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By: Goepper, Roger

Alchi <br>  By: Goepper, Roger

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Author: Goepper, Roger
ISBN: 157062240X

Product Code: 5051
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Ladakh's Hidden Buddhist Sanctuary
The Sumtsek
On the south bank of the Indus in Ladakh, facing a great trade and invasion route to the north, lies Alchi, a repository of magnificent Buddhist wall paintings and clay sculptures that have survived for over eight hundred years. This sumtuously illustrated book details the most impressive of the temples within the complex, the Sumtsek (Three-Tiered) Temple.
The building itself is an impressive mixture of Tibetan and Kashmiri elements, which display some central Asian antecedents. The fresh and colorful wall paintings, in a sophisticated Kashmiri style, appear to be a transposition of techniques intended for miniatures onto walls. Besides the esoteric Buddhist character of the murals, which culminates in the magnificent mandalas of the upper stories, there are tantalising representations of kings and queens, princes and princesses, seemingly western Tibetan or Ladakhi but garbed in a Kashmiri and central Asian manner.
The masterly vision of the creators of the Sumtsek has melded a profusion of teachings, artistic formats, structural possibilities and the demands of a donor's personal vision, into a unified sanctuary. This accomplishment can be compared to only a few other monuments where manifold doctrinal expressions of great complexity are harmoniously disciplined by a tightly structured system, such as the temples of Borobodur in Java, Samye and the Gyantse Kumbum in Tibet, Elephanta in India, the Wu Liang shrine in eastern China, and the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

Alchi, Roger Goepper, 286 pages, $150.00

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