Guarded by the icy mountains of the Himalayas, and braced by the crystal-clear waters of the Ganges, fuelled by years of opulent culture, tradition and religion, Nepal is also home to a profound architectural and artistic heritage. This small Himalayan nation has had a tumultuous recent history, becoming a republic in 2008 and overcoming a ten year Maoist rebellion which irrevocably altered the make-up of Nepalese society.
Maurice Herzog’s Annapurna is one of many books that describe the adventure of trekking in the Himalayan Peaks. Gregory Price Grieve’s Retheorizing Religion in Nepal gives an account of the customs and rituals in Nepal. Eva Kipp provides a garland of socio-cultural narratives of women’s lives in Nepal in her book Bending Bamboo Changing Winds.
Michael Palin’s BBC documentary Himalaya visits unfamiliar places in the Himalayan ranges, interacting with the indigenous people and learning about the culture and heritage of the land. Mark Whittaker’s Love and Death in Kathmandu depicts the tragic massacre of the Nepalese Royal family by the heir to the crown; the book investigates this murder and its effect on the Nepalese people’s attitude towards the royal family. Patrick Marnham’s Road to Katmandu on the other hand, is a depiction of the hippy trail which snaked through India to Kathmandu in the 1960s and 70s and which saw many young Westerners flock to the East in search of their own Shangri-La.