This is the account of a journey to the holiest mountain on
earth, the solitary peak of Kailas in Tibet, sacred to one-fifth of
humankind. To both Buddhists and Hindus it is the mystic heart of
the world and an ancient site of pilgrimage. It has never been
climbed. Even today, under Chinese domination, the people of four
religions circle the mountain in devotion to different gods.
Colin Thubron reached it by foot along the Karnali River, the
highest source of the Ganges. His journey is an entry into the
culture of today's Tibet, and a pilgrimage in the wake his mother's
death and the loss of his family. He undertakes it in order to mark
the event, to leave a sign of their passage. He also explores his
own need for solitude, which has shaped his career as a writer--one
who travels to places beyond his own history and culture, writing
about them and about the journey. "To a Mountain in Tibet" is at
once a powerful travelogue, a fascinated encounter with alien
faith, and an intimate personal voyage.
It is a haunting and beautiful book, a rare mix of discovery
and loss. In its evocation of landscape and variety of exotic
peoples, of mythic and spiritual traditions foreign to our own, it
is a spectacular achievement from our greatest living travel
writer, an artist of formidable literary gifts, uncanny intuition,
and wondrous insight.
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