“In the forbidden land; an account of a journey in Tibet, capture by the Tibetan authorities, imprisonment, torture, and ultimate release. Also including the enquiry and report”
In this book I have set down the record of a journey in Tibet undertaken by me during the spring, summer and autumn of 1897. It is illustrated partly from my photographs and partly from sketches made by me on the spot. Only as regards the torture scenes have I had to draw from memory, but it will be easily conceded that their impression must be vivid enough with me.
The map is made entirely from my surveys of an area of twelve thousand five hundred square miles in Tibet proper. In Chapter VI. the altitudes of such high peaks in India as Nanda Devi and others are taken from the Trigonometrical Survey, and so are the positions fixed by astronomical observations of the starting and terminating points of my surveys at the places where I entered and left Tibet.
In the orthography of geographical names I have adopted the course advised by the Royal Geographical Society—viz., to give the names their true sound as they are locally pronounced, and I have made no exception even for the grand and poetic “Himahlya” which is in English usually distorted into the unmusical and unromantic word “Himalayas.”
I submit with all deference the following geographical results of my expedition:
The solution of the uncertainty regarding the division of the Mansarowar and Rakstal Lakes.
The ascent to so great an altitude as 22,000 feet, and the pictures of some of the great Himahlyan glaciers.
The visit to and the fixing of the position of the two principal sources of the Brahmaputra, never before reached by a European.
The fact that with only two men I was able to travel for so long in the most populated part of Tibet.
In addition to the above, I am glad to state that owing to the publicity which I gave on my return to the outrageous Tibetan abuses taking place on British soil, the Government of India at last, in the summer of 1898, notified the Tibetan authorities that they will no longer be permitted to collect Land Revenue from British subjects there. This fact gives me special satisfaction, because of the exceptional courtesy and kindness bestowed on me by our mountain tribesmen, the Shokas.
The Government Report of the official Investigation of my case, as well as other documents substantiating the details of my narrative, are printed in an appendix.