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A Place of Darkness – A place of Light

Come with me to this place – so dark that I stumbled a bit as my eyes took a few minutes to adjust. Seeking nothing, I went there during a … Continue reading

August 22, 2018 · 1 Comment

Fierce Deities!

A character that is not pleasant or all goody-goody has an appeal that is perhaps stronger! The glimpse of something fiesty, something temperamental, something strong with overtones of bold confidence … Continue reading

July 5, 2018 · Leave a comment

Wealth of  Ladakh 

Photos of photo prints of women wearing traditional jewelry at festivals.  The magnificentv Petak headdress has been discussed earlier.  But the  others have not received enough attention!  Here are sone … Continue reading

May 28, 2018 · Leave a comment

Mountain Art – Large Ancient Himalayan Buddhas – 4

The Yarma Gombo A set of natural rock formations revered and venerated by Buddhists as the appearance resembles the face of Buddha and other dieties. I would not have known … Continue reading

May 17, 2018 · Leave a comment

Mountain Art – Large Ancient Himalayan Buddhas – 3

Seen just outside Mulbeg – An engraving on a mountain face that may have been the starting point of a sculpture.  May 2018

May 17, 2018 · Leave a comment

Mountain Art – Large Ancient Himalayan Buddhas – 2

The Mulbeg Chamba Mulbeg is a small Buddhist village in Kargil that I’d first heard of while studying Perak headdress types.  Never thought U’d visit it someday to see the … Continue reading

May 14, 2018 · 1 Comment

Mountain Art – Large Ancient Himalayan Buddhas – 1

Huge Ancient Buddhist Sculptures in the Himalayas

May 13, 2018 · Leave a comment

Ancient Cave Paintings in Sasphol

13th Century Sasphol Caves, Ladakh Went up a mountain to see the magnificent Buddhist cave paintings. Worth every huff and puff. The big achievement was the small journey out of … Continue reading

May 10, 2018 · Leave a comment

Inspirational People from the Himalayas

When people push themselves beyond the limits of normal human capability, it is always admirable. A few years ago I’d read about the kora or parikrama that Tibetans performed as … Continue reading

April 17, 2018 · 1 Comment

What lies within? Copper Manuscript

Found in Odisha, it is said to be a Buddhist Mahayana mansucript in Pali script hand-handhammered into copper plates. Imagine the trouble that went into creating this …. Similar examples … Continue reading

October 7, 2017 · Leave a comment

Tales the Phra Malai Thai Manuscripts tell!

It will be years before I will be able to understand all the stories contained in the few Phra Malai manuscripts that I’ve seen! Some are stories from the life … Continue reading

September 17, 2017 · Leave a comment

Old Buddhist Painted Parables on Furniture

Parables – simple stories used to illustrate a spiritual lesson – are found in every religion. But this way of painting these stories on furniture is unique. Was it a … Continue reading

April 6, 2017 · Leave a comment

Antique Tantric Phurba Carving – Available for Sale

Fourteen little pieces strung together in a necklace. Not an ordinary necklace but one that was used in rituals by tantric priests. Each is a Phurba made of Yak bone … Continue reading

January 30, 2017 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – The Heavy Crown of Responsibility

A large yet simple copper crown or Mukut worn by learned Buddhist priests known as Vajracharyas or “Master of the Thunderbolt” during religious ceremonies. The weight of this crown is … Continue reading

May 7, 2016 · Leave a comment

Picking a Bone …

Picking a bone …. Not exactly any bone. But a Kapala bone. A bone from the skull of a deceased Buddhist Lamaji. Under the assumption that his wisdom and powers … Continue reading

March 12, 2016 · 1 Comment

The Rich Bow to the Poor – Images of Myanmar

The rich bow to the poor as they donate money to the monks in Myanmar. There is no attitude of arrogance or of self-indulgent generosity. They rich bow to the … Continue reading

March 20, 2015 · Leave a comment

A Glimpse of Purity at Wat Chalong

  This important Buddhist temple in Phuket became far more important when a relic of Gautam Buddha – a bone fragment – was installed in the temple in 2009. On … Continue reading

February 12, 2015 · Leave a comment

A Cup of Tea with the Lamaji of Lamayuru Monastery

Imagine a much revered 11th century Gompa (monastery). The drive to Lamayuru takes us through unusual & complex Himalayan landscapes. We arrive tired and saturated with all the beautiful views. … Continue reading

October 29, 2013 · 2 Comments

The Arresting Architecture of Chi Lin Nunnery, Kowloon

The photos below suffice to show the serenity reflecting the stillness and peace of mind of its inhabitants. The art in its architecture is complemented by the craft and the … Continue reading

August 7, 2013 · 4 Comments

Praying in a Hong Kong Temple

A shore excursion took me to this famous Buddhist Temple in Hong Kong. Since I live in Singapore, my attitude was one of  ‘been-there-done-that’. The building the architecture, the nestling … Continue reading

August 5, 2013 · 3 Comments

Return to Ladakh

There is a ‘magnetic’ mountain on the road between Leh and Alchi. The magnetism is strong enough to pull parked cars upwards. It is probably this magnetism that took me … Continue reading

March 22, 2013 · 2 Comments

The Magnificent Stone Artefacts of the Odisha State Museum

Orissa has been the seat of rich ancient civilizations and some of the archaeological finds have been displayed at the State Museum, Bhubaneshwar. Museums in the cities of India are … Continue reading

March 22, 2013 · 8 Comments

Miniature Thangkas from Mongolia

Devotional Art – art that arises out of worship and devotion – produces some of the most spectacular works the world has seen.  Sufi music is an example and so … Continue reading

January 3, 2013 · Leave a comment

The Komusa Wandering Monks & their Shakuhachi flutes

Arm Chair Travel  The Distance between point A and point B may be reduced by either one of them moving to the other. Since it is not possible to move … Continue reading

February 24, 2012

Ladakh Diaries

“LADAKH – THE HERMIT KINGDOM”  PROVIDES AN INTRODUCTION TO LADAKH AND IS A PREFACE TO A SERIES OF SUBJECT SPECIFIC ARTICLES ON LADAKH. In the olden days, in the Hindu … Continue reading

November 11, 2011 · 1 Comment

The Chamms Masked Dances by the Monks of Chemrey Monastery – Ladakh

Lamas of the ancient Chemrey monastery performing the Masked dances in Leh in which they enact religious tales with a moral. The stunning colors of the flowing robes combined with … Continue reading

October 23, 2011 · Leave a comment

An Appeal for “The Blue Veil Project”

  The magnificent head dress of Ladakh – the Perak laden with rows and rows of turquoise gem stones and coral, is probably among the most exquisite bridal ornaments in … Continue reading

October 1, 2011 · 2 Comments

Ancient Murals of Alchi Monastery – an art-collector’s delight

Alchi is a sleepy and simple unglorified village about 70 km to the West of Leh. Nothing in its approach route or in the buildings and structures of the village … Continue reading

September 23, 2011

Antique Sculptures of Buddha

Crowned Buddha in Dharmachakra, 11th century. This sculpture is a typical representation of ‘Pala’ art found in Bihar, India. Many such scultpures were placed in niches around the Bodh Gaya … Continue reading

August 6, 2011

Church of St. Francis Xavier of Assisi, Old Goa

I studied at St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai, and my school was a convent run by a nun order that is closely associated with the Jesuit priests, an order started … Continue reading

July 25, 2011 · 2 Comments

Sikkim Diaries

‘To live many lifetimes within a lifetime…”. Its time for another lifetime! My trip to Sikkim in March 2011, was planned during the week of Losar (Tibetan New Year) celebrations. … Continue reading

March 17, 2011

Chanting ceremony at Kagyud Monastery, Lingdum, Sikkim

The Kagyud Monastery was the best experience of my Sikkim trip. This is the monastery that I will return to someday. On the first visit, 2 days prior to Losar, … Continue reading

March 17, 2011 · 1 Comment

Lama Dances at Thongsa Monastery, Kalimpong

The dates for my Sikkim trip were arranged so that I could experience the Lama Dances at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim. Information on the net was sketchy, but some websites … Continue reading

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Breathtaking Mural Paintings of Sikkim Monasteries

The images need no supporting words… Just a small preface …all images were taken inside a large hall lit only by a few butter lamps. I have not used a … Continue reading

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Art in Buddhist Ritual Objects

My awareness of Buddhist rituals and practices is limited to my observations. Someday I hope I will have the opportunity to seek out the stories and the philosophies behind these … Continue reading

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Art in Sikkimese Monastery Architecture

The initial images display exteriors of monasteries while the last dozen display the interiors. Back to Sikkim Diaries jm March 2011

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Wood Art in Sikkim Monasteries – Windows, Doors and Pillars

The design of the Buddhist Monasteries in Sikkim is heavily influenced by Tibetan designs and bears a close similarity to the visuals seen on the other side of the Himalayas. … Continue reading

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Little Lamas, Sikkim

A collage of images of cute little baby lamas in their regal robes….offering a glimpse into their daily lives. Their impishly twinkling smiles, the ease with which they carry their … Continue reading

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

On the Silk Route at the Nathula Pass, India-China border

The day journey from Gangtok is a difficult one, but that doesn’t stop tourists from reaching the pass 15000 ft above sea level…..I was just one of the 4-5 dozen … Continue reading

March 7, 2011 · Leave a comment

Buddhist Yak Butter Art of Sikkim

I usually travel ‘blind’ – without detailed research. So I do not have a clear idea of what to expect. As a result, the experiences I go through along the … Continue reading

March 5, 2011 · 1 Comment

Procession at the Enchey Monastery, Sikkim

The head Lama at Enchey, a quiet handsome and dignified gentleman who rarely speaks to visitors, honored me with a detailed conversation about his life* and about the monastery. He … Continue reading

March 4, 2011 · Leave a comment

Losar Celebrations – Bonfire at Kagyud Monastery, Sikkim

The Kagyud Monastery was the best experience of my Sikkim trip. This is the monastery that I will return to someday. On my second visit,  the day just before Losar, … Continue reading

March 4, 2011 · Leave a comment

A Visit to Borobudur

2008. I wrote about it on another site. But the nature of the internet is such that things get lost easily. Nothing is as permanent as paper. But am sure … Continue reading

January 17, 2011 · 2 Comments

Journey of a lifetime – Tibet

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step… For this magnificent journey, many administrative steps needed to be taken to make the journey possible. But every stressful … Continue reading

November 22, 2010 · Leave a comment

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