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Books > History > Tracing Marco Polo’s Journey – The Silk Route
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Tracing Marco Polo’s Journey – The Silk Route
Tracing Marco Polo’s Journey – The Silk Route
Description
From the Jacket

‘One day, I will explore this region,’ decided Major H.PS. Ahluwalia, as he stood on the summit of Mount Everest on 29 May 1965. For him, ‘It was a moment of complete joy. It was freezing, perhaps thirty degrees below zero, but suddenly the wind dropped and I thought this was a special gift from mother goddess.’ This was when his dream project—to explore the Tibetan plateau and the mysterious land of Central Asia beyond—was born.

Tracing Marco Polo’s Journey: The Silk Route takes the reader on a fascinating adventure, following Major Ahluwalia and his team members through the exciting expedition of 1994. It is a vivid account of a diverse, adventurous trip through cities as exotic as Bukhara, Samarkand, Andhijan, Xian, Yarkand, Kashgar and Lhasa; lush oases such as Hotan and Turfan; the grand Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts; ancient monuments and mosques; winding up finally at the monasteries in the magnificent Himalayas. It is a first-hand account of a two-month trip marked with both, challenges and fun. The accompanying photographs bring the story alive.

A famous mountaineer and an expert on the Himalayan region, Major H.P.S. Ahluwalia was conferred the fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society for his contribution to environmental studies. He has been climbing ever since he was a child and scaled Mount Everest on 29 May 1965. A recipient of the Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri and Arjuna Award, he was also presented the Condor-de-Oro by the Government of Argentina. Recently he received the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award for Lifetime Achievement from the President of India.

Major Ahluwalia has been the President of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation and the Chairman of the Rehabilitation Council of India. He is a member of the Executive Council of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling and the Indian Mountaineering Foundation. He was also the President of the Delhi Mountaineering Association and a member of the Delhi Council of Sports as well as a member of the Governing Council of the Sports Authority of India. He is a trustee of the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust and the Chairman of the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, New Delhi, a comprehensive rehabilitation centre in the voluntary sector. Major Ahluwalia is the author of thirteen books, including his autobiography Higher Than Everest, which ran into thirteen editions and was translated into a number of languages.

Preface

The Silk Route, sprawling the Asian heartland, is the most legendary trading route in the history of mankind. For centuries, travelers, warriors, traders, historians and mendicants had traversed its magnificent path over deserts, mountains, rivers and fabled cities, inspired by its spectacular enormity and its unparalleled vistas. You could call it the lifeline of the Orient for, while mainly trading in spices, gold, precious stones and horses, the route was also the connect cord or link between civilisations. The famous and the infamous—Alexander the Great, Marco Polo, the Mongols, XuanZang and Genghis Khan—blazed a trail through the Silk Route, adding to its mystique and romance.

It was a dream project for me to undertake an expedition on the Marco Polo route. Knew the task was tough but not impossible. I started asking for permission from ne countries through which the expedition had to pass. The most difficult was the Government of China and it took almost seven years to get the necessary clearances. Was finally able to launch the expedition in 1994.

This book is a vivid account of a diverse, adventurous trip through cities as exotic as Bukhara, Samarkand, Andhijan, Xian, Yarkand, Kashgar and Lhasa; lush oases such as Hotan and Turfan; the grand Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts; ancient monuments and mosques; winding up finally at the monasteries in the magnificent Himalayas. Tracing the footsteps of ancient travellers, the book takes the reader on o momentous trip down the history of time, on the most fabled route of the ancient world. A mountaineer is always known as a storyteller and this is what I have done, hoping to carry the reader along with me as an expedition member.

Contents

Preface 9
Part One: Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan 11
The Inspiration 13
The Journey Begins 21
Timur’s Capital 31
Town of Destiny 41
Babar’s Ferghana Valley 55
Heart of Asia 67
Stunning Naryn 89
Part Two: Chinese Turkestan 95
Finally China 97
Southern Silk Route 115
Ancient Keriya 127
Enchanting Urmuchi 133
Heaven Lake 161
Blazing Beacon 169
China’s Greatest City 179
Part Three: Tibet 191
Forbidden City193
Roof of the World 207
Close to Heaven 215
Acknowledgements 230
Bibliography 231
Index 232

Tracing Marco Polo’s Journey – The Silk Route

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NAC540
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
2011
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ISBN:
9788189738846
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11.5 Inch X 8.8 Inch
Pages:
236 (Illustrated Throughout In Color)
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Weight of the Book: 1.23 Kg
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From the Jacket

‘One day, I will explore this region,’ decided Major H.PS. Ahluwalia, as he stood on the summit of Mount Everest on 29 May 1965. For him, ‘It was a moment of complete joy. It was freezing, perhaps thirty degrees below zero, but suddenly the wind dropped and I thought this was a special gift from mother goddess.’ This was when his dream project—to explore the Tibetan plateau and the mysterious land of Central Asia beyond—was born.

Tracing Marco Polo’s Journey: The Silk Route takes the reader on a fascinating adventure, following Major Ahluwalia and his team members through the exciting expedition of 1994. It is a vivid account of a diverse, adventurous trip through cities as exotic as Bukhara, Samarkand, Andhijan, Xian, Yarkand, Kashgar and Lhasa; lush oases such as Hotan and Turfan; the grand Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts; ancient monuments and mosques; winding up finally at the monasteries in the magnificent Himalayas. It is a first-hand account of a two-month trip marked with both, challenges and fun. The accompanying photographs bring the story alive.

A famous mountaineer and an expert on the Himalayan region, Major H.P.S. Ahluwalia was conferred the fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society for his contribution to environmental studies. He has been climbing ever since he was a child and scaled Mount Everest on 29 May 1965. A recipient of the Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri and Arjuna Award, he was also presented the Condor-de-Oro by the Government of Argentina. Recently he received the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award for Lifetime Achievement from the President of India.

Major Ahluwalia has been the President of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation and the Chairman of the Rehabilitation Council of India. He is a member of the Executive Council of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling and the Indian Mountaineering Foundation. He was also the President of the Delhi Mountaineering Association and a member of the Delhi Council of Sports as well as a member of the Governing Council of the Sports Authority of India. He is a trustee of the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust and the Chairman of the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, New Delhi, a comprehensive rehabilitation centre in the voluntary sector. Major Ahluwalia is the author of thirteen books, including his autobiography Higher Than Everest, which ran into thirteen editions and was translated into a number of languages.

Preface

The Silk Route, sprawling the Asian heartland, is the most legendary trading route in the history of mankind. For centuries, travelers, warriors, traders, historians and mendicants had traversed its magnificent path over deserts, mountains, rivers and fabled cities, inspired by its spectacular enormity and its unparalleled vistas. You could call it the lifeline of the Orient for, while mainly trading in spices, gold, precious stones and horses, the route was also the connect cord or link between civilisations. The famous and the infamous—Alexander the Great, Marco Polo, the Mongols, XuanZang and Genghis Khan—blazed a trail through the Silk Route, adding to its mystique and romance.

It was a dream project for me to undertake an expedition on the Marco Polo route. Knew the task was tough but not impossible. I started asking for permission from ne countries through which the expedition had to pass. The most difficult was the Government of China and it took almost seven years to get the necessary clearances. Was finally able to launch the expedition in 1994.

This book is a vivid account of a diverse, adventurous trip through cities as exotic as Bukhara, Samarkand, Andhijan, Xian, Yarkand, Kashgar and Lhasa; lush oases such as Hotan and Turfan; the grand Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts; ancient monuments and mosques; winding up finally at the monasteries in the magnificent Himalayas. Tracing the footsteps of ancient travellers, the book takes the reader on o momentous trip down the history of time, on the most fabled route of the ancient world. A mountaineer is always known as a storyteller and this is what I have done, hoping to carry the reader along with me as an expedition member.

Contents

Preface 9
Part One: Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan 11
The Inspiration 13
The Journey Begins 21
Timur’s Capital 31
Town of Destiny 41
Babar’s Ferghana Valley 55
Heart of Asia 67
Stunning Naryn 89
Part Two: Chinese Turkestan 95
Finally China 97
Southern Silk Route 115
Ancient Keriya 127
Enchanting Urmuchi 133
Heaven Lake 161
Blazing Beacon 169
China’s Greatest City 179
Part Three: Tibet 191
Forbidden City193
Roof of the World 207
Close to Heaven 215
Acknowledgements 230
Bibliography 231
Index 232
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