Friday, October 30, 2009

Where Is Lake Dhanakosha?

Lake Dhanakosha is always right in front of you. However, this post is not about that Lake Dhanakosha. This post is about whether or not there is a historical Lake Dhanakosha, belonging to Indrabhuti's kingdom, and whether or not it can be found in the northwest of Uddiyana, i.e. Swat.

You see, I am one of those people who believes that Uddiyana literally existed, and that Padmasambhava -- about whom we have an extremely large corpus of reliable historical information -- was quite literally born in the center of a lake there.

After all, the same people who recorded the elements of Padmasambhava's life story also recorded his teachings. Since his teachings have directly led to the liberation of countless individuals in every century since, how can these sources be deemed unreliable?

Be that as it may...

For sheer beauty, my money is on Lake Godur, pictured above. This is at an altitude of 12,500 feet,  near Kalam, which is arguably to the northwest of the lower Swat Valley. Below, is how it appears from space, courtesy of Google Earth. You can "fly" there by entering, and then go nosing around, to see what else you can find. If you do, you will soon discover no shortage of candidates in the region: some of the most majestic lakes in the world can be found there.

Our interest naturally stems from the Where-Is-Uddiyana? dialogue raised over at the world-famous Tibeto-Logic blog, where researchers rush in and scholars fear to tread. Such interest is, I think, justified because this region of such importance to the history of Vajrayana Buddhism will soon be lost for evermore -- utterly laid waste by Radio Mullahs and their barbaric minions.

The idyllic beauty of the North West Frontier Province is really unrivaled, save perhaps by certain spots in North America. You find immaculate, glacial lakes, flower-strewn high meadows, and everywhere, a heavenly interplay between earth and sky. Surely, there is no better candidate for Indrabhuti's earthly paradise anywhere else in the region.

The Pakistani tourism officials will argue that Lake Dhanakosha is more likely Kachura Lake, where they have built Shangrila Resort Skardu. If you try to visit there for the purposes of Buddhist tourism, chances are good you will meet with the perception of challenges to your peaceful enjoyment of the scenic wonders.

Reading the brochures -- if it were strictly up to me -- I would skip Skardu, and go rough it in the Buner Valley -- closer to the ancient charnel ground of Goher Abad. Click that last link, scan read carefully, and be treated to the world's most singular tourism pitch.

Otherwise, this last part won't make much sense:

All the red witches I roll with really enjoy old graveyards, throwing granny off a cliff, cobras on killer mountains, and robbing archaeological sites. Toss in a political kidnapping, a couple of AK-47s, and the possibilities for a long-term relationship, and like Alexander the Great, I might never want to leave.

Well, that solves the question of where to go for Halloween next year.

Relieved to hear it, are you?

Or, are you just glad to see me?

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2 reader comments:

Dan said...

The beauty of that photo at the head of today's blog has entirely converted me. I need no more evidence! Well, maybe more information on high altitude lotuses?

mary said...

Namkha Drimed Rabjam suggests that Uddiyiana is in current day Orissa. Lots of Tantric Temples there and lakes .