We went down the hill.
We entered the courtyard, and saw this
dazzlingly painted entrance with the two green statues of lions. They looked like Chinese lions, but with
funny heads. Two soldiers stood with
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d gleaming bayonets. They saluted
and presented rifles to us as we passed and we entered another courtyard. We waited, seated, in a room in the palace
until a big man in a dark blue silk robe with a skullcap, on which there was a
red button and having a very long pigtail, came in. He had a reddish face, rather cunning and looked about
45-50. He was the Prince. His counsellor, a dignified wrinkled man
with a strange headdress, accompanied him. We bowed and grinned. Müller
said we would like to sleep in a yurt. The Prince bade his servants take us and we went to a courtyard where
there were three yurts. We were taken
to the further one (a soldier with a fixed bayonet guarded the second, because
it contained the Prince’s seal).
We entered the tiny door and
found ourselves in a brilliantly coloured interior. All round the circular wall there were bright red, shut boxes
with golden designs of bats, which is a sign of good luck. There were two big chairs, opposite the
door, against the wall, but we were requested not to sit in them, because they
were for the high lamas. Just near the
door there was a red and gold open box full of dry horse manure. In the middle under the opening there was a
space with a fireplace. On the left of
the two lamas chairs was a Tibetan Buddhist altar with three gold Buddhas. On each side were offerings of raisins,
dates, sweets and dried prunes. A piece
of yellow cloth hung down from it. Beside it was a blue tapestry and cylinders for prayer in a glass case
with gilt dragons above and fishes below. As well as these, was a picture of the Panchen Lama with a fluffy, hairy
dog and a painting of Buddha with four hands (two folded and two outstretched)
arising out of a Lotus flower. There
was room for four of us to sleep on the floor.
When Mongols greet each
other, they take out their beautiful snuff bottles of different colours and
stones, hand them to one another, pretend to sniff and hand them back. I met Mr Pao, a Chinese man, who had been
captured by the Communists and had been kept prisoner. He seized one of their hats, walked out, and
The temple has a Chinese influence.
Before the entrance is a courtyard and on
the north and south sides are prayer wheels. A man with a conical hat and a red cloak and prayer beads
turns each cylinder.
Gareth at the Lama service.