55 user 50 critic

Himalaya (1999)

Himalaya - l'enfance d'un chef (original title)
1:48 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

An aging chief's last stand, lessons for the new, and the education of a young chief-to-be played against harsh Nature in Nepal's Dolpo. When his son dies returning from Tibet's salt lakes,... See full summary »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Thilen Lhondup Thilen Lhondup ... Tinle
Gurgon Kyap Gurgon Kyap ... Karma
Lhakpa Tsamchoe ... Pema
Karma Wangel Karma Wangel ... Passang
Karma Tensing Karma Tensing ... Norbou / Urgien
Labrang Tundup Labrang Tundup ... Labrang
Jampa Kalsang Tamang Jampa Kalsang Tamang ... Jampa
Tsering Dorjee Tsering Dorjee ... Rabkie
Rapke Gurung Rapke Gurung ... Tundup
Pemba Bika Pemba Bika ... Tensing
Karma Chhewang Karma Chhewang ... Meme / Paljor
Tenzen Charka Tenzen Charka ... Chopga
Yangzom Yangzom ... Dawa
Gyalsen Gurung Gyalsen Gurung ... Chewan
Phuti Bika Phuti Bika ... Deld


An aging chief's last stand, lessons for the new, and the education of a young chief-to-be played against harsh Nature in Nepal's Dolpo. When his son dies returning from Tibet's salt lakes, Tinle blames Karma, his son's friend, refuses to give Karma his blessing as the new chief, and organizes a rival caravan to take the salt to lower Nepal to trade for grain. He, a few old men, his son's widow, his grandson, and his second son, a monk, set out on the arduous journey. Fearing storms, Karma has led his caravan out of the village before the auspicious day ordained by the lamas. Tinle's group catches Karma's before the final pass; the two stubborn men lock wills with Tinle's grandson watching. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In a world of breathtaking beauty unfolds a classic tale of wisdom and adventure. See more »




See all certifications »



France | Switzerland | UK | Nepal



Release Date:

22 June 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Himalaya See more »

Filming Locations:

Dolpo Valley, Nepal


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,831, 1 April 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,481,690, 21 April 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS-Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The director, in the commentary on the DVD, says that he was inspired by the book "Caravan Towards Buddha" by Andre Migot. This book was titled "CARAVANE VERS BOUDDHA" when it was published in 1954, but can now only be found under its alternate (English) title, "Tibetan Marches" (translated by Peter Fleming). See also "Au Tibet sur les traces du Bouddha (Collection Itinéraires)" by André Migot. See more »


Karma: We're almost there. We can't part now that we've just met.
Tinle: We've always been together. We wanted the same thing.
See more »


Referenced in Cinemania (2002) See more »


Le Lac
Vocals by Tsering Lodoe, A. Filetta, and Lama Karma Gyurmed (as Lama Gyurme)
Music Composed and orchestrated by Bruno Coulais
(P) & © 1999 Galatée Films
Label: Varèse Sarabande
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Real People, Rugged Place
31 August 2007 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

The film, set in a remote Himalayan village in Nepal, is gorgeous start-to-finish, a labor of love by those who made it over a long period of time. The cinematography gets a lot of good "press," and rightfully so, but what I really enjoyed was the soundtrack. I expected the good visuals, and got them, but I didn't expect such wonderful music.

As for the look, it's different, with rugged barren mountain village terrain and snow-topped Himalayas in background, although we don't enjoy those until almost 50 minutes into the film.

What's really different, however is the fact the film employed no professional actors. These were real people of that area! They also faces you won't soon forget.

As for the story, the treks don't begin until 45 minutes has gone by in the film. You have to be patient. Much of that first part, people argue back and forth on the merits of making the trip and who would and should be going. Finally, we wind up with two separate camps: the younger guy "Karma" and his crowd and the older man, "Tinle," who takes his son, grandchild and his mother,and mainly older friends of the stubborn old coot of a leader.

Old man Tinle does nothing but bitch and moan most of the movie but people do their share of complaining to him, too. Yet, I found nobody unlikable for some strange reason. Most of the time, nobody in this village appears happy. These people must love to argue!

As one man say, speaking of Tinle: "Trying to talk to him is like trying to stop the snow from falling."

I liked the following: when asked why he changed his mind about going on the trip with Tinle, his son and lama-artist "Norbou,"" told his father, "After you left the monastery, I remembered what one of my masters said: "when two paths open up before you, always take the hard one."

I also thought the yaks were fascinating. . I'd like to know more about them after watching this movie.

Overall, it's a dramatic and touching adventure story. that will reward you if you can hang with it for first three-quarters of an hour. It also will make you grateful you weren't born in this part of the country.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 55 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed