Shambhala (also spelled Shambala or Shamballa; Tibetan: བདེ་འབྱུང་; Wylie: bde 'byung, pron. De-jung), in Tibetan Buddhist and Indian Buddhist traditions, 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, including as a basis for the fictional land of Shangri-La in James Hilton's novel Lost Horizon.
— slight adaptation of Wikipedia introduction 2013·01·29