Patterned after the fictional Shangri-La and the real Nanga Parbat in Pakistan, Nanda Parbat is a hidden city nestled high in the mountains of Tibet; it is said to be a place of healing and enlightenment watched over by the goddess-like figure Rama Kushna and her monks. As in Shangri-La, time moves differently in Nanda Parbat; one can leave the city to find that less time has passed in the outside world.
Rama Kushna is most famous as the entity responsible for turning aerialist Boston Brand into the ghostly Deadman. As her spiritual agent, Brand wanders the Earth possessing the bodies of the living and doing good works, in the hopes of finding eventual access to paradise. Deadman has returned to Nanda Parbat on occasion to defend it against attackers such as The Sensei of the League of Assassins, an aged warrior at one time possessed by Jonah, another of Rama's former agents.
A map had been used to reach this place in the story arc The Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul written by Grant Morrison and Paul Dini. The so-called "invisible map" is supposedly composed of seven pieces, including a tattoo, a scrap of parchment, a poem and a birthmark.
Rama Kushna and Nanda Parbat have also played a role in the lives of other DC Comics characters:
Nanda Parbat was home to Judomaster prior to his joining the team known as the L.A.W. It is responsible for him remaining as youthful as he was in the 1940s.
The Crimson Avenger spent time in Nanda Parbat, seeking meaning in the senseless acts of violence he witnessed in World War I. During his convalescence, he received a vision of the future and witnessed the death of Superman (as depicted in Golden Age Secret Files #1).
During a visit to Nanda Parbat, Deadman briefly returned to his human form and was infected by the Sensei with a poison that rendered him suggestible. When he returned to his ghostly state, one of Sensei's men sent Deadman to attack Batman while Sensei and the League prepared to destroy Nanda Parbat. Batman was able to convince Deadman to lead him and Boston's brother Cleve to Nanda Parbat, and Batman and Cleve saved the city and discovered the antidote for the poison.
Later in 52, Ralph Dibny journeys to Nanda Parbat, seeking an audience with Rama Kushna and a way to resurrect his late wife, Sue. A member of the Great Ten, the Accomplished Perfect Physician, is also shown seeking inner peace in the hidden city.
In Batman #663, Batman uses a mantra or prayer over a dead man he learned in Nanda Parbat. Also in the same issue he enters the state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi using a technique learned in Nanda Parbat to find the hidden or occult pattern to the Joker's recent murders.
In Blackest NightDeadman tries to recover his own body in Nanda Parbat but is rejected several times, so he uses other Black Lanterns' bodies trying to discover how to use his own body and how to destroy the Black Lanterns. Phantom Stranger helps him and they enter to Nanda Parbat.
In Detective Comics Annual #12 Renee Montoya goes to Nanda Parbat trying to get rid of the Mark of Cain, Richard Dragon let her to Penemue who tried to get the mark for himself.
In Superman: Grounded, Part Eight, the city is mentioned in a flashback- depicting Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne's first meeting with each other during the period when both are travelling the world prior to assuming their costumed identities-, dealing with Vandal Savage and his attempt to find Nanda Parbat, referred to as "The Shifting City".
In Justice League Dark #13, the Books of Magic are hidden in Nanda Parbat, which Faust and Dr Mist acknowledge that it's a place of great power. Brand also mentions that he's already been there.
Nanda Parbat is mentioned in the series "Arrow." It is the place where Malcolm Merlyn and Sarah Lance both received their training in the League of Assassins under Ra's al Ghoul.
In the episode "Dead Reckoning" of the Justice League Unlimited television show, Batman reveals that he studied with a martial arts master in a monastery in Nanda Parbat, and enlists the help of Deadman, who lives in said city, to avenge the martial arts master's murder. It is seen that all the monks died due to the Secret Society of Supervillains, but they are revived since they stopped their plans.
In the episode "Dead to Rights" of the Arrow television show, Malcolm Merlyn reveals that, during his two year disappearance following his wife's murder, he met a man in Nanda Parbat that helped him find a purpose for his life, also implying that it was there where he learned his fighting skills. In the following season, they reveal this is the home of the League of Assassins, and confirm that Ra's Al Ghul was the man who trained him, as well as also training Sara Lance, resulting in her becoming the show's incarnation of Black Canary. Nanda Parbat is described as being hot by Sara and is finally seen as being somewhere in a Middle Eastern desert with the temple being built into a cliff.