by Vladimir SHATKO, Cand. Sc. (Biol.), Svetlana POTAPOVA, Cand. Sc. (Biol.), senior research assistants of the Main Botanical Gardens named after N. Tsitsin, RAS, Viktor FROLOV, Dr. Sc. (Philos.), deputy director general of the Museum of N. Roerich (Moscow)
Our outstanding compatriots, the painter, traveler and writer Nikolai Roerich and his sons Svyatoslav, painter, and Yuri, orientalist, lived and worked in India in the 1930s-1940s. In Naggar (Kullu) they set up the Institute of Himalayan Studies (International Scientific Center)- Urusvati, which cooperated with such outstanding scientists from different countries as Albert Einstein, Louis de Broglie, Nikolai Vavilov and others. At present, due to the efforts of the International Center of the Roerichs (Moscow), staff members of the Main Botanical Gardens named after N. Tsitsin, RAS, the Zoological Museum of Lomonosov Moscow State University and Indian colleagues, scientific studies are reviving there: the authors collected materials for this article when studying plants of Nikolai Roerich's estate in Naggar in 2010-2011 and documents from the archives of the International Roerich Center.
The Himalayas are the highest mountains in the world. There is a picturesque Kullu Valley in their northwestern part, located in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh (it is also called the Valley of 360 gods). It spreads from north to south along 80 km, now widening up to 2-3 km, now narrowing till a narrow canyon. The rapid Beas river runs along its bottom. The tops of surrounding ridges are crowned with snow caps and the slopes are covered with thick forests with Deodar cedar predominating.
The Kullu Valley is first mentioned in the ancient Makha-bkharata, the characters of which began their way from there. Long ago it was regarded as an end of the world, but from the late 19th century it became a resort, where British officers used to take their families to rest.
It is not accidental that here, in ... Read more