5 Books to Read before Traveling to Tibet


5 Books to Read before Traveling to Tibet

No, we aren’t talking about guidebooks! Although we don’t deny the importance of guidebooks in a new place and while traveling for the first time, we also recommend books that have personal experiences in them; those that speak about more than just places and how to get there. We want to recommend books that don’t only contain historical details but those which can say a great deal about both the destination that it describes and the culture in which it is produced, as well as the morals of a society from personal observation. It must be understood that a book must also serve the purpose of aiding tourists during their travel. But we want you to have more than an impersonal, systematic approach to travel that guidebooks can offer. A trip is about creating a travel experience by addressing certain needs, values or underlying dimensions of destinations and also about understanding systems and values, cultures and perspectives. The books we suggest represent the indication of personal travel experience and have been created out of personal observations through travel. These books take you on a journey, within and without, investigating places and people while familiarizing you with identities through cultural resources.


Tibet: The Roof of the World Between Past and Present

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.


Magic and Mystery in Tibet: Deluxe Edition

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.


A Historical Atlas of Tibet

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.


108 Buddhist Statues in Tibet: Evolution of Tibetan Sculptures

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.


The Hotel on the Roof of the World: Five Years in Tibet

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.


Related Trips to Tibet

Classical Tibet Tour

6 Days from US$ 750pp*

Trip Code: HDTN1

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