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The Himalayan Art
The learned author has missed many aspects of Nepalese culture. The so called Virupakshya is described by him as a nobel man. If the author had studied more carefully he would not have missed the third eye indicating that the figure is one of the manifestations of Shiva and not a nobel man.
Tourism in Nepal
Nepal is a tourist's paradise with an infinite variety of interesting things to see and do. Nepal has many things to offer the visitor the flourishing of art and architecture a demonstrated by the temples of Kathmandu Valley, the natural beauties of the soaring peaks of Himalayas including Mountain Everest and others.
The Himalayan Art

Author :Madanjeet Singh
Title of the Book : Himalayan
Art (UNESCO Art Book)
Year of publication:1968
Publisher :New York
Graphic Socity Ltd

Madanjeet Singh, a well known scholar and a photographer; has contributed a great deal to provide an in-depth knowledge of the Himalayan art. He has to his credit many books like Indian Sculpture in Bronze and Stone and Ajanta.

Himalayan art deals with the wall painting and sculpture of Ladakh, Lahaul, Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan.

The book deals with the Himalayan range, the people living there and the contribution made by the inhabitants. He also describes the role of Hinduism and Buddhism in these areas for the development of Art and Architecture, the influence of Gandhar, Kushan and Gupta schools of art. Singh not only has provided the photographs of the paintings and sculpture of Himalayan range of antique value but has also illustrated the existing birds of the various species and their relation with the paintings.

The author has provide examples from ancient cannons of Indian Buddhist Art from Guhyan-samaja, Manjushrimulakalpa, Sadhanamala, Nishpannayogavali and many inscriptions of India from fifth to seventh century. Various schools of Tibetian Buddhist and their influence on the Arts of Ladakh, HimalayanPradesh , Sikkim, Bhutan and Nepal are also described.

The history of Hindu and Buddhist art of Ladakh along –with the secular art of the place are illustrated. The symbolic representation of Yamantaka and other Tantric divinities is also prominent in this book. The bodhisattva from Alchi monastries influenced by the Viswarupa Vishnu is well illustrated.

Singh also gives a glimpse of the architecture of Nepal after providing a geographical introduction of the country. The Terracotta Head of Benjarahi is compared with that of the art of pre-Christian era from the Indian Gangatic plains. The so called real personage from Mrigasthali, now in the collection of the National Museum, is believed by various scholars to be the Sun God. This idea is based upon a round nimbus on his head. The designs of his lower garment and the detailed work show an early feature of Indian Art .The finding of the statue of King Java Verma dated 185 A.D. and carvings of goddesses from many parts of Katmandu have proved the hypothesis of the author, namely the magnitude of the influence of Kusan art in Nepal. His idea that many Indian artists after 466 A.D. Who took refuge in the Katmandu Valley introduced the Gupta Style art can not be accepted any more. From the very beginning of the Lichchhavi rule two different schools of art developed in Nepal. One school followed the traditional style while the other school encouraged the classical Gupta style. The learned author has missed many aspects of Nepalese’s culture. The so called Virupakshya is described by him as a noble man. If the author had studied more carefully he would not have missed the third eye indicating that the figure is one of the manifestations of Shiva and not a noble man. Sometimes he has jumped to the wrong conclusion such as Amsuvarma entering into a matrimonial alliance with Tibet by giving away the hand of his daughter, Bhrikuti, to the Tibetan King. The idea is not accepted any more. He compares Budhanilkantha with the Ananta Vishnu of the Vishwarupa friezed at Changu Narayan. The motives of these two are completely different .The greatest contribution of the writers is the detail in the photographs of the wall paintings of the court yards of Bhaktapur palace. He has not only provided the best photographs possible but also studies them carefully and has identified them properly. In some cases, his dating has been challenged by the Nepalese scholars. Like the standing images of Lokeshwar from Hirayana Varna Maha Vihara. He dates the standing Padhamapani Lokeshowar of the same place from seventeenth century, whereas the same now has been dated by the scholars as belonging to the eleventh century. His dates for the Vishnu mounted uponGaruda from Changunararayan and the Mahishasamabara of National Museum have been challenged by the scholars. Almost all t5hese paintings of Bhaktapur palace have faded and have not been restored. Singh then looks at the art of Sikkim both in general and academic way.Sikkim was influenced by Tibetan Buddhism from the very beginning .Thus the study of Sikkimese art has to start from the history and art of Tibet. One surprising things is that he did not find any art forms in Sikkim that can be scientifically dated to be prior to fifteenth or sixteenth century of the Christian era. He describes the early art work after the sixteenth century, as seen in Chhortens, to be rather crude. The indigenous people were practicing Buddhism long before the said periods. The clay statues and wall paintings from various Nyingma Schools are described. The Bronze Statute of Buddha, Bodhisattva, supplied to meet the demands of Sikkim, were sent from Nepal. The Nepalese artist and the bronze casters were summoned by the Namgyals to caste the Bronze Buddhas.The Shakyas of Mahaboudha area used to visiting Sikkim on invitation from the monasteries and aristocrats of Sikkim to cast the Bronze statues, paintings and other works of art. This fact has been ignored by the author.

Finally he deals with the art of Bhutan. Two great centers of Bhutanese art, culture and learning are Paro and Thimpu. People from Tibet came, lived and popularized the then Buddhism. The Bhutanese script has its origins in Tibet. The wall paintings, the embroidery works, the architecture and the monastic life are also like that of Tibet.

Nepal provided many Bronze Sculptures to Bhutan prior to 1950, as many Sakyas visited Bhutan to cast the Bronze figures. The whole of Bhutan is influenced by the Nyingma-pas School and Padmasabhava is highly venerated. This facet of the history of Bhutan is not properly mentioned in this Book.

  Untitled Document

Nepalese Culture, Society and Tourism
By: Diwas Dhakal

This book is a collection
of essays devoted to the
Nepalese Culture,Society and Tourism. A special
stress on Natural and
cultural Heritage of Nepal has been very carefully emphasised.
Diwas Dhakal, 2000 ISBN 99933-570-0-6,
First Edition 2000
Published by:
Mukta Dhakl
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