Spiti: A Buddhist Land in Western Himalaya
V Verma
  • ISBN : 9789391985165
  • year : 2022
  • language : English
  • binding : Hardbound
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Spiti, a land of fascinating contrasts, shocks of green in a barren expanse of russet, lies hedged in between Tibet, Ladakh, Kullu and Kinnaur districts across the main chain of the Himalayas forming an administrative unit of the district of Lahul and Spiti. The hot, sandy and mountainous landscape spreading endlessly in all directions like the moonscape conjures up visions of inaccessible villages and inviolate summits. Scoured by wind and scorched alternately by freezing cold and the searing heat, the spitial is verily in constant conflict with the nature. The harsh climate, high altitude, lack of communications and the poverty of land, all cumulatively, make his life hard in the extreme. Nevertheless, the average Spitial is optimistic in his outlook. His culture coloured by the harshness of nature, it seems, has developed in him a tolerant attitude to the problems of life. The secret perhaps lies not in his land's comforts but in its age old discomforts, which seem to have tought him to enjoy what he has and not crave for what he cannot have. Spiti valley may be one of such rare pockets in the Western Himalaya where one may trace a continuous course of development of Tibetan Buddhism. The religion professed by the people is thus the much evolved form of Tibetan Buddhism with no admixture of Hinduism as seen in the adjacent Lahul Valley. Chortens, temples, gompas, forts peppered all over the vastness of Spiti provide an un-ending feast for the singhtseer and for serious students, authentic foot-notes to history, architecture and culture. The present book, in brief, recounts all this and much more and presents a comprehensive sketch of the land and its people, the Bodhs, a scheduled tribe in Himachal Pradesh.