Weekly Photo Challenge: Rare (Stone Heaps )

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.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Rare ( Tree Stump )

This week’s DP Photo Challenge is Rare.

I am not sure what is the best picture for this theme.DSCF2153

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?

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Morning ( Camels )

I didn’t expect there were camels in the grassland.

Woke up early in the morning and wandered into the grassland.DSCF2210

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.DSCF2209

Although, I didn’t expect so many of them.

They were not as tall as the ones I saw in Egypt or India.DSCF2207

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.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge : Morning ( Exercise )

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.DSCF2228

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.DSCF2230

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?DSCF2231

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!

 

The Inner Mongolia Picture

Summer is short in Inner Mongolia.

The green green grass has quickly disappeared and the land become parched and sandy once again.DSCF2199A

It was getting dark; appearing in the horizon are some horses and a scooter – which reminded me that I was actually in Inner Mongolia.

A place which I can imagine to be bleak and very cold in the Winter.