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The Desert Caravan by Edmund Berninger

Did Jesus of Nazareth Travel to the Far East?


It is a mistake to think there wasn’t international travel during Jesus’ time.  As this map of ancient merchant routes shows, the known world was linked by land and sea.  Perhaps with some helpful knowledge and influence from Joseph of Arimathea, it would have been easy for Jesus to join a caravan or board a ship headed to the Far East.  Indeed, there is evidence that he did.

Map of ancient merchant routes. Report photo

Map of ancient merchant routes. Report photo

Two very unlikely women discovered evidence that Jesus was once in the Himalayan Mountains of Tibet:  Dr. Elisabeth Caspari, who was the driving force in establishing Montessori schools in the United States; and Gloria Gasque who became president of the International Vegetarian Union.

Dr. Elisabeth Caspari and Gloria Gasque

Dr. Elisabeth Caspari and Gloria Gasque

The two women became friends when Gasque was the head of the World Fellowship of Faith.  In that capacity, Gasque invited Caspari and her husband to join her group tour to Tibet to study Buddhism.  It was no simple trip, especially in the 1930s.  In fact, they spent nearly a year in Kashmir collecting everything they would need for their trek into one of the most foreboding regions in the world.

Some of the caravan’s well-ladened ponies  - The Hemis Monastery

Some of the caravan’s well-ladened ponies  - The Hemis Monastery

Then in the spring of 1939, the group headed up the steep mountains with 12 servants, a translator and 112 ponies and their drivers.  The plan was to stop at several monasteries along the way to their major goal – the grand Hemis Monastery.

When they arrived at Hemis, they were surprised to be greeted by the abbot and two chief assistants and shown to a beautiful guesthouse.  The rest of the group stayed in tents near a stream.

The biggest surprise during their four days at the Hemis Monastery was brought to them when the two women were sitting on a rooftop watching a thangka painter while a monk sat cross-legged at a low table writing letters with a brush.

That was when the chief librarian and two other monks brought them three parchment books protected between pieces of wood and wrapped in green, red, blue and gold brocade material.  With great reverence, the chief librarian unwrapped one of the books and presented it to the two women.  His simple sentence startled them:

“These books say your Jesus was here.”

A photo of the Hemis Monastery librarian taken during the Gasque/Caspari visit

A photo of the Hemis Monastery librarian taken during the Gasque/Caspari visit

Two carefully wrapped ancient Tibetan books – A Tibetan monastery library

Two carefully wrapped ancient Tibetan books – A Tibetan monastery library

There were other intrepid adventurers who made it to the Hemis Monastery and were told Jesus had once been there.   Their testimonies are increasingly valuable since China took over Tibet in 1949 and began efforts to annihilate the Buddhist religion. 

William O. Douglas (1898 – 1980) who served on the U.S. Supreme Court for 36 years traveled to Tibet and visited the Hemis Monastery in 1951.  In his book “Beyond the High Himalayas,” he made this statement about Jesus being in Tibet:

“Hemis, the first monastery in all of Ladakh, is still an ideal physical setting for a retreat; and over the centuries it has become rich not only in lands and other wealth, but in legends as well.  One of these apocryphal tales concerns Jesus.  There are those who to this day believe that Jesus visited the place, that he came here when he was fourteen and left when he was twenty-eight, heading west, to be heard of no more.  The legend fills in the details, saying that Jesus traveled to Hemis under the name of Issa.”

William O. Douglas (1898 – 1980)

William O. Douglas (1898 – 1980)

Nicholas Roerich (1874 – 1947) was a Russian archaeologist, writer, professor and prolific painter who extensively explored the Himalayan Mountains – painting all the way.  Below are two excerpts about Jesus (Issa) from an unnamed book Roerich claimed was 1500 years old when he studied it:

“Issa secretly left his parents and together with the merchants of Jerusalem turned towards Ind (India) to become perfected in the Divine Word.  And for the study of the laws of the Great Buddha.”

“Afterwards, when he had learned the scrolls, Issa went into Nepal and into the Himalaya mountains.”

Nicholas Roerich (1874 – 1947)

Nicholas Roerich (1874 – 1947)

Swami Abhedananda (1866 – 1939) went to the Hemis Monastery in search of the ancient book Nicholas Roerich had studied.  He claimed he found it and that it confirmed the information Roerich had recorded.   The Swami added the following footnote: 

“Jesus halted at a wayside pond near Kabul to wash his hands and feet, and rested there for a while.  That pond still exists.  It is known as ‘Issa-pond.’  To mark the event, every year a fair is held at this place.  This is mentioned in an Arabic book, “Tarig-A-Ajhan.’”

Swami Abhedananda (1866 – 1939)

Swami Abhedananda (1866 – 1939)

This article is an extract from the book ‘Tangible Evidence of Jesus Left Behind for Us to Find’ by Mary A. Joyce, available from

Top image: The Desert Caravan by Edmund Berninger

All images provided courtesy of Mary Joyce

By Mary A. Joyce



Christopher Barnhouse's picture

He's a character in a myth , so....

I had read in some Qura'ns that He had not been crucified but left with his Mother to live in the Hindu Kush.

Thank you Mulcogi Seng. I, too, have become disillusioned with this site. Several articles back, I made a similar comment to yours regarding "What jesus wore."

Sorry Ancient Origins - this is no longer the site I recommended to friends. Now, we all agree, it's like going to an evangelical revival meeting.

I used to come to Ancient Origins every day to read the latest in new information on our shared history. But it is becoming impossible for me to continue. Articles like this are just so far away from the truth and what I want to learn about. At this time there is absolutely NO historical evidence for the life of Jesus never mind that he traveled to Tibet, studied at a Buddhist monastery, all centuries before Buddhism came to Tibet. I'm tired of your bait and switch, showing that good articles are still available but only if I pay the price. Your website has really gone down hill since I first started visiting you. While purporting to cover the history of the world it is clear to me that there is a pronounced monotheistic/christian bias to this site. The document in question that talks about a Saint Issa is not extant. In fact, a quick Wikipedia visit shows that such a work was probably fabricated yet none of that is mentioned in this highly cherry picked article. Shame on you! While I may continue to visit here it won't be as often. I will be looking for a site that doesn't have the problems and all of the intrusive advertising that your site contains. Do you really want to downgrade into a site that is known for its click bait articles?

Mary A Joyce's picture

Mary A

Mary Joyce has worked for two major metropolitan area newspapers as a writer, columnist, artist, Sunday magazine editor and feature editor.  On the side, she’s written magazine articles and six books.

Her career includes working for a Fortune 100 company... Read More

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