The first panoramics in the Himalayas I took on my trip to Zanskar in the summer of 1976. In this book are selected panoramic photographs from Ladakh, Zanskar, Spiti, Mustang, Kathmandu Valley and Bhutan between 1976 and 2005.
The mountain labyrinth of the Himalayan chain stretches for over 1,200 miles. The highest elevations on Earth are to be found here, and although this rugged mountain world may appear to us stark and inhospitable, and even hostile to life, it has nevertheless been inhabited by man for thousands of years. People arrived here for many different reasons. Many were displaced from other regions and had to take refuge in the mountains; others came voluntarily. Over the course of time, innumerable kingdoms grew up in the Himalayas. Some still exist today, although almost have long since disappeared. Like almost everywhere in the world, the history of these kingdoms is a history of wars, enmities and alliances, domination and suppression, dependencies and power. As many are the traces they have left behind in the cultures of the Himalayas, little was known of them until recently, particularly in the West. This only changed with the Christian missionaries, who were the first to penetrate into the predominantly Buddhist world of the Himalayan kingdoms. They were followed by explorers and adventurers, and finally also by the soldiers and administrators of the colonial powers.