Saturday, July 20, 2013

15th century Mummy in Himachal Pradesh's Geu Village

Geu Village
Did you know that a small little village in Himachal Pradesh houses a naturally preserved 550 year old Mummy?

This village is completely off the beaten track. You will not find it on the list of places to visit in Himachal Pradesh.

Geu is in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh at an altitude of 10,000 feet, in the border of India and Tibet. Located around 350 km from Shimla, you will need to travel by road to reach Geu. It is very close to a place called Sumdo which you will pass if you are going to Tabo from Nako. Close to Sumdo there is a left turn on the highway NH 22, Geu is around 12 kms from there.

Geu has started receiving a few visitors because of a 550 year old mummy that this village houses.

The mummy is of a 45 year old lama who was meditating when the avalanche must have struck him. This mummy was found in one of the eight stupas in the village which were severely damaged after the 1975 earthquake in this region. There is no preservative used on the mummy, it is naturally preserved.The freezing weather conditions in Geu seems to be one of the many reasons for this natural mummification. Though there is a bit of a concern now since it is showing signs of deterioration. The villagers want the mummy to be preserved not only because it will it bring in many tourists, the villagers worship the lama and they would like to safeguard and preserve the mummy.

There is a new temple that is getting built for the mummy; the mummy will soon be shifted to the new temple. Hopefully, the mummy will stay well-preserved for many more centuries.

Credit for these photos and information goes to my cousin, Soma Jha, who went for a trip to Himachal Pradesh recently and happened to visit Geu.
close up of the mummy

Bharals or Blue sheeps near Geu



Tomichan Matheikal said...

Nice post. Good info.

Arumugam Easwar said...

That's very interesting read. Let the Govt help the villagers to keep the Lama Mummy in safe.

Rajesh said...

Incredible, I never knew this.

Ranjana Jha said...

Thanks Tomichan, Arumugam and Rajesh. Yes, it is quite something. I was quite surprised to know that such a mummy exists in India.

Aditi said...

That is so interesting! Never knew!!

robin ghosh said...

I visited this monastery in July 2013..The mummy is that of a Lama in a sitting posture. You get goose bumps when you see the mummy from a distance of 1 feet enclosed in a glass box..The local village head has the door keys of the monastery..and the local villagers worship the mummy of the Lama..I had posted a few pics on my fb timeline and everyone was suprised to know about a mummy existing in India...Must admit that this mummy is well preserved and well maintained by the locals and govt authorities. This place along with many others in Lahol Spiti,Kinnaur,Sangla is a lifetime experience

Ranjana Jha said...

Hi Robin, I agree. I had no idea either.Came as a surprise to me too.

Yes, the whole valley is a lifetime experience. Out of the world.


Olevia Cheong said...

I had seen this mummy too on my last visit to the Himachal Pradesh !
Villages like Chitkul, Sangla, Lanza are so beautiful and the local villagers are so friendly!
A trip of a life time..

Ranjana Jha said...

Yes, Olevia...these places are out of the world, a trip of a lifetime indeed.

Unknown said...

I visited this place 20 days ago.. now the monastery structure is built completely from outside but the mummy us kept in a room in glass cage which is broken..I have the photos..