Himalayan Art Resources

Tibet: Sakya, Manjushri Lhakang (SRG Archive)

Manjushri Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Rare & Unusual Forms Page
- Manjushri Religious Context
- Sakya Town
- Masterworks
- Confusions
- Others...

- Drolma Lhakang (Manjushri Room)
- All Manjushri Videos

Study Topics:
- Location
- Name
- Contents

Manjushri Types:
- Ananga Vajra Manjushri
- Arapachana Manjushri
- Krishna Manjushri
- Mayajala Manjushri
- Namasangiti
- Simhanada Manjushri
- Sthira Chakra Manjushri
- Others...

The Manjushri Lhakang (temple) of Sakya Town in Tibet, is located in a small room above the building known as the Drolma Lhakang located a short distance from the main Lhakang Chenmo temple complex of Sakya. The Drolma Lhakang has three separate temple rooms. The first, on the ground floor, is called the Drolma or Tara temple although there is little inside that is specifically dedicated to Tara. To the right side of the main entrance, accessed through a separate door, is the Tangtong Gyalpo Lhakang. In June of 2007 this temple was under extensive renovations. Looking down from an upper floor window repetitive mural images of Tangtong Gyalpo can be seen on the walls. (See a map of the Tsang region of Tibet).

Of the two related ruling religious families of Sakya, one of those families is referred to as the Drolma because of the close proximity between the Drolma temple and their family home which now has become known as the Drolma Podrang. The other family is known as the Puntsog Podrang.

The Manjushri Lhakang is located on the 2nd floor of the two storied Drolma Lhakang temple. The room is not large and has a single pillar in the middle and a couple of small windows. There is no shrine or furniture in the empty room. The four walls are painted with murals, floor to ceiling, depicting every form of Manjushri, peaceful and wrathful. The more important, or common, of the forms are painted large scale with the minor, or more obscure forms, smaller in size. Each iconographic form is accompanied with a name inscription. Some of the Manjushri forms have retinue deities which can be seen clearly in image #46875. The iconography of the paintings represent the many forms of Manjushri found in the Kriya, Charya and Yoga Tantras of Tantric Buddhism. One wall has sustained damage and the paintings have been effaced with cracks patched and filled. The general format and stylistic elements of the murals and comparing them with the more datable murals of Jonang Monastery, Tagten Damcho Ling not far away, would suggest a date of the 17th century for their creation. (Photos dated June, 2007).

Jeff Watt 8-2011 [updated 1-2019, 8-2021]