To a Mountain in Tibet [Colin Thubron] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Colin Thubron is the intrepid, resourceful and immensely talented. There is a telling moment in one of Colin Thubron’s early films. He is travelling with a BBC crew along the Silk Road in China when he. Colin Thubron joins these pilgrims, after an arduous trek from Nepal, through the high passes of Tibet, to the magical lakes beneath the slopes.

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My relationship with the author is somewhat turned upside down.

Thubron is a famed travel writer, and he left to visit Mt. Open Preview See a Problem? Still an enjoyable read, and as I say the descriptive landscape and even his description of and albeit brief interactions with people he meets are great.

But China Mobile billboards have replaced 60ft silk banners and obliterated the remnants of feudal sorcery. That is how we learn of the mythical kingdom of Shang shung, the attitudes of different monks towards their faith and life in general, there’s an interesting anecdote of monks getting furious after a Manchester United loss, and another of monks collecting money from pilgrims in a box labeled Budweiser!

In my view, it has effected the way he has written.

To a Mountain in Tibet by Colin Thubron: review – Telegraph

He shows that like the worlds great monotheisms in Europe and the Middle East, Buddhism and Tibdt are synchretic in the Himalayas. It offers no easy answers–no answers at all, really. Vultures are sacred and thought to be emanations of white dakinis –peaceful sky dancers. Some very touching scenes and memories in the book. Sometimes the four seek refuge on the mud floor of a home, at other times they pitch tents, greeting, round the camp fire, stocky smugglers in bobble hats driving buffalo freighted with Chinese cigarettes.

Book of the Week listeners. Finally, at the climax of both journey and book, the perfect cone of Kailas. Colin Thubron travels to Tibet to circumambulate Mt. It leapt forth unexpectedly, to great effect, in the memorable first line of In Siberia He looks for that same meaning. Books by Colin Thubron.


Thubron visited a charnal ground, explaining that holy law only permits burial to criminals and plague victims — sealing them to prevent their reincarnation and eliminating their kind for ever. Its slopes are also full of stories: An Epic Love Story of Tibetis described in cringing detail. The area is also incredibly poor, and Thubron wonders again and again–as does the reader–how the people can survive here, how they can profess to be happy.

He summons — briefly — the memory of his only tjbet Carol, dead in an Alpine avalanche at But he tells us almost nothing of his relationship with either person. The continents of the world radiate from its centre like lotus petals on a precious sea Humans occupy the southern petal and its slopes are heady with the gardens of paradise.

To a Mountain in Tibet by Colin Thubron: review

It has never been climbed. Once in Tibet, they are driven, on roads built by colkn Chinese, past police checkpoints staffed by the Chinese.

Resident authors can present deeper portraits of the people and places. Isolated beyond the parapet of the central Himalaya, Kailas permeated early Hindu scriptures as the mystic Mount Meru.

To a Mountain in Tibet tells two stories. His mother has passed away, following his father and his sister, who died in a skiing accident in It has been a while since I have read any Colin Thubron non-fiction, which I generally find to be 4 star quality, and very enjoyable.

To a Mountain in Tibet

Some pilgrims, sold cheap trekking tickets by unscrupulous tour operators, are often badly affected by altitude sickness because they are not allowed sufficient time to acclimatize. The non-fiction books about travelling that I read in recent years were written in a totally different manner.

The book gives one the flavor of the difficulty of such a trek, the range of personalities and nationalities one can meet, and the cloud of Chinese intimidation and control, even during the most religious of ceremonies. The mountain was flown to this remote area, according to Buddhist belief, staked in place before devils could pull it underground, and nailed in place by the Buddha himself, preventing the gods from returning it to its origin.


That’s part of what drew me in so much, I think. For months the papers lie piled, waiting. You’ll forever be a changed person. The politics, too, obscure some of the story, since the Chinese are positioned as the evil invaders–but he to is invading, and is privileged by a huge international system.

In fact the Times of London publishes a list of the greatest British writers of the post war era, and Thubron continues to be included.

To a Mountain in Tibet by Colin Thubron

Firstly, I took part in a meeting with him a few years ago in Warsaw. A mountain that has never been climbed, and the access to which is strictly monitored and controlled, and for many years was closed to almost everyone.

This is in addition to Bon, a native religious tradition of Tibet. A few monasteries still survive, and the Chinese now allow a limited number of pilgrims access to the mountain. References to “some dream I had mojntain even suggest efforts to glimpse the churning subconscious — that deep-sea region where motives glide unseen. Kailas is a holy mountain to a number of religions, including Hinduism and Buddhism. It was a personal journey.

Or are they leading short, desperate, meaningless lives, ending in wretched deaths. I prefer “travel” books written by people who spend longer times in one place, living and working among the people. The past drops away into the waste-paper basket and oblivion, and in this monstrous disburdening, grief returns you to a kind of childish dependence.

This wasn’t the only thing unclear. Colin Thubron is a travel writer in his early 70’s. Their 5 chief components signify Buddhist elements, as prayer flags do, also representing a path to enlightenment. Kailas is one of the holiest mountains in the world, revered by Hindus, Buddhists, and Bon.

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