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Himalaya

Introduction

Michael Palin - HimalayaWhat I feel we have achieved, none the less, is to put the Himalaya in a human perspective. We found people living at altitudes higher than the highest mountains in Europe; ancient civilizations surviving on arid, wind-scoured plateaux; gorges two and a half miles deep, through which traders have found their way for thousands of years and, everywhere, religion, vibrant and colourful, and thriving in adversity. In short, we found a Himalaya not reticent and forbidding, but permeated by every sort of human activity.

A battleground of immense geological forces that is a centre of human tectonics as well, with sacred and secular, tribal identity and national aspiration, tradition and technology, all pushing up against each other.

The scope of our journey means that this is not a mountaineer's account of the Himalaya, it's a traveller's account. This is Himalaya, not from top to bottom, but from one end to the other; from the Khyber Pass where in a tight knuckle of mountains the great ranges of the Hindu Kush, the Karakoram and the Himalaya are born, to Bangladesh, where the Himalaya, reduced to dust and sand, is swept out into the waters of the Bay of Bengal.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Introduction
  • Country/sea: England
  • Place: London
  • Book page no: 7

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