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Kamar-Taj. Script by Denny O'Neil, art by Bill Everett.
First appearanceStrange Tales #110 (Jul 1963)
In-universe information
CharactersAncient One
PublisherMarvel Comics
CreatorsStan Lee
Steve Ditko

Kamar-Taj is a fictional location appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. It first appeared in Strange Tales #110 (July 1963) and was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. The name "Kamar-Taj" does not appear in early Lee/Ditko Doctor Strange stories, but was created later as the country's backstory was fleshed out.


In Marvel Comics, Kamar-Taj is "a hidden land high in the Himalayas"[1][2] and the homeland of Doctor Strange's mentor, the Ancient One, and of the evil sorcerer Kaluu. Strange's majordomo Wong also stems from a family of monks living in Kamar-Taj. [citation needed]

Over 500 years ago, the man who would one day become the Ancient One was born in Kamar-Taj. With his friend Kaluu, he discovered the power of magic but the two friends disagreed on how to use it to protect their village. Kaluu sought to conquer neighboring villages and build a large empire. The two cast a spell eliminating sickness, disease, and age from Kamar-Taj and shortly afterward Kaluu was crowned king by the villagers under Kaluu's mind-control spell. The Ancient One tried to stop Kaluu and in their battle, the village of Kamar-Taj was wiped out. Kaluu was banished to an alternate dimension. The Ancient One left Kamar-Taj and traveled the Earth for centuries, battling evil creatures, gaining the Amulet of Agamotto and the Book of the Vishanti. [volume & issue needed]

He finally settled down in the Himalayan Mountains near Kamar-Taj, building a palace as his home with an order of monks to protect and assist him. In a tournament organized by the sorcerer Aged Genghis, the Ancient One won the title of Earth's Sorcerer Supreme. He took a student, who would one day become Mister Jip, but banned him from his home when he found out the student had been studying the forbidden books to increase his own power. [volume & issue needed]

Feeling himself getting older and weaker, the Ancient One set out to find a student. He taught such beings as Doctor Druid and Baron Mordo but found his true apprentice in Stephen Strange, claiming that this boy would become the new Sorcerer Supreme. Mordo began to plot against Strange, though the Ancient One kept protecting him. Mordo soon left the palace and Stephen became the Ancient One's successor. The Ancient One would often assist Stephen, until Shuma-Gorath killed the Ancient One's physical body. [volume & issue needed]

In other media[edit]

  • In the 2016 film Doctor Strange, Wong is depicted as one of the Masters of Mystic Arts, tasked with protecting some of Kamar-Taj's most valuable relics and books.[3][4] Actor Benedict Wong was pleased with the changes made to the character, and described him as "a drill sergeant to Kamar-Taj" rather than a manservant, who does not practice martial arts in the film, another racial stereotype.[5] Co-writer C. Robert Cargill said that the location of Kamar-Taj was shifted from Tibet to Nepal to prevent censorship by the Chinese government.[6][7] In the film, in Kathmandu, the sorcerer Kaecilius and his followers enter the secret compound Kamar-Taj and murder its librarian. They steal a forbidden ritual from a book in the personal library of Ancient One, a sorcerer who has lived for an unknown time and taught all at Kamar-Taj, including Kaecilius, in the ways of the mystic arts.
  • Kamar-Taj also appeared in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022).[8][9] As Strange takes America Chavez to Kamar-Taj, the Masters of the Mystic Arts fortify the place in preparation for Wanda Maximoff's assault with a magical shield and various other defenses. However, Maximoff's telepathy targets a sorcerer and disables their magic, causing the shield to collapse, and allowing her to destroy Kamar-Taj's resistance. In the end, after Maximoff's defeat, Kamar-Taj is rebuilt again, and Chavez begins her training in the mystic arts.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lee, Stan; O'Neil, Denny (September 1966). "The Origin of the Ancient One!". Strange Tales (148 ed.). Marvel Comics Group. p. 2.
  2. ^ Shayo, Lukas (April 16, 2023). "10 Marvel Cities That Make Great Vacation Spots". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2024-02-01.
  3. ^ Couto, Anthony (July 6, 2016). ""Doctor Strange" Prequel Comic Hints At Movie Secrets, Introduces Another Marvel Villain". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on 2016-07-21. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
  4. ^ Sciretta, Peter (September 27, 2016). "Kevin Feige On How 'Doctor Strange' Will Change The Marvel Universe [On Set Interview]". /Film. Archived from the original on September 28, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  5. ^ Mellor, Louisa (June 27, 2016). "Exclusive: Benedict Wong on new direction of his Doctor Strange role". Den of Geek. Archived from the original on June 28, 2016. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  6. ^ White, Mark D. (2018). Doctor Strange and Philosophy: The Other Book of Forbidden Knowledge. John Wiley & Sons. p. 83. ISBN 978-1-119-43794-9.
  7. ^ "'India's Rama takes on China's Dragon': Taiwan News' unique 'photo of the day'". Free Press Journal. 17 June 2020. Retrieved 18 June 2020. Before that, China got Disney to drop Tibet from Doctor Strange's origin story and shifted Kamar Taj from Tibet to Nepal.
  8. ^ McNary, Dave (December 11, 2018). "'Doctor Strange' Director Scott Derrickson to Return for Sequel". Variety. Archived from the original on December 12, 2018. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  9. ^ McClintock, Pamela; Couch, Aaron (April 24, 2020). "'Spider-Man' Sequel Delays Release to November 2021 Amid Sony Date Shuffle". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 24, 2020. Retrieved April 24, 2020.

Further reading[edit]