History Project

Lost Kingdom Of The Himalayas

Season 1, Episode 3 of 10

In the barren landscape of remote western Tibet lie the ruins of a mysterious kingdom called Guge. A kingdom whose capital was 3,600 meters high on the Tibetan plateau. A kingdom with archaeological treasures that compare with Italy's Pompeii. This was a kingdom of fabulous wealth and great religious significance. It controlled the trade in gold, silk and spices between India and China and for two centuries it was the cradle of Himalayan Buddhism. Yet this spiritual and commercial hub, which prospered for seven centuries, vanished without a trace in 1630. Until now the mystery of what was the Tibetan kingdom of Guge has remained unresolved. The Italian archaeologist Giuseppe Tucci was the first to investigate the existence of the Guge kingdom in the early 1930's. Since then, the extraordinary altitude, hostile terrain and political upheaval have made sure that only a select few could travel to the region to make serious study. Now, two filmmakers journey to the extreme corner of West Tibet with two of the world's experts, Tibetan historian Tsering Gyalpo and American archaeologist John Bellezza. Their aim is to unravel the mystery of Guge.

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