Shangri-La is a fictional place described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton. Hilton describes Shangri-La as a mystical, harmonious valley, gently guided from a lamasery, enclosed in the western end of the Kunlun Mountains. Shangri-La has become synonymous with any earthly paradise but particularly a mythical Himalayan utopia — a permanently happy land, isolated from the outside world. In the novel, the people who live at Shangri-La are almost immortal, living years beyond the normal lifespan and only very slowly aging in appearance. Inspiration for the story is thought to have originated with legends and myths of the land of Shambhala.
— Slight adaptation of the Wikipedia introduction 2013·01·29