Day 3: Nyalum to Saga

Distance Traveled: About 250 Kms

Time Traveled: About 7 hours + an hour for lunch along the way. Left Nyalam by 9:30 AM and reached Saga by 5 PM.

Here is the road map from Nyalam to Saga.


The 250 km journey does go through some beautiful parts of the Tibetan plateau, but due to cloudy weather it was a pretty chilly day and most of the mountains were invisible.

The photo below shows the typical landscapes of these regions: it is pretty arid and dry along the mountains, but where there is water, you see patches of green, all along the bottom of the valley.



Tibetan plateau is the source of five might rivers that feed millions in China, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and all the other smaller nations in this region. Right along such river systems you see lots of human settlement, mostly Tibetians. When you see humans, cultivated fields cannot be far away.


Following are some of the images of the mustard field that you see in plenty in these regions. How i wish we could have stopped for some photography breaks 🙁




I do not know what they call such settlements. Very few stone / cement structures …but surrounded by lots of tents.


Looks like the Chinese have even painted the name of the mountains on the mountains themselves …. or was it the name of the place ?


Two thing that the Chinese have developed very well in these regions : Roads and Communication.

Roads are fantastic and they run the entire length of Tibet, from east to west (Lhasa is on the eastern part of Tibet). Along these roads you can see that  80% of the roads have fencing along them, may be 500 mts away from the roads and they are accompanied by such short wave communication towers. I was wondering why this was and did some research after I came back.

The real reason China has occupied Tibet of for its mineral and water resources. So all these roads and communications are meant to help Chinese companies in mining and transporting precious minerals away from these regions.

You can visit the site “Meltdown In Tibet” to understand the magnitude of this exploitation.



This place was right next to the Paiku Tso, apparently called as Hanuman Sarovar by Indians. Yaks grazing on the banks of Hanuman Sarovar.KX9A6355

Below is a small portion of this huge lake, which is about 27 kms long and 6 kms wide.  Wish I had time to shot a panoramic at this place.  KX9A6374

The same cloudy weather continued the whole day and when we approached Sage, we were able to see the Brahmaputra river. Brahmaputra is called as Yarlung Tsangopo or just Tsangopo in Tibet. This is one of the might rivers, whose origins is very close to Manasa Sarovar.

Rain pouring down on the town of Saga. Shot from across the Brahmaputra, on our way to Saga.


We stopped on the banks of Brahmaputra for a few minutes. It was way too cold for a bath, but we did wash our hands and feet.

Crossing the mighty Brahmaputra and the other end of the bridge was the town of Sage, which is in fact a Chinese military town.


Due to rains that evening, did not do anything else. The less I talk about the so called hotels, their concept of cleanliness, their toilets and the Chinese folks who maintain them, the better it is 😉

Saga is about 13,000 feet above MSL and almost all of us were feeling some or the other affects of altitude sickness. Each of us were affected in different ways. Some of them had nausea, some had dysentery, breathing difficulties etc. For me personally, it was sleeplessness. I remember tossing and turning the entire night, without catching a single wink of sleep that night and was really worried as to how I could continue on my journey if I am unable to sleep.