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Tibet Shambhala Resources
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Tibet Shambhala Resources

In Tibetan Buddhist and Indian Buddhist traditions, Shambhala (also spelled Shambala or Shamballa) is a mythical kingdom hidden somewhere in Inner Asia. It is mentioned in various ancient texts, including the Kalachakra Tantra and the ancient texts of the Zhang Zhung culture which predated Tibetan Buddhism in western Tibet. The Bön scriptures speak of a closely related land called Olmolungring.

Whatever its historical basis, Shambhala gradually came to be seen as a Buddhist Pure Land, a fabulous kingdom whose reality is visionary or spiritual as much as physical or geographic. It was in this form that the Shambhala myth reached the West, where it influenced non-Buddhist as well as Buddhist spiritual seekers — and, to some extent, popular culture in general.

In the Buddhist Kalachakra teachings

Rigden Takpa or Manjushríkírti, King of Shambhala

Main article: Kalachakra

Sambhala (this is the form found in the earliest Sanskrit manuscripts of Kalacakra texts; the Tibetans usually transliterated this as "Shambhala"; Tib. bde 'byung) is a Sanskrit term of uncertain derivation. Commonly it is understood to be a "place of peace/tranquility/happiness". Shakyamuni Buddha is said to have taught the Kalachakra tantra on request of King Suchandra of Shambhala; the teachings are also said to be preserved there. Shambhala is believed to be a society where all the inhabitants are enlightened, actually a Buddhist Pure Land, centered by a capital city called Kalapa.


The Buddhist myth of Shambhala is an adaptation of the earlier Hindu myth of Kalki of Sambhala found in the Mahabharata and the Puranas. The Buddhist version may be a mythologization of an actual culture, whose geographical location can be found either in Central or Far Eastern Asia (China).

Shambhala is ruled over by a line of Kings of Shambhala known as Kalki Kings (Tib. Rigden), monarchs who uphold the integrity of the Kalachakra tantra. The Kalachakra prophesies that when the world declines into war and greed, and all is lost, the 25th Kalki king will emerge from Shambhala with a huge army to vanquish "Dark Forces" and usher in a worldwide Golden Age. Using calculations from the Kalachakra Tantra, scholars such as Alex Berzin put this date at 2424 AD. 

Tibetan cultural hotel with Shambhala Resources: House of Shambhala or Shambhala Palace.