nature and man in such close harmony. We view towering
mountains, vast sand beaches and dunes, ancient stone towns, monasteries
into a brilliant kaleidoscope of water, sand, rock and snow.That is TIBET.
away in its Himalayan fortress, Tibet has long exercised a unique hold
on the imagination of the
'Shangri-La', 'the Land of Snows', 'the Rooftop of the World', Tibet is
mysterious in a way that few other places are.
strategic importance, straddling the Himalaya between China and the Indian
subcontinent, made it irresistible to China who invaded in 1950. But Tibetans
have never had it easy. Theirs is a harsh environment and human habitation
has always been a precarious proposition. Even so, the deliberate cultural
strangling inflicted by the Chinese occupiers since 1950 rates as the worst
misfortune the inhabitants of the 'Land of Snows' have been forced to endure.
virtual closure after the Chinese annexation of the Buddhist kingdom, Tibet
was opened to foreign tourism in 1984. Closed to all but tour groups in
1987 after an uprising by Tibetans in Lhasa, and reopened in 1992, travel
in Tibet comes with some ludicrous permit requirements. The present Chinese
policy on individual tourism in Tibet basically seems to be one of extorting
as much cash as possible from foreigners, but not so much as to scare them