Parmananda Sharma – Men and Mules on a Mission of Democracy (1960)

Owing to its remoteness and lack of accessibility, Spiti (and Lahaul) had been left out of the very first general elections which took place in India in 1952. Five years on, at the occasion of the second general elections, the difficulties of reaching Spiti were decided to be overcome "rain or snow", for two Vidhan... Continue Reading →

Peter Holmes – Mountains and a Monastery (1958)

Let me start off by stating that this book urgently needs a reprint because it is too little known and definitely deserves a wider audience. In this book, Holmes narrates his journey in Spiti in 1956, a year after his first Himalayan expedition and first visit to Spiti with his wife Judy, Trevor Braham, Dr... Continue Reading →

On Spiti’s “fantastic shapes”

A lyrical and visual compilation on a geological feature of Spiti based on early travel documents Spiti Valley features some very captivating geological formations that have been catching every travellers' attention over the years, and who have, in the more recent years, taken to Instagram to publish their pictures and impressions of these geological features.I... Continue Reading →

The 1933 Journey of Walter Koelz through Spiti

I had been reading through British ornithologist and Indian police officer Hugh Whistler’s writings from his journey through Spiti in 1922 (see his account in “In the High Himalayas, Sport and travel in the Rhotang and Baralacha, with some notes on the natural history of that area” published in 1924) when I stumbled upon his... Continue Reading →

The Epic of King Kesar of Ling

The story of King Kesar of Ling is a traditional epic tale that is famous all over Central Asia, from Mongolia to Tibet, Ladakh and Baltistan. It has been transmitted orally through folk songs and storytelling gatherings for centuries, with each region’s versions evolving with the local culture, until a few scholar-travellers from the early... Continue Reading →

Joseph Gergan – A Thousand Tibetan Proverbs and Wise Sayings with Short Explanations of Obscure Phrases (1942)

Sharing today a few Ladakhi proverbs that were listed by Rev. Joseph Gergan (1876-1946), a Christian Ladakhi, in his 1942 compilation ‘A Thousand Tibetan Proverbs and Wise Sayings with Short Explanations of Obscure Phrases’ in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal (JASB).Gergan’s parents had come from Central Tibet - his father’s name... Continue Reading →

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