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Spiti Through Legend and Lore - Monthly Lecture

Saturday, November 30, 2013
06:00 PM
Venue : 
Conference Hall, Tibet House
Kishore Thukral
An Abstract:  

Imagine a remote valley high up in the western Indian Himalayas, abutting Tibet. A valley that at various times in history has been part of the Tibetan realm. A valley one hundred per cent Buddhist. 

A valley abounding in fossils of maritime inhabitants of the prehistoric Tethys Sea. A valley with a stunning moonscape. A valley that is a world within a world. A world they call Spiti.Sandwiched between perennially snow-capped mountains, Spiti remains largely unknown. The approach to the valley is not easy. The narrow,rough road leading to it takes one through canyons, across streams, beneath overhangs and over high mountain- passes.The mystique of the land is palpable. Tibet is barely a day’s walk away. Little wonder then that Tibetan Buddhism has flourished in Spiti for over 1000 years, a period that also saw the founding of magnificent monasteries such as Tabo, Dangkhar, Ghungri, Tangyud and Key. Spiti’s history, however, unlike that of Tibet, is for the most part unrecorded. Yet it boasts an equally rich heritage, among it a repository of local legends and tales.In his illustrated talk, Kishore Thukral will take the audience on an exploration of the hidden valley discovering en route its uniqueness and exoticism through its legends and folklore.

The Speaker:  

Kishore Thukral has trekked, photographed and researched extensively in the western Himalayas, especially in the remote valley of Spiti, Himachal Pradesh. His research has included photographing and studying hundreds of ancient thangkas in the many small temples of Spiti. He has also been instrumental in setting up Save Dangkhar, an ongoing project that aims to link the restoration of the ancient Dangkhar Monastery in Spiti with a livelihood generation programme for the local community. Through his efforts, Dangkhar was recognized by World Monuments Fund as one of the hundred most endangered historical sites in the world for the period 2006-2007. He is the author of Spiti through Legend and Lore (Mosaic Books, Delhi, 2006), a book that documents the legends and folklore of the valley, through narrative and photographs. Kishore Thukral is acclaimed for his knowledge in this area, and has to his credit a number of photography exhibitions and illustrated lectures on Spiti, Dangkhar and Tibetan Buddhist art.


Topic: Spiti Through Legend and Lore

Medium of Speech: English

Speaker: Kishore Thukral

Venue: Conference Hall, Tibet House

Date: November 30, 2013

Time: 06:00 pm