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Saga of Tibet

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Inside Forbidden Tibet

When Lowell Thomas Jr.s' father, received an invitation from his holiness, the Dalai Lama, to visit Lhasa, in the year 1949, it was he beginning of great adventure. The route selected for this journey was through Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, via the caravan route over Nathula-a 14,800 foot pass. Even till the year of 1949 Lowell Thomas and his father were just about the eighth set of Americans to officially reach Lhasa.

This was the early years of India's independence and a time of turmoil for the fourteenth Dalai Lama, at that time, a sixteen year old lad. This travelogue encounters some interesting characters like the last British in Indian Foreign Service, Hugh Richardson; Madame David Neel, the first woman to reach the Forbidden city and one of the most remarkable oriental scholars - Sir Charles Bell the closest Westerner to the Dalai Lama and one who was his dearest friend and advisor, when his holiness was in exile in Darjeeling. Above all the author's encounter with the young Dalai Lama is the central focus of this remarkable narrative.

The author gives graphic descriptions of the Tibetan religion and life of ordinary Tibetans which even at the middle of this century was untouched by western technology or culture. Even a visit to Lhasa had to be on foot as nothing on wheels could enter the holy city.

This is a famous travelogue by a famous author, remarkable for its rare insight and photographs. 

Dalai Lama fled to India to escape Chinese persecution in 1959. New generation of Tibetans born in free India, now know what freedom means. But they are not citizens of India, but still refugees. Their voice is weak and not heard by world bodies. 

All Photographs are from:
Out of  this World -- Across the Himalayas to Forbidden Tibet
by Lowell Thomas Jr.
The Greystone Press 100 sixth Avenue New York, 1950

See Also:

 

American journalist Lowell Thomas Jr. visited Tibet (then a mysterious, free nation), in 1949 with his father and met Dalai Lama. They were the 7th and 8th Americans in the history to be granted this privilege. Thomas's 1950 book "Out Of This World - across the Himalayas to forbidden Tibet" contains rare and important photographs of period Tibet, before its collapse in 1959.
Rare Pictures of Tibet | Tibetans in India
Inside Tibet, 1949Tibetan PeopleInside Tibet, 1949Bodyguards of Dalai Lama
At the Lhasa BazarMonk Relays PrayersJewel Studded Tibetan IconGifts to Dalai Lama
Inside Sera TempleHerd of Yaks, TibetJourney to TibetJourney to Tibet
Journey to Tibet

 

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