Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Holy Mountain Of Genyen

Situated at Litang, the Holy Mt. Genyen is the main Peak Shaluli Shan and as high as 6,204 meters above sea level. All through the ages many Buddhist hierarchs had come over to practice at this mountain; hence the name Genyen meaning meditator in Tibetan. In 1169, Dusum Khyenpa the founder of the Karma Kagyu established Lenggu Monastery in this mountain. At present, the hand trace of the first Karmapa still remains on the rock behind the monastery. The murals in the temple tell us the legends of every peak of the holy mountain. In the caves, which are densely distributed around mountain, the monks still reside and keep on practicing.

Around Genyen, there are dozens of peaks above 5,000 meters. With bare rocks and precipitous cliffs, the Genyen Peak is capper with snow all year round. On the mountain slopes are the plateau wild forests, closely connecting with grasslands and shrubs. In the vast valley are winding streams and dense swamps and grassy marshland.

Every summer, moisture-laden winds bring rain and snow after being blocked by Mount Genyen. The snow and ice on the mountains act as a massive store of water, releasing snowmelt that nourishes the 2,000-year-old Kham civilization.

The northern slopes of Mount Genyen are steep, with exposed bedrock and massive boulders; the southern slopes are permanently covered in snow and ice, with plenty of ice pinnacles called seracs; the eastern slopes are full of glacial lakes and moraines (glacial debris); while the mountain base is surrounded by dense highland forests, lush marshlands and fertile pastures. This variety of natural beauty has also made Mount Genyen a sacred haven for photographers—myself included.