June 4, 2019

The Original Five Tibetan Rites Monastery? Shangri-La & A Mountain Called Blue Moon

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[The following article is written by my friend and colleague, Jerry Watt (RIP), an antiquarian bookseller and collector with whom I share a special interest in researching and preserving the history of The Five Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation. It is published here with his permission. Jerry owns a rare copy of the 1939 Eye of Revelation book and also one of the equally rare 1946 update which includes a new chapter and further information. Using scans from Jerry's books (which are out-of-copyright) I have combined the information from both books which you can download for Free here. Jerry and I don't agree on everything, but we both share a genuine desire to provide interesting and accurate information. Carolinda Witt.]

In April of 2009, I realized that both the Eye of Revelation and Lost Horizon had a strange and unexpected connection.  Both mentioned British Army officers who were members of Her Majesty's Diplomatic Corps and were involved with a Tibetan monastery that taught life extension.  Kelder called this person Colonel Bradford but let us know that this was a pseudonym.  In 2007 I deduced that Major-General Sir Wilfrid Malleson was the likely true identity of Colonel Bradford.  The stunning fact is that Hilton named his character "Mallinson."

From that moment, I have never had any doubt that James Hilton was at least the de facto author of the Eye of Revelation.  "Kelder" may have been his own pseudonym, or, Kelder may have been a real person who was the author of record by way of shielding Hilton (and therefor Malleson) from exposure.   (See my earlier article: James Hilton's Lost Horizon and the Eye of Revelation.)

That very evening two years ago, I also discovered another more tenuous but highly significant connection between the Eye of Revelation and Lost Horizon.  Based on evidence in the Eye of Revelation, I have long believed that the Five Rites Monastery, if it really exists, will be found in the Himalayas of India.  There are Tibetan monasteries in India, especially in Ladakh (the name means "Little Tibet."  Ladakh is part of Kashmir, and it's language and culture are largely Tibetan.

That night, two years ago, I did a Google search for a mountain named "Blue Moon."  You see, the original title for Lost Horizon was "Blue Moon."  It referred to a beautiful pyramidal mountain called Karakal which watched over the Shangri-la monastery. [1]  If there really is a connection between Lost Horizon and the Eye of Revelation, then the Shangri-la monastery is the Five Rites monastery.  
If there really is a connection, I figured there may be clues in Lost Horizon to help us find the Five Rites monastery.  In Lost Horizon, Karakal means "Blue Moon."  So, I did an Internet search for a mountain called, "Blue Moon."  

I have long thought that the most likely place for the Five Rites monastery would be somewhere in Kashmir.  Colonel Bradford, even though he said the monastery was Tibetan, said that he went to India, not Tibet.  It was there, in Kashmir, that I found a mountain called Blue Moon.  It was in a district called Himachal Predesh, and in an area named Spiti (pronounced "pity"). The mountain is called Chau Chau Kang Nilda, [2] which means "Blue Moon in the Sky."  It is pyramidal and is about 100 miles South of Leh, the capital of Ladakh.  

Spiti, the "Middle Kingdom," has a Tibetan lineage, also.  Its language and customs are apparently of Tibetan origin (see Spiti: Adventures in the Trans-Himalaya by Kapadia).  

This is definitely too much of a coincidence to dismiss out of hand; still, I cannot establish that this is in fact a solid connection between Lost Horizon and the Eye of Revelation.  The big stumbling point is that in Hilton's day the mountain was called Guan Nelda.  The similarity with "Kang Nilda" is strong and I assume that Guan Nelda also means Blue Moon; yet, assumptions aren't facts.  Further research into this possible connection is being done.

1. "Karakal" may be a possible hidden reference to the Karakorum mountain range, part of the Himalayas, in the North of India.

2. Latitude 32.2833, Longitude 78.0667, about 100 miles South of Leh, the capital of Ladakh.

Click links to Download

  1. FREE eBook, The Eye of Revelation
  2. FREE Five Tibetan Posters
  3. Learn The Five Tibetan Rites

© This work is the intellectual property of its author and is fully copyrighted. It may not be copied or republished in any medium (including but not limited to electronic and print media) without the express permission of the author. All rights are reserved.

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Jerry Watt

Jerry is an antiquarian bookseller and collector with a special interest in researching and preserving the history of the Five Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation. He is the owner of a very rare copy of the 1939 version of 'The Eye of Revelation' and the equally rare 1946 update of the same book, which contains additional information.

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