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Art and Devotion at a Buddhist Temple in the Indian Himalaya by Melissa R. Kerin

By Melissa R. Kerin

Sixteenth-century wall work in a Buddhist temple within the Tibetan cultural area of northwest India are the point of interest of this cutting edge and richly illustrated examine. before everything formed by means of one set of non secular ideals, the work have due to the fact that been reinterpreted and retraced via a later Buddhist group, subsumed inside its spiritual framework and communal reminiscence. Melissa Kerin strains the devotional, political, and creative histories that experience encouraged the work' construction and reception over the centuries in their use. Her interdisciplinary strategy combines paintings old tools with inscriptional translation, ethnographic documentation, and theoretical inquiry to appreciate non secular photos in context.

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Although there were no other Drigung temples, I was able to chart in a rough manner the artistic and religious landscape of the Spiti valley and its subvalleys. The following section briefly addresses some of these sites in order to provide an abbreviated understanding of the religious context and artistic environment surrounding Nako. The following analysis reveals this region’s rich presence of Buddhist art with iconographic programs illustrating syncretic religious practice relating to Gelug, Kagyu, and Nyingma traditions.

This deal, therefore, was a financially prudent one on behalf of the Bashahr kingdom. The question remains, however, what constituted “upper Kinnaur”? It may well have been the area now considered the Upper Kinnaur region—Jangi to Sumdo. If so, this would have included Nako, which would suggest that it was a tributary of the Guge kingdom in West Tibet. Thus, although Nako, and more broadly Kinnaur, may have been officially subsumed within the Guge kingdom, it is likely that it was not directly governed by Guge.

Nineteenth century. MRK. 55 Both temples are constructed according to square plans and currently have pitched roofs made of corrugated tin (fig. 56 Their interiors are similarly organized, with the rear third of each temple taken up with a large prayer wheel flanked by two heavily painted wooden sculptures. Distinctive wooden arches painted with floral patterns frame the section with the wheel and sculptures (fig. 9). Both temples have a fair amount of wall painting though the condition is quite poor due to the accumulation of soot, a common problem for Tibetan Buddhist temples caused by smoke from incense and butter lamps.

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