Arjin: The Secret Land of Tibet

The Kumukuli desert expanse stretches for miles only to be cut off by the mountainous reaches of the Arjin Mountains. It sits at an elevation of 4000 meters on the northern edge of Tibet and is rarely visited by anything else than the local animals and nomads.

To understand and document the nature, animals and local culture of this area, a Japanese documentary crew flies out to film its full majesty.

Its climate is harsh and characterized by hot and very dry summers. During the winter it’s almost the opposite; cold to the bone. At Arjin’s very highest peak, its climate elevations becomes Polar.

This is the natural beauty created by the harsh environment of the Arjin Mountain Nature Reserve (also named Altun Shan National Nature Reserve).

Although this land seems uninhabitable, hardened animals thrive in the desolate region. Some of the largest herds of hoofed animals in Asia live here: the vulnerable Tibetan wild yak (Bos mutus) and the Tibetan antelope (Pantholops hodgsonii)

The area is also an important habitat for the endangered Kozlov’s Pika, and the relatively common Ladak pika.

Due to the nature reserve being so unique, the area is usually only accessible through having a permit. Having good transportation is also needed, as the soil is fragile and there are no permanent roads.

Arjin: The Secret Land of Tibet
  • Info
  • Release date2005
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Makoto Sakamoto
  • Production companyHong Kong Asia Television