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Shambhala, also known as Shangri-La, is a mythical city featured in Among Thieves. It has a near-tropical climate despite its hidden location within the Himalayas, and contains the largely dilapidated ruins of a past civilization. It harbors the fabled Cintamani Stone, as well as the Tree of Life, and is thoroughly defended by the guardians, the remnants of the original inhabitants.

"The Lost City" is a multiplayer map based on the city ruins within the "Broken Paradise" chapter.


Very little information is given on the history of Shambhala throughout the game. One can only deduce from the following facts:

  • It was already a relic by Marco Polo's time, meaning the site was built well before the 13th century.
  • The architecture style is clearly Tibetan, similar to the buildings found in modern day Tibet / Nepal. This, along with the fact that the facilities (like the monastery) and mechanism (like the pray wheels coded in Tibetan characters) used to conceal Shambhala's existence have clear Tibetan root, indicate the city was most likely constructed by ancestors of modern Tibetan people.

Another interesting fact is that Drake discovered human remains that carried AK-47s within Shambhala. It is a clear hint that:

  • Others have successfully breached into Shambhala after the Nazis and before the event of Among Thieves, since AK47 is a post-war Soviet design introduced in 1947.
  • Although supposedly only accessible with the Phurba via the secret tunnel at the old monastery, there could be other ways in. As the guardian scarecrows supposedly live in the city. As well in the Himalayas.

The site is seemingly built around the Tree of Life as its center. Due to the violent, explosive destruction of the Tree triggered by Drake, Shambhala was mostly, if not entirely destroyed in an earthquake-like fashion by the conclusion of Among Thieves.


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The site that would become shambhala was found inside of a vast, and expansive river valley hidden within the Himalayas. Based upon the lush forest & the lack of warm clothing on the guardians within the valley. The valley was home to a great deal of geological activity. Which allowed it to stay warm, and promote jungle growth. As well as allowing animals such as blue grandala’s, and possibly others to survive without succumbing to hypothermia. It is also worth noting that the valley was home to valuable materials such as gold. As most, if not all of the buildings are endowed with some form of gold material incorporated in them.

City ruins[]

Once a thriving & revered land of fortune. Now has become a tortured landscape ruled by monsters, and flora. Much of the city has become overgrown with moss, plant-life, and roots from the tree of life. A bridge of stone & gold hundreds of feet tall connects the center of the city to the entrance. Allowing clear & relatively quick entry to the tree of life, and the Cintamani stone. A vast variety of the buildings have gold spires, and Tibetan prayer flags connected to various buildings, and atop pathways. Judging by layout & design of the city. People lived peacefully together, helping each other when needed, and praying fervently for the “gift” of the stone. A stone made of amber that was produced from the tree of life. Which had connections all over the city, and the valley itself.

Cintamani Stone temple[]

A revered & considered one of the most holy regions in the world by the people of shambhala. Here resides the fossilized Cintamani stone. A light aqua blue amalgation of amber inside of a tree that was revered by all. It can be assumed judging by the pool’s healing properties, and the amount of time needed to craft such an ornate city. The pool was most likely used sparingly to heal citizens, and increase their longevity. Evident by the worship of the stone, and the legends surrounding it.

Tree of Life area[]

Behind the Scene[]

  • "Shambhala" is originally a Tibetan Buddhist legend of a natural sanctuary isolated from the outside world. Its concept has been popularized by popular literature and movies such as Lost Horizon. In some iterations, it is a biologically self-sustained cave.
  • In-game, open sky and the Sun can be seen from Shambhala. While fans have argued over the plausibility that such an open location can stay undetected in presence of modern aerial and satellite imaging, there are reports from credible source which supports such discovery may not be entirely impossible.