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Buddhist Monasteries of Himachal

 
O.C. Handa (Author)
Synopsis Lahul and Spiti and Kinnaur Districts of Himachal and Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir form a distinct religio-cultural entity in the Western Himalayan region. Tibetan Buddhism has been a living and thriving religion in this region. The popular folk traditions and material archaeological evidences amply testify that before the Tibetan Buddhism was introduced in this region, Indian Mahayanic Buddhism flourished here since the days of Kushanas. Thus, in this Trans-Himalayan Shangrila, one may find Buddhism flourishing in continuity from the earliest to the present times. Some of the earliest and most outstanding Buddhist monasteries are located in this remote Trans-Himalayan region. In this work, those splendid and ancient monasteries located in Lahul and Spiti and Kinnaur Districts have been taken up for a detailed discussion in their historical, archaeological and architectural contexts. Cultural, sociological and political aspects of these edifices have also been studied in depth. An in-depth study of important ancient monasteries in the Trans-Himalayan region of Himachal and the modern Buddhist and Non-Buddhist Bon establishments has been accomplished in this volume. How far these establishments have been able to vouchsafe the traditional Tibetan customs and practices under the obtaining alien environment has also been discussed. The present work is a result of strenuous field-work and deep research of many decades. All the available source material--traditional, literary and archaeological--has been pooled together to present a comprehensive picture of this exotic land in its spatio-temporal context. It is hoped that this pioneering study shall prove to be an important trailblazer for the regional historiography.
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About the author

O.C. Handa

Dr. O.C. Handa is a well-known connoisseur of are and culture, and an outstanding scholar in history and archaeology, especially of the Himalayan region, having been in the field now for almost a half century. In his exploratory pursuits, he has been undertaking several expeditions, many of them the solo ones, to the far-flung nooks and corners of the Western and Central Himalayan regions. That would underscore his zeal to explore the antique but extant material evidences of history, art and culture of the Himalayan region, and his commitment to acquire the firsthand and authentic knowledge of almost all aspects of the creative enterprise of the people of this region. This quality is well reflected in his writings. He did his post-graduation in History from the University of Mysore, Ph. D. from the Meerut University and D. Litt. From the Agra University. Having come from the civil engineering background, Himachal Pradesh for several years. Dr. Handa has more than fifteen exclusive and four edited books on the art, history, archaeology and culture of the himalayan region to his credit. Besides, he has been writing articles and research papers for various national and international research journals and magazines. He has also been performing for the radio and TV. He has participated in several regional, national and international seminars and workshops and delivered lectures on the subjects of his specialty at various forums in India and abroad. He remained a member of different expert committees of the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi and the ministry of Tourism & Culture, Govt. of India. Dr. Handa remained a fellow of the Himachal Academy of Art, Language and culture, Shimla, India Council of Historical Research, New Delhi and the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla at different periods. He was a Senior Fellow of the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi from 2001 to 2003.  He is a fellow of US-based Infinity Foundation, working on the Himalayan domestic architecture.

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Bibliographic information

Title Buddhist Monasteries of Himachal
Author O.C. Handa
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition Revised ed.
Language: English
isbn 8173871701
length 344p.