Have an Eerie trek to Indian Himalayas, probably the only mummy in India to have undergone natural mummification.
Undoubtedly, we all must have some knowledge about mummies. Some might have watched the Hollywood movie ‘The Mummy’ and some might have studied about it back in school days. Somehow, we get to know about the mummy and when it comes to mummification, our brain will suddenly visualize Egypt as it is famously known for the preservation of mummies. What if you could possibly witness a mummy here in India? You could only believe it when you see it more than the words to describe it! India indeed has so many valuable secrets to be explored and experienced at least once in a lifetime.
Naturally, mummification requires conditions of extreme temperature and dry air to preserve the body. Most of the mummies that we have seen in the museums and textbooks were only preserved with a chemical process which is called embalming and then wrapped in linen. Meanwhile, the Buddhist monks of Japan and Tibet have a very unique method of mummification.
Back in 1975, an earthquake in northern India opened up an old tomb that contains the mummified body of monk Sangha Tenzin. Later in 2004, the local police excavated the tomb and removed the mummy from it. To the surprise, the mummy is well preserved with skin intact and hair on his head. He died in the seated position along with a rope around the neck and thighs. However, the Locals claimed that the monk himself asked his followers to mummify him during a scorpion infestation in the town and when his spirit left his body, there was a rainbow and the scorpions too disappeared.
When the monk was alive, he started a slow process of starvation and ceased to eat barley, rice, and beans, which add fat to the body. In preparation for death, he went self-mortification as well as ran candles along his skin to dry it out. And finally, he passed away due to starvation in a seated position. Thereby, fat festers after death and by removing the body of the fat, the monk can be preserved in a better way.
Followed by his death, the monk was then placed in an underground room for nearly three years to pursue the drying out of the skin and again treated with candles. Later, the monk turned into a statue through prayers. It is recorded that less than thirty of these monks have been found around the world and is almost on the main island of Japan, Honshu. This is a very unique way of mummification followed by the Buddhist monks of Japan and Tibet.
Presently, The mummy of Sangha Tenzin is exhibited in a temple in Gue which is two miles away from where he was excavated, in the Himachal Pradesh region of India which borders Tibet. The town is under the control of Indo-Tibetan Border Police and is deserted in the Himalayas. The town is very difficult to reach yet the temple where the mummy rests is all open to the public, if you can reach it out. Just trek to this particular place of the Himalayan region to witness the bizarre and ancient self-mummification!
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