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Himalaya With Michael Palin

Airs Tuesdays, June 18-July 2, 2013 at 8 p.m. & 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Michael Palin on the footplate, Khyber Railway

Michael Palin with two guardians of the temple, Amritsar, India. Their robes and spears symbolise the dual nature of the Sikhs: service and defence. In the background the Harimandir (Hari is God, Mandir is temple) has 1100lb (500 kg) of gold on its walls.
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Above: Michael Palin with two guardians of the temple, Amritsar, India. Their robes and spears symbolise the dual nature of the Sikhs: service and defence. In the background the Harimandir (Hari is God, Mandir is temple) has 1100lb (500 kg) of gold on its walls.

Michael Palin washing Joiraj, an elephant, at Kaziranga National Park. "One of the great experiences of my traveling life. I’d never heard an elephant rumble with pleasure before." Kaziranga, Nagaland and Assam
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Above: Michael Palin washing Joiraj, an elephant, at Kaziranga National Park. "One of the great experiences of my traveling life. I’d never heard an elephant rumble with pleasure before." Kaziranga, Nagaland and Assam

The climax of tsechu is the unfurling of an enormous thangka that envelops an entire five-storey building. It is brought out once a year and always just before dawn to avoid damage from direct sunlight, Paro, Bhutan.
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Above: The climax of tsechu is the unfurling of an enormous thangka that envelops an entire five-storey building. It is brought out once a year and always just before dawn to avoid damage from direct sunlight, Paro, Bhutan.

The bane and bounty of Bangladesh. Millions of tons of Himalayan water meet the heaviest monsoons in the world to make Bangladesh's landscape both fertile and fragile.
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Above: The bane and bounty of Bangladesh. Millions of tons of Himalayan water meet the heaviest monsoons in the world to make Bangladesh's landscape both fertile and fragile.

Encountering new extremes of wealth and poverty, altitude and freezing cold, the ex-Python brings his unique brand of wit and wisdom with him as he travels across the roof of the world in "Himalaya With Michael Palin."

Traveling through this awe-inspiring scenery, including rich flora and fauna and dizzying switchback mountain roads, Michael visits the region's cities and makes detours to places - and people - of special interest.

From the historic Khyber Pass, Michael goes to Peshawar by steam train and walks the streets of Darra to the rattle of AK 47s.

He crosses into India, passing through troubled Kashmir, and visits Dharamsala for an audience with the Dalai Lama.

In Nepal, Michael witnesses the trials of the Gurkha recruitment, before trekking to Tibet to witness Everest's Death Zone first-hand.

After experiencing Lhasa, he heads to the nomads' annual horse festival, then through Yunan to Assam and on to Bhutan, where he is entertained by members of the royal family.

Michael's epic journey ends in Bangladesh, where the great rivers of the Himalaya disgorge into the Bay of Bengal, just in time for the monsoon.

This series originally aired in 2011.

2013 Episode Broadcast Schedule:

"North By Northwest" repeats Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 8 p.m.

"Passage By India" repeats Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 9 p.m.

"Annapurna To Everest" repeats Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at 8 p.m.

"Roof Of The World" repeats Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at 9 p.m.

"Leaping Tigers, Naked Nagas" repeats Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 8 p.m.

"Bhutan To The Bay Of Bengal" repeats Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 9 p.m.

Video

Michael Palin on the Khyber Railway

Above: Michael Palin begins his Himalayan adventure and meets some regulars on the Khyber Railway.

Video

Michael Palin in Kashmir

Above: Michael Palin explores Kashmir and discusses backpackers, Buddhism and the Dalai Lama.

Video

Michael Palin at the India-Pakistan border ceremony

Above: Fascinating footage of a traditional ceremony that takes place on the Pakistan India border.