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Drukgyel Dzong, Bhutan       Source: Chuck Moravec / CC BY 2.0

Drukgyel Dzong and How a Lama Unified Bhutan

Bhutan is a Himalayan kingdom with a rich history and a distinctive Buddhist culture . It has barely been impacted by modernity and globalization, and has managed to largely preserve its ancient...
Representative image of a Denisovan. Several studies have recently explored the spread of Denisovan genes. Source: ginettigino /Adobe Stock

March of the Denisovans: Evidence of Archaic Human Gene Now Detected In the Orient

The Denisovan story keeps evolving. This group of ancient hominins has been something of a mystery ever since they were first discovered in 2010 as an extinct sister group to the Neanderthals. Bits...
Cannabis plant origins traced to ancient Tibet.

Research Traces Cannabis Plant Origins to the Tibetan Plateau 28 Million Years Ago

A fascinating new study published in the journal Vegetation History and Archaeobotany , on May 14, details the work of a team of researchers from the University of Vermont who present their evidence...
Tibet Death Ritual is practiced by experienced lamas  not novice monks.

The Beauty of Death, Dying and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddhist Rituals

In Tibet they have a lot of interesting beliefs and rituals regarding death and the world beyond. There is even a ritual exclamation which a lama who officiates makes near the body of the deceased in...
Potala Palace in the winter.

Closer to Enlightenment? Potala Palace, the Highest in the World

Potala Palace, the iconic heart of Tibetan Buddhism, is the highest palace in the world. It once served as the winter palace of the Dalai Lama and was the Tibetan seat of government. The palace is...
His Holiness the Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama Wants More Ancient Texts Taught in India to Help Fill a Growing Spiritual and Emotional Void

It is reported in India that the Dalai Lama has criticized the Indian education system. He claimed that the Indian curriculum is too focused on secular subjects and neglecting India’s spiritual and...
Images from the manuscript ‘Seventy-Two Specimens of Castes in India.’

Dalai Lama Publicly Denounces Ancient Indian Caste System

The Dalai Lama has spoken out about the discriminating caste system in India, which can be traced back around 2,000 years and is still practiced in some regions today. The New Indian Express reports...
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...
Neanderthals (CC0)

Five Surprising Things DNA has Revealed About our Ancestors

Researchers recently used DNA from the 10,000-year-old “Cheddar Man”, one of Britain’s oldest skeletons, to unveil what the first inhabitants of what now is Britain actually looked like. But this isn...
A Buddhist monk creating a mandala

Intricacy and Reflection: Transforming Mandalas from Sacred Designs to Art Therapy

Although the word ‘Mandala’ simply means “circle” or “discoid object” in Sanskrit, the significance is far more complex. Traditionally, mandalas represented the intricacy of the universe and served...
Prayer Flags on Tomb of Songtsen. View of Chongye Valley to the South from the Tomb.

Tibet's Valley of the Kings: What Hidden Treasures Lie Within This Imperial Tibetan Graveyard?

Chongye Valley is known also as Tibet’s Valley of the Kings. This site adjoins the Yarlung Valley (about 180 km (111.85 miles)) to the Tibetan capital, Lhasa. The Chongye Valley is famed for its...
A photograph of the 14th Dalai Lama

Chinese Government Wants to Decide the Dalai Lama’s Next Reincarnation

The Chinese Government has said the Dalai Lama must reincarnate into someone that has their endorsement. The remarks were made during the Dalai Lama’s controversial visit to Tawang, an Indian border...
Can You Solve the Mystery Behind This Intricately Carved Skull?

Can You Solve the Mystery Behind This Intricately Carved Skull?

Experts from a wide array of organizations are examining an intricately carved skull discovered in an antique shop in Vienna in 2011. The skull, believed to be 300 years old, is completely covered...
From the same 1429 Persian manuscript. Sañjīvaka/Schanzabeh.

What Pearls of Wisdom are Held in the Animal Tales of the Panchatantra?

The Panchatantra (which means the ‘Five Principles’ in Sanskrit) is a collection of interwoven short stories from India. The tales in the Panchatantra are told in both prose and poetry, and consist...
Humans Occupied Tibetan Plateau Thousands of Years Earlier than Previously Thought

Humans Occupied Tibetan Plateau Thousands of Years Earlier than Previously Thought

That conclusion challenges the previously held view that permanent human occupation of the Tibetan Plateau began no earlier than 5,200 years ago, after the advent of agriculture. The new finding is,...
Sky Burial: Tibet’s Ancient Tradition for Honoring the Dead

Sky Burial: Tibet’s Ancient Tradition for Honoring the Dead

The tradition of Sky burials, which is also known by the name of ‘Celestial burial’, is particularly associated with the Tibetan culture, although it has existed in other civilizations throughout...

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