Ancient adventurers have often spoken of a mystical land of perfect harmony and eternal bliss nestled in the forbidding remoteness of the Tibetan Plateau – the legendary Shangri La. No one has managed to pinpoint its exact location on a map. In the local belief system, Shangri La may well not be a place at all but rather the mental state of a pure and exalted body, speech and mind.
Fascinated by this concept, the photographer and author Mahendra Singh set out on its quest. Most of it currently occupied by China, the Tibetan Plateau has been significantly distorted over time under state pressure. Therefore, the author travelled through some of the last surviving remnants of authentic Tibetan life found in the valleys of Ladakh and Spiti; often and justifiably referred to as ‘Little Tibet’.
He travelled through remote valleys, ventured across stark landscapes and visited the improbable green oases of human habitation, culture and religion, to bring together this comprehensive portrait of the region through his vivid photographs and meticulously researched text. This book aims to take the readers on a journey of discovery and reflection, and hopefully, a little further along the path to finding their own Shangri La.