While enjoying lunch at a roadside restaurant, a group of Swiss travelers delivered some disturbing news which put our Kailash trip in question.
Two days ago, the Chinese military blew up an “unauthorized” 30-foot stone statue of Buddha at Mt. Kailash. The Swiss warned us of the military presence, probably there to snuff out any Tibetan response to destroying their Buddha. Nearby Lake Manasarovar, where we plan to spend a couple of days, has apparently been flooded with soldiers and is only partially accessible to tourists.
To make things worse, the Swiss mentioned that it just snowed on Mt. Kailash and that the pass is covered with three feet of snow. If it continues to snow, the pass will be closed until spring.
Considering the Swiss are supposed to be neutral, they sure were angry at the Chinese for this pointless act – and so are we! It certainly calls to mind the Taliban’s mindless destruction of the Buddha of Bamyan statue in Afghanistan.