Dharmapala Thangka CentreSchool of Thangka Painting

2.51 Alchi Tara [1]

Wall Painting in Alchi Monastery - Ladakh

Full  View Detail 1 Detail 2 Detail 3 Detail 4: Five Amitabha images Detail 5: Amogasiddhi Detail 6: Five Amitabha image Detail 7: Stupa of Buddha's descent from heaven Detail 8: Four armed Manifestation of Green Tara Detail 9: Two female noble donors Detail 10: Vasudhara Detail 11: A female noble donor Detail 12: A noble donor Detail 13: Vasudhara Detail 14: Two noble donors Detail 15: Historic Buddha Shakyamuni Detail 16: Four armed Manifestation of Green Tara Detail 17: Left yellow Ratnasambhava -  right blue Akshobhya Detail 18: Two attendants blowing fanfare horns Detail 19: Two attendants blowing fanfare horns Detail 20: Left Amitabha - right Vairocana Detail 21 Detail 22: Original photo inside the Alchi Monastery

The original of this unique thangka is a mural from the 11th century in the monastery Alchi in Ladakh in the Indian West Himalaya. It can be found on the left wall of the left niche on the ground floor of the Sumtsek Temple of the monastery.

Most experts interpret the green deity in the center as "six-armed green Tara". In Tibetan iconography, however, no six-armed Tara is known. There are also interpretations which are therefore a representation of Vasudara. However, Vasundara is not represented in a green but always in a yellow body colour.

Manuals of Tibetan Buddhist iconography list numerous manifestations of Tara. Judging from the emblems depicted here, this could be Tara "helping us out of difficulties" [Durgottarini].

the centre, depicted on the white disk of the moon, is the six-armed Green Tara, the Saviouress, placed between the small figures of a yellow-robed monk and a queen. This is a cult scene, as can be seen from the items below the circle like conch-shell trumpets and offerings as well as the outline of a mandala-like altar.

As attributes the goddess is holding a book [pustaka] a speer-shaped hook [ankusha], a rosary [akshamala] and, finally, her actual emblem, the blue lorus-blossom [utpala].

Alongside the central motif are four more manifestations of Tara. The central goddess is shown in front of an opulent throne structure, in the scrolls of which at the top we can see the five Tathagata Buddhas, the figure in the middle being the green Amoghasiddhi as Spiritual "lord" of the family of deities to which Tara, too, belongs.

Source: "Alchi - Buddhas - Göttinnen - Mandalas, Wandmalerei in einem Himalaya Kloster, Roger Goepper [Text], Barbara Lutterbeck und Jaroslav Poncar [Fotos], Du Mont Verlag, 1982.

Red Background Version ...

More about Alchi Monastery ...

Two more paintings from Alchi Monastery:

1000 Buddha Âmitayus

Buddha Amitayus

Measurements: 35.4 x 43.3 " | 90 x 110 cm
Price: on request
Shipment: Parcel Service from Germany or Nepal
Farbe: Color Version
Material: Natural Stone Colors