This week’s DP Photo Challenge Theme is Rare.
While it is not that rare to see these conical stone heaps in Inner Mongolia; but they are still rare in many sense of the word.
These conical mass of stones or Aobaos can be seen in the open grasslands of Inner Monogolia,
Aobao was born as a landmark for the grasslands. They were used to signify the border or to demarcate cities. After the era of Genghis Khan, people admired and yearned for brave heroes who died at the war front. They then made Aobaos as tombs and inserted their swords or axes, which they used when they were still alive, atop the Aobaos.
Later on, Aobao became a place for sacrifice to the mountain god, the road god and the war-god.
And now, the Aobao’s most important use is for sacrifice. People always sacrifice the best corn, meet, fruit and alcohol to Aobao and pray for good weather, good harvest and good fortune.
Every summer, herdsmen will come to the Aobaos with their offerings. At this time, the Aobaos are decorated with pure white scarves or hadas at the center of the Aobao and colorful pieces of cloth around it and beautiful ethnic dances will be performed around them.
Aobaos are also symbolic things. It is also a place for dating for the young people as Aobaos are now considered romantic meeting places.
This week’s DP Photo Challenge is Rare.
I am not sure what is the best picture for this theme.
Here is a picture taken of a tree stump in Inner Mongolia, China.
It is said to be a thousand years old.
Isn’t it rare?
I didn’t expect there were camels in the grassland.
Woke up early in the morning and wandered into the grassland.
It rained the day before and there was no sunrise.
There were quite a few camels that have woken up and grazing on the grassland in Inner Mongolia.
Although, I didn’t expect so many of them.
They were not as tall as the ones I saw in Egypt or India.
They have double humps too.
I surmised that they were raised by people in the area and are not wild ones.
Also nearby were some horses.
When I am on a trip, I have a habit of wandering around the hotel early in the morning to find out what’s happening around the area.
This is Erdos in Inner Mongolia, China.
I was surprised to see the modernity of the buildings in the area.
I saw people doing exercise in the garden, early in the morning.
I was also surprised to see most or maybe all of those doing exercise were women; not only that, they seem to be well dressed up – do they go to work immediately after the exercise?
Why’s that there were no men doing the exercise?
In the same garden, there is also a pool where they have a good reflection of the nearby buildings.
I have flipped the image upside down so the buildings are on the lower half!
I didn’t know we were to squeeze through a crack in the rock while we were hiking up the hills of WuYiShan, China.
It was a bit intimidating.
The rocks seem to be slanted in one direction and between the rocks there is a narrow gap.
More to this, no light can reach the gap and we have to make our way up the gap in darkness.
To give you an idea as to the width of the gap – I have to take my backpack off from my shoulders before I can squeeze through the gap.
The gap is called ” A Thread of the Sky”.
From this, you can imagine how narrow the gap is.
The second photo was taken from a distant after emerging from the gap.
This is the narrowest point in the river as it tumbles down from the highlands in Yunnan, China.
It is so narrow that it is muted that a Tiger can jump across.
This is why the gorge is named ” Tiger leaping Gorge “.
The river was torrential when we were there.
In the middle of the river there was a a big block of rock.
We wondered whether the tiger has leaped across in a couple of bounces!
There are so many limestone caverns in Yunnan, China.
This one in Yunnan has a river flowing through it.
The picture was taken at a point where the cave narrows down, it meets the open hour before it emerges into another cavern.
The picture was taken at the narrowest point.