The Greatest Journey of Ideas on the Silk Route

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It was a wonderful experience to travel and to photograph Buddhist and other cultural sites across Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and to the Buddhist Province of Kalmykia in Russia.

It is quite wonderful to see the way Indian philosophy spread in ancient times, right across the continent of Asia. There was a time when there was no country in South and South-East Asia, East Asia and Central Asia, where Indic deities, the Buddha, Shiva, Vishnu and others, were not revered.

It is sad that much of this history has been forgotten in recent times. One of my projects in recent years has been to document Buddhist sites all over the world. I had till last year photographed the Buddhist sites in Siberia, Mongolia, China, Tibet, Japan, Vietnam, Lao PDR, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and in India. In July-August this year, I and my colleagues had the pleasure of travelling across Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and the Buddhist Province of Kalmykia in European Russia, to document their Buddhist sites and art. I might mention that Kalmykia is the only part of Europe which has a Buddhist tradition, they claim for the past four hundred years.

To read article in PDF format. Also see Pictures of Cultural Documentation in Central Asia ie in the same section.