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Thankas or Thangkas are religious scroll paintings based on Tibetan and Buddhist text. These are worshiped as icons in Nepalese and Tibetan culture. The imagery is renowned feature of such paintings. These artistic paintings with outstanding quality are created with great concentration by highly skilled hands.. These carry various themes like the Wheel of life, which explains the theory of rebirth, the Mandala ,the magic sphere, and some are illustrative paintings of various deities like Tara , Mahakala, Lord Buddha, Padmasambhava, Manjushri , some represent incarnations of Buddha, religious symbols while some depict historical characters, imaginary creatures, Shakties ( erotic figures) even geometrical shapes.

It is an art which may take several months to be finished, depending on the size, quality and subject. This brilliant art has its roots in Tibet. In Nepal, Thankas are believed to have developed from the northern Himalayan region. Not only Tibetan community but whoever follows Tibetan Buddhism and the Newar community also continue this art.

Importance of Thanka

Thanka is not simply an art or a piece of decoration but it has religious significance too. The Buddhist devotees have always paid homage and used it in their ceremonies to appeal to the various deities and figures portrayed. They believe by worshipping the deities, portrayed on it, would bring good profit in their business, protect all from calamity, enemies and fulfill their each desire. So they hang such painting in the worship room and worship it by purifying it with sacred water and chanting to evoke Thankas' mystical power and put khada (a two feet long cloth) on it.

The making of Thanka

Thankas are painted on silk or cotton fabric or on canvas, stretched on wooden frame, using bright colors of many shades.. The fabric is coated with mixture of lime plaster, flour and glue. The surface is smoothened when it gets dried and the outline is drawn with soot from oil lamps or charcoal .Later it is copied with ink. And the colors, mixed with thin glue were filled in them. Thanka paintings are mainly created on the pattern of Mandala or concentric circles. These circles depict the migration of the soul from worldly and material things, towards spiritual enlightenment. Firstly the main figures are drawn followed by the minor figures.

The traditional way of thanka paint was by extracting pigments from natural minerals, and the Himalayan plants mixed with a particular tree sap that guaranteed permanent color. Now a days these paintings are mainly done on paper, having linen fiber. The artists often use modern chemical dyes that give it more vibrant colours but it is unstable thus the old thankas or the new ones which are made with natural base colors surely last longer. Those thankas are more expensive which are decorated with silver and gold dusts. To find out if the real gold has been used or not hold the thanka out towards the sun and see of the gold painting shines, If it did it is real.Price depends upon quality and size of the thanka.

Newar paintings (Poubha)

In ancient times, religious manuscripts were embellished with paintings inspired by Buddhism. It was drawn on palm leaf strips with natural colors. After 15th century paper began to replace the leaf. Newar Painters got an opportunity to study the arts of the other parts of Asia when they had gone to paint scrolls in the monasteries of Tibet,then prosperous trade centre. Later they combined their own style with Tibetan art thus a new type of art emerged. We offer you authentic and genuine Tibetan as well as Newar Thankas which are reasonably priced.

Some Thankas -

Buddha Mandala Thanka which depicts the sphere which is free of spiritual obstacles.

Maitreya Buddha Thanka which portrays Maitreya Buddha who is supposed to come to the earth in future.

Green Tara Thanka which portrays Green Tara who is the embodiment of the activities of all Buddha.

Medicine Buddha Thanka which portrays Medicine Buddha, the greatest healer.

Kalchakra Mandala Thanka which depicts the wheel of time and the mandala, the magic sphere.

Vajrayogini Thanka which portrays Vajrayogini, the female form of an enlightened Buddha.

Padmasambhava Thanka which portrays Padmasambhava, popularly known as Guru Rinpoche.

Thankas illustrating the life story of Buddha, portraying Amitabha Buddha Thanka, Avalokiteshvara Thanka, Shakyamuni Buddha Thankas etc.