In August 1986, Henry Ashton, a retired Army officer settled in his country home in the Yorkshire dales receives a letter from a Laotian monk entreating him to prevent a Ÿ??hidden treasureŸ?? which has been stolen from the Monastery from being misused. This Ÿ??hidden treasureŸ?? is a map, which was sent by the Emperor Kublai Khan to his favourite courtier, Marco Polo. A map, which leads to the fabled city of Shambhala. Ashton sets about putting together a team for his quest, which includes his house-keeper, a retired Gurkha Sergeant, a highly strung lady mathematician from Oxford, and an American mercenary who is on the CIA hit-list. Their expedition leads them into inhospitable Ladakh in Northern India, Peshawar in Pakistan and the rugged mountains of northern Afghanistan. They realize they are up against an unknown adversary with seemingly unlimited resources who will stop at nothing to obtain the prize. The prize being access to a monastery to which Kublai Khan made a secret journey just before his death. They must be stopped by Henry Ashton and his team to safeguard an ancient secret that could threaten the fabric of human civilization itself. Set in the backdrop of the Soviet Afghan war, The Avatari dwells on actual historical accounts of Khanbalik, Kublai KhanŸ??s capital in 1294 AD. It also draws heavily from the Shamanistic legends of the Bon people and the teachings of the Bardo Thodol, popularly known as The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Chapters move through history and time across four continents as layer after layer of the myth of Shambhala are finally unravelled. It is in this journey that Henry Ashton will learn something about his destiny Ÿ?? and something about the nature of destiny itself.
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