Album: By Country | By Date Nepal | June 2001 < Prev Image | Pokhara to Kathmandu | Next Image >
Travelogue: By Country | By Date Nepal | June 2001  


Tanka shop's wares. A tanka is a Tibetan religious painting or drawing on woven material, usually cotton; it has a bamboo-cane rod pasted on the bottom edge by which it can be rolled up. Tanka means "something rolled up." Tankas are meditation aids, though they may be hung in temples or at family altars, carried in religious processions, or used to illustrate sermons. They are not free creations of art, in the Western sense, but are painted according to exact canonical rules. They commonly depict the Buddha, surrounded by deities or lamas and scenes from his life; divinities assembled along the branches of a cosmic tree; the wheel of life; the symbolic visions thought to occur during the intermediate state between death and rebirth; mandalas, symbolic representations of the universe; horoscopes; and Dalai and Panchen lamas, saints, and great teachers.

© Monica & Mark Hughes 2000-02