12 July 2005

Book Review: A Journey in Ladakh, by Andrew Harvey, ***

High up in the remote mountain passes on the Indian border with Tibet, China and Pakistan, Ladakh has been a centre for Buddhist meditation since three centuries before Christ and is one of the last places on earth where a Tibetan Buddhist community still survives. Arriving by rickety bus, Andrew Harvey was unprepared for the breathtaking splendour, colour and silence of the landscape, and was entranced by the simple way of life of its people, for whom the sacred and everyday merge into one. Frustrated by the spiritual poverty of his sophisticated, western, intellectual lifestyle, Andrew Harvey finds peace, hope and freedom in the Buddhist teachings of Thuksey Rinpoche at Shey monastery, and discovers spiritual strength.

11 July 2005

Book Review/Recensione: Ancient Futures, Learning from Ladakh, by Helena Norberg-Hodge, ***

Recensione in italiano alla fine di questo post


The swiftly evolving socioeconomic life of Ladakh, whose people struggle to balance growth and technology with cultural values, offers crucial lessons in sustainable development. This gripping portrait of the western Himalayan land known as “Little Tibet” moves from the author’s first visit to idyllic, nonindustrial Ladakh in 1974 to the present, tracking profound changes as the region was opened to foreign tourists, Western goods and technologies, and pressures for economic growth.

10 July 2005

Book Review: Ladakh - Crossroads of High Asia, by Janet Rizvi, *****

This highly readable volume offers the first authoritative account of the history, religions, culture, and social conditions of Ladakh, the land often celebrated as the last outpost of Tibetan civilization. Relatively isolated from the rest of India as well as from Tibet by the world's highest mountains, Ladakh stands at the crossroads where Islam and Buddhism met and blended to produce an entirely unique culture.

Writing with feeling and personal knowledge born out of years of study and years spent in the region, Janet Rizvi presents much more than a mere coffee-table pictorial guide.

01 July 2005

20° g - 1 Luglio: Amritsar – Delhi 470 KM ORE 5 (TRENO) – imbarco per l’Italia e fine del viaggio

Mattinata e primo pomeriggio in ordine sparso, chi torna in città, chi si riposa in albergo. Il monsone si fa sentire, piove, caldo umido, ma a suo modo l’atmosfera è suggestiva di un’India di cui finora non avevo fatto esperienza, essendo venuto sempre d’inverno. Eppure il monsone è la vita dell’India, senza di esso il paese non potrebbe sopravvivere, anzi non esisterebbe proprio come lo conosciamo. Ogni anno qui gli economisti aspettano il monsone per calcolare il prodotto interno lordo!