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Chumbi Valley in Tibet

The Chumbi Valley in Tibet is a valley at the intersection of India (Sikkim), Bhutan and China (Tibet) in the Himalayas. Two main passes between India and China open up here: the Nathu La Pass and Jelep La Pass. Administratively, the valley is under the control of China and is administered as part of Yadong County of the Tibetan Autonomous Region.

The valley is at an altitude of 3,000 metres (9,500 feet) and was at the forefront of the British military expedition of 1904 into Tibet. It was occupied by the British for nine months after the hostilities to secure Tibetan payment of indemnity. Francis Younghusband was the expedition’s political officer.

The valley blooms in spring and enjoys a temperate climate.

These pictures were taken in September  1987, when I paid a short visit to the Chumbi Valley in Tibet. I had taken a bus from Lhasa to Gyanste and then walked down past Chomolhari to the Chumbi Valley. I did have a couple of rides in Tibetan trucks, which helped reduce the amount of walking a bit. My aim had been to follow the route (in reverse) taken by the British expedition to Lhasa in 1903-1904. I wrote n account of this journey in Divine Highways, available in paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon.


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