Sacred India
Sacred India
Sacred India is a close-focus view of spirituality in India, with a very God-is-in-the-details approach. Lonely Planet tackles a bafflingly large subject with admirable grace in this loosely structured, accessibly sized coffee-table book. A florid painting of Ganesh, a hundred capped heads bowed in prayer, weather-beaten flags whipped in the Himalayan wind: all are diverse glimpses of India’s spiritual cultures. India’s four major religions, Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism and Buddhism are gathered in an impressionistic collage of vibrant photos and text. Christianity, Jainism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, as well as tribal religions and gurus are also covered in smaller sections. The book’s photos are lavish in colour and pungently evocative–but decidedly not opulent. They excel at the intensely personal (a lotus flower, a turban-swathed camel trader, a Muslim woman reading the Koran), but their zoomed-in style sometimes falls short of capturing the sense of awe and grandeur we like to associate with religion. Sacred India offers brief glimpses of a wide-ranging and multi-coloured land; but unlike the fable of the blind men and the elephant, the picture formed in the mind’s eye from these richly textured details will be greater than the sum of its parts. India is known from archaeological evidence that a highly sophisticated urbanized culture—the Indus civilization—dominated the northwestern part of the subcontinent from about 2600 to 2000 bce. From that period on, India functioned as a virtually self-contained political and cultural arena, which gave rise to a distinctive tradition that was associated primarily with Hinduism, the roots of which can largely be traced to the Indus civilization. Other religions, notably Buddhism and Jainism, originated in India—though their presence there is now quite small—and throughout the centuries residents of the subcontinent developed a rich intellectual life in such fields as mathematics, astronomy, architecture, literature, music, and the fine arts.
Lonely Planet, ISBN 1974059-366-9
The Times :

An exquisite study with stunning photographs and fascinating personal stories.

Publishers Weekly, us :

Sacred India is a feast for the mind
as well as the eyes.

Conde Nast Traveler :

This masterful evocation of the country’s spiritual heritage, combined with the sensuously photographed images, creaters a kind of literary nirvana that can be surpassed only by a journy to India itself.

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Michael Palin, With “SAHARA”| Anthos | Manteau | ISBN 90-7634-188-5
The Sahara. The size of the United States with a population the size of Norfolk. And with extreme temperatures and camel poisoning thrown in, Michael always had his work cut out. (sah HAH rah) the world’s largest desert, located in northern Africa from the Arabic name Al-Sahra meaning “the desert” covers a landmass larger than the United States. Thousands of years ago it was a fertile and inhabitable region until drought forced migration. On my birthday I became Michael Palin’s book. Beeing in the Sahara this summer in Morocco I now know what it feels like to be in such a large desert. (See Picture below)

Esther & maza in the Sahara Morocco

Michael Palin’s own introduction :

M. Palin - Sahara
M. Palin – Sahara
Sahara is one of the most powerful and evocative names on the world map. As a child, the images I had of the Sahara were both frightening and intriguing – palm trees, camels, turbanned travellers reclining, whilst being poured sparkling water by urn-carrying maidens in flimsy veils. It looked fun. I also knew that most western explorers who tried to cross it never came back. The combination of seduction and severity appealed to me. In the spring of 2000 I decided that it should be the next television journey. It promised to be tough, but that’s what the viewer seemed to like. It also offered the chance of going into, if not the unknown, certainly the very little known. The BBC were enthused by my enthusiasm, but wary, I think, of too much sand. They offered four one-hour programmes, as opposed to seven 50-minutes on Eighty Days, eight on Pole to Pole and ten on Full Circle. The filming took place between February 2001 and February 2002, with work on the book squeezed in between our various trips to the desert (the longest of which was a virtually non-stop seven weeks from Western Algeria to Timbuktu). The book and series were delivered in May 2002 and the series began transmission on October 13. An average of 8.25 million people watched the four programmes, a bigger share of the audience than Full Circle. The call of the Sahara, it seems, is not just my own private fantasy.
The table of contents of the book :
Countries visited include:


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