Aviewing of Kailash and Manasarovar: A Quest Beyond the Himalaya quite easily leads one to agree with Deb Mukharji that of all the elements of nature, perhaps the strongest influence on the human psyche has been exercised by mountains’ (p. 34). I use the word ‘viewing’ quite deliberately because it is Mukharji’s amazing photographs that enliven his interesting text. Together, both are ample testimony of the author’s empathy for the high reaches and lonely spaces of the Himalaya. A former civil servant by profession but a mountaineer and photographer by instinct and passion, the author describes in meticulous detail the fascination of the Kailash and Manas region over millennia. Kailash, he writes, ‘is where convictions remain suspended, myths endure and sparks of understanding illuminate reason’ (p. 245).

A Study In Paradoxes And Subtleties

This monumental work, I gather, is an adaptation from the American edition of 2011 and not having consulted the original, I was naturally left wondering just how much the author ‘adapted’ with a South Asian readership in mind. It was, however, quite obvious to me that the present work represents the cumulative insight and expertise that Hiltebeitel has acquired over the years, particularly in relation to the study of the epics and dharma literature.