The centrality of the Himalayas as a connecting point or perhaps a sacred core for the Asian continent and its civilisations has captivated every explorer and scholar. The Himalaya is the meeting point of two geotectonic plates, three biogeographical realms, two ancient civilisations, two different language streams and six religions.
This book is about the determinant factors which are at work in the Himalayas in the context of what it constitutes in terms of its spatiality, legends and myths, religious beliefs, rituals and traditions. The book suggests that there is no single way for understanding the Himalayas. There are layers of structures, imposition and superimposition of human history, religious traits and beliefs that continue to shape the Asian dynamics. An understanding of the ultimate union of the Himalayas, its confluences and its bridging role is essential for Asian balance.
This book is a collaborative effort of an internationally acclaimed linguist, a diplomat-cum-geopolitician and a young Asianist. It provides countless themes that will be intellectually stimulating to scholars and students with varied interests.
Please note: This title is co-published with KW Publishers, New Delhi. Taylor & Francis does not sell or distribute the Hardback in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Introduction PART I: Himalayas: Geology, Genetics, Identity 1. India-Asia Collision and the Making of Himalayas 2. Challenges to the Himalayan Watershed 3. From the Dhaulagiri to Lappland, the Americas and Oceania 4. Textile, Text, Terracing, Territoriality: Weaving a Pan-Himalayan Identity
PART II: Prism of the Past 5. Reflection of the Himalayas in the Ancient Indian Texts: A Note 6 Encounter and Engagement: Vignettes of the Trans-Himalayan Region 7. The Indian Frontier Administrative Service: Romanticism and Hostile Borders 8. Himalayan Buddhism Travels West
PART III: Mosaic of Politics 9. The Trans-Himalayan Geopolitics 10. Himalayas to Unite 11. Why Siachen Matters to India 12. Empowering the Kashmiris 13. Drug and Arms Flow in the Eastern Himalayan Region 14. Cultural Continuity and School Education in Bhutan: Current Initiatives, Challenges and Opportunities 15. Buddhist Identity Politics in Nepal since the 1990s
PART IV: Philosophy, Art and Culture 16. Relevance of the Nalanda Tradition for Contemporary Society: Wisdom, Non-Sectarianism and Secular Ethics 17. Footprints of Nalanda Master Naropa in the Himalayas 18. Sowa Rigpa: Traditional Medical System of the Himalayas 19. Himalayan Food Culture 20. Art Heritage and Law: Railroading Geographical Indications Act and Kangra Miniature Paintings 21. Alchi Murals: Tracing the Multiple Traditions 22. Pre-Vaishnavite and Post-Vaishnavite Dance Forms of Manipur
PART V: Spiritual Odyssey 23. Rishikesh: Silent Hum of Mystery 24. The Himalayas: A Mystic’s Viewpoint
Himalayan bridge covers a major gap in our knowledge and understanding about the Himalayas. All aspects of the geopolitical significance have been discussed in the book.
- Nirmala Joshi, Director, India Central Asia Foundation.