19 October, 2020

Lhasa Diary

Illustration by Saahil
Lhasa Diary
May I Have Oxygen, Please?

There is magic in Tibet’s air, they say. Stepping off the flight in Lhasa, the first glimpse of the valley—the varied hues and textures of the mountain slopes, and the misted peaks piercing the clear sky—took my breath away. I felt drawn by an imperceptible mystique to this fabled home of Buddhism, shut to the world for decades. I had held back from it for years, fearing  that ‘roof of the world’ may prove fatal for me. The Tibetan capital’s altitude is over 3,600 m, and the imposing Karola Glacier, 190 km from Lhasa and visible from the highway to Shigatse, is more than 5,000 m above sea level.

Magic or not, the air is thin on oxygen. Slow, easy meditative steps, not breaking a sweat and eating light is one way of beating altitude...



To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.

More from Shastri Ramachandaran

Latest Magazine

October 26, 2020

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section