Synopses & Reviews
This is the account of a journey to the holiest mountain on earth, the solitary peak of Kailas in Tibet, sacred to one-fifth of humankind. To both Buddhists and Hindus it is the mystic heart of the world and an ancient site of pilgrimage. It has never been climbed. Even today, under Chinese domination, the people of four religions circle the mountain in devotion to different gods.
Colin Thubron reached it by foot along the Karnali River, the highest source of the Ganges. His journey is an entry into the culture of today's Tibet, and a pilgrimage in the wake his mother's death and the loss of his family. He undertakes it in order to mark the event, to leave a sign of their passage. He also explores his own need for solitude, which has shaped his career as a writerone who travels to places beyond his own history and culture, writing about them and about the journey. To a Mountain in Tibet is at once a powerful travelogue, a fascinated encounter with alien faith, and an intimate personal voyage.
It is a haunting and beautiful book, a rare mix of discovery and loss. In its evocation of landscape and variety of exotic peoples, of mythic and spiritual traditions foreign to our own, it is a spectacular achievement from our greatest living travel writer, an artist of formidable literary gifts, uncanny intuition, and wondrous insight.
Colin Thubron's To a Mountain in Tibet
is a memoir of discovery and loss, chronicling the author's journey to the holiest mountain on earth, the solitary peak of Kailas in modern-day Tibet. To Buddhists and Hindus, it is the mystic heart of the world and an ancient site of pilgrimage. It has never been climbed.
Thubron undertakes this journey in the wake of his mother's death, using the pilgrimage as a lens to examine both his deeply felt loss and his lifelong need for solitude, which has shaped his career as a writer—one who travels to places far outside his own history and culture. A vivid and powerful travelogue through an evocative landscape, To a Mountain in Tibet provides a fascinating encounter with the mythic and spiritual traditions of a foreign culture—encapsulated in the wondrous insights of an intimate personal voyage.
“Colin Thubron is the intrepid, resourceful and immensely talented writer who has made a career out of going to out of the way places and then writing brilliantly about them.”—Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World
“Thanks to Thubron, we encounter a world which, in its beauty and awe, exceeds our imagination." —Ryszard Kapuscinski, author of Shah of Shahs and Imperium
New York Times bestselling author Colin Thubron returns with a moving, intimate, and exquisitely crafted travel memoir recounting his pilgrimage to the Hindu and Buddhist holy mountain of Kailas—whose peak represents the most sacred place on Earth to roughly a quarter the global population. With echoes of Peter Matthiessens The Snow Leopard, Peter Hesslers Country Driving, and Paul Theorouxs Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, Thubrons follow up to his bestselling Shadow of the Silk Road will illuminate, interest, and inspire anyone interested in traveling the world or journeying into the soul.
About the Author
Colin Thubron is an acknowledged master of travel writing. His first books were about the Middle East—Damascus, Lebanon, and Cyprus. In 1982 he traveled in the Soviet Union, pursued by the KGB. From these early experiences developed his great travel books on the landmass that makes up Russia and Asia: Among the Russians
; Behind the Wall: A Journey through China
; The Lost Heart of Asia
; In Siberia
; and most recently, Shadow of the Silk Road
Colin Thubron is an award-winning novelist as well as, arguably, the most admired travel writer of our time. He lives in London.