Fading Shangri-La: Melting on the Sacred Mountain

Asia Society’s China Green project has produced a new video about the melting glaciers on one of Tibet’s holiest sites:

Mt Khawa Karpo, known by Chinese as Meili Snow Mountain, is among the most sacred mountains in the Tibetan world. It is here in the steep valleys that novelist James Hilton set his Lost Horizon, describing the utopian wonderland of Shangri-La where time stands still. Tibetans have long worshiped this holy mountain, regarded as one of the highest spiritual gods in this mountainous region of China.

Yet as the earth warms, glacier retreat and ice loss here over the last decade have reached alarming levels and the melting is only accelerating. As a result, locals worry that the soul of this holy land – their Shangri-La – is slipping away. With it, a supernatural source of blessing for their people and communities is feared to be disappearing.

A trailer for the video is on YouTube.

April 17, 2010 9:54 PM
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