Buddhist Thangka from Nepal

A Thangka (also Thanka or Tangka) is a painted Buddhist banner, designed to hang in a monastery or at a family altar. They are common throughout Tibet and Nepal. In western homes, Thangka may be used as decorative art and wall hangings.

Silk Road Collection has three types of Thangkas, which we obtained during our recent trip to Nepal. The “Life History of Buddha” thangkas illustrate significant events in the life of Buddha. The “Wheel of Life” thangkas illustrate the Buddhist belief in the cycle of the soul. The “Mandala” thangka illustrate the cosmic residence of the deities.

In Tibetan the word 'than' means flat and the suffix 'ka' stands for painting. The Thangka is thus a kind of painting done on flat surface but which can be rolled up when not required for display, sometimes called a scroll painting. All of these are hand painted on canvas and framed in silk brocade. We obtained these at the thangka artist workshop at the Boudhanath Buddhist Stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal.