So Close to Heaven: The Vanishing Buddhist Kingdoms of the Himalayas

Overview

For more than a thousand years Tibet, Sikkim, Ladakh, and Bhutan were the santuaries of Tantric Buddhism. But in the last half of this century, geopolitics has scoured the landscape of the Himalayas, and only the reclusive kingdom of Bhutan remains true to Tantric Buddhism. As she travels through Bhutan and its neighbots, Crossette introduces readers to a world that has emerged from the middle ages only to find itself peering into the abyss of modernity.

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So Close to Heaven: The Vanishing Buddhist Kingdoms of the Himalayas

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Overview

For more than a thousand years Tibet, Sikkim, Ladakh, and Bhutan were the santuaries of Tantric Buddhism. But in the last half of this century, geopolitics has scoured the landscape of the Himalayas, and only the reclusive kingdom of Bhutan remains true to Tantric Buddhism. As she travels through Bhutan and its neighbots, Crossette introduces readers to a world that has emerged from the middle ages only to find itself peering into the abyss of modernity.

From its stories of the first explorers to penetrate the mountain valleys at the roof of the world to its poignant descriptions of a Buddhist universe slipping toward extinction, Barbara Crossette's book brings vividly to life these exotic kingdoms of the Himalayas. 16 photos. 1 map.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"There is no other full-length contemporary American account of this likable and largely unvisited kingdom....Crosette unravels the intricacies of Buddhism with considerable clarity."—The New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Journalist Crossette visits the last remaining strongholds of Tantric Buddhism, examining the ways this culture has preserved its uniqueness amidst the homogenizing influences of contemporary geopolitics. July
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679743637
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/28/1996
  • Series: Vintage Departures Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,009,558
  • Product dimensions: 5.21 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Crossette, who joined The New York Times in 1973, spent seven years as a correspondent in Asia, and is now UN bureau chief. She was a Fulbright Professor of Journalism in India and has taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and at Princeton University. She won the 1991 George Polk Award for foreign reporting. She lives in New York City and Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania.
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Table of Contents

1. And Then There Was One
2. The Druk Gyalpo
3. Becoming Buddha
4. Before Tibet, There Was Bon
5. The Road from Lumbini
6. Ladakh: Eclipsed by Other Gods
7. Sikkim: “No One Heard Us Cry”
8. Buddhist Nepal
9. Buddha and the Bhutanese State
10. The Dragon People
11. All Sentient Beings
12. Aum Rinzi’s World
13. Two Capitals, Two Eras
14. To Tashigang
15. One Sunday in Bumthang

An Afterthought
A Glossary of Common Words

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2002

    the title says it all

    Everytime I read books about the Himalayan states, there is the huge picture of buddhists culture and others are just left out as non-existant. The Vanishing Buddhist Kingdoms of the Himalayas is no doubt one of those. I have nothing against buddhism as I myself have ties to it but Bhutan/Nepal or whatever states are there are multi-ethnic, relgious, lingusitic societies but Ms. Barbara clearly does not feel sorry to just vanish non-buddhists. Although the books is farly well written, I dislike such one sided represenation - where is the cultural mosaic?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2001

    Get your feet wet in Bhutan and Himalayan history

    I bought this book as a special order several years ago. While it focuses on Bhutan it also speaks of the entire Himalayan region. If your looking for some history and culture of Bhutan in a very readable form then I recommend this book.

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