Finding a mummy or mummies in the Indian sub continent, a cradle of oldest ancient cultures in the world is not an odd thing, however, never in my life have I heard about Indian mummies. The very mention of mummies brings to our mind those of ancient Egypt, in particular, child king Tut. Obviously, as expected, our curiosity will reach its dizzy height if we run into reports on the presence of mummies in India. Recently, when I saw some articles on Giu mummy in the state of Himachal Pradesh, my inquisitive mind forced me to browse through articles related to it.
|Giu village is approximately 10 km from Giu nallah and village is connected with link road. www.indyabiz.com|
|www.indyabiz.com. Giu village, H.P, above 10000 feet. www.inditales.com|
New Giu Monastery under construction, 2013
|Giu Village Spiti Valley, Giu mummy room. www.inditales.com|
This Giu mummy is kept in a small room with a door closed most of the time which one may call it a temple or monastery because the mummy was once a Buddhist monk, wandering this part of the Himalayan range. The mummy was under the thick cover of ice and snow for a pretty long time. According to radio carbon dating done by some experts from Vienna, the age of the mummy is about 550 years. Giu mummy is small in size, sitting with hunched back. The shrinkage of the body and skin color change is due to dehydration and draining out of body fluid. The Giu mummy was in his early 40sat the time of death and his death is a mysterious one. From the posture, it is quite apparent, that he was on meditation, when he breathed his last. it is likely that the death could have been caused by the avalanche which is common here.
It was the ITBP personnel who, a few years ago, accidentally discovered the Mummy while engaged in road repair work near Giu. Apparently the mummy was shifted to the present location where the people had built the temple. It is said that the name of monk was Sangha Tenzin and he followed the Gelugapa order of Buddhism prevalent in the Giu Village, Spiti Valley. Considering the height of the mountainous terrain - 3050 meter above MSL, the main cases of natural preservation of Giu mummy are ice and snow and extreme cold temperature at higher elevation. The presence of mummy - a meditating Lama in this region that is home to 1000 year old Tabo monastery in Spiti is shrouded in mystery with respect to its nature of death. Since its discovery lots of people visit this place that has other attractions too, besides spell-binding scenery.
According one folklore a monk told the villagers they would see a rainbow after his death through meditation and attack by other tribe called scorpion on them would cease soon. They did see a rainbow and the raids by other tribe ceased for ever.
North India Kaleidoscope, Chandigarh, vol 01, issue 04. June 19 to June 25, 2014.