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SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS

Bhutan's Peaceful Kingdom

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Books for

Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

Item EXBHU58. Buy these 5 items as a set for $117 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
With free shipping on anything else you order.

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The Raven Crown

The Raven Crown

by Michael Aris

  • HISTORY
  • 2005
  • HARD COVER
  • 160 PAGES

Aris chronicles the rise of the Wangchuk dynasty in this beautifully illustrated history of the kingdom and its 20th-century monarchy, featuring 106 rare photographs. (BHU02, $60.00)

So Close to Heaven, The Vanishing Buddhist Kingdoms of the Himalayas

So Close to Heaven, The Vanishing Buddhist Kingdoms of the Himalayas

by Barbara Crossette

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 297 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Asia correspondent for the New York Times Crossette portrays Bhutan and neighboring Ladakh and Sikkim as strongholds of Tantric Buddhism in an increasingly homogenized world. (NPL04, $16.00)

What Makes You Not a Buddhist

What Makes You Not a Buddhist

by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse

  • RELIGION
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 128 PAGES

Born in Bhutan in 1961, a Tibetan lama and filmmaker (Travellers and Magicians), Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche gives a decidedly modern take on dharma, happiness, suffering and enlightenment in this engaging primer. (TBT96, $15.95)

Odyssey Guide Bhutan

Odyssey Guide Bhutan

by Francoise Pommaret

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 326 PAGES
  • CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE
  • >

An authoritative overview of the kingdom, enhanced by color photographs, well-chosen literary excerpts and many maps, this guide by Bhutan expert and ethnographer Pommaret is exceptionally good. With a general introduction to the history, geography, economy, flora and fauna, festivals and the arts. (BHU03, $23.95)

Bhutan & Northern India Map

Bhutan & Northern India Map

by ITMB

  • 2012
  • MAP

A double-sided traveler's map at an excellent scale of 1:345,000 with a larger scale map of Northern India and Bhutan on the reverse. (BHU06, $12.95)

 
Bhutan, A Trekker's Guide

Bhutan, A Trekker's Guide


by Bart Jordans

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2008
  • FLEXI-BOUND
  • 332 PAGES

A compact, practical guide to 27 treks and walks throughout the mountain kingdom with color photographs and detailed sketch maps throughout. (BHU23, $24.95)

Lonely Planet Bhutan

Lonely Planet Bhutan


by Lonely Planet

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

A compact travel guide to Bhutan with a good overview of culture, history and nature, sketch maps, a section of color photographs and plenty of practical detail on sightseeing and treks. (BHU11, $29.99)

City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi

City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi


by William Dalrymple

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 350 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Dalrymple infectiously interweaves his own experiences over a year in Delhi with its art, architecture, history and literature. (IDA06, $16.00)

India

India


by Stanley Wolpert

  • HISTORY
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 281 PAGES

Wolpert's reflections on India -- its religion and philosophy, its art, culture and politics -- make for a wonderfully literate, succinct primer. (IDA04, $29.95)

The Life and Revelations of Pema Lingpa

The Life and Revelations of Pema Lingpa


by Sarah Harding

  • RELIGION
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 200 PAGES

A translation of the stories, meditations and discussions of Pema Lingpa (1450-1521), an important figure in Bhutanese religious history. (BHU24, $14.95)

The Snow Leopard

The Snow Leopard


by Peter Matthiessen

  • EXPLORATION
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 368 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

The most perceptive, acutely observed and personal of all his books, Matthiessen's account of a five-week journey through Nepal with naturalist George Schaller combines their quest for the elusive cat with a moving introduction to Buddhism and the people and culture of the Himalayas. (NPL03, $17.00)

Beneath Blossom Rain

Beneath Blossom Rain


by Kevin Grange

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 352 PAGES

From his arrival at Paro International Airport to the last of 11 mountain passes, 24 days and 216 miles later, Grange writes with verve of his adventures on his trek across Bhutan. (BHU38, $19.95)

Beyond the Sky and the Earth

Beyond the Sky and the Earth


by Jamie Zeppa

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 303 PAGES

Zeppa's memoir of her time as a teacher in a remote Bhutanese village shows her growing love and commitment to the people and culture. (BHU08, $16.00)

Married to Bhutan

Married to Bhutan


by Linda Leaming

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

Enraptured by the customs, land and people of Bhutan, where she has lived and worked for ten years, Leaming writes with humor and candor about her often-bumpy cultural immersion, her romance with a Buddhist artist and her unexpected path to happiness. (BHU36, $14.95)

Radio Shangri-La

Radio Shangri-La


by Lisa Napoli

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

Napoli's memoir of her time working on a fledgling Bhutanese radio station. She writes with frankness and clarity about the contradictions, poverty and reality of much mythologized Bhutan. (BHU35, $15.00)

To a Mountain in Tibet

To a Mountain in Tibet


by Colin Thubron

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

The intrepid, soulful Colin Thubron journeys from Nepal to Kailash, the revered mountain, "source of the universe, created from cosmic waters and the mind of Brahma," in his most revealing book yet. A New York Times Notable Book. (TBT134, $15.99)

Birds of India

Birds of India


by Richard Grimmett | Carol Inskipp | Tim Inskipp

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES

Thoroughly revised, with 73 new plates and many others updated or repainted, the second edition of the masterful Birds of India now features all maps and text opposite the plates for quicker and easier reference. (FG43, $39.50)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.