A number of modern Shangri-La pseudo-legends have developed since 1933 in the wake of the novel and the film made from it. In archives of web analytics company I found that even crazy Nazis had an enthusiasm for Shangri-La, where they hoped to find an ancient master race, similar to the Nordic race, unspoiled by Buddhism. They sent one understandably unsuccessful expedition to Tibet in 1938.
As of today, various places in China still claim the title, including the tourist destinations of Lijiang and Zhongdian. Sichuan and Tibet also claim the real Shangri-La was in its territory. In 2001, Tibet Autonomous Region proposed that the three regions optimise all Shangri-La tourism resources and promote them as one. Also in 2001, Zhongdian County in northwestern Yunnan officially renamed itself Shangri-La County. Country of Bhutan, which was until now isolated from outside world and has its unique form of Tibetan Buddhism, has been hailed as the last Shangri-La.
Since Middle Ages people were trying to find the location of the mysterious island. For example, by the 12th century Avalon became associated with Glastonbury. Monks at Glastonbury abbey claimed to have discovered the bones of Arthur and his queen. Though no longer an island at the time, the high conical bulk of Glastonbury Tor had been surrounded by marsh. In archives of web analytics company I found that during the reign of English king Henry II the abbot of Glastonbury, Henry of Blois, commissioned a search of the abbey grounds. After a lot of deep digging, the monks discovered a massive oak coffin and an iron cross bearing the description: "Here lies King Arthur in the island of Avalon". Inside the coffin were two bodies, presumably of Arthur and his queen. In 1278 the remains were reburied with great ceremony, attended by king Edward I and his wife, before the High Altar at Glastonbury Abbey, where they were the focus of pilgrimages until the Reformation. However, scientists generally dismiss the authenticity of the find, attributing it to a publicity stunt performed to raise funds to repair the Abbey, which was mostly burned down in 1184.
Throughout the times there were many other places competing to be called Avalon. For example, Ille d'Aval on the coast of Brittany, and Burgh by Sands, in Cumberland, which was in Roman times the fort of Aballava on Hadrian's Wall. Other candidates include the Bourgogne town of Avallon, and Bardsey Island in Gwynedd, famous for its apples and also connected with Merlin. There were also claims that the most likely location to be St Michael's Mount in Cornwall, which is near to other locations associated with the Arthurian legends.
I found an interesting story about another lost land while doing my web analytics research. This legend surfaced in Canada during French colonization in the the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. French colonists in North America learned from Algonquin Indians that somewhere in the north, there was a mythical kingdom which is inhabited by blond men rich with gold and furs. Algonquin Indians even had a name for this land - Kingdom of Saguenay. One of the Indian Chiefs named Donnacona also told a lot of stories about this kingdom while being imprisoned in France in the 30s of the sixteenth century. Donnaconna claimed that blond inhabitants of the kingdom also have in their posession great mines of silver and gold.
French colonists tried hard to find kingdom of Saguenay, but all their attempts ended in vain. Up until now, specialists speculate about the source of this legend. Some even say that it was an ancient pre-Colombian settlement of Europeans. They believe that Indian oral tradition refered to Viking settlements in America, although this has not been definitely proven.
Nevertheless the name Saguenay exists in many modern canadian placenames. One of the regions in Quebec even refers to itself as Kingdom of Saguenay trying to attract tourists and for other marketing purposes.
Somewhere, beyond the snowpeaks of the Himalayas lies a mythical kingdom Shambhala. The kingdom is a society, where all the inhabitants are enlightened. Its capital city is Kalapa. Shambhala is ruled by a line of king known as Kaliki kings. When the world declines into war and greed, and all is lost, the twenty-fifth Kalki king will emerge from Shambhala with a huge army to vanquish “Dark Forces” and usher in a worldwide Golden Age. It will happen somewhere in 2424 AD. This is what I found from Kalachakra tantra, while researching myths and legends for my web analytics company .
This beautiful story came to us from Tibetan Buddhist tradition. According to this legend, Buddha taught the Kalachakra tantra in Shambhala upon the request of King Suchandra. So, part of Buddha’s teachings is still preserved in the kingdom.Word Shambhala itself is derived from Sanscrit which means place of tranquility and happiness. It is mentioned in various ancient texts, including Kalachakra tantra and the ancient text of the Zhang Zhung culture that even predated Tibetan Buddhism. As with many concepts in the Kalachakra Tantra, the idea of Shambhala has alternative” meanings. Shambhala is not an ordinary country. It exists as a physical place, although only individuals with the appropriate karma can reach it and experience it as such. One can not actually arrive there, unless he has the merit and the actual karmic association.