Aumism is a religious movement founded in 1969 by Gilbert Bourdin, “cosmoplanetary messiah”. Aumism is presented by its members as the synthesis of all existing religions whose main dogma is “the Unity of the faces of God”, which means that God is unique and the same for all regardless of the beliefs of each.

Gilbert Bourdin established the world headquarters of his cult at the monastery of Mandarom Shambhasalem (43° 53′ 39″ N, 6° 30′ 36″ E) which is located in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France, on the Castillon lake. The building is located in the mountain, at an altitude of 1,200 m, and was known for the immense statue of the leader which dominated it, finally destroyed by the authorities after his death.

The holy city of Mandarom Shambhasalem was founded in 1969, about 50 kilometres northwest of Cannes. Bourdin progressively built a number of temples and statues between 1977 and 1990. Amongst these is a 22-metre statue of Buddha Maitreya, constructed in 1981, and a 21-metre statue of “Cosmic Christ” wielding a sword and shield, constructed in 1987. In 1990, a 33-meter statue of Bourdin was constructed at Mandarom. The legitimacy of the building permit was later challenged, and eventually, in June 2000, the statue was deemed illegal after a long legal dispute. As a result, it was demolished by the authorities on 6 September 2001. The sect denounced the demolition of Bourdin’s statue, saying that it was comparable to the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamyan by the Taliban in Afghanistan earlier in the year.

Working days

Tuesday Closed
Wednesday Closed
Thursday Closed
Friday Closed
Saturday 3:30–5 PM
Sunday 3:30–5 PM
Monday Closed

Address: 04120 Castellane, France.

Shortest distances by car

From Paris: 9 hr (794 km) via A6

From Marseille: 2 hr 20 min (180 km) via A51

From Nice: 1 hr 50 min (104 km) via Rte de Grenoble

From Toulouse: 5 hr 38 min (535 km) via A61 and A9

From Monaco: 2 hr 3 min (120 km) via Rte de Grenoble

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