Himālaya – John Keay

Himālaya - John Keay
Himālaya – John Keay

An excellent book covering history, geography, geology and nature, exploration, mapping and mountaineering, politics, religion and culture of the high Himalaya.

Highly recommended reading if you’re planning a trip to these mountainous regions of modern day Tibet, Xinjiang, Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Nepal, China.

Author page: Himālaya: Exploring the Roof of the World – John Keay

When Men And Mountains Meet – John Keay

When Men And Mountains Meet - John Keay
When Men And Mountains Meet – John Keay

The subtitle says it all “Exploration of the Western Himalayas, 1820-1875”.

Slow to start, the later chapters – from Gardiner onwards – were a speedier read.

Lots of looking at the handy maps at the start of the book, and cross referencing with my Hindu Kush Adventure, Central Asia Overland, Himalayan Journey from Lhasa to Kashgar and Autumn in Ladakh trips.

Part of what makes this a fascinating period of history is that, as John Keay concludes, none of these explorations would feasible today given the borders and accompanying tensions between India, Pakistan and China. I’d love to be able to trek from Leh to Yarkand…..

AbeBooks page: When Men And Mountains Meet – John Keay

The Tartan Turban – John Keay

The Tartan Turban - John Keay
The Tartan Turban – John Keay

John Keay‘s biography of nineteenth century elusive adventurer Alexander Gardner.

Unlike many of the explorers and spies of The Great Game, Colonel Gardner didn’t leave behind his own polished account of his travels in Central Asia, nor of his years as an officer in the Sikh Empire, from the Empire’s glory years under Maharaja Ranjit Singh and through the familial treachery and turmoil that followed on from Ranjit Singh’s death. Even his younger years are veiled in the mists of time – but safe to say Scotland doesn’t feature (despite the tartan!)

So, there’s plenty of of scope for biographical sleuthing and rehabilitation from the always readable John Keay.

Author webpage: The Tartan Turban: In Search of Alexander Gardner – John Keay

The Great Arc – John Keay

The Great Arc - John Keay
The Great Arc – John Keay

The Great Trigonometrical Survey of India saw 19th scientific progress and British Imperialism traversing the sub continent hand in hand.

Highly readable history.

Publisher page: The Great Arc – John Keay

I saw one of the charts in October at The Science Museum’s Illuminating India – 5000 Years of Science and Innovation exhibition:

Mapping India with Maths - The Great Trigonometric Survey - The Science Museum
Mapping India with Maths – The Great Trigonometric Survey – The Science Museum