By combining masonry with the skills of nomad tent-makers, Tibetan architects have produced unique, magnificent buildings that, for too long, have remained obscure and underestimated. It took author-illustrator Michel Peissel, who speaks Tibetan, forty-five years and twenty-nine expeditions on foot and on horseback to reach the lesser-known fortresses, chapels, and monasteries that he sketched and painted for this book. Tibet - the impossible pilgrimage also reveals how the Tibetan nation and its culture are still very much alive even though Tibet has since been partitioned and appropriated by China, India, Pakistan, and Nepal. Incredibly today, from the Himalayas of Nepal to Mongolia, from Baltistan and Ladakh across occupied Tibet to Kansu and Szechuan, hundreds of new, elegant buildings are still being built according to the finest Tibetan traditions. This book is certain to foster an appreciation for the elegance of Tibetan architecture, confirming the extent of its influence and its remarkable originality.
Explorer, anthropologist, and author, Michel Peissel has dedicated his life to investigating the remotest regions of greater Tibet. He became the first anthropologist to study and explore the small kingdom of Mustang, eastern Bhutan, Zanskar, and the kingdom of Nangchen, where, in 1994, he discovered the elusive historical source of the Mekong River. He has written 19 books about his expeditions, published in 16 languages. Many of these books went on to become international best sellers, among them The Lost World of Quintana Roo, Mustang - the Forbidden Kingdom, and Cavaliers of Kham - The Secret War in Tibet.