Bells of Shangri-La Scholars, Spies, Invaders in Tibet

By: Bhattacharya, ParimalLanguage: English Publication details: Gurugram HarperCollins Publications 2023Description: 238pISBN: 9789356290204 (PB)Subject(s): Tibet Travel | General
Item type: BOOKS List(s) this item appears in: New Arrivals (15 May 2023)
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Almost all of the Himalayas had been mapped by the time the Great Game - in which the British and Russian empires fought for control of Central and Southern Asia - reached its zenith in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Only Tibet remained unknown and unexplored, zealously guarded and closed off to everyone. Britain sent a number of spies into this forbidden land, disguised as pilgrims and wanderers, outfitted with secret survey equipment and tasked with collecting topographical knowledge, and information about the culture and customs of Tibet. Among them was Kinthup, a tailor who went as a monk's companion to confirm that the Tsangpo and the Brahmaputra were the same river. Sarat Chandra Das, a schoolmaster, was also sent on a clandestine mission, and came back with extensive data and a trove of ancient manuscripts and documents. Bells of Shangri-La brings to vivid life the journeys and adventures of Kinthup, Sarat Chandra Das and others, including Eric Bailey, an officer who was part of the British invasion of Tibet in 1903. Weaving biography with history, and the memories of his own treks through the region, Parimal Bhattacharya writes in the great tradition of Peter Hopkirk and Peter Matthiessen to create a sparkling, unprecedented work of non-fiction

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