More than anything else, long-distance travel in the late twentieth century has opened the eyes of millions of people in the West to the rich cultural heritage of the Asian countries, and to the ability of their great belief systems to regenerate, refresh, and renew. Whether the focus is the original animist beliefs of the far-distant past or the vitality of present-day Hinduism and Buddhism, the sacred site, natural or manmade -- mountain, valley, temple, or shrine -- is a place of central importance, where heavenly and earthly energies most perfectly intersect.
Through the amazing odyssey undertaken by the master photographer Michael Freeman across thousands of miles of the Indian subcontinent and eastern Asia, the extraordinary numinous power of these sacred places is captured with a force that has never been so well expressed. Here are the greatest natural sites, from the Sagaing hills of Myanmar to the sacred mountain, Agung, in Bali. Here, too, are the great temple complexes, Angkor and Borobudur, and the intimate Shintoist shrines of Japan. The photographs are organized as journeys that reflect the historical spread of Eastern religions, yet each will feel to the reader like a personal quest.