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July 18 , 2009

Land of Pure Vision

The Sacred Geography of Tibet and the Himalaya


The landscapes of Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan are filled with holy places. Some are of natural origin – summits, rivers and lakes, caves, or forest sanctuaries. Others are consecrated by religious practice – shrines, temples, monasteries, or burial grounds. The holy sites of the Himalaya unite faith and geography to produce some of the most sublime places on Earth.

In Land of Pure Vision, David Zurick draws from his thirty-five years of experience as a geographer, photographer, and explorer of the Himalaya, combining scholarship and art to capture divine landscapes undergoing profound change. The stunning photographs featured in this volume cover the full geographical reach of the region, from the high plateaus of the western Himalaya to the rugged gorges of Tibet's eastern borderlands, from the icy summits of the north to the subtropical southern foothills. Some sites exist in isolation, with intact natural environments and cultural monuments. Others display the tension between the ancient, sacred character of a place and the indifferent course of the modern world.

Land of Pure Vision explores how the religious practices of Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism, and shamanism interweave holy sites into a cohesive landscape of transcendent beauty and inspiration. It portrays a world of mystery, magic, and beauty, where the human spirit is in synchronicity with natural forces. Beyond elegy, this beautifully illustrated book is a visual ethnography of people and place.

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