1. Tibet: The Roof of the World Between Past and Present
In this book, the author leads us away from the exotic image of Tibet and to the historical, social and religious details of a civilization. Yet within this sketch, a timeless and mysterious aura of this land is revealed to us. The book provides a beautiful picture of Tibet and its geography; its mountains, deserts, rivers and its plains dotted with monasteries present a portrayal of a land deeply immersed in ancient traditions and how it continues to shape the average Tibetan lifestyle. This book is a profound journey Tibet and its spiritual populace. There are beautiful photographs that give you a feel of what you might encounter when you travel to Tibet. It also presents a stark comparison of ancient traditions in the face of modern values and structures that has come about in the present times.
2. Magic and Mystery in Tibet: Deluxe Edition
One of the finest books written about the magical land of Tibet, this was first published in 1929 but a new edition can be found that describes a personal journey of the author in Tibet and her encounters with the locals. The book is about the personal account of the author when she was in Tibet in 1920. She brings to light the supernatural elements within the religious aspects Buddhism. Themes like levitation, telepathy and walking on water by the mystics of Tibet seem to have been witnessed by her! She writes about the wisdom and power of sages and shamans and also about monasteries and the lives of the monks living there and the system of education they follow. Yet when she explains her own accounts she still allows the reader to draw his own conclusions about the logic and interpretation of those experiences.
3. A Historical Atlas of Tibet
As the title suggests, the books is mostly about maps and about Tibet. There is profound information about Tibet in this book. It was written by gathering information for over 20 years and so the end product is a marvelous record of Buddhist studies, Cartography and information useful to any first time traveler in Tibet. The book gives you good information on the history of Tibetan Buddhism with a map of temples spread across the region and surrounding countries. It also provides information on the kingdoms of Guge and Purang in western Tibet, and of Derge and Nangchen in Kham. This is a unique book that combines geographic content and context with historical and cultural changes in Tibet since the ancient times. The information is vital to travelers and students and an amazing way to understand Tibet’s history and geography.
4. 108 Buddhist Statues in Tibet: Evolution of Tibetan Sculptures
Ulrich Von Schroeder introduces Tibetan Buddhist sculpture with its full relevance, from religion and ritual to symbolism and iconography by describing about each structure in detail. The temples and monasteries in Tibet house some of the most exclusive and beautiful sculptures that relate to Tibetan Buddhism. This book is an excellent introduction to the Buddhist sculptures and paintings made by Tibetan artists and also describes the evolution of art and craft in Tibet through history. This book has comprehensive information as it catalogues and records objects for the common reader who may wonder at these idols and structures but cannot find any meaning in them. While this book is excellent for researchers and students, reading it can help you understand the nature of art and architecture in Tibet and it’s religious philosophy in a much more profound way.
5. The Hotel on the Roof of the World: Five Years in Tibet
Not many foreigners have lived in Tibet long enough to understand its enigmatic charm. Alec Le Sueur in this fabulous book derives inspiration from his 5 years in Tibet running the renowned Holiday Inn in Lhasa. Set in the backdrop of the austere and somewhat rugged beauty of Tibet, this amusing and enlightening account of his experiences presents a very interesting tale to the reader. There is rawness in what he describes, from animals to people, from myths to lore and also the surprising Miss Tibet Pageant. While many events may seem fascinating, the political turmoil within the lives of the people makes undeniable appearances. Le Sueur, the second Westerner after Heinrich Harrer to spend such a long time in Tibet writes a compelling tale of Tibet. His observations are therefore of significance and present a great cultural insight offering a captivating view into a country that was only just opening up to the outside world.