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Mihrab (prayer niche) from the tomb of Imamzada Yahya
Ilkhanid period, dated Sha’ban 663 A.H. (1265 AD)
Iran (Kashan)
Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art
Photo by Shuzo Uemoto
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by N.F. Karlins

Plenty of people have discovered, or thought they discovered, the inspiration for Shangri La, that mythic, isolated land of eternal youth and peace in James Hilton’s 1933 novel of the same name. Shangri La has turned up in China, Tibet and even Pakistan.


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