Indus and of the Upper Brahmaputra in the years 1865-1867; and in 1874-1875 he followed a line from the eastern frontiers of Kashmir to the Tengri Nor lake and thence to Lhasa, in which city he remained for some months.
Krishna's remarkable journey in 1879-1882 extended from Lhasa northwards through Tsaidam to Sachu, or Saitu, in Mongolia.
He subsequently passed through eastern Tibet to the town of Darchendo, or Tachienlu, on the high road between Lhasa and Peking, and on the borders of China.
Failing to reach India through Upper Assam he returned to the neighbourhood of Lhasa, and crossed the Himalayas by a more westerly route.
Rockhill, commenced his Tibetan journeys, and also attempted to reach Lhasa, without success.
He, too, failed to penetrate the jealouslyguarded portals of Lhasa; but he secured (with the assistance of a native surveyor) a splendid addition to our previous Tibetan mapping.
Littledale's first journey ended at Peking; his second, in 1894-1895, took him almost within sight of the sacred walls of Lhasa, but he failed to pass inside.
The mission of Sir Francis Younghusband to Lhasa in 1904 resulted in an extension of the Indian system of triangulation which finally determined the geographical position of that city, and in a most valuable reconnaissance of the valleys of the Upper Brahmaputra and Indus by Captains C. H.
Bulldog, bulldog (miniature), mastiff, Great Dane, Newfoundland (black, white and black, or other than black), St Bernard (rough and smooth), Old English sheepdog, collie (rough and smooth), Dalmatian, poodle, bull terrier, white English terrier, black and tan terrier, toy spaniel (King Charles or black and tan, Blenheim, ruby or red and tricolour), Japanese, Pekingese, Yorkshire terrier, Maltese, Italian greyhound, chowchow, black and tan terrier (miniature), Pomeranian, pug (fawn and black), Schipperke, Griffon Bruxellois, foreign dogs (bouledogues frangais, elk-hounds, Eskimos, Lhasa terriers, Samoyedes and any other varieties not mentioned under this heading).
Of its course), and the Raka Tsanpo and Kyi-chu (or river of Lhasa) below.
The great river itself is known in Tibet by many names, being generally called the Nari Chu, Maghang Tsanpo or Yaro Tsanpo, above Lhasa; the word " tsanpo " (tsang-po) meaning (according to Waddell) the " pure one," and applying to all great rivers.
The upper reaches are nowhere fordable between Tadum and Lhasa, but there is a ferry at Likche (opposite Tadum on the southern bank), where wooden boats covered with hide effect the necessary connexion between the two banks and ensure the passage of the Nepal trade.
From Shigatse, which stands near the mouth of the Nyang Chu, to the Kyi-chu, or Lhasa river, there is no direct route, the river being unnavigable below Shigatse.
Thence the valley of the Kyi-chu (itself navigable for small boats for about 30 m.) leads to Lhasa northwards.
Rather than encounter alone the horrors of a four months' journey to Lhasa they resolved to wait for eight months till the arrival of a Tibetan embassy on its return from Peking.
Crossing the deserts of Koko Nor, they passed the great lake of that name, with its island of contemplative lamas, and, following a difficult and tortuous track across snow-covered mountains, they at last entered Lhasa on the 29th of January 1846.
The Tibetans call their country Bod, which (For the northern part, see China) Scale, 1:9.500.000 0 Railways Longitude East 85 of Greenwich word in colloquial pronunciation is aspirated into Bhod or Bhot, and in the modern Lhasa dialect is curtailed into Bho.
The northern portion of Tibet is an arid and wind-swept desert; but in the southern portion the valleys of Lhasa, Shigatse, Gyantse and the Brahmaputra are covered with good soil and groves of trees, well irrigated, and richly cultivated.
The observations of Strachey, Godwin-Austen and of Griesbach and other members of the Geological Survey of India only extend to the southern edge or rim of the great plateau, where vast alluvial deposits in horizontal strata have been furrowed into deep ravines, while Russian explorers have but superficially examined the mountain regions of the north and north-east, and the British mission to Lhasa, in 1904 afforded observations merely along the trade-route to that city.
Between the Ladak frontier and Lhasa the plateau region teems with evidences of abandoned mines.
Here, at an elevation of 15,000 ft., about the great Lake Dangra, we hear of well-built villages and of richly cultivated fields of barley, indicating a condition of climate analogous to that which prevails in the districts south of Lhasa, and in contrast to the sterility of the lake region generally and the nomadic character of its population.
Our knowledge of the flora of northern and central Tibet has been considerably increased by the collections of Prjevalsky, Wellby, Bower, Thorold, Littledale and the Lhasa Mission, and that of eastern Tibet by Rockhill.
A few localities in the extreme southern portions of the country, and around Lhasa possibly, are said to produce a non-glutinous variety of rice.
Waddell gives a list of 164 species of plants collected by him at Lhasa, several being new species.
It is not a uniform speech, but comprises several dialects which have been classed by Jaeschke into three groups, namely (i) the central or the dialects of Lhasa and the central provinces of U and Tsang (including Spiti) which is the lingua franca of the whole country, (2) the western dialects of Ladak, Lahul, Baltistan and Purig, and (3) the eastern dialects of the province of Khams. In addition to these, however, are many sub-dialects of Tibetan spoken in the frontier Himalayan districts and states outside Tibet, namely, in Kunawar and Bashahr, Garhwal, Kumaon, Nepal including especially the Serpa and Murmi of eastern Nepal, Sikkim (where the dialect is called Danjong-ka), Bhutan (Lho-ka or Duk-ka.), all of which are affiliated to a central group of dialects.
The little that was known of the Tibetan language before Hodgson's time was mainly derived from the writings of the Romish friars who resided for several years in Lhasa in the first half of the 18th century.'
This scholarly linguist, equipped with modern methods of scientific research, did not confine himself to the classical period like Csoma, but extended his ' The Capuchin friars who were settled in Lhasa for a quarter of a century from 1719 studied the language; two of them, Francisco Orazio della Penna, well known from his accurate description of Tibet, and Cassian di Macerata sent home materials which were utilized by the Augustine friar Aug.
The great trade routes are, first, that which, starting from Cheng-tu, the capital of the Chinese province of Szechuen, passes by way of Tachienlu or Dartsedo, Litang, Batang, Chiamdo, Larego, Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse, reaches the Nepalese Routes, &C. frontier at Nielam and goes thence to Katmandu.
The most direct route from India to Lhasa, and that most frequented by the traders of Lhasa, is by the Chumbi Valley, and was followed by the British Mission.
It crosses the Himalayas by the Tang Pass (15,200 ft.), and thence proceeds via Gyantse (13,200 ft.) and the Kharo Pass (16,500 ft.), Yamdok Lake (15,000) to the Tsang-po (12,100 ft.), and crossing the river winds up along the Kyi Chu, on which Lhasa stands, 33 m.
From Katmandu, the capital of Nepal, a difficult mountain route runs by Kirong to the No la (16,600 ft.), descending from which pass it strikes the Tsangpo about midway between Lhasa and Lake Manasarowar.
The principal trade with China is carried on over the Lhasa-Tachienlu road.
According to a summary furnished by Lieut.-Colonel Waddell (Lhasa and its Mysteries), the chief imports from China are silk, carpets, porcelain and tea-bricks.
In the market at Lhasa opium sells for its weight in silver.
Ingots of Chinese silver were sent from Lhasa with a small proportion of gold dust, and an equal weight in mohurs was returned, leaving to the Nepal rajahs, between gold dust and alloy, a good profit.
The Gurkhas, after becoming masters of Nepal, were anxious to renew the profitable traffic in coin, and in this view sent a deputation to Lhasa with a quantity of coin to be put in circulation.
This brought the intervention of the Chinese, who drove the Gurkhas out of Tibet (1792), and then began to strike silver coins for Lhasa use, bearing Chinese and Tibetan characters.
Friar Odoric of Pordenone is supposed to have reached Lhasa c. 1328, travelling from Cathay; but this visit is doubtful.