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Following Huen Tsang's Steps

Travel along a path taken by a historical figure is always exciting and many books have been written about those trips. For example Walking the Bible is a journey from Egypt to Jerusalem along the path followed by Moses. Chasing Che is a motorcycle trip along the route that Che Guevera took.

Last year some researchers attempted a bronze age trade route from Sur in Oman to Mandvi in Gujarat in a bronze age boat.

Recently there was a new book, Ten Thousand Miles Without a Cloud by Shuyun Sun which follows the path taken by Huen Tsang, the Chinese pilgrim who toured India during in the 7th century.

Now four Buddhist selected from Chinese mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao are planning to retrace the steps of Huen Tsang.

The group will carry valuable gifts for Nalanda, including a Liuzu altar sutra embroidered on silk, a Sakyamuni statue and a copy of an ancient Chinese book, “records of the western regions of the tang dynasty” by Xuanzang`s disciple Bian Ji.

“The embroidered Liuzu altar sutra is the most valuable gift as it is the only sutra originated in China,” said shi Zhongyao, secretary-general of the trip organizing committee. “Others were all translated from Sanskrit,” he added.

In the late autumn of 628, monk Xuan Zang started his journey to South Asia. He walked 25,000 kms and spent 19 years [Retracing Zang`s journey to India]

Unlike Huen Tsang, these folks don’t plan to walk all that 25,000 on foot since they don’t have time for it. Still it would be an interesting journey and I hope someone makes a documentary on it, similar to the Walking the Bible series on PBS.

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