Girl in Saga

Enroute to Saga [Elevation: 4,600 m (15,091 ft)], a Chinese army outpost on the Tibetan Plateau

photos of a Tibetan girl by Arun Shanbhag
After a long drive from Nyalam, past the Sishapangma Base Camp office, we had stopped literally in the middle of nowhere, for a lunch break. Our team of cooks had left a few hours earlier, so they could find a half-way place, pitch tents and cook warm food. At this point of the trip, I had lost my appetite and while the rest ‘enjoyed’ lunch, I sat in the car and munched on ladoos and granola bars.

There was not a human settlement as far as the eye could see on any side. Yet, a family of yak grazers must have spotted our caravan. In a few minutes, a couple of kids approached us. They were not begging, or harassing us, just observing us strangers and our strange ways, trespassing their lands. A woman in our group stuck bindis on the little girl. She loved them. I offered a few pieces of candy and took a few pics of her. As she got more comfortable, she started to make faces at the camera. Here she is (above), sticking her tongue out.

She realized she was being silly and gave this beautiful innocent smile. I wonder what she is up to. School would be a luxury for her. I only hope she is well and happy.
photos of a Tibetan girl by Arun Shanbhag

And as she tried to strike a serious pose.
photos of a Tibetan girl by Arun Shanbhag

Next on the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra: Peigutso Lake towards Saga
Start of Kailash Manasarovar Yatra: Rendevous with Sagarmatha (Everest)


  1. Hi Arun,

    Which month did you make your trip to Kailash Manasrovar?

  2. Nice pictures Arun, I had been to Kailash-Manasarovar recently, and met these lovely highland kids and was much infused with joy at their innocence, and it reminds me of the lovely verse
    “Donot give me knowledge,
    Let me know nothing,
    leave me in my wilderness…
    Ignorant and innocent.”

    Perhaps much of their beauty lies in their rawness, untouched natural persona which has not been infected with the germs of ‘civilisation’.

    • Hi Jyoti:
      Congratulations on your trip to Kailash Manasarovar! What an awe-inspiring experience. Please tell us more about your trip.

      And I am glad you met and interacted so many of the beautiful kids in Tibet.

      You rightly said – such carefree and un “infected” by the germs of civilization. And we call this progress!

      I want to go again! 🙂

  3. Ha hA, Rachna:

    and I hear you are moving closer :-)) Yaay! please give us more details!

    Enjoy the Kailash Travelogue; it is one of my favorites!

  4. wow nice pics arun …lemme go read the beginning of the Kaliash Manasarovar Travelogue…:)

  5. Saroj:
    I met so many wonderful kids in Nepal and Tibet. These were essentially street kids. I was always impressed with the way they carried themselves and wondered: What would they be like if they had a bit more education and training!
    They could rule the world!

    See these kids!

  6. Aw she’s adorable! She seems to have a very dynamic and sparkling personality.

  7. you are absolutely right, Sia!
    I am always amazed at the innocent joy that these kids have and the happiness they exude.

    Have you seen these pics here:


  8. its wonder to see what make these kids smile inspite of everything! they live in the mountains, in difficult situations but still they have that beautiful smile. we have so much to learn from small kids!
    beautifu, beautiful pics arun. hats off to u to capture that innocence on ur lens!

  9. Asha – Thank you for your kind words.
    All over Tibet the kids are so beautiful and utterly poor and neglected. … and always smiling!

  10. She is pure and innocent as snow!!:))


  1. […] Yatra, Day 6: Peigutso Lake (4,400 m; 14,436 ft) on the Tibetan Plateau After lunch and taking pics of the local kids, we headed east along a ravine and climbed a pass. There before us was the fabulous Peigutso Lake. […]

  2. […] from here and boxes of ladoos and mithai from mumbai! Next on the Kailash Manasarovar Travelogue: Girl in Saga To start at the beginning of the Kaliash Manasarovar Travelogue, click link below: Rendevous with […]

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