Mustang: Mystique of a Mountain Kingdom

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Item Code: HAT667
Author: Sudha Mahalingam
Publisher: Indira Gandhi National Centre For The Arts
Language: English
Edition: 2019
ISBN: 9788194380320
Pages: 125 (Throughout Color Illustrations)
Other Details 10x12 inch
Weight 1.08 kg
Book Description
About The Book

Enveloped in mystique and mysticism, Mustang remains a tantalising beacon for intrepid travellers, adventure enthusiasts and seekers of spiritual salvation. Tucked away in the folds of the high Himalaya, sandwiched between the Annapurna and Nilgiri mountain ranges, Mustang was the gateway to Tibet through Nepal. A kingdom until recently, Mustang's resplendent riches owe not a little to its strategic location on the Indo- Tibetan trade route for Himalayan rock salt, a precious commodity in an era when sea-salt had not yet been harnessed. Legend tells us that Guru Padmasambava himself chose Mustang to introduce the newly-emerging Buddhist faith to the mountain peoples scattered over the Tibetan plateau. Today, Mustang remains the last bastion of the original Tibetan culture and traditions, unsullied by the juggernaut of modernity that has flattened Tibet itself.

About the Author

Sudha Mahalingam, an energy economist by profession, is an itinerant by inclination. An inveterate chronicler of places and people and an amateur photographer, her travelogues and photo essays have been featured in a range of mainstream newspapers and magazines and can be accessed on her website Her recent book, "The travel gods must be crazy', published by Penguin Random House, India, is a humorous compilation of her travel misadventures.


Mustang lies at the cross-roads between Tibet and Nepal. Its people are ethnic Tibetans, but its location lies within the political boundaries of Nepal.

Michael Peissel, author of "Mustang, A Lost Tibetan Kingdom" says "the incredible is believed, the unusual is not questioned and the amazing is regarded as commonplace.

The Himalaya is a region of profound interest for its distinct physical features, climate and cultural diversity. Its atmosphere of tranquillity has attracted seekers of truth from far and wide. Its isolation has helped traditions to maintain their identity over a long period. Along the Himalayan there flourished an astounding range of arts and crafts.

Mustang is one of the oldest trading post and pilgrimage paths leading through the Himalayas. The cultural landscape and geographical surroundings of Mustang make this place as unique.

In Mustang, religion is not confined to the splendid Gompas, but pervading every sphere of life. We find a unique amalgamation of Brahmanical, Buddhist, and local elements in its culture. Mustang evolved as an important Buddhist cultural landscape in the 11th century. Famous Buddhist scholars and saints like Atisha, Marpa and Milarepa passed through Mustang. The place is also blessed with some older Brahmanical traditions, traces of which are still evident in bits and pieces.

Several artists from far and wide to do commissioned work there, and local workshops also seem to have come up. In this flourishing time many different artistic and aesthetic influences, particularly from Central Asia, Kashmir, Western Tibet and China, as well as from the Eastern India are witnessed in the religious development in Mustang.

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