Tuesday, February 5, 2008

No one is Gama in the land of Lama

No one is Gama in the land of Lama

Talking of discovering mummies in this modern day and age sounds absurd. But investigation into this reveals that there is some truth to this 20th century mystery. In 1975, the indo Tibetan border police were digging to construct a border surveillance post near Sumdoh. Their spade hit the skull of a body and behold; blood started oozing out of the body. The laborers left their implements and fled in fear at this freak occurrence. Strangely enough even the hair on the skull of this mummy was visible! On closer inspection it was revealed that the body was that of a Buddhist Lama. Hence a mystic connection was established and the story spread like wildfire.Curious hordes thronged to see the mummy. Speculation abounded. But it was clear that the mummified lama was sitting in deep meditation when perhaps an avalanche struck and buried him in that very stance (Trance!!). Since the phenomena could not be explained by simple logic, the ITBP Jawans attributed this to divine revelation. They built a temple for the mummy where it is deified till date. The small hamlet of Giu suddenly shot into prominence.Located 3050mts above sea level nature has endowed Spiti with a dust free environment where everything is preserved for posterity. It is perhaps this climatic preservation which has prompted the evolution of the Megalithic culture which is as old as the Indus valley civilization. On the death of a Lama or any local inhabitant the head lama consults the script or "Pothi" and suggests the mode of disposing off the dead body, by burial, in water, by cremation, or even by hanging from a tree to become food for scavenging birds! This tradition seems very familiar to the Parsi towers of Silence.In the event of Burial many items of daily use along with precious stones, potteries etc too were buried in the belief that these would render comfort to the dead in the afterlife. In Kanam, in pooh sub division, it was rumored that mummies had been found. But only skeletal remains of the dead buried in the 15th century were discovered - along with shards of pottery and precious stones. Giu is the only real mummy of a lama discovered till date which is so well preserved. In fact the rapid loss of body mass of this mummy recently is a cause for concern. Now the archaeological survey of India proposes excavation at the site to get to the root of this intriguing discovery.Far removed from the travails of the madding crowd and near the 1000 year old Tabo monastery in Spiti the human mummy of Giu continues to mystify and haunt the local population. This legendary mummy does not inhabit any exotic pyramid but lies buried in the snowy desert of Spiti. The parable is carried by word of mouth and resounds in the clear waters of the Spiti River hurtling down through this remote cold desert.

Some amazing pictures from the land of Lamas

Into the lands of mountains and Lamas

The footprint of Padamsambhava who preached Buddhisim in Indian Sub-continent

Mummified Lama in Giu village skirting the Indo-tibetan border in north of Himachal Pradesh