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Temples of Western Tibet and Their Artistic Symbolism: The Monasteries of Spiti and Kunavar
By: Tucci

Temples of Western Tibet

Our Price: $32.95
Members Price: $29.66
Author: Giuseppe Tucci
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 8185179220

Product Code: 12336

The Monasteries of Spiti and Kunavar

This volume describes the ancient monasteries of Spiti Kunavar, namely, those at Tabo, Lhalung, Chang and Nako, Prof. Tucci has identified the paintings of Mandalas and individual deities in the temples and elucidated their symbolism at length. The abundance of mystic meanings of the deities and cycles represented is interpreted from Sanskrit and Tibetan texts. The first chapter details the main temple of the monastic complex of Tabo, dedicated to the Vajradhatu-Mandala. The second describes the Gserkhan or Golden Temple of Tabo. Its walls are covered with ancient frescoes that go back to the 16 century. The Dkyil-khan or Mandala Temple constitutes the third chapter. Its paintings are from the 17 century. Chapter IV is devoted to the minor temples at Tabo. The next three chapters V, VI and VII take up the temples at Lhalung, at Chang, and at Nako. The Nako temple has frescoes of the 14-15 century.

This volume is of unique importance to understand the fundamentals of Vajrayana art as a concomitant of mysteriosophic realisation. Prof. Tucci has propounded the symbolic and esoteric meaning of the Mandalas at length, and in depth which is unique to him. Two Kashmiri wooden sculptures of 10-11 century in the Tabo Gtsug-lag-khan are valuable for the history of Indian art.
A detailed preface by Lokesh Chandra throws further light on the Mandalas of Vairocana, which dominate the temples in this volume. He clarifies the various types of these Mandalas which had posed problems to Tucci. The murals of Nor-bzan has escaped identification by Tucci, but have now been concorded to Sudhana of the Gandavyuha. The role of photism in the evolution of Tantras is discussed.

This work calls for further field exploration and table research, on the extant sutras and chronicles, and on the murals and sculptures in the ancient territories of Guge.

Temples of Western Tibet and Their Artistic Symbolism, Giuseppe Tucci, Aditya, Hardcover, 250 pp., $32.95

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