“Kailasa, A Journey Within” by Shamim Akhtar is a coffee table book on the holy Kailash Mansarovar yatra, which is as sacred to us Hindus, as it is to Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains. Unfortunately, Kailash Mansarovar lies within the occupied Tibet, thus ensuring that only a handful of devout each year, get to visit this serene and holy site.
So you can probably guess, how special this coffee table book was for me and coming from an author (Shamim Akhtar) who had authored “Road to Heaven, Ladakh“, I knew it was going to be even more special and I was really looking forward to it.
So when I got my hands on a review copy of it, the first thing I did was to go through all the photographs and also showed them to my mother. Only once had I finished quenching my eye’s thirst, did I start to work on my intellectual hunger and started reading this book. And I was in for a pleasant surprise. If Road to Heaven, Ladakh had made an impression on me due to the dedication and photography skills (in particular panoramas) of Shamim Akhtar, Kailasa introduced me to his intellectual depth and the thirst with which he wishes to learn about other religious beliefs.
This added a whole new dimension to this coffee table book, helping it become much more than just a visual journey to Holy Mount Kailash and Mansarovar Lake (which I was expecting it be) and instead took me on a metaphysical and pictorial journey, culminating in a delicious blend, which at times left me gasping for breath and struggling to keep pace!
So even though “Rode to Heaven Ladakh” remains close to my heart as I could relate to the motorcycle journey and was bowled over by the fantastic panoramas, “Kailasa, A Journey Within” is nonetheless a fantastic coffee table book and a feast for those who wish to make a visual journey to Kailash Mansarovar.