The popular religion as practised here represents a curious mix of Shaivite Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Bon, the pre–Buddhist religious tradition of ancient Tibet. What is particularly striking about this system is its harmonious blend of many faiths and traditions. The syncretic religious practices of the people of this remote mountainous belt neighbouring Tibet have made for a religious tolerance unknown in most other parts of India. Hindus and Buddhists freely worship in each other’s temples and consult each other’s priests. In Kinnaur, where most people keep Hindu names, it is customary for all villages to have both a Hindu as well as a Buddhist temple. Each Kinnauri house, whether Hindu or Buddhist, has at its entrance a long pole fluttering with flags containing sacred Tibetan Buddhist mantras to ward off evil spirits.