This map plots the settings and references in Kim

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Indian Himalayas
Leh, Ladakh
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeLeh, Ladakh - Credit: Abdul Sayed

The Indian Himalayas cover a vast area along the northern frontiers of the country and span five Indian states. Kim deals only with the western ranges, encompassing modern-day Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.









During the Raj era, many vital trade routes passed through these states: one of these is referred to by Kipling as 'the Kulu way’ and is followed by Kim and Teshoo lama towards the end of the novel. The route traditionally runs from the hill station of Simla up into Kullu valley and through Rohtang Pass into the Spiti region (12,500 feet above sea level). The journey, which cannot be undertaken in the winter season, is still popular with trekkers today.


Spiti monastery
Creative Commons AttributionSpiti monastery - Credit: 4ocima, Flickr


The Indian Himalayas hold the majority of India’s Buddhists, who make up 0.8% of the country’s population. These Buddhist communities are greatly influenced by Tibetan Buddhism, while some regions – such as Ladakh in Kashmir – have a Tibetan majority population.