Roerich in Lahoul (Lahul)
Tsering Dorje 2017
ROERICH’S IN LAHOUL (LAHUL) .
The Roerich family settled down permanently in Naggar, in the enchanting Himalayan valley of Kullu, and started exploring the neighboring districts of Kullu. They found the high Himalayan valley of Lahoul, inhabited by the multiethnic groups with religious beliefs ranging from Buddhism to orthodox Hinduism, for their creative activities in coming years. They set out to take an arduous journey to Lahoul valley with a small caravan of horses and mules, covering stage by stage. On the way up they crossed over a high pass of Rotang La, leading into Lahoul valley, and camped at Khoksar, the first inhabited village of Lahoul. It took them four days to reach Kyelang (place of sojourn) from the Khoksar camp. Upon reaching Kyelang, a heart-warming welcoming was given to Roerich’s by the local chieftain, Thakur Pratap Chand. Roerich’s stayed at Kyelang in a rented local house for that summer season. They built and decorated a studio by themselves.
During their stay in Lahoul, Nikolai Roerich and his son Svyatoslav Roerich remained engrossed in painting snowy mountains, landscaping, important Gonpas and Chortens, panoramic views, dignities, Lamas and lay folks, while Helena Roerich was busy with her writings. Gorge Roerich was engaged in the excavation of buried remains, gathering folk songs, linguistic studies and cultural studies. He also collected medicinal plants in the hills with local Amchis (Tibetan doctor). The most praised paintings of the Himalayan series were created in Lahoul by Maha Rishi Nikolai during their sojourn in Lahoul valley in monsoon free atmosphere in summer.
Roerich’s had spent four summer holidays there from 1929 to 1935.