Snow-clad peaks rising majestically in the horizon, mysterious lakes reflecting the mountains ringing them, massive glaciers and fast-flowing rivers all this and more are the Himalaya, a world stamped by divinity. Here too are mountain trails winding up to far-flung corners where people in remote villages pursue age-old lifestyles, almost untouched by the contemporary world. Lavishly illustrated with vibrant colour photographs, this book takes you on a journey through these sublime heights, capturing the drama, diversity and mystic beauty of the Himalayas, up pristine tracks leading to rarely explored places. From snow-covered Ladakh, with its stark-cold desert, the Kashmir valley where the ancient pilgrimage trail to the Amarnath cave begins, to Himachal, with its stunning views from Shimla to the remote Spiti valley and Uttarakhands temple towns steeped in mythology, the journey moves on to Sikkim, crowned by the magnificent Kanchenjunga mountain and the rainforests of Arunachal. On the way, visit fascinating people like the Changpas tending their yaks in Ladakh, the Lepchas of Sikkim, said to be a vanishing tribe, and the Wanchos of Arunachal, the last headhunters of the world. The odyssey continues outside India, to Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet where the mystique of the Himalaya deepens. Magical places where the chanting of Buddhist lamas resounds in the mountains of Tibet and Bhutan, where exquisite monasteries perch precariously on steep inclines and the dzongs (forts) of Bhutan have stood vigil since the twelfth century are brought to life by stunning photographs and evocative descriptions, enticing you to visit the far-reaches of the Himalaya or merely turn the pages to enjoy a visual feast.
Himanshu Joshi is a journalist with nearly 20 years of experience in various newspapers and magazines in the country. He has worked for The Hindustan Times, The Times of India, Outlook, Sahara and Observer Groups. He is also an avid traveler and is currently the editor of a monthly travel and culture magazine LandScape, published from New Delhi, India.