Journey to the Forbidden City: Meet the man who dared to explore the Roof of the World

Editor | Fiction
Nineteenth century Tibet was an unknown entity, a complete geographical mystery to the West. Where did its capital city Lhasa lie? Which rivers, lakes and mountains stretched across this land? Where were its fabled monasteries and legendary goldfields? And did the magical flying lamas actually exist?
It was next to impossible for a white man to enter this rigorously guarded territory. And so was chosen an Indian explorer from the mountains of Kumaon—Nain Singh Rawat. Trekking across this unknown country with deliberately measured steps, he risked life and limb and donned innumerable disguises as he surveyed vast expanses and identified countless villages, cities and people along his route. From putting Lhasa on the world map and tracking the course of the Brahmaputra or Tsangpo as it was called in Tibet, his eventful and often arduous travels led to his name being permanently engraved in the annals of both Indian and world exploration.
Base on his actual diaries, this gripping narrative is also a tribute to the indomitable spirit of this fascinating man who rose from being an impoverished village schoolteacher to a legendary hero.
About the author
Author, poet and translator, Deepa Agarwal grew up in the pristine Kumaoni region in the foothills of the Himalayas. She writes for both children and adults and has over fifty published books to her credit, including Puffin Classics: Chandrakanta and Listen, O King! Five-and-Twenty-Tales of Vikram and the Vetal. A frequent contributor to magazines and journals in India and abroad, she has edited, compiled, and contributed to several anthologies. Among other awards, she received the NCERT National Award for Children’s Literature in 1993 for her picture book Ashok’s New Friends, while her historical fiction Caravan to Tibet was on the 2008 IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) Honour List. Her works have been translated into several Indian and foreign languages.

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