Secrets of the Tsangpo

This programme follows an expedition to the last unexplored section of the Tsangpo Gorge in southern Tibet, where explorers discover a 100-foot high waterfall that has been the source of myth and speculation for more than a century. The discovery was made in a five-mile gap in the Upper Tsangpo Gorge, which is the world's deepest canyon, at the easternmost point of the Himalayas. The waterfall had been the subject of legend since the 19th century and the last mission to find it, led by British botanist Francis Kingdon-Ward, concluded in 1924 that it probably did not exist.

The Tsangpo River leaves the Tibetan plateau and passes between two Himalayan peaks more than 23,000 feet high until it finally emerges in India as the Brahmaputra River. An unexplored section of the river had for many years inspired pilgrims and westerners and it is only in the last few years that the Chinese government has allowed explorers to enter the area. In November 1998, a team led by American writer and scholar Ian Baker descended the steep, rugged slope leading down to the falls and made a historic discovery. They named the cascading waters they found 'Hidden Falls' and determined that at 100 to 115 feet, it was the largest waterfall on a major Himalayan river.

Now, this your chance to unlock one of the best kept geographical secrets, guarded for hundreds of years by the Monpa hunters who inhabit the lower Tsangpo Valley and regard it as sacred ground. These hunters guided the team into the innermost reaches of the gorge and provided the key to a riddle that had eluded explorers for centuries.

Genre: Documentary

Running Time: 30 minutes (approx)