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A Journey to the East – In quest of Buddhism

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A Journey to the East – In Quest of Buddhism is an upcoming book being authored by Deepankar Aron, who hails from Uttarakahnd. He had earlier on, in 2010 authored ‘World Heritage Sites of Uttarakhand’, first pictorial book on the subject which covered Valley of Flowers and Nanda Devi National Parks.
The present book is an endeavor to discover the richness and vastness, the depth and breadth of the spiritual, philosophical, and cultural linkages that bind the Indian civilization to much of East Asia – the Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Mongolian civilizations. From the wandering monks of Asia, to the temples and monasteries they frequented, from the statues and frescoes in grottoes and temples to those in museums, from the Emperors who embraced Buddhism to the relics of Buddha spread far and wide, from the diverse ethnicities of the people to their common Gods and Goddesses, the book covers it all…
The book is divided into six chapters for ease of navigation. Fittingly, the first one covers the ancient cities along the Silk Road in China that were significantly responsible for the spread of Buddhism into not just China but into much of East Asia from India. The second one covers the North-South trading axis that connects China with Mongolia, the third one moves from Sichuan in South Western China to the primordial holy mountain of Kailash (Kang Rinpoche or the Snow Jewel peak) and Manasarovar lake (Mapham Yum Tso) of Tibet. The fourth one moves in the Southeastern coastal China and Taiwan from Hong Kong to Shanghai touching Hangzhou, Suzhou, Nanjing and from Taipei to Kaoshiang passing through the city of Tainan dotted with many temples. This is possibly one of the most prosperous regions of China with many modern cities, so it is not a surprise that most of the grand and tallest statues of Buddha have come up here in the recent past. The fifth one meanders into the calmness of Korea, while the last, but not the least enters the land of rising sun, where probably history, tradition, religion and culture have been most beautifully preserved! For each of these regions, five to ten representative cities have been taken up and in each of these places; quite a few destinations have been visited. Together, they make up ninety-eight destinations in thirty-seven places scattered across the East Asian region. The book presents these voyages through images and first hand accounts. It has taken the author nine years to come out with this work.