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East of Lo Monthang: In the Land of Mustang [Hardcover]

Peter Matthiessen , Thomas Laird
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

1996
In its heyday (1400-1600), the kingdom of Lo dominated the Kali Gandaki River trade between India and Tibet. By the 18th century, Lo had lost control over this trade and had been incorporated into the modern Kingdom of Nepal. Isolated deep in the Himalayas, Lo's hereditary Rajas retained most of their feudal powers and the area remained closed to the outside world until 1991. In the spring of 1992, author Peter Matthiessen and photographer Tom Laird travelled deep in the secret valley of Sao Kohla, tucked high in the northernmost reaches of the Himalayas. They were the first Westerners to venture there in 30 years. From the central city of Lo Monthang, known as "Mustang", Matthiessen and Laird, with an entourage of attendants and horsemen, began an expedition across arid plateaux and through narrow river chasms to reach precariously perched monasteries. They camped among nomad herdsmen who spent nights guarding their goats from predatory snow leopards. This book reveals an unknown land where peaks five miles high cast their shadows over the deepest canyon in the world and where mountain nomads spend their lives herding their flocks across desolate slopes and through desert valleys.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications Inc; 1 edition (1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570621314
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570621314
  • Product Dimensions: 31.2 x 24.4 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,895,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars East of Lo manthang 16 Feb 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This second hand was in great condition.Hard to find a copy in the UK. Delivery was within the estimated 5 week time scale. It contains interesting text and many stunning large colour photos of this amazing area, showing what it was like in 1995 before a jeep road was built.If you've visited Mustang this book is a great coffee table momento.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Photographic journal of a hidden kngdom 2 May 2009
By John D. Mattson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Peter Matthiessen teams up with the great photography of Thomas Laird to provide a thrilling coffee table style journal to one of the magical kingdoms of our planet. The photos are truly incredible, and Peter's descriptive writing portrays the life of an ancient kingdom on the Tibetan plateau of Nepal. Dancing on the Edge of an Endangered Planet
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Classic 3 Oct 2009
By FT - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is the "Classic" photo book of Mustang and Lo Monthang. Most of us will never get there (tourism is severely limited, and the hike in is difficult at best) to see it ourselves. This book takes us on a journey to a place that is also a step way back in time (no electricity, phones, etc throughout most of the country). Highly recommended for look at a "country within a country" (Mustang is within Nepal), that most don't even know exists.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent photos of the Tiji Festival, Lo Manthang from overhead, and inside the temples 29 Sep 2009
By Jerome Ryan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A coffee-table photographic book detailing the authors' trip to Upper Mustang and Lo Manthang in May 1992. There are over 156 photos, 68 a full page or larger. The front cover is Lo Manthang.

The authors travel from Jomsom to Kagheni, with an interesting description of the ghost eaters, and then up the Kali Gandaki River route, where they visit a remote gompa and meet the nomads who live in the area. The monks and local people tell stories of the mehti (Yeti), but no sightings or evidence is found. Snow leopards do exist and kill some of the animals. They then visit Lo Manthang and attend the Tiji Festival. We see the people harvesting, attend a wedding, and meet the King and his wife, Tashi Tenzing, the abbot of Chodi Gompa, and the local Tibetan medicine man.

Matthiessen describes Lo Manthang: "With its twenty-foot high surrounding wall and its sentinel turrets at each corner, with its prayer flags and white central palace and red temples, Lo Monthang seems formidable and enormous by comparison to the other isolated settlements we have passed through, yet this medieval town on its remote desert plateau is thought to have just one hundred and eighty households, and les than one thousand inhabitants, and one could circumambulate the city walls four times in an hour, as King Jigme Palbar Bista, on his royal constitutional, is said to do at sunrise every morning."

Matthiessen desribes the Tiji Festival: "The costumes and masks, the twelve-foot horns, the gold cups of wheat, the butter cakes, the snow peaks and wind and dust and sun, the mehti, snow leopard, snow pigeons, saligrams, the dying glacier and the desert ruins, the drunks and rajas and foreigners, the dogs and yaks. Tantra!"

The photos are excellent, especially those of the Tiji Festival, Lo Manthnag from overhead, and inside the temples. The writing is wonderfully descriptive, especially of the Tiji Festival.
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for travel to Lo Manthang 29 Jan 2014
By Emma1980 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are traveling to Lo Manthang, or if you love Tibetan culture and history this is a must-read book. The writing and photographs are stunning. This region of Nepal was only recently opened up to tourism. This book gives a vivid and realistic portrait of this rapidly changing area. I would pair it with the book "The Snow Leopard" for maximal enjoyment of this wonderful place.
5.0 out of 5 stars east of lo mustang 27 Nov 2012
By F Kelley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Far flung & far far away, not exactly easy to g et to.
can't wait to go
gorgeous photos
thank you peter matthiessen
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