Dharmapala Thangka CentreSchool of Thangka Painting

3.46 Amitayus [2]

Detail from a mural in Alchi Monastery - Ladakh/India

Full View Detail 1 Detail 2 Detail 3 Detail 4 Detail 5: A Kinnara - A beiing part-man part-bird with an umbrellar blowing a long tuba Detail 6 Detail 7 Detail 8: A Yaksha [Nature spirit of low rank] raises the heavy throne from the center of his base, flanked on each side by a female companion Detail 9: Six heavenly musicians appear in honour of Amitayus Detail 10 Workshop Photo Detail 11

The original of this scroll painting as a wall painting in the three-storey Sumtsek temple of Alchi monastery in Ladakh.

Alchi belongs to the two surviving monasteries of the 11th century. The second monastery is Tabo / Spiti also located in the Indian Himalaya.

The wall paintings of these two monasteries are important aspects of the development of Buddhist art in the Himalayan region and its deep connections with the philosophy and art of eastern India and Kashmir.

The wall paintings of Alchi and Tabo are unique nowadays because all other monasteries of these centuries were destroyed by the Muslim army led by the Turkish leader Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1193.

Buddha Amitayus is siting amidst 958 smaller images of the same deity. He is depicted on a white moon disk resting on a double lotosthrone. In front of him are five dark blue peacocks [the peacock is his "mount"].

To his right and left we see elephants, lions and birds of prey [Vyalas].

A four-armed Yaksha [low-range nature spirit] lifts the weighty throne from the center of its base, flanked on each side by a female attentant.

Above Amitayus there are also two Kinnaras [mixed beings between bird & man] on the right and left, each blowing a long tuba and carrying a banner [left] and a parasol [right].

Two Apsaras [half human, half divine women] and two Gandharvas [lower spirit being gifted with magical abilities] are dispensing offerings from above.

Finally, at the bottom of the picture, six heavenly musicians appear in his honour.

Source: "Treasure of the Himalayas, Peter van Ham - Amy Heller, Hirmer Verlag, 2018"

More about Alchi Monastery
Our Alchi Monastery Thangkas

Measurements: 58.7 x 87.8" | 149 x 223 cm
Price: on request
Shipment: Parcel Service from Germany or Nepal
Color: Color Version
Material: Natural Stone Colors
High resolution: Display [1.5 MB, 2004 x 3263 px.]