The Way to Shambhala…

The Way to ShambhalaThe Way to Shambhala…
By Edwin Bernbaum

Published by Anchor Book/Doubleday, New York 1980

This book is a classic for anyone interested in adventure, mythology and spiritual development. Written by Edwin Bernbaum who while teaching in the Peace Corps in Nepal in the mid-late seventies studied Tibetan religion, mythology and art and became interested in Shambhala – a mythical kingdom somewhere beyond the snow mountains north of the Himalayas.

“For centuries the people of Tibet and Mongolia have believed in the existence of Shambhala where a line of enlightened kings is said to be guarding the highest wisdom for a time when all spiritual values in the world outside will be lost in war and destruction. Then, according to prophecy, a great king will come out of this sanctuary to defeat the forces of evil and establish a golden age.

“Drawing on Tibetan and Sanskrit texts, interviews with lamas in Nepal and India, and his own experiences in the Himalayas, Edwin Bernbaum gives a detailed account of this fascination tradition, examining its basis in religion and history and its connection to the archetypal myths that have influenced both Eastern and Western cultures. As he explores the myth of Shambhala, showing how it symbolises an inner, spiritual journey to enlightenment, Bernbaum leads the reader through the actual terrain of the Himalayas, the mist-filled valleys and snow-covered peaks that have helped to inspire the idea of a mysterious sanctuary hidden in the remote mountains of Central Asia.

When filming in the Himis Monastery in Ladakh in the mid eighties we had the opportunity to visit the head lama. After speaking quietly with him and an interpreter for an hour he asked if we had any questions. I asked him, “where is Shambhala?” He waved his hands in a northward direction and indicated it was beyond the Himalayas, somewhere in the Gobi Desert region.

Monastery in the Himalayas by Garry Weare
Monastery in the Himalayas by Garry Weare

“Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges –
Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting to be found. Go!”
Rudyard Kipling

“Behind the ice walls of the Himalayas lie the empty deserts and remote mountains of Cental Asia. There, blown clear of habitation by the harsh winds of high altitude, the plateau of Tibet extends north over thousands of square miles up to the Kunluns, a range of unexplored peaks longer than the Himalayas and nearly as high. Beyond its little known valleys are two of the most barren deserts in the world; the Taklan Makan and the Gobi. Sparsely populated and cut off by geographical and political barriers, this vast region remains the most mysterious part of Asia, an empty immensity in which almost anything could be lost and waiting to be found.”
Edwin Bernbaum

Although there are differing opinions as to where Shambhala actually is, the lamas all agree that it is a place of majestic beauty. They are more specific about the kingdom itself and give a remarkably clear and detailed picture of it. According to their descriptions, a great ring of snow mountains glistening with ice completely surrounds Shambhala and keeps out all those not fit to enter. The texts imply that one can cross the snow mountains only by flying over them, but the lamas point out that this must be done through spiritual powers and not by material means.

The inhabitants of the kingdom live in peace and harmony, free of sickness and hunger. They all have a healthy appearance, with beautiful features, and wear graceful robes of white cloth. They speak a sacred language and all have great wealth but never have to use it. Tibetans have, in fact, taken the Sanskrit name Shambhala to mean “the source of happiness.”

Many Tibetans insist on the necessity of purifying the mind in order to go to Shambhala. Most forms of meditation used for this purpose tend to cut off, or silence, the habitual thoughts and preconceptions that block the kind of mystic vision, the vision that may actually penetrate into other worlds as solid and as concrete as ours. By clarifying his mind in this way, ridding himself of the mental conditioning that limits his awareness, the traveller to Shambhala may be gaining the ability to see into the fourth dimension and take an actual journey through a strange, but real, landscape of fantastic deserts and mountains that lie parallel to the ones we find on maps of Central Asia.

Spectacular Beauty, Tibet

If the high lamas of Tibet consider this majestic paradise to be symbolic then a powerful symbol like Shambhala can do more than stand for some hidden truth or aspect of reality; it can also act as a window that opens up a view of something beyond itself.

Maybe the “hidden valley” exists in the inner consciousness of the mind, reached only through the practise of disciplined meditation. According to one high priest, reaching Shambhala mentally means that one has reached the innermost mind locked in the heart centre. According to prophecy, the future king of Shambhala will come not only to deliver the world from the external tyranny, but also to liberate its inhabitants from the internal bondage of their own delusions. The main purpose of the final battle and the golden age is to bring about the conditions and teachings needed to attain enlightenment, to help people awaken the innermost mind and know the true nature of reality.

The prophecy implies that the solution of the world’s problems will come from an inner source hidden within each of us. Some of these myths exert a considerable influence on our lives, affecting not only what happens to us as individuals, but also what happens to society and the course of history itself…..the modern myth of progress…..the conviction that science and industry will transform the earth into a material paradise and establish a golden age of prosperity for all. This conviction lies behind much of the push for social reform and economic development that now determines the policies, as well as the fate, of governments throughout the world, regardless of their particular ideology. The myth of progress seems in fact, to have led us into the degenerate period of materialism that is supposed to precede the golden age of Shambhala.

We have come to this quandary in large part because we have lost sight of the inner side of the myth of progress. In striving to create an earthly paradise, we have overlooked the needs and nature of those who must live in it. A fascination with the problem of ever increasing material prosperity has led us to develop a one sided view of the myth that emphasises external progress at the expense of inner development…

The Final Gate to Journey

We need to recover a balance and perspective that will enable us to use, rather than be used by, the power of the myth of progress. The kind of insights we have gleaned from the Tibetan myth of Shambhala may be able to help us do this by redirecting our attention toward the inner meaning of the myths that shape our lives. We may even be able to use the myths of progress itself as a symbol to awaken the deeper mind and liberate ourselves from the bondage of our illusions.

Ultimately, however, each one of us needs to find and seek his own equivalent of Shambhala, that place, thing, person, or even idea that has the power to inspire us to take the inner journey to greater freedom and awareness. The myth of Shambhala is meant to encourage us to find a form of our own that reveals, rather than replaces, the essence of the kingdom itself.

In seeking the essence of Shambhala through whichever form we find to be ours, we come to realise that it lies hidden right here in the world around us. This realisation opens us to a growing sense of the sacred in everything we see. People and things that we had regarded with scorn or indifference becomes sources of wonder and awe. As we become aware of the sacred nature of all that surrounds us, we cease to see people and things to be abused and exploited. We come, instead, to cherish them for what they are, and to treat them with the utmost care and respect. If we can awaken this sense of the sacred in the world around us, then we may have a chance of bringing about the golden age of so many myths and dreams.

Blue Mountains, Tibet

Only exaltation of spirit
Enables one to cross the radiant bridge
Let each one who is illumined by spirit
Walk boldly into the temple

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52 Responses to The Way to Shambhala…

  1. cosmicray says:

    Again,Thankyou Albe, such words of wisdom,
    leading us to discover the Self within and outside,
    To see the Cosmos as an example of ITs work and
    to give Thanx for the Prajna Truth bestowed upon us!
    ‘Walk boldly into the temple of the heart”
    Lots of Love, Razen

  2. Sue Bloom says:

    I have just purchased the Jan Feb 2012 edition of Australian Geographic to find a rare treat.
    Long time friend, intrepid cyclist and Australian Geographic sponsored adventurer, Dave Turner, gives the highlights of his epic 14 month bicycle journey of 15000km of the Himalaya in search of the mythical kingdom of Shambhala.
    His journey passed through Kunmin, Weixi, Lijang, Daocheng, Lijang, Deqin, Pasighat, Tuting, Itanagar, Se La Pass, Phuentsoling, Thimphu, Kalimpong, Gangtok, Kathmandu, Thorung La, Rohru, Sang La, Rampur, Hansi, Manali Shingo La Zangla Palace and ending in Leh.
    A great read with wonderful photos.
    If you are interested in further follow up with Dave, please send your contact details and I will pass them on to him.
    0414 739 462

  3. Kris Dodson says:

    Thank you for this. This book is an old favorite which will forever make you reconsider the significance of elements which one faces on their journey.

  4. hanuman singh says:

    i am very interesting in to visit shamabala and i think to meet monks in himalayas

  5. hanuman singh says:

    i want the book named ” the way to shamabala “

  6. Indra says:

    Yes I feel like to joint the journey to Shambhala. Any info how to get there

  7. S.BHARATHI says:

    Wonderful article. It is possible to meet monks or rishis in Shambala. Any way to reach this place. Somebody else can answer me.


    • Albe says:

      hallo ujjaneni, edward beaubam author of “the way to shambhala” suggests, after much exploration that shambhala is right where you are that it’s not necessary to trudge through the himalayas or the gobi desert to find this peaceful place, although i’m not sure you’ll find it in woolworths. if interested it’s a wonderful book and well worth the read.

  9. Shyam says:

    Shambhala is not about escaping from reality. Shambhala is within yourself. We should realize that THE MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT are three different things, and also learn to control them individually. One who does that, can achieve highest level of bliss, harmony and peace. :)

  10. Shyam says:

    Shambhala is not about escaping reality. Shambhala is making a way for peace, harmony and bliss within yourself with deep level of meditation and spirtuality. We have to realize that THE MIND, THE BODY and THE SPIRIT are three different things, and nurture them individually. Shambhala is all around you :)

  11. venugopal says:

    how to reach to shambala and how to find shambala place in himalayas

  12. padma.s says:

    i heard about this place from my friend and read about it.its simply awesome and unimaginable. with the grace of the lord and sadguruji iwant to explore this inner jouney and experience shambaala. jai shambo

  13. Pushap says:

    blue print is going to be ready soon ….. my extensive research towards Shambala (kalpa) will reward. I think i need a team.

  14. janaiah thagula says:

    i am very interesting in to visit shamabala and i think to meet monks in himalayas

  15. janaiah thagula says:

    please any information in way to shambala send my email

  16. Maryse Locke says:

    Once I have done a courageous and generous action for protecting a man against the will of a group of manipulative & aggressive individuals with conscience poverty, without any calculation at the back of anyone from my part, only with pure purpose, pure intention, pure love. I only listened to my heart and reacted to the injustice and harm done to this man, and even if I could lose my reputation, I protected him.

    Well! The surprise has been the treat I have received from my Spirit guides few hours after! They took me in the fourth dimension in some long galleries of about 3 meters high that have been dug in the ground by men long long eons ago, situated in a very high and cold mountain, probably in another Himalaya that exists in the fourth dimension. I have been received by a Tibetan monk wearing a reddish cloth, aged about 60 years old who was a guardian. The place was silent, and was having many thousands of small alcoves dug directly in the walls of the galleries. Each alcove was containing 2 or 3 beautiful carved ruby crystals; they had two sizes, about 30 cms and 50 cms high; they all had the same shape of a long cartridge vase with a sharp cover . The strange phenomenon was that the carving was taking place automatically and very very slowly, i.e. as soon as a generous action was done by a Soul living somewhere in the universes. I understood the direct link of a ruby crystal with a Soul when I saw the Tibetan guardian walking toward a medium size ruby crystal (30 cms) ; and in front of me he turned it with his both hands and said with a gentle voice of appreciation : “Good Girl!” . I looked around me. There were some ruby crystals that were really ancient (50 cms), with many ruby branches that have grown on the main crystal body. In the gallerie where I was, there was an opening like a window, with a really ancient ruby crystal set there; during the eons, its branches have slowly developed out of the opening in the cold atmosphere and the snow. I looked from that opening and saw the snow outside, and also realised that we were almost at the summit of a very cold high mountain, with other mountains around.

  17. Madhavi says:

    I want to visit this place any one else there to visit

  18. Madhavi says:


  19. uday says:

    How reach shambhala in which way we will travel

  20. Shankar says:

    Hi,This Is Shankar… I would like to join Shambhala Journey.. Please let me know how to Reach That Beautiful Kingdom…Shankar 9611779824

  21. ravikiran says:

    Madam iam ravikiran from andhrapradesh iam also very interested to visit shambala if u wanna go plz inform to me

  22. Arvind ayaz says:

    I’m getting ready to travel in search of shambhala kingdom. If Hitler could reach and see shambhala. Why we can’t see it. These summer I’m planning to go. But some friends who are interested in adventuring.

  23. Arvind ayaz says:

    These april summer I’m moving to shambhala. I got all the information from my grandma she given be a book of ” way to shambhala “. After her death I trveld Kashi alone for to make my grandma soul happy . I tried to go shambhala at that time. But many monks and Nepal people stopped me to go there. At that time my age is just 16years. But now I’m 24. I collected more information about shambhala. As that it’s locat between k2 mountain and Gobi dessert. K2 mountain is dangerous mountain and it’s a magnetic mountain to travel from India we have to cross k2. Gobi dessert is from north part of China that has full of hot winds. Each every step is adventures and mysterious. I need some friends how has grip on geography and history. If you want to go shambhala you should be straight forward and be honest that what we do! If anyone wants to travel with me please send mail to my mail I’d

  24. Dawn says:

    I had a dream of being in a craft with other beings, all were very happy. I was in what seemed to be the cockpit and there were a few around me in the cockpit while everyone else was towards the back of me but there was a partition separating the cockpit area from the rest of the craft. There were windows all around and outside the windows I saw three beautiful mountains and below was a lush green valley. The three mountains where different from each other and one mountain peak appeared cut off. The beauty of this place caused me to ask where we were and I was simply told, “In the EAST”. When I awoke from the dream I immediately started searching on Google for any image that resembled the three snow covered peaks and then I came upon this place known as Shambhala.

  25. anilkumar says:

    who are interested to reach Shambal ??????????????,,, please contact me in this number 9440144557,,, because i want go shambal as soon as.and My name is Anilkumar from andhra pradesh. meet me in my facebook …. I want research that place real or fack if u want come with me ???????????

  26. Pavan Kumar M says:

    i am really wants to join reach Shambhala village please contact with me 8150991666 its not a joke because i lost my mom if i can visit there i can see her sole there with the help of monk

  27. Virendra Singh says:

    Hi all genuine seeker of Shambhala,

    I can help you to reach Shambhala the mystic land but before that it is well informed that only the real Sadhak( spiritual being) can reach to that place or can get access to that place. So requesting all to do Sadhana, do meditation for long hours , live a simple life and have a pure heart and give loves to all other creatures and living being. So if you are ready to take Sadhana this way you can join me and we can lead to Shambhala normally we called it Gyangunj.

    You can contact me for more information and we also prepared many Sadhaks to lead their life in this way.

  28. Kiran says:

    I want to go that place. I know everything about sambhala

  29. ravikanth says:

    Hi kiran,

    appreciate if could share your learning about shambala with me . My email id is, if any other people who have some stuff about shambala please do share with me.

    Thanks & Regards,

  30. JEEVESH says:

    Only person with pure soul ,clean and strong can visit Shambhala , by climbing the Kailash mountain in Himalayas ,reaching its top.

    There , on the peak ,is the door to Shambhala .Its the city under Kailash mountain .

  31. krishna says:

    I want to go there and meet monks,If any one going to there please inform me.

  32. Umesha says:


  33. Well every human can reach shambala city, Its has been now built by Gods architect Vishwakarma, It now looks like a wonderful city surrounded by 8 mountains covering it and a central tower where a green lingam shaped sacred divine object is placed which is worshiped by people of shambala with sacred words and sacred items.

    Yes you read correct, every human can visit shambala, but they need a visa for it and its not that easy to get visa for shambala, you have to clear hardest test of your life. You have to detach yourself from meterialistc world, greed,anger,lust. You have to activate your pituitary gland including all chakras along your spine. Only then you will get power of astral vision. Once you get astral vision you will be able to see that hidden city. Who is stopping you from visiting shambala? Well its none other than you.

  34. Lyudmila Jeffery says:

    Thank you for this information. There is no entrance to Shambala in the material world, that is the test and protection from unworthy and also the hope for us all… something should stay pure and untouched in this wicked world.

  35. Sahadevudu akunuri says:

    Hi this is sahadevudu andhrapradesh india I would like to join shambhala journey… please let me know how to reach that beautiful kingdom… my phone num 9866264755

  36. Nky says:

    Shambhala in Bhutan in paro and from paro airport distance 10 km appx.

  37. Saswat Pradhan says:

    Sir, whether I am correct or not. I don’t know. But, every religion has a such mythical kingdom and I don’t think that our ancestors are fools. They have mentioned About Shambhala, which is itself in proof that something is kept hidden from all. In some scriptures it has been mentioned that river Sindhu originates from the South gate of Shambhala. The river Langqen Zengbe originates nearer to Lake Mansarovar. So, your team journey should start in the search of origin point of the river. So I think that kingdom is somewhere near Ngari kingdom. The way to the kingdom is an abandoned Monastery.

    Om namah Kalki.

  38. Sriram says:

    Hmmm, now i decide to go there and find the secrets about life,death, gods and many other myths at the age of 24. But now i am 15

  39. lokesh says:

    This is lokesh from Andhra Pradesh, India. As iam reading about shambala the hidden city where lord Narayana will take birth as Kalki. As iam eagerily waiting to go to shambala so please if any one intrested join with me.(Email Id:

  40. Balakrishna says:

    Please call my no if anybody already visited shambala nagaram or have plans to go
    My No – 9620996535

  41. krishna says:

    please let me know if any body is willing to visit shambala i am planning to travel this year end

    call me :9620996535

  42. Krishika says:

    How can we go to shambala its my dream before deadth

  43. Ajayakumar says:

    If this place exist one day i will go.
    I have to speak the peoples of shambala.I want to study telepathy from the persons of shambala.

  44. Soham Dutta says:

    Yes,I have also searched this place and many mysterious things I have seen that,this immortal place is situated around the himalayas and it is the center of the earth many buddhist religion knows about this place but they will not tell us because only one person can reach there,who does not have done any type of sin in his life and always helps all people ,the only way to reach this place is by siddhiprath or meditation.There are many ways to reach there.They are-(by 1) meditation
    2)by,when you are doing meditation think about that place chant this mantra 3 times a)please take ro this place b)please,please so please
    This may not work in starting days so, practice,practice and practice it until you win this. When kurukshetra battle was going krishna tells arjuna about this place this place is mentioned in ramayana and mahabharat also and in Bhagwat Gita.

  45. Fr. Augustine Bishop, OCart. says:

    This is what I believe about Shambala and all mountains that are nearly impossible to find or get to – they are of the mind. Meditation, contemplation, lectio divina all prayer and books like the Bible(as an example) together with prayer and living a life pure of heart and mind, free of all materialism will get you there as it is a state and place of mind. When you get there, I will be quite happy to greet you. I was surprised to be suddenly and quite unexpectedly to begin my journey while visiting a friend in Italy and very beautiful girl with whom I was “staying” and worked at a small local restaurant asked if I would go to a Monastery and read some documents they received from the U.S. Something happened while I was there and I never thought I would return to the U.S but after almost 14 years, I was forced to return for a debriefing by a few Government Agencies who were also client of the Law firm who employed me. A few days after my 2 week visit, I was hit by a car and am still unable to get medical clearance to leave because I require another surgery. I meditate, pray the Roman Breviary as well as personal prayers and have found I am still quite happy and some days even feel like I have never left the Monastery. I am still part of the Carthusian community and when I get medical clearance I can return to,my physical Mountain which I will do quickly. Living this kind of life is difficult outside of a physical Mountain but it can be done with perseverance.

  46. Eddie Bryan says:

    I learned of Shamballa, I know, spelled differently but I’m sure the same place from the books written by A.A. Bailey said to be transmissions from the Tibetan, Djwahl Kuhl to Alice A. Bailey and English woman purportedly of psychic abilities. DK spoke of the reappearance of the Christ who would be recognized as the Bodhisattva Maitreya by Buddhists, Imam Mahdi by Muslims, the Messiah by Semitic people and an Avatar by Hindus. He posited the location of Shamballa, the ashram of the Christ as being in the Gobi desert, which is Mongolia, I have learned. Theeafter I read the book The Way to Shamballa by Edwin Bernbaum and I was delighted with it. It compared well with works like The Snow Leopard and Tibet’s Great Yogi Milarepa as well as Autobiography of a Yogi. Bernbaum’s style is wonderful. I thought he was a yogi/philosopher of some kind but have learned he is a man in love with mountains and he has written other books, not so much about the mystical appearance of the Bodhisattva as far as I can see, but I don’t know.

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