Happy New Year!
I don’t know what it meant to my blogging pattern in 2013 but I failed to post something on the first day of the year! 😦 Perhaps I was just talking to myself in my last post for 2012, The Long Journey Ahead, when I quoted the cliche, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” because it took me a day to take the first step — the first post that is — for 2013. Well, aside from the holiday rush having caught up with my posting schedule, I was also preparing my next photo set now that I’m about to conclude the long series on Mongolia. And, in reviewing which Mongolia photos I have posted so far, I realized I still have this set of photos which, if I fail to post now, may never have a chance to get shared considering the rate at which I accumulate photos. So, here it is, a bit of a retrospect about the glorious 2012 autumn in the Mongolian countryside.
September 2012: After 3 days of rapidly photographing Bulgan Province including the Ger Kindergartens which the team I was with was inspecting (see Kindergartens in the Middle of Nowhere); we were finally headed back to Ulaanbaatar. But it was a weekend and Itgel, my cheerful Mongolian colleague, thought that it would be good to spend just another night in a ger camp somewhere. We checked out several camps along the way but most of them were fully booked until we arrived at Tuv Province and found this huge sign along the highway which said “Dugan Khad”. For almost an hour, we followed a stream on a bumpy trail which finally led us to a picturesque valley surrounded by rock-adorned mountains and splashed all over with the bright colors of autumn. Dugan Khad.
The name of the place, I was told, meant “temple rock”, with obvious reference to this natural landmark, a huge granite formation roughly resembling the dome of the Mongolian traditional tent, the ger. Also, Mongolians traditionally worship nature and apparently this rock inspires respect and adoration. During a chat with a local, I was told that a long time ago, when wild animals were plentiful, the rock was always chosen as their final resting place. Wild horses, mountain goats and deer, when they have reached their final days; make a pilgrimage to this rock then seek out the highest point or deepest crevasses of the rock and there, offer their last breath and surrender their earthly bodies to Mother Nature. The tale was romantic but romance was the air they breath at Dugan Khad.
Author’s Note: This finally concludes the long series on Mongolia. Thank you so much for joining me in this trip. I guess it’s time to move on to another place. Perhaps to a huge, ultra-modern city for a change?
Related Posts by Shutter Bug:
- Spirit of the Airag (travellingartist.wordpress.com)
- Kindergartens in the Middle of Nowhere
- Naadam – A Mongolian Festival (travellingartist.wordpress.com)
- The Horses of Bulgan 17
- A Nomad’s Place 21