When Soviet forces forcibly relocated the Yaghnobi from their mountain valley in what is now Tajikistan, the Russians were unable to crush the spirit of the people. Their cultural lifeblood remained in their homeland and they returned to create the Yaghnob National Natural Park to protect their ancient cultural landscape.
Unique in the modern world, Mongolia has ten sacred mountains protected by Presidential Decree. Honoring sacred mountains has been integral to both shamanic and Buddhist practice in Mongolia, and the country has some of the oldest officially and continuously protected sites dating back to the 13th century.
Mes Aynak is home to an ancient Buddhist city and the largest undeveloped copper deposit in the world. Of historical, cultural and spiritual importance to Afghans and Buddhists alike, the copper deposit beneath the 20 ruin sites is now under threat of mining.
Green patches of woodland dot the landscape of India — from bamboo groves on the eastern coast to clumps of trees in the northwestern deserts, and from jungles in the tropical south to dense Himalayan forests in the north.
Throughout the famed Himalayan mountains are large, hidden valleys known as beyul, places of peace and refuge revered by Tibetan Buddhists. These secret lands of legend have drawn Buddhist seekers for centuries
Winding 1,560 miles across northern India, from the Himalaya Mountains to the Indian Ocean, the Ganges River is not a sacred place: it is a sacred entity. Known as Ganga Ma—Mother Ganges—the river is revered as a goddess whose purity cleanses the sins of the faithful and aids the dead on their path toward heaven.
Dongria Kondh community councils voted to deny mining rights in their sacred Niyamgiri Hills to Vedanta Resources and forbid the company from extracting 73 million tons of bauxite from the hills.