Himalayan Caves May Be Shangri-La

The remote Mustang caves of Nepal are yielding treasures and artworks that lead explorers to think it may be the legendary Shangri-La. Expeditions in 2007 and 2008 found 15th-century paintings, religious texts, and skeletons. The expeditions were led by US researcher Broughton Coburn and veteran mountaineer Pete Athans.
The unusual treasures have led Coburn and his team to suggest that the Mustang caves could be linked to "hidden valleys" thought to represent the Buddhist spiritual paradise known as Shambhala.

"Shambhala is also believed by many scholars to have a geographical parallel that may exist in several or many Himalayan valleys," Coburn said.

"These hidden valleys were created at times of strife and when Buddhist practice and principals were threatened," Coburn said. "The valleys contained so-called hidden treasure texts."

Elaine Brook, author of Search for Shambhala, said the hidden valleys of Mustang indeed "have some of the characteristics of the mythical land of Shambhala."

For his 1933 novel, Hilton used the concept of Shambhala as the basis for his "lost" valley of Shangri-La, an isolated mountain community that was a storehouse of cultural wisdom.

PBS will air two specials about the Mustang caves tonight. Link

(image credit: Kris Erickson)

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Another ripoff of the term "Shangri-La". My 2007 film "Finding Shangri-La" found the real life model for James Hilton's "Shangri-La" from his 1933 book "Lost Horizon", deep in Tibet, and proved it beyond question. Too bad PBS and National Geographic turned down showing the film for reasons known only to them. I guess they could not handle the truth.

Ted Vaill
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There were two specials on PBS, I was quite surprised. The first show was better and more informative. Ironic how the locals didn't want the anthropologists in the caves - not out of respect to their land or heritage but as usual - for money. They'd sell off their cultural history for a few bucks when the dealer sells it for thousands to a collector.
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