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ALL PICS: DEB MUKHARJI
Looking south across Manasarovar with Gurla Mandata towering over the mountains of Humla in Nepal in 1993.

The holy lake Manasarovar and the mountain that looms over it, Kailash, have been revered by Hindus, Buddhists and Tibetan animists for millennia

Myth, spirituality, history and even geology come together in many of the world's holy sites. But aside from the striking scenic beauty and spiritual energy of the place, Manasarovar is truly a lake on the roof of the world: some of Asia's mightiest rivers originate within 100km of this lake on the tri-junction of the borders of Nepal, India and China.

Kailash and Mansarovar Visions of the Infinite
by Deb Mukharji nepa-laya, 2009
pages: 246
ISBN: 978-9937-8021-9-2 Price: Rs 2500 1
In Hindu mythology, Kailash was regarded as Meru, the Earth's spinal cord, the centre of the universe. It is where Shiva is believed to reside with his consort Parbati. It is Kang Rinpoche and Tise to the Buddhists and followers of Bon Po. Lake Manasarovar, on the other hand, has a deep spiritual influence on the minds of people of the region. The mountain and the lake are the ultimate pilgrimage for many across the region.

Deb Mukharji, Indian diplomat and former ambassador to Nepal, is a Manasarovar expert, having visited the site three times since 1981 accompanying Indian pilgrims. Researching, photographing and exploring the Kailash region has been Mukharji's life work. His picture book, Visions of the Infinite, is being launched by nepa-laya on Saturday, and weaves together the mythology, history and the profound spiritual meaning of the place.

Mukharji has been walking and taking photos in the Himalaya for five decades. His first book, The Magic of Nepal, featured photographs and accounts of his walks in the Nepal Himalaya. In Visions of the Infinite, Mukharji's photography, brings out in exquisite frames the deep meaning that Manasarovar has on the minds of millions. Many of the 200 pictures were taken before cameras went digital and this is where Mukharji's versatility in the medium shines through.

The text complements the pictures, giving us not just facts and figures, but what the pilgrimage means to those who have been there. Mukharji's last lines in the book sum it all up: "Kailash is where conviction remains suspended, myths endure, and sparks of understanding illuminate reason."

Kunda Dixit

Kailash from the north, south and west.

See also:
'Two Himalayan travelogues', #245



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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