Pilgrims, crossing the Yarlung Tsangpo on the way to Samye Monastery
November 1997

These men, along with twenty fellow villagers from far western Tibet, have already journeyed for several months visiting holy sites across the high plateau in an age-old ritual to earn religious merit, to improve one’s immediate welfare, or to atone for wrong-doing. Samye, the first monastery in Tibet, dating to the 8th century, is their last stop before they arrive at their ultimate destination, Lhasa, literally, ‘the place of the gods.’