The Russians Are Coming

Monday, 18 November 2013

After a month away in the Southern Ocean, I find a link via Facebook from Divyesh Muni, stalwart of the Himalayan Club, with footage of a trek to Lahaul via the Rohtang Pass in 1929 shot by the artist, traveller, mystic and peace campaigner Nicholas Roerich. Born in St Petersburg in 1874, Roerich was an extraordinary polymath whose travels in Central Asia in general and India in particular were reflected in his work. There is a museum dedicated to his life and accompishments in New York, and if you've been I'd love to hear about it. Roerich wasn't the only extraordinary Russian artist to wind up in the Himalaya after the Russian revolution in 1917. Boris Lisanevich came to Kathmandu from India in the 1950s, and although not in Roerich's league in terms of intellectual ambition, he did open the city's first western-style hotel and the famous Yak & Yeti restaurant. I wonder if there are others?

Posted by Ed Douglas at 5.26 PM