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Shangri-La
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{{about|the legendary fictional location|the city in Yunnan, China|Shangri-La City|the aircraft carrier|USS Shangri-La (CV-38)|other uses|}}







factoids
Shangri-La is a fictional place described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton. Hilton describes Shangri-La as a mystical, harmonious valley, gently guided from a lamasery, enclosed in the western end of the Kunlun Mountains. Shangri-La has become synonymous with any earthly paradise, particularly a mythical Himalayan utopia – a permanently happy land, isolated from the world. In the novel, the people who live at Shangri-La are almost immortal, living hundreds of years beyond the normal lifespan and only very slowly aging in appearance. The name also evokes the imagery of the exoticism of the Orient.In the ancient Tibetan scriptures, the existence of seven such places is mentioned as Nghe-Beyul Khembalung.BOOK, Shrestha, Dr. Tirtha Bahadur, Joshi, Rabindra Man, Sangam, Khagendra
publisher=Makalu-Barun National Park, 2009, Khembalung is one of several beyuls (hidden lands similar to Shangri-La) believed to have been created by Padmasambhava in the 9th century as idyllic, sacred places of refuge for Buddhists during times of strife (Reinhard, 1978).

Etymology

The phrase "Shangri-La" most probably comes from the Tibetan ',"Shang" – a district of Ü-Tsang, north of TashilhunpoChandra Das – Tibetan English Dictionary" + ', pronounced "ri", "Mountain" = "Shang Mountain" + , Mountain Pass, which suggests that the area is accessed to, or is named by, "Shang Mountain Pass".While the name Shangri-La is of relatively recent origin, the concept previously existed.
  • Some scholars believe that the Shangri-La story owes a literary debt to Shambhala, a mythical kingdom in Tibetan Buddhist tradition, which was sought by Eastern and Western explorers.BOOK, LePage, Victoria, 1996, Shambhala: The Fascinating Truth Behind The Myth Of Shangri-La, 27 November 2012,
  • Jewish sources describe a city named Luz, "in which the angel of death has no permission to enter for a thousand years: its citizens have the ability to live forever."WEB,weblink Between Luz And Beit El: The Power of Transformational Moments, The same description is given for a location named Kushta - based on the Aramaic word for truth. In this city, the only reason for death was if a person told an untruth.BOOK, Torah, Light and Healing: Mystical Insights into Healing
date=1996, 146163217X,weblink Rowman & Littlefield,

Location

Academic scholars have debunked the myth of Shangri-La and argued that this has less to do with an unexplored place and is more connected to a fantasy of the Western world.Bishop, Peter (1989). The myth of Shangri-La: Tibet, travel writing, and the western creation of sacred landscape. Berkeley: University of California Press.weblink Donald (1998). Prisoners of Shangri-La. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.weblink

Ancient sources with similar descriptions

File:Zhongdian-sumtseling-gompa-c12.jpg|thumb|300px|Zhongdian in YunnanYunnanIn China, the poet Tao Yuanming of the Jin Dynasty (265–420 CE) described a kind of Shangri-La in his work The Tale of the Peach Blossom Spring ({{zh|t=桃花源記|p=Táohuā Yuán Jì}}). The story goes that there was a fisherman from Wuling{{disambiguation needed|date=March 2018}}, who came across a beautiful peach grove, and he discovered happy and content people who lived completely cut off from the troubles in the outside world since the Qin Dynasty (221–207 BCE).WEB
, Yutang, Lin (translator)
, The Peach Colony by Tao Yuanming
,weblink
, 2011-11-19,
Shambhala is a core concept in Tibetan Buddhism that describes a realm of harmony between man and nature that is also connected with the Kalachakra or "wheel of time". The Shambhala ideal is described in detail in the Shambhala Sutra, a historical text written by the Sixth Panchen Lama (1737–1780) which describes some of the Shambhala locations as being in Ngari, the western prefecture of Tibet.Brahm, Laurence. (2004). Shambhala Sutrah (film expedition).Stein, R. A. (1972). Tibetan Civilization, pp. 88–89. Stanford University Press. {{ISBN|0-8047-0806-1}} (cloth); {{ISBN|0-8047-0901-7}} (pbk)Folklore from the Altai Mountains describe Mount Belukha as a gateway to Shambhala.WEB,weblink Mysteries of the Kingdom of Shambhala, aprilholloway, The Kun Lun Mountains (崑崙山) offer another possible place for valleys like the Shangri-La, since Hilton specifically described the “Kuen-Lun” mountains as its likely location in the book, however, Hilton is not known to have visited or studied the area.{{citation needed|date=September 2017}} Parts of the Kun Lun lie within Ngari, mentioned in the Shambhala Sutra.

Possible sources for Hilton

In a New York Times interview in 1936, Hilton states that he used "Tibetan material" from the British Museum, particularly the travelogue of two French priests, Evariste Regis Huc and Joseph Gabet, to provide the Tibetan cultural and Buddhist spiritual inspiration for Shangri-La.Michael McRae. (2002). The Siege of Shangri-La: The Quest for Tibet's Sacred Hidden Paradise. New York: Broadway Books.B.R. Crisler. (1936). Film gossip of the week. The New York Times, 26 July 1936, section 9, page 3. Huc and Gabet travelled a roundtrip between Beijing and Lhasa in 1844–1846 on a route more than {{convert|250|km}} north of Yunnan. Their famous travelogue, first published in French in 1850,Evariste Regis Huc. (1850). Souvenirs d'un voyage dans la Tartarie, le Thibet et la Chine pendant les annees 1844, 1845, et 1846. Paris. went through many editions in many languages.Beatrice Mille. (1953). A selective survey of literature on Tibet. American Political Science Review, 47 (4): 1135–1151. A popular "condensed translation" was published in England in 1928,Evariste Regis Huc & Joseph Gabet. (1928). Travels in Tartary, Thibet and China, 1844–1846. Edited and translated by William Hazlitt. London: Routledge. at the time that Hilton would have been gathering inspiration for – or perhaps writing – Lost Horizon.

Current claimants

Today various places, such as parts of southern Kham in northwestern Yunnan province, including the tourist destinations of Lijiang{{citation needed|date=January 2014}} and Zhongdian, claim the title. In modern China, Zhongdian county was renamed Xiānggélǐlā (香格里拉, Shangri-La in Chinese) in 2001, to attract tourists.Hilton visited the Hunza Valley in northern Pakistan, close to the Chinese border, a few years before Lost Horizon was published; hence it is a popularly believed inspiration for Hilton's physical description of Shangri-La.NEWS, Shangri-la Valley, 20 June 2006, 2006-07-29, Adventure Tours Pakistan,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20060615083212weblink">weblink yes, 15 June 2006, Being an isolated green valley surrounded by mountains, enclosed on the western end of the Himalayas, it closely matches the description in the novel; also, in an ironic reversal on the story, due to increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation, inhabitants of the high-altitude parts of the valley appear to age quickly.{{citation needed|date=September 2017}} However, because the Hunza Valley does not have Tibetan culture and lacks Buddhist religion, it could not have been the inspiration for the cultural context for Hilton's story.Places like Sichuan and Tibet also claim the real Shangri-La was in its{{where|date=January 2014}} territory. In 2001, Tibet Autonomous Region put forward a proposal that the three regions optimise all Shangri-La tourism resources and promote them as one. After failed attempts to establish a China Shangri-la Ecological Tourism Zone in 2002 and 2003, government representatives of Sichuan and Yunnan provinces and Tibet Autonomous Region signed a declaration of co-operation in 2004. Also in 2001, Zhongdian County in northwestern Yunnan officially renamed itself Shangri-La County.

Recent searches and documentaries

American explorers Ted Vaill and Peter Klika visited the Muli area of southern Sichuan Province in 1999, and claimed that the Muli monastery in this remote region was the model for James Hilton's Shangri-La, which they thought Hilton learned about from articles on this area in several National Geographic magazine articles in the late 1920s and early 1930s written by Austrian-American explorer Joseph Rock."Could This Be the Way to Shangri-La?" by Timothy Carroll (29 July 2002). Electronic Telegraph. London. Vaill completed a film based on their research, "Finding Shangri-La", which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007. However, Michael McRae unearthed an obscure James Hilton interview from a New York Times gossip column where he reveals his cultural inspiration for Shangri-La and, if it is any place, it is more than 250 km north of Muli on the route travelled by Huc and Gabet.Between 2002–2004 a series of expeditions were led by author and film maker Laurence Brahm in western China which determined that the Shangri-La mythical location in Hilton's book Lost Horizon was based on references to northern Yunnan Province from articles published by National Geographic's first resident explorer Joseph Rock.On 2 December 2010, OPB televised one of Martin Yan's Hidden China episodes, "Life in Shangri-La", in which Yan said that "Shangri-La" is the actual name of a real town in the hilly and mountainous region in northwestern Yunnan Province, frequented by both Han and Tibetan locals. Martin Yan visited arts and craft shops, local farmers as they harvest crops, and sampled their cuisine.Television presenter and historian Michael Wood, in the "Shangri-La" episode of the BBC documentary series In Search of Myths and Heroes, suggests that the legendary Shangri-La is the abandoned city of Tsaparang in upper Satluj valley, and that its two great temples were once home to the kings of Guge in modern Tibet.The Travel Channel recently aired an episode of Expedition Unknown that followed host Josh Gates to Nepal and its surrounding areas in search of Shangri-La. His findings are not necessarily proof that Shangri-La is or was real. However, the sky caves that are found do represent some interesting facts.

In popular culture

{{cruft|date=February 2017}}There are a number of cultural usages of the Shangri-La idea that have developed since 1933 in the wake of the novel and the film made from it.

In astronomy

In 2006 the International Astronomical Union gave the equatorial, dark, low-lying area of Saturn's moon Titan the name Shangri-La.WEB, Planetary Names: Albedo Feature: Shangri-La on Titan, Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature,weblink 2014-09-18,

Gardens and resorts

  • In 1937 Lutcher Stark, a Texas philanthropist, started building his own Shangri-La in Orange, Texas. His Shangri-La was an azalea garden situated alongside a cypress-tupelo swamp. By 1950, thousands of people were travelling to Orange to visit Shangri-La, and many magazines published photographs of it. In 1958, a major snowstorm struck east Texas,WEB


, About LCM, Orange, Texas
, Little Cypress – Mauriceville CISD
,weblink
, 2011-11-19
, yes
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120425162925weblink">weblink
, 2012-04-25
,
, destroying thousands of azaleas and closing the garden for 40 years. The garden has recently been renovated and is now open to the public once again.WEB
, Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Centre, Orange Texas
,
,weblink
, 2011-11-19, WEB
, Beauty, Peace and Enlightenment at Shangri La Gardens in Orange, Texas (Part 1)
, Blue Eyes and Bluebonnets
, 15 April 2009
,weblink
, 2011-11-19
, yes
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110822115855weblink">weblink
, 22 August 2011
,
, WEB
, MESA /Jeffrey Carbo Landscape Architects, Joint Venture Announce Opening of Shangri La
, MESA Design Group
, 15 April 2009
, PDF
,weblink
, 2011-11-19
, yes
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130513055552weblink">weblink
, 13 May 2013
,
,
  • The businessman Harold Nixon Porter established a nature reserve called Shangri-La in Betty's Bay in South Africa in 1955. The name was changed to Harold Porter National Botanical Garden when the reserve was bequeathed to the National Botanic Gardens of South Africa in 1959.BOOK, McCracken, Donal P. McCracken & McCracken, Eileen M., The Way to Kirstenbosch National Botanic Gardens: Cape Town, 1988, 108,
  • In 1983 a tourist resort built on the banks of Kachura Lake in Skardu, northern Pakistan, was based on the idea of Hilton's novel. The resort is named Shangrila Resort. Today, the lake itself is also known as Shangrila Lake.WEB, Shangri La, Lake, Shangri La a Mythical Place from James Hilton Novel to Lake Resort in Skardu,weblink www.skardu.pk, Skardu.pk, 23 November 2016,

In film

In television

Shangri-La as part of the plot
  • Season 8, Episode 7 of The Simpsons: Lisa's Date with destiny. Apu tells Homer that candy on the doughnut were not sprinkles he tells him in Shangri-la they are but not in Springfield.
  • Season 7, Episode 20 of Boy Meets World: "As Time Goes By"Topanga accidentally discovers the existence of a time continuum vortex in the back of the apartment closet. She is transported, with no memory of her real identity, to a 1940s-era black and white universe containing a café called Rory's Shangri-La, where people go to forget their troubles.
  • Season 10, Episode 1 of Hallmark Hall of Fame: "Shangri-La"A 1960 musical version of Lost Horizon, starring Claude Rains and Richard Basehartweblink
  • Season 1, Episode 12 of Legend of the Three Caballeros: Shangri-La-Di-Da
  • (Noein: To Your Other Self), (Japanese:ノエイン もうひとりの君へ): Shangri-La is represented as a sinister utopic parallel dimension in a many-worlds science fiction. The chief antagonist Noein is fighting for the annihilation of space-time by converging all dimensions into Shangri-La.

In literature

Eiichi Ikegami wrote a novel titled Shangri-La (2005); an anime adaptation of the novel was released in 2008.

In games

  • The 2009 video game (Uncharted 2: Among Thieves) involves protagonist Nathan Drake following clues left by Marco Polo that lead to Shangri-La
  • Shangri-La provides the setting for a downloadable map for the Zombies game mode in (Call of Duty: Black Ops) and (Call of Duty: Black Ops III)
  • Shangri-La is a side mission for Far Cry 4 where protagonist Ajay Ghale collects tapestries for Ghale’s stead. Once collected, Ghale will start to hallucinate and quickly takes the player to Shangri-La as a deity fighting demons with a companion.

In music

{{references|section|date=November 2018}}{{originalresearch|section|date=November 2018}}Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" contains the following lyrics: "Like Shangri-La beneath the summer moon / I will return again / As the dust that floats finds you / We're movin' through Kashmir.""Shangri-La" is a song written by Ray Davies of The Kinks. The song appeared on the 1969 concept album, Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire). The song's inspiration can be traced back to when the band visited the Davies brothers' sister, Rose, and her family in Australia, the "designed community" that the family lived in serving as the initial lyrical inspiration.Shangri-La also appears in the Oasis song "Idler's Dream", B-side to The Hindu Times. The lyrics appear as: "And as I close my eyes,And the sky turns redI realise just what you are.You're an idler's dream,and you're singing Shangri-laShangri-laShangri-laShangri-la.""Going to Shangri-La" is a song from Atlanta Rhythm Section“This is Shangri-La” is a song on the album Apple by Mother Love Bone. "Shangri-La" is a track on Billy Idol's 1993 album Cyberpunk.(The Wraith: Shangri-La|The Wraith: Shangri-La) is an album by the rap duo the Insane Clown Posse."Helsinki–Shangri-La" is a 2010 single of Finnish rapper Paleface."Shangri-La" is the final track on the album A New World Record by ELO.Electro-Acoustic Harpist and multi-instrumentalist, Gary Edward Drum, released his composition: "ENTERING SHANGRI-LA" on his 2013 album: The Utopia Within.The Utopia Within by Gary Drum, July 8, 2013, Harpa Magica Unlimited
On 15 May 2017, Korean boyband VIXX released their song "Shangri-La" together with their 4th mini album, which has the same name.The AC/DC song "Sin City" on the 1978 Powerage album, Shangri-la is mentioned with the lyrics "Lamborghini's, caviarDry martini's, Shangrila"Shangri-La is mentioned in the song “Dr. Feelgood” by Mötley Crüe, from the album of the same name. Shangri-La is included in the lyric “He’ll tell you he’s the king of these Barrio streets, movin’ up to Shangri-La”.Stevie Nicks’ solo album Trouble in Shangri-La was released on May 1, 2001. Cover art features an oriental setting showing Nicks with her back to the camera looking out over an ocean.English rock band Arctic Monkeys mentioned Shangri-La in the song "Suck It and See", from their fourth studio album, released on 6 June 2011 by Domino Recording Company. The lyrics appear as: "Blue moon girls from once upon a Shangri-LaHow I often wonder where you areYou have got that face that just says"Baby, I was made to break your heart", oh-oh-oh"

Usage

Shangri-La is often used in a similar context to "Garden of Eden," to represent a paradise hidden from modern man. It is sometimes used as an analogy for a lifelong quest or something elusive that is much sought. For a man who spends his life obsessively looking for a cure to a disease, such a cure could be said to be that man's "Shangri-La." It also might be used to represent perfection that is sought by man in the form of love, happiness, or Utopian ideals. It may be used in this context alongside other mythical and famous examples of somewhat similar metaphors such as El Dorado, The Fountain of Youth, and The Holy Grail.{{citation needed|date=August 2014}}

See also

{{Div col|colwidth=25em}} {{div col end}}

References

Citations

{{Reflist|30em}}

Sources

  • Allen, Charles. (1999). The Search for Shangri-La: A Journey into Tibetan History. Little, Brown and Company (UK). {{ISBN|0-316-64810-8}}. Reprinted by Abacus, London. 2000. {{ISBN|0-349-11142-1}}.
  • Reinhard, Johan (1978) Khembalung: The Hidden Valley. Kailash, A Journal of Himalayan Studies 6(1): 5–35, Kathmandu.
  • Wood, Michael (2005) "Michael Wood: In search of Myths and Heroes: Shangri-La" PBS Educational Broadcasting Company
  • Mother Love Bone single "This is Shangri-La" of debut album "Apple" (1990)

External links

{{Wiktionary|Shangri-La}}
  • weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160303182102weblink">www.LostHorizon.org - information about the book, movie, and real life Shangri-Las
{{Authority control}}


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