A sweeping biography of the Himalayas by the acclaimed author of Angry White Pyjamas.
Home to mythical kingdoms, wars and expeditions, and strange and magical beasts, the Himalayas have always loomed tall in our imagination. These mountains, home to Buddhists, Bonpos, Jains, Muslims, Hindus, shamans and animists, to name only a few, are a place of pilgrimage and dreams, revelation and war, massacre and invasion, but also peace and unutterable calm. They are a central hub of the world’s religion, as well as a climber’s challenge and a traveler’s dream.
In an exploration of the region's seismic history, Robert Twigger, author of Red Nile and Angry White Pyjamas, unravels some of these seemingly disparate journeys and the unexpected links between them. Following a winding path across the Himalayas to its physical end in Nagaland on the Indian-Burmese border, Twigger encounters incredible stories from a unique cast of mountaineers and mystics, pundits and prophets. The result is a sweeping, enthralling and surprising journey through the history of the world's greatest mountain range.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
List of Maps xi
Part 1 Demons 1
Part 2 Pundits 119
Part 3 1904 199
Part 4 Going Higher 269
Part 5 Nagas 395
Select Bibliography 441
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A land of mystery explored! My thanks to my contacts at Pegasus Books, Iris Blasi, Katie McGuire, and Maia Larson, for my review copy of this book. You ladies rock! The mountains of the Himalayas are steeped in mystery and legends. This is the home of fabled Tibet, the jumping off point for many colorful stories that deal with the power of the mind. It is the land of the highest mountains on Earth, mountains still dotted with the remains of those who died trying to conqueror the “Roof of the World.” There are the legends of the Yeti. It is home to many religions, customs, and scenery which is seen nowhere else. This volume celebrates how these mountains seem to cast a spell over people who come from worldwide to take chances on climbing Everest, K2, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna, and others. Part personal experience, part guidebook and part history, the book should appeal to those wanting to scout the area before taking an expedition to the Himalayas. The history will appeal to those who wonder how life in the rarefied air of these mountains. The personal portion of the book shows the author’s experiences, which may whet an explorer’s appetite. For myself, I think I expected to get something from this book which I failed to find. It is not the fault of the author, so the book will not get that big of a ding from me. I give the book three stars… Quoth the Raven…
I enjoyed reading this book but it is uneven and is really three types of books. One part is a personal memoir. The author travels to the Himalayas in search of himself and family history. It is also a travelogue including historical and current travels to the area. The author also includes a history of the area and attempts to climb the Mountains. Some of the historical information will be familiar but there are also some lesser known histories. The personal travels and interactions were the most interesting. Photographs accompany the text. This book would have read better if the author did not try to include the entire history of the area and wrote a smaller more focused book. Enjoy the armchair travel to Mountains