The Heart of the World: A Journey to Tibet's Lost Paradise

The Heart of the World: A Journey to Tibet's Lost Paradise

Ian Baker


the parable of Shangri-la originates in Tibetan Buddhist ideals in beyul, or hidden lands, sacred sanctuaries that display themselves to religious pilgrims and in occasions of predicament. The extra distant and inaccessible the beyul, the vaster its reputed features. historic Tibetan prophecies claim that the best of all hidden lands lies on the center of the forbidding Tsangpo Gorge, deep within the Himalayas and veiled by way of a enormous waterfall. Nineteenth-century bills of this fabled waterfall encouraged a chain of ill-fated ecu expeditions that ended upfront in 1925 whilst the intrepid British plant collector Frank Kingdon-Ward penetrated all yet a five-mile part of the Tsangpo’s innermost gorge and declared that the falls have been not more than a “religious fantasy” and a “romance of geography.”

The middle of the Tsangpo Gorge remained a clean spot at the map of worldwide exploration until eventually world-class climber and Buddhist pupil Ian Baker delved into the legends. no matter what cryptic Tibetan scrolls or prior explorers had acknowledged in regards to the Tsangpo’s innermost gorge, Baker decided, might be established in simple terms via exploring the uncharted five-mile hole. After numerous years of encountering sheer cliffs, maelstroms of impassable white water, and dense leech-infested jungles, at the final of a sequence of amazing expeditions, Baker and his nationwide Geographic–sponsored workforce reached the depths of the Tsangpo Gorge. They made information around the world by way of discovering there a 108-foot-high waterfall, the mythical grail of Western explorers and Tibetan seekers alike.

The middle of the World is likely one of the so much pleasing tales of exploration and discovery in contemporary memory—an notable trip to 1 of the wildest and such a lot inaccessible locations on the earth and a pilgrimage to the center of the Tibetan Buddhist religion.

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