Kingdoms between Heaven and Earth
In an old Indian script it says: "A hundred divine ages are not enugh to describe all the splendour and wonders of the Himachal". You must have seen the massive Himalaya only once from the lowlands as it rises up from out of the mist of the valleys - majestic, pure and clear - reaching high up into the sky, and you will understand that the Indians look up to the peaks with reverence and associate these more with heaven than with earth and worship these as the abode of their gods. From there the rivers emerge - the Indus, the Ganges, the Brahmaputra - with their life-giving waters on which millions and millions of human beings are dependent.
In a time when geographical circumstances, ehtnic unity, and overcome traditions determines the communities a whole row of small Himalayan kingdoms arose: Bhutan, Sikim, Ladakh, Zanskar, Mustang and Guge. Some of them survived many centuries and were able to keep their independence right up into the last century and on single kingdom - Bhutan - even till nowadays. They all have one thing in common: they are heirs of the Indian Buddhism which spread out on various paths over the whole Himalaya region and had a stimulating effect on them culturally.
Bruno Baumann has folowed the old paths on the highest pedestrian zone of the world; along the ancient salt route through Mustang, cross the Nangpa La - the path of the Sherpa - from Tibet to Nepal, through the "Grand Canyon" of the Himalaya to Guge. He visits monasteries and festivals in Ladakh and explores Bhutan, where protection of nature and culture are paramount and where lving standard is not measured by gross national product but by gross national happiness. During his transversale of Nepal´s "wild west" he becomes witness of living shamanism, and in Mustang he belongs to the first foreigners who - after orpening of the country - are welcomed by the Raja in his palace in the somehow quaint town of Lo Manthang. During bloom of the rhododendrons in Bhutan he climbs up to the foot of the sacred mountain Chomolhari.
in high-definition projection with 8-meter-wide screen