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Blog - travel

Shangri La and the inspiration behind "Lhami"

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I am reading “Lost Horizon’ by James Hilton, where 4 Westerners are kidnapped and find themselves in a Lamasery called "Shangri-La" in Tibet, a mysterious and beautiful place that is truly paradise. 

Memories are flooding back of my time spent in Nepal when I was 20. I was on a mission to deliver a bag of amber from a Danish Ethnographer to a Buddhist Lama. The instructions were written on a bit of paper, and went something like…”Get the bus from Kathmandu to Jiri (about 10 hours), then walk for about a week until you get to Lama Tenzing’s village…” There were directions to a small mud brick house half way up a mountain and about 3 days walk in, where a man lived who knew the Lama and would surely show me the way…

Soman Thami and his family.  He didn't hesitate to come along for the rest of trip to show me the way. Despite there being many days walk ahead of us, he didn't bring a thing!   In the pic below we are in a mist filled Rhododendron forest where we stopped to make tea and eat some delicious yak cheese, which tastes like a good Manchego.

It was one of the most magical times of my life. Staying with Lama Tenzing and his family in a house perched high on the edge of the Himalayas, in a world without power or phones, many days walk from the closest road. Despite the isolation, it was with without doubt the most civilised place I have ever been. Beautiful rituals every day with yak butter candles, bells, and tea ceremonies. The Lamas bookshelves were lined with thousands of handwritten volumes, many brought overland from Tibet hundreds of years earlier. The gentle elegance, hospitality and kindness of the Nepalese/Tibetan Buddhist people was unsurpassed. Paradise indeed. And where the inspiration for my business name came from. ”Lhami’ is a Tibetan word meaning Goddess, or Divine.

      



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