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A Hermit in the Himalayas by Paul Brunton
Fearless on Everest by Julie Summers
The Throne of the Gods by A. Heim, A. Gansser
A great way to learn about the Himalayas, through the eyes of those who have encountered it closely.
The Himalayas have held out as a beacon for explorers for centuries. Generations of travelers have climbed the great ramparts to enter its hidden worlds, and in the days of old many of them have even perished for their temerity. Several others have however brought home stories of the wild and wondrous. Descriptions and experiences of the Himalayas are to be found in history and legends associated with the region, and travelogues of pilgrims and conquerors of old as well as explorers of the last two centuries and the travelers of today.
read about - Travellers of many orders
The Other Himalaya
by Tsering Eden, Gangtok, Sikkim
The snow-laden peaks of the Indian Himalayas over the Ladakh region viewed from a tiny window thousands of feet above appear more like thick icing on a delectable chocolate cake. If Ladakh is mouth watering, Uttarakhand is refreshing, with Himachal offering a little bit of both. From the small Himalayan state of Sikkim myself I was invariably expecting similarities or some sort of likeness in these parts of the Himalayas. What I discovered was a melting pot of culture and history with no distinct similarities or dissimilarities.

To follow the chronological order, Lahaul in Himachal Pradesh was the first place of visit. Talking about similarities, Manali, with its neo-hippie culture felt completely alien but interesting nevertheless. German and English bakeries at every corner and Israeli food on the menu of every eatery did not remind me of home much. Further on, the sight of Yaks at Rohtang Pass however almost brought tears to my eyes. A visit to North Sikkim as a kid and later on at the Tsongu Lake near Nathula pass had given me the opportunity to ride one. Well, we definitely had the Yak connection or so I thought!

After the rather sharp descent from Rohtang pass, and moving towards Lahaul the landscape changed into something I had never seen before barren mountains. Somehow the negative connotation that the word 'barren' always carries did not apply here. Barren was beautiful here...

More Experiential Writings

in History

Experiences of Modern-day Himalaya Aficionados

Short Stories
Travellers of many orders
The very first people to travel the Himalayas were the pilgrims from the plains of India, for the mountains were worshipped by the Indians as a physical manifestation of their gods and their divine habitat. Mount Kailas is described in the Mahabharata (an ancient Indian epic) as the ‘assembly hall of Brahma’, the creator of the Universe in the Hindu pantheon of gods, perhaps in recognition of the fact that it is the fountainhead of all the great Himalayan rivers (Indus, Sutlej, Ganges and Brahmaputra) that are the lifeblood of the populations in the plains of India. The Tibetans call Everest ‘Chomolungma’ or the ‘Goddess Mother of the Earth’, and the people of India and Nepal recognize ‘Annapurna’ as the ‘Bestower of Food’. The Hindu and Tibetan epics and legends have many a description of these mountains, the peaks, rivers and forests, albeit much of it may be couched in metaphorical terms, the physical reality and metaphysical ascriptions intermingling.

History reveals waves of conquering armies, such as that of Alexander, that came across the high mountain passes attracted by the wealth of Indian kingdoms to the south of the Himalayas. Records of their travels and travails also include description of the terrain and people of the Himalayas. Scholars and missionaries, such as Hsuan Tsang and thereafter the Jesuits including Bento de Goes and D´Orville, also came to study and to change the people that live in these inhospitable climes, and left their impressions of the terrain and the inhabitants of the Himalayas through their diaries and memoirs.

From middle of the 18th century, there began a deluge of explorers, traders and envoys of predatory empires into the Himalayas.
Celebrated Travelogues
Way of the White Clouds
by Lama A Govinda

A devoted Buddhist and a spokesman for Tibetan culture, the author was one of the last foreigners to travel through Tibet before the Chinese invasion. One of the 20th century's classic spiritual autobiographies, the book gives a spectacular...
First across the Roof of the
by Graeme Dingle, Peter Hillary
The book narrates the story of the first-ever traverse on foot of the Himalayas - 5000 km from Sikkim to Pakistan. The authors visited places normally inaccessible to the outside world, where the way of life...
British explorers and envoys of the East India Company in particular contributed a lot to the understanding of the Himalayan region in the English-speaking world.George Bogle was perhaps the first to venture into the Himalayan kingdoms as early as 1774, followed by Turner and Manning, and then Moorcroft, Vigne, Wood, and Younghusband who carried out several expeditions towards spreading British influence into the Himalayan region and undertook some very valuable survey work alongside. From the mid-1800’s, several European scientist-explorer-mountaineers braved the Himalayas and helped document its many facets. Botanists Jacquemont and Hooker, mountaineer Prince Luigi of Savoy and his team comprising Filippi, a naturalist, Negretto, a topographer and Sella, a photographer, Dr. Kellas, a British research chemist, climbers Maurice Herzog and Mallory, were among those who enhanced our understanding of various aspects of this mountain range
The Abode of Snow
by Andrew Wilson
in Travellers in History
One of the best accounts of overland equestrian travel between Tibet and Afghanistan ever written, the book narrates the account of the author's travel in 1873 through the mighty Himalayas. The classic, strewn with poetic passages, records his struggle against the...
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Riding The Himalayas
by Keki N Daruwala
in Experiences of Modern-day
Himalaya Aficionados
A unique travelogue of a team of car rallyists, wildlife experts and photographers who went upto Kibitho, the easternmost point of the Himalayas, through cold deserts, forests and the highest motorable road on the earth. The book has a blend of history of the remote regions...
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Interviews in Media Gallery

About life in the hills and beyond
Dorjee Namgyal,

"In the hills we have enough resources like water and fuel wood so we don't need to worry about these. Water, fuel wood it is all because of the snow. There is heavy snowfall nowadays which is likely to increase..."
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Destination Himalaya in Himalayan Heritage
Himalayan Heritage is a platform for cultural actors of the Himalayas - artists, performers, and those working for the preservation and promotion of culture.