Glorious Riceland, gateway to Tibet. Northern Sikkim in Tibetan and Western travel reports.
October, 2016 - September, 2017
Sponsored by the Bavarian Gender Equality Grant (BGF) and the women’s representative LMU Munich.
Once an independent Buddhist kingdom, Sikkim is now part of India, lying in the north-east of the country, nestled between Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan. Villages in the north of Sikkim, such as Chungthang, Lachen, and Lachung, lie on ancient trade routes that were used by Tibetan masters but also by European travelers. The aim of this project is to analyse travel accounts of Tibetan masters who described the very north of Sikkim from historical, cultural, and religious points of view in their travelogues. Furthermore, these descriptions are compared with those of European explorers who came to this remote area. By analysing the heterogeneity in the Tibetan and Western perception of the same area, an unresearched facet of Sikkimese Studies will be examined.