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Academic Studies
Art & Iconography
Bardo: Intermediate State
Block Print Images
Calligraphy & Scripts
Essays & Articles
Exhibitions Worldwide
Glossary Resources
Jataka Stories
Mural Paintings & Site Locations
Museums (Asia)
Museums (Europe)
Museums (North America)
Photo Exhibits
Scholars Worldwide
Stupa: Sacred Reliquary
Symbols (Buddhist)
Texts & Manuscripts
Topic Outline Pages

(2002) The Silk Road at the Freer Sackler Galleries
Freer-Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian.

(2007) Marvels of the Malla Period
Now Through June 1, 2008. Marvels of the Malla Period: A Nepalese Renaissance 1200?1603. In this exhibition, the Museum presents masterpieces from its outstanding collection of rarely seen Malla Period art. Vibrant Buddhist ritual paintings burst with energy, a marvelous goddess coyly dances, and golden Hindu and Buddhist sculptures regally invite adoration.

(2007-2009) Tibetan Arms and Armor from the Permanent Collection
Metropolitan Museum of Art.

* Arhat Bibliography (HAR)

* Himalayan Art Resources Main Glossary
A general glossary of common Himalayan art terms both technical and general.

* Manjushri & Wutaishan Mountain (HAR)

** Bon Religion & Culture Technical Glossary (HAR)
A glossary sensitive to the subtleties of the Bon religion and unique terminolgy.

** Mahasiddha Technical Glossary (HAR)
Specifically listing the specialized words and topics relating to the study of mahasiddhas in art.

*Museums & Institutions (Outline Page)
A listing of all the museums and institutions represented on the HAR web site.

A Kushan-period Sculpture from the reign of Jaya Varman, A.D. 185
By Kashinath Tamot and Ian Alsop.

A New Ceiling for the Roof of the World
Mustang: Thubchen Gompa. By Broughton Coburn.

A Thang ka Portrait of 'Bri gung rin chen dpal, 'Jig rten gsum mgon (1143-1217)
by Amy Heller. Abstract: With this thang ka one can categorically identify ?Jig rten mgon po, also known as ?Bri gung rin chen dpal or ?Jig rten gsum mgon (1143-1217), as the principal subject of a thang ka due to the fact that the inscription is written on the reverse of the canvas.

A Virtual Museum: Himalayan Art Resources
Buddhadharma: The Practitioner's Quarterly, Summer, 2005. In 1997, Shelley and Donald Rubin, longtime collectors of Himalayan art, decided it was time to make more of this richly detailed and largely sacred art available on the Internet.

Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajnāpāramitā Manuscript from the Yarlung Museum
by Eva Allinger. This Manuscript was on display from 19 August to 26 November 2006 This Manuscript was on display from 19 August to 26 November 2006 during "Tibet - Kl?ster ?ffnen ihre Schatzkammern", an exhibition at Villa H?gel, Essen. It is catalogued as No. 26, pp. 219-225.

Akara : A Quest For Perfect Form
From the Lentsa and the Wartu scripts that Thonmi Sambhota and his co-scholars brought to Tibet about the 7th century A.D., are descended the chief styles of Tibetan writing.

AMNH Quick Guide
A quick reference to all Himalayan and Central Asian art at the American Museum of Natural History.

An Early Stone Fragment from Central Nepal
A bodhisattva and a guardian figure by Thomas J. Pritzker.

The Ancient Amulets of Tibet: Thogchags
A collection of Miniature Masterpieces. By John Vincent Bellezza.

Animal Headed Gods & Deities
Some deities are depicted with animal heads or faces representing the special qualities of those animals, or in some instances encapsulating an important narrative story.

Arhat: Painting Sets
An attempt to organize and re-assemble all of the separated and broken sets of Arhat paintings scattered around the world.

Arhats: Worthy Ones
Arhats divided up by individual, sets, styles and more.

The Art of Conservation
Coming out of the closet about subjectivity and contradictions in an architect's conservation practice. By Erich Theophile.

Auspicious Carpets: A Tibetan View of Aesthetics
Asian Art Website. This article first appeared in The Nepalese-Tibetan Carpet, edited by John Frederick, a special issue for the carpet trade published by Nepal Traveller, January 1993.

Avadana Stories
The Avadana stories: the previous lives of the Buddha and stories about the previous lives of his students and detractors.

Avalokiteshvara: Iconographic Forms
A look at the many different forms and appearances of Avalokiteshvara.

Bardo Deities: Peaceful & Wrathful
In Tibetan Buddhism Peaceful and Wrathful deities and Bardo deities are often the same.

Beijing, China (Outline Page)
Himalayan art, Museums, and a white marble Bodhgaya temple along with other art things to see in Beijing.

Block Print Images
Prints are an important resource in the study of iconography because of the large sets of images produced. Many tangka painting sets and all prayer flag prints are made initially from wood blocks either directly applied or by using a ponce.

Blue Annals by Go Lotsawa Zhonnu Pal
The Blue Annals (deb ther sngon po) is one of the most famous and important of Tibetan historical surveys. Its focus is on the history of the spread of Tibetan Buddhism, and it is remarkable for its ecumenical scope covering many different sectarian traditions. The author, Translator G?lo Zh?nnupel ('gos lo gzhon nu dpal, 1392-1481), composed this work in only a few years, completing it in 1476 at age 84.

From the point of view of Himalayan art a bodhisattva is a term used to describe a peaceful god-like appearance based on the gods and deities of the classic Hindu pantheon.

Bon Art Topics
An overview of Bon religious and cultural art; painting, sculpture, wood carving, etc.

Bon Deities
Bon deities, like Buddhist and Hindu, are complex and confusing. This is a basic breakdown into peaceful, wrathful, male, female and protectors.

Bon Hats
Hats are a very important means of distinguishing different religious traditions and hierarchy.

Bon Religion
A survey of common art objects of the Bon religion and culture.

Book Covers
Book Covers are wooden boards, often decoratively carved and painted, serving as the top and bottom protective covers for folio manuscripts and block printed books from India to Siberia.

Borobudur Stupa
Borobudur was constructed during the 8th century as a guide to the Noble Path of the Buddha.

Buddhas, Who Are They?
The historical Buddha is somewhat understood, but who are all these other Buddhas? An attempt is made to categorize other Buddhas commonly represented in art.

Buddhism and the Arts
Buddhist Studies: A Select Bibliography.

Buddhism and Buddhist Art by Vidya Dehejia
Metropolitan Museum of Art Essay Topics.

Buddhist Art & Architecture: Symbolism of the Stupa / Chorten
The perfect proportions of the Buddha's body corresponds to the design of religious monuments.

Buddhist Artifacts as the Support of Spiritual Realization
Enlightened Journey: Buddhist Practice as Daily Life. By Tulku Thondup, edited by Harold Talbot. Shambhala: Boston London, 2001.

Buddhist Symbolism

Buddhist Symbols (interactive)

Buddhist Symbols (line drawings)

Buddhist Symbols/Iconography

China Exploration & Research Society (CERS) and Kham Aid Foundation

China: Palace Museum, Beijing

Chortens in Amdo by Rob Linrothe
Architectural reliquaries housing relics are known in Tibetan as chortens, and in Sanskrit as either stupas or chaityas. In the region of northeast ethnographic Tibet known as Amdo, there are chortens in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles.

Chronological Conundrums in the Life of Khyung po rnal 'byor: Hagiography and Historical Time
by Matthew T. Kapstein.

Composition in Painting
There are approximately twelve different subject compositions in Himalayan art. If these twelve are understood then all Himalayan and Tibetan painting can be recognized and identified.

Conservation & Digitalisation of Rolled Palm Leaf Manuscripts in Nepal
Naoko Takagi, Yoriko Chudo, Reiko Maeda (Members of Paper Conservators Asia Unlimited).

Conservation Notes on Some Nepalese Paintings
A report on five Nepalese paintings which have undergone conservation by Mary Shepherd Slusser.

The Conservation of Tibetan Thangkas
A group of five symposium papers.

Couples in Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art Essay Topics.

Couples in Art
It is common to see Shiva and Parvati as a couple but not always so for other figures in the Himalayan pantheon of deities and gods. Here is the short list of paired male and female partners and lovers.

CT Scans in Art Work Appraisal
This article was previously published in Art Tribal, Winter 2003, n?4, p.116-131.

Cultural Synthesis in the Buddhist Art of China
Cultural Synthesis in the Buddhist Art of China. Arputharani Sengupta.

Dalai Lama of Tibet
Sonam Gyatso (1543-1588) was the first to bear the title Dalai Lama, a line of successively re-incarnating teachers in Tibetan Buddhism. Gedun Drub and Gedun Gyatso, referred to as the first and second Dalai Lamas, were posthumously recognized as his predecessors. It was the 5th Dalai Lama, also known as the Great 5th, Ngagwang Lobzang Gyatso (1617-1682) that unified Tibet once again into a powerful empire and established the Ganden Podrang Government.

The Decoration of Tibetan Arms and Armor
Metropolitan Museum of Art Essay Topics.

Demons and Deities: Masks of the Himalayas
Part I: Tribal and Shamanic masks. Part II: The Spread of Buddhism. By Thomas Murray. Photography by Don Tuttle.

The Development & Symbolism of Tibetan Buddhist Art & Iconography
by Peter Della Santina.

Devi: The Great Goddess
Freer-Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian.

Divination and prognostication are important tools for determining a course of action or diagnosing an illness. There are many systems and techniques requiring such things as visualization, prayer beads, dice, a mountain lake, or even a sheep's shoulder blade.

Early Portrait Painting in Tibet
The function and meaning of Buddhist art, by Jane Casey Singer.

Eight Auspicious Symbols

The Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism

Ekajati: Single Braid
Ekajati was originally a semi-wrathful Indian Buddhist goddess. In Tibetan Buddhism she sheds her Indian appearance and adopts a new form characterized by one eye, one tooth and sometimes one breast and one leg.

Elements of Newar Buddhist Art
By Gautama V. Vajracharya.

Encyclopedia for Epics of Ancient India
An excellent resource for information on names and stories in the Indian classics.

Field of Accumulation
Field of Accumulation: often mistakenly translated from Tibetan to English as Refuge Tree because of confusion with the Tibetan word shing meaning tree and zhing meaning field, region or realm. The correct translation is Field of Accumulation or Refuge Field.

Freer-Sackler Quick Guide
Freer + Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian, quick guide. A quick reference to all Himalayan and Central Asian art at the Freer + Sackler Galleries.

A look at the many different forms and appearances of Ganapati from the Buddhist and Hindu Traditions.

Garuda: The King of Birds
The Garuda is famous as the vehicle/companion of the Hindu god Vishnu, however the Garuda is also found in Buddhism and the Bon religion.

Gelugpa Buddhist Tradition
The Gelugpa Tradition is one of the four principal Schools of Tibetan Buddhism. It was founded by Lama Tsongkapa (1357-1419) who established the Ganden Monastery which became the principal seat of the school.

Gelugpa Hats
Hats are a very important means of distinguishing different religious traditions and hierarchy.

General Buddhist Symbols

The Giant Thangkas of Tsurphu Monastery
Giant silk applique hangings for public display and worship, by Terris Temple and Leslie Nguyen.

Guanyin & Avalokiteshvara

Guhyasamaja: Buddhist Deity
A look at the many different forms and appearances of Guhyasamaja: blue Akshobhyavajra, oranage Manjuvajra and red Lokeshvara.

Guruyoga Images in Buddhist Tantric Traditions
Unique to Tantric Buddhism, guruyoga paintings are generally idealized depictions of religious teachers for the purposes of devotional meditation practice.

Handprints & Footprints
Handprints and footprints in Buddhist art, from India through the Himalayas and Tibet, to Wutaishan mountain in China.

HAR Site Map (black & white)
A black and white site map for those that like simplicity.

HAR Site Map (colour)
A colour site map for those that like colour.

Hats of the Himalayas
Hats are a very important means of distinguishing different religious traditions and hierarchy.

Hats, Miscellaneous
Hats are a very important means of distinguishing different religious traditions and hierarchy.

Hayagriva: Horse Headed Deity
A look at the many different forms and appearances of the horse headed Hayagriva: Secret Accomplishment, Very Secret, Heruka, Black, etc.

Hevajra Tantra & Related Subjects
A look at the many different forms and appearances of Hevajra, the source texts and related deities.

Hindu Gods & Deities
The Hindu gods, male and female and other subjects commonly found in Himalayan art.

Hindu Religion
The important Hindu subjects represented in Himalayan art: painting, sculpture, ritual objects and illuminations.

Hinduism and Hindu Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art Essay Topics.

Huntington Archive Quick Guide
The John C. and Susan L. Huntington Photographic Archive of Buddhist and Related Art contains nearly 300,000 original color slides and black and white and color photographs of art and architecture throughout Asia. Countries covered in the collection include India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar (Burma), China, and Japan.

Iconography Source Texts
Lists and inventories of popular collections of deity practices and protector rituals.

Iconography: Deities
The most common, popular or interesting deities of Hinduism, Buddhism and the Bon religion.

Iconography: Subjects
The principal themes and subjects found in paintings and sculpture along with ritual objects, dance, prints, etc.

Icons of Cultural Linkage
Icons of Cultural Linkage. D.C. Bhattacharya

Illuminated Manuscripts & Calligraphy
Illuminations are small or miniature paintings, often figures or narrative scenes, used to decorate the pages of books. Calligraphy is the study of writing systems.

Images of Earth and Water
Tsa Tsa: the Tsa-Tsa Votive Tablets of Tibet by Juan Li.

Images of Lost Civilization
The Ancient Rock Art of Upper Tibet by John Vincent Bellezza.

Incarnation Lineage Paintings
Depictions of lines of incarnate teachers in sets of paintings is very common and made more common by the widespread copying of popular sets from locations such as Nartang, Tibet.

India: Tibet House Museum, New Delhi (Quick Guide)
A quick reference to all paintings, sculpture and ritual objects in the Tibet House Museum, New Delhi, India.

Introduction to the Art of Mongolia
Art work from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries by Terese Tse Bartholomew.

Jambhala, Wealth Deity
A look at the many different forms and appearances of the wealth deity Jambhala: yellow, white, red and black, solitary, in union, etc.

Jataka Stories
The Jataka (Birth) stories, the previous lives of Shakyamuni Buddha. The stories read like parables and many of the central characters are animals.

Kagyu Hats
Hats are a very important means of distinguishing different religious traditions and hierarchy. The Kagyu Traditions seem to have more styles of hats than any of the other Tibetan traditions.

Kagyu, Marpa, Buddhist Tradition
The Marpa Kagyu, or Kagyu School, is one of the four major Buddhist Traditions of Tibet. It was founded by Marpa Chokyi Lodro, the Translator (1012-1096).

Kagyu: Karma Kagyu Hats
Hats are a very important means of distinguishing different religious traditions and hierarchy: Karmapa, Shamar, Situ, Gyatsab and Nenang Pawo.

Kalachakra Bibliography
Originally published as Berzin, Alexander. Taking the Kalachakra Initiation. Ithaca, Snow Lion, 1997.

Kalachakra: The Wheel of Time
A look at the many different forms and appearances of Kalachakra, Shambhala, lineage teachers and the protector Vajravega.

Karmapa: Incarnation Lineage
The Karmapas are a line of successive teachers acknowledged as the first lineage of reincarnating lamas in Tibetan Buddhism. The main seat of the Karmapa is Tsurpu Monastery, north-west of Lhasa, and the specific tradition is known as the Kamtsang Kagyu (Karma Kagyu).

Kathmandu City Map: Panoramic and Interactive
Guaranteed to entertain.

Kathmandu University Department of Music
A Short Introduction by Gert-Matthias Wegner.

Kings: Buddhist, Hindu & Bon
Kings are an important subject type found in painting and sculpture of Himalayan art. Depicted as royal figures, Kings wear turban-like crowns, layered in sumptuous robes and boots, and sit on lavish decorative thrones.

Korea: Daewon-sa Tibetan Museum
"The Little Tibet in Korea, Daewon-Sa Tibetan Museum. Tibetan Museum is built to introduce spiritual culture and art and to activate the spiritual exchange between Korea and Tibet. The museum is built in the Tibetan Temple style."

Korea: Hwajeong Museum
A museum of primarily Tibetan paintings collected by Dr.Hahn.

Korea: National Museum of Korea

Kuber Singh Shakya
A Master Craftsman of Nepal. By Mary Shepherd Slusser and James A. Giambrone.

The Legacy of Genghis Khan
Metropolitan Museum of Art Essay Topics.

The Lhasa gTsug lag khang : Observations on the Ancient Wood Carvings
By Amy Heller. This article was first published in the Tibet Journal, Vol XXIX, No 3; Autumn 2004, and is presented here with the kind permission of the editors.

The Lhasa gtsug lag khang: Further Observations on the Ancient wood Carvings
The author comments on an article also found in Please see: The Lhasa gtsug lag khang: Observations on the Ancient wood Carvings by Amy Heller.

Lhasa, Tibet
A survey of the museums, architecture and temples of Lhasa and the surrounding area.

Licchavi Caityas of Nepal
A Solution to the Empty Niche by Ian Alsop

Licchavi Caityas of Nepal: A Solution to the Empty Niche by Ian Alsop
Among the curious puzzles of early Nepalese sculpture and architecture are the empty niches of the lovely Licchavi stone caityas that dot the Kathmandu valley.

Life of the Buddha
Metropolitan Museum of Art Essay Topics.

Life Story Painting Sets
Depictions of life stories in one composition or in a set of paintings are a common theme in Tibetan art. Knowing the subjects of these stories is an important key to unlocking the complexities of Himalayan art.

Lineages and Structure in Tibetan Buddhist Painting: Principles and Practice of an Ancient Sacred Choreography
by David P. Jackson.

List of Rulers: South Asia
Metropolitan Museum of Art Essay Topics.

The Lukhang: A Hidden Temple inTibet
A small pagoda-roofed temple on a lake behind the Potala palace, by Ian Baker and Thomas Laird.

Mahakala, Shadbhuja (Six Hands)
A look at the many different forms and appearances of the specific six armed Mahakala, an emanation of Avalokiteshvara, from the Eight Chapter Mahakala Tantra.

Mahasiddhas are great accomplished ones, or great [spiritually] accomplished ones, also known as Indian adepts, the principal Indian teachers of Hindu and Buddhist Tantra, or any great religious teacher that is credited with having special attainments and powers.

Mandala and Temple Sacred Architecture in Tibet: Photographs
By John Milton Lundquist. Tibet is also a land of "power places," as a Tibetan phrase expresses: mountains, valleys, rocks, caves, rivers and lakes are scattered with sacred Buddhist structures such as temples, chapels within monasteries and chortens, which are shrines also known as stupas.

Manjushri: Buddhist Deity of Wisdom
A look at the many different forms and appearances of Manjushri the patron deity of wisdom and learning.

Manjushri: Tantra Sets
Through the categories of the four Tantra sets, a look at the many different forms and appearances of the wisdom deity Manjushri from the simple to the complex.

Map of Nepal & Kathmandu Valley
Showing the main towns and the two stupas of Boudhnath and Swaymbhu.

Maps of Enlightenment
In December, 2005, Tricycle visited New York City's Rubin Museum of Art, home of one of the West's richest collections of Himalayan art. In this interview RMA curator Jeff Watt pulls back the curtain on this potent Buddhist Art form.

Medicine & Tantric Healing
Health, medicine and miracle cures all figure prominently in the art of the Himalayas which divides easily into two types: traditional medicine and Tantric healing.

Metal and Stone Vestiges: Religion, Magic and Protection in the Art of Ancient Tibet
By John Vincent Bellezza. The art of Tibet reaches deep into prehistory. Before the advent of Buddhism in the 7th century A.D., metalworking, painting and carving on stone were already well developed and had assumed a fair degree of refinement.

The Metal Sculpture of the Khasa Mallas of West Nepal/ West Tibet
By Ian Alsop

Metaphor & Simile in Tantric Imagery
Metaphor is unique to the most complex of Buddhist Tantric meditational systems and corresponding visual aids (art). Common themes from life and society are used as the dominant organizing principle for entire systems of philosophy and advanced meditation techniques.

Milarepa: Poet & Saint
Milarepa, the greatest poet saint of Tibet, referred to as the cotton-clad ascetic. He is immortalized in a biography and a text named the 100,000 Songs.

Moderm Tibetan Calligraphy : Gallery Exhibition
Examples of modern Tibetan calligraphy; religious, secular and stylized.

Art, paintings, sculpture and ritual objects from various museum and private collections worldwide along with the Zababazar Museum of Fine Arts.

Mongolia National Fine Arts Museum (Quick Guide)
A quick reference to all painting, sculpture, and galleries at the Mongolia National Fine Arts Museum.

Mongolian Calligraphy
The arrangement of different scripts and letters worked out and used by the Mongol race has a history of almost 2000 years.

The Murals of Baiya Monastery
A mixture of stylistic influences from within and outside Tibet by Jonathan S. Bell.

Murals of Tibet
Murals are the heart and breath of Tibetan painting and serve as an anchor for the study of Himalayan and Tibetan Art History.

A survey of popular Nepalese art types and subjects, primarily of the Kathmandu Valley.

Nepal Locations Quick Guide (Huntington Archive)
Place names primarily in the Kathmandu Valley with links to the art found at those locations.

Nepalese Painting
Metropolitan Museum of Art Essay Topics.

Nepalese Sculpture
Metropolitan Museum of Art Essay Topics.

New Archaeological Discovories In Tibet
A series of pre-Buddhist archaeological sites in western Tibet by John Vincent Bellezza.

New Revelations in Xinjiang Art
New Revelations in Xinjiang Art. PRIYATOSH BANERJEE

Newar Buddhism Quick Guide (Huntington Archive)
The Art of Newar Buddhism, Nepal, is quick outline for easily accessing the thousands of catalogued images in the Huntington Archive - the best visual resource on the Web.

Northern Tibet Exploration
Archaeological Discovories of the Changthang Circuit Expedition 1999 by John Vincent Bellezza.

Notes on a Taglung Portrait
A religious hierarch from the Taglung branch of the Kagyu order by Jane Casey Singer. (Please see a similar Taglung Portrait and two lamas in one portrait in the database of this web page).

Nyingma Hats
Hats are a very important means of distinguishing different religious traditions and hierarchy. The Nyingma basically only have two types of hats: pandita hat and lotus hat, everything else is for the most part a variation of these two.

Oriental Sacred Art and the Art of Collecting in the West
by Ana P?niker.

Credited as one of the three principal individuals to bring Buddhism to Tibet in the 8th century along with the Abbot Shantarakshita and King Trisong Detsen, Padmasambhava is represented in many forms and aspects.

Painting Ground Colour
Aside from the common multi-coloured paintings, there are three unique types of coloured ground found in Himalayan and Tibetan paintings. These three colours are used to invoke mood and emotion.

Painting Sets: A Unique Feature of Buddhist Art
Sets are a unique feature of Tibetan and Himalayan Buddhist painting. Sets are also a key in recognizing the systems of iconography and teaching lineages portrayed in painting and sculpture.

Painting Styles in the Rubin Collection: Identifications & Clarifications
by David P. Jackson.

Painting Styles in Tibetan Art
Categorizing and naming the regional styles, varieties and traditions of Tibetan painting is a complex and ongoing task.

Panchen Lama
The Panchen Lamas, closely associated with the Dalai Lamas and the monastery of Tashi Lhunpo, are a line of successively re-incarnating teachers in Tibetan Buddhism. The first Panchen Lama, Lobzang Chokyi Gyaltsen, was the tutor of the 5th Dalai Lama and the most important Gelugpa teacher of his time.

Peaceful & Wrathful Deities (Shitro, Bardo)
In Tibetan Buddhism Peaceful and Wrathful deities and Bardo deities are often the same.

Persons Historical
Real people idealized (or portraiture) in painting and sculpture in an attempt to differentiate from figures that are deities and gods.

Phagpa and Zhangzhung Fonts Download
The following Unicode fonts are available for free download. All fonts make use of OpenType technology to produce the correct shaping and joining behaviour. Unfortunately this may not work on all operating systems and with all applications. Windows Vista is recommended.

Phagpa Lokes'vara of the Potala
Sculpture: a form of Avalokites'vara of a type that has long puzzled historians of Himalayan art by Ian Alsop.

Pilgrimage & Sacred Sites
Sacred sites are common to Buddhists, Hindus and Bonpo of the Himalayas, Tibet and Central Asia. Sometimes these locations are depicted in art and the sacred mountain gods and deities are portrayed in the idealized landscape.

Portrait Images in Himalayan Art
Paintings and sculpture created and crafted to look like the person being portrayed.

Power Deities in Tantric Buddhism
Power is the third of the four main activity categories of Tantric Buddhism: Peaceful, Increasing, Powerful and Wrathful. Male and female deities are typically red in colour and semi-wrathful in appearance.

Prajnaparamita Text: Block Print Images
A careful grouping of all the different images and sets contained in the Prajnaparamita carved wood block manuscript from pre-1959 Lhasa, Tibet. This is also the same text published by Lokesh Chandra in 'Buddhist Iconography.'

Private Collections & Photo Archives
A listing of all of the non-museum and non-institution art that appears on the HAR web site belonging to private collectors.

Protector Deities, Buddhist
Protector deities provide protection. Within the four main activity categories Protectors generally belong to the fourth, Wrathful. Male and female figures are typically blue-black in colour and fearsome in appearance.

Publications Catalogued on HAR
Publications with large collections of art and iconographic images are slowly being added to the HAR database. When copyright permission is not granted then a placecard holder image is used for each art work catalogued in the database.

The Queen's Chorten: Karsha Temple, Zangskar
The "Queen's" Chorten is located in Karsha, Zanskar, immediately in front of the Chuchikjyal temple. While the latter structure predates its ca. 14th century paintings by a century or two, the "Queen's" Chorten is reliably dated by inscriptions on its own paintings (translated by the Karsha Lonpo and Lama Angchuk) to the second half of the 16th century.

Recognizing the Gods
Metropolitan Museum of Art Essay Topics.

Religious Traditions of Tibet
Although Buddhism is the dominant religious tradition it is however divided into nearly a dozen different traditions. Aside from Buddhism there is the non-Buddhist religion of Bon and a small population of Muslims.

RMA Quick Guide
A quick reference to all Himalayan, Central Asian, and Indian art at the Rubin Museum of Art.

Sakya Buddhist Tradition
Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism: named after an auspicious white patch of earth visible on the side of a mountain in south-western Tibet. A temple was founded by the Khon family in 1074.

Sakya Hats
Hats are a very important means of distinguishing different religious traditions and hierarchy.

Separation Anxiety
The conservation of a 5th century Buddhist Gandharan Manuscript by Susan Sayre Batton.

Shakyamuni Buddha
Shakyamuni Buddha (English: the Enlightened One, Sage of the Shakya Clan), founder of the Buddhist religion, born in Lumbini, reached enlightenment at Bodhgaya, taught at Sarnath and passed away at Kushinagar.

Shakyamuni Buddha: Twelve Deeds
Comparing the various life story painting sets and single compositions with the traditional telling of the twelve deeds of the Buddha.

Shanglon Dorje Dudul: Buddhist Terma Protector
A look at the three main forms and appearances of the wrathful protector Dorje Dudul arising from the Nyingma Treasure 'Terma' Tradition. This protector is especially associated with the Tibetan Medical Tradition.

Shangpa Kagyu Buddhist Tradition
The Shangpa lineage was founded by Kedrup Khyungpo Naljor in the 11th century at approximately the same time as the birth of the Sakya and Kagyu Schools and shortly after the Kadampa of Jowo Atisha. The Shangpa School is unrelated to the Kagyu School of Marpa the Translator although both share the name 'ka gyu' which means 'oral lineage.'

Shiva Maheshvara and Family
An overview of the Shiva and Parvati family including children, animal mounts and common attributes.

Shri Devi: Buddhist Protector
A look at the many different forms and appearances of the wrathful female protector Shri Devi.

The Silver Jug of the Lhasa Jokhang
Some Observations on silver objects and costumes from the Tibetan Empire (7th-9th century).

Situ Panchen Chokyi Jungne
Chokyi Gyaltsen (1337-1448) was the first to bear the title of Tai Situ, which was given to him by the Chinese emperor Yung Lo of the Ming Dynasty. Situ Panchen Chokyi Jungne was particularly important in the development of Tibetan art for his creation of a new painting style and numerous sets of paintings that have influenced Tibetan painting to this day.

The Six Ornaments & Two Excellent Ones
The Six Ornaments and Two Excellent Ones of the Southern Continent is an epithet given to the most important Indian Buddhist scholars of the Mahayana Tradition. The two foremost are Nagarjuna, founder of the Madyamaka tradition, and Asanga, founder of the Yogachara tradition.

Snakes & Serpents
Nagas, Nagarjuna, Nagaraksha and more, looking at snakes and serpents in art, visual narrative and symbolism.

Soma Offertory and Elixer
By Fran?ois Pannier. This Tibetan offertory cover is a rare and exceptional object which has until now only been described briefly.

Stupa or Chorten: the Buddha's Presence
Stupas range in size from miniatures meant to be put on a shrine as reliquary and/or a remembrance of the mind of the Buddha, to enormous buildings that serve as temples as well as monuments.

Stupa Outline Page
Outline page for all stupa related art on the HAR web site.

Stupa: Reliquary Mounds
Arising historically from the chaitya (funerary mounds) of early Buddhism and symbolically from the tope (ushnisha), bundle of hair, on the crown of the Buddha's head, the stupa is viewed as a physical representation of the unseen enlightened mind of a Buddha - incorporating both the blueprint for the path to enlightenment and enlightenment itself.

Symbols of Tibetan Buddhism

Symbols: Common Buddhist Symbol Sets
The most common sets such as the Eight Auspicious Symbols, Four Harmonious Friends, animals, jewels and offerings.

Tangka: Scroll Paintings & Textiles
'Tangka' the Tibetan word used to describe a variety of painted and textile artworks (applique, embroidered, etc.), done with, or on cloth.

Tantric Hinduism in Khmer Culture
bB Emma C. Bunker, Asian Department, Denver Art Museum.

Tara, Red: Deity of Power
A look at the specific forms of the power deity Red Tara.

Tara, White: Bestowing Long Life
A look at the specific forms of the long life deity White Tara.

Tashi Kabum: A Cave Temple Associated with Luri Gompa in Upper Mustang, Nepal
By Gary McCue.

Tashi Kabum: A Cave Temple associated with Luri Gompa in Upper Mustang, Nepal
By Gary McCue. The Tashi Kabum site consists of a half dozen caves dug into the ridge side about 50m above the valley floor. The sgo-nyer explained that according to local legend there are seven (or nine) cave temples containing chortens.

Thangka Restoration and Conservation
by Marion Boyer Jean Michel Terrier.

THDL Quick Guide
Tibetan Himalayan Digital Library. A Quick Guide highlighting art topics and image galleries.

TIBET - Monasteries Open Their Treasure Rooms
TIBET - Monasteries Open Their Treasure Rooms - the exhibition and its book: A Review by Michael Henss

Tibetan Arms and Armor
Metropolitan Museum of Art Essay Topics.

Tibetan Buddhist Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art Essay Topics.

Tibetan Buddhist Thangkas and their Religious Significance
Enlightened Journey: Buddhist Practice as Daily Life. By Tulku Thondup, edited by Harold Talbot. Shambhala: Boston & London, 2001.

Tibetan Calligraphy
Discover Tibetan Calligraphy.

Tibetan Calligraphy : Tibetan Village Project
Tibet has had its own distinctive script since the 7th century. The script was derived from the Brahmi script of India, and was originally developed to translate Buddhist texts from Sanskrit into Tibetan. The Tibetan alphabet contains 30 consonants and four vowels. Words are read from left to right and syllables are separated by a dot.

Tibetan Calligraphy Examples on Flickr
Modern Tibetan calligraphy.

Tibetan Healing Mandala
Freer-Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian.

Tibetan Language Software Links
A great list of links to all Tibetan language software resources.

Tracing the Reception and Adaptation of Foreign...
Tracing the Reception and Adaptation of Foreign aesthetic elements in Tibetan sculpture. We will first examine the aesthetic characteristics of the most ancient metalwork to see how this process of fusion and adaptation of foreign influences was accomplished, and subsequently we will examine these tendencies in the sculptures which the Tibetans made to honor the Buddhist religion.

Trance Dancers of the Goddess Durga
By Hamid Sardar.

Trees: The Sacred & The Artistic
Trees are used as the backdrop for births, seated Buddhas, fields of accumulation and attributes held in the hands of deities.

Tsakli: Tibetan Ritual Miniature Paintings
Employed in numerous situations such as empowerment, ritual mandalas, transmission of teachings, substitutes for ceremonial items, visualization aids and funerals, by Juan Li.

Tsiu Marpo, The Career of a Tibetan Protector Deity
by Christopher Paul Bell. The Florida State University College of Arts and Sciences. (35 MB Pdf file).

Vajrabhairava: Buddhist Deity
A look at the many different forms and appearances of the wrathful meditational deity Vajrabhairava.

Vajrakila: Buddhist Deity
A look at the many different forms and appearances of Vajrakila principally from the Eight Pronouncement Deities, the Sakya Tradition and the Terma 'Treasure' Tradition, along with forms from the Bon religion.

Vajrapani: Bodhisattva & Meditational Deity
A look at the many different forms and appearances of the bodhisattva and deity Vajrapani, peaceful and wrathful, complex and simple.

The Vajrayana: Myth & Symbolism
by Peter Della Santina.

Vajrayogini: Buddhist Deity
A look at the many different forms and appearances of Vajrayogini, Varahi, Krodha Kali Kali, Chinnamasta and others.

The Vanishing Dances of Ladakh
(This essay first appeared in Ballet Review, Summer 2001 Reprinted with permission and amendments. By Joseph Houseal).

Vasudhara: Buddhist Wealth Deity
A look at the many different forms and appearances of the wealth deity Vasudhara, two arms, six arms, yellow or red in colour.

Victorious Durga: Javanese Images of the Hindu Goddess
Durga Figures in the Museum Nasional, Jakarta. The Museum Nasional has 32 Durga sculptures on display. They originate from various areas in Java dating from the 7th to the 15 th century, the Hindu-Buddhist period in the history of the Indonesian archipelago.

Virtual Treasures: The Himalayan Art Project to the Rescue
Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Winter 2003. "With the most extensive searchable database in its field, the site is a one-stop resource for art lovers, spiritual practitioners, scholars, and collectors."

Vishnu: The Solar God
Forms of the god Vishnu, the ten avatars, wives, attributes, attendant and related figures.

Visions of Enlightenment
Visions of Enlightenment: The Art of Buddhism. Pacific Asia Museum.

Visual Dharma: The Buddhist Art of Tibet
by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

Visual Dharma: The Buddhist Art of Tibet
by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

Wangden Meditation Weaving
Wangden Valley and the unique weaving tradition by Rupert Smith.

Wealth Deities: Buddhist
Wealth deity images and practices in Tantric Buddhism are wholly concerned with the increase of wealth and physical comforts. Within the four main activity categories Wealth Deities belong to the second category, Increasing. Male and female figures are typically white, yellow or orange in colour and peaceful in appearance.

Weird & Fantastical Gods & Deities!
Buddhism, Hinduism and the Bon religion are populated with strange and colourful deities, but like all things some deities are stranger than others!

West meets East: Making a Murti in Kathmandu
By Karla Refojo.

Wheel of Life: Interactive Tour

Wisdom Deities: Buddhist
Wisdom deity images and practices in Tantric Buddhism are wholly concerned with the increase of wisdom and learning. Within the four main activity categories Wisdom Deities belongs to the second, Increasing. Male and female figures are typically white, yellow or orange in colour and peaceful in appearance.

Woodslips: An On-line Digital Database of Tibetan Woodslips
The largest, and most well-known, single cache of Central Asian manuscripts is that discovered in a walled-up library in the monastic cave complex of Dunhuang.

World Wide Web Virtual Library - Nepal

World Wide Web Virtual Library - Tibet