A Guide To The Tibetan Mummy
- Almost all Tibetan mummies are preserved in the sitting rather than the reclining posture and housed in shrines called chortens or chokdens
- Most mummies are ‘natural’, preserved by cold and weather. They are mostly bodies of monks who’ve willed themselves to death
- For ‘non-natural’ mummies, clay or salt is used for preservation
Mountains are said to hide many a secret in their folds. Few, for instance, know of the ‘Shahrukh Khan’ of Gue village in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh. Shahrukh is the local police’s affectionate nickname for the village’s star attraction—the mummy of Tibetan monk Sangha Tenzin. The residents of this remote village offer prayers, perform rituals and read scriptures in front of the dead monk, frozen in an eternal squatting pose.