Category Archives: Nepal

Treasure Caretaker Training donations

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Consider making a donation to Treasure Caretaker Training, an organization that helps to train Buddhist nuns and monks “to protect and preserve their own monastery collections of sacred art.”

From the campaign:

If you believe that preservation of Buddhist monastery treasures by the monks and nuns who use them every day is important, please donate now!

Every donation counts towards our February and March workshops in India and Nepal. Our work would not be possible without your kindness and ongoing generosity.

We thank you and our monks and nuns will thank you with letters and updates from their monasteries.

His Holiness 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje
“I fully support Ms Shaftel’s endeavours [in Treasure Caretaker Training] and ask all of you who are concerned about the preservation of the living tradition of Buddhist art to offer your full cooperations and whatever support is possible to facilitate this valuable training.”

Ani Pema Chodron
“This is a great project that could use your support. Please consider helping.”

New exhibit to feature rare art from Nepal, Tibet

Padmapani, Central Tibet, 12th Century, 19.5 Inches.

Padmapani, Central Tibet, 12th Century, 19.5 Inches.

The Daily Beacon (University of Tennessee, Knoxville)
Thursday, September 10, 2015 12:00 am
Altaf Nanavati, Copy Editor

“The mind is everything, what you think you become.”

In line with the words of Siddhartha Gautama, the McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture will seek to expand the minds of the UT student body with the opening of their new exhibit entitled, “Embodying Enlightenment: Buddhist Art of the Himalayas,” this Friday, Sept. 11.

The exhibit will take attendees on an exploration of Buddhist culture and art, featuring paintings and sculptures of religious deities. The featured items will also be coupled with explanations on how the various objects, related to both trade and travel, were integral in keeping the Buddhist artistic tradition strong to the present day.

The articles featured in the exhibit range from the 8th century through the present.
Throughout the fall semester, the museum will be holding a wide variety of events related to the exhibit including a lecture series hosted by professors at UT, a meditative experience hosted by Prasad Hutter, director of the Acupuncture & Awareness Center of Knoxville, and numerous tours which will allow attendees from outside the University to explore the exhibit.

From Sept. 22-25, the museum will also have Tibetan monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery in Atlanta come and create sand mandalas.

Suzanne Wright, an art professor who specializes in Asian visual art, will be teaching a class for the remainder of the fall semester on the objects presented at the exhibit and their importance.

Instead of covering the art of South and Southeast Asia, Wright has shifted her class curriculum to examine works of art from Nepal and Tibet shown at the exhibit. She said that because the items within the exhibit are rare, they will take up at least a third of the course. Continue reading

A Race to Fix Nepal’s Ravaged Monuments Before Monsoons Hit

One of Nepal’s oldest and most venerated shrines, the Swayambunath temple complex suffered damage in the April 25th and May 12th earthquakes. Conservators hope to shore up the main stupa before monsoon rains arrive.  PHOTOGRAPH BY NIRANJAN SHRESTHA, AP

One of Nepal’s oldest and most venerated shrines, the Swayambunath temple complex suffered damage in the April 25th and May 12th earthquakes. Conservators hope to shore up the main stupa before monsoon rains arrive.
PHOTOGRAPH BY NIRANJAN SHRESTHA, AP

National Geographic

Workers are trying to protect key religious sites damaged in the recent earthquakes before the rains come.

By Andrew Lawler, National Geographic
PUBLISHED JUNE 08, 2015

High on a hill overlooking Kathmandu, the golden-spired Swayambhu shrine has drawn Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims for at least 1400 years. Now it is drawing conservators racing to fix ominous fissures in the main white-domed stupa as the summer monsoon fast approaches.

“There is fear of a landslide, and we have to take care of these cracks before the rainy season,” says Christian Manhart, the head of UNESCO’s mission in Nepal.

Nepalese and foreigners are working to pick up the pieces of the country’s heritage following the April 25 earthquake and a second tremor on May 12 that together killed more than 8,500 people, injured some 23,000, and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

The quakes also wreaked havoc on Nepal’s ancient heritage that is central to the day-to-day lives of many Nepalese, and is a big draw for revenue-producing tourists. According to UNESCO documents, more than 30 monuments in the Kathmandu Valley collapsed in the quakes, and another 120 incurred partial damage. (Read “Nepal’s 8 Key Historic Sites: What’s Rubble, What’s Still Standing.”)

Picture of Nepalese security forces excavating ancient carvings and artifacts in Nepal Nepalese troops look for bodies at Patan Durbar Square. Looting at damaged and destroyed shrines and temples has been minimal, according to UNESCO officials. Bulldozers used to clear debris are a bigger threat.  PHOTOGRAPH BY BRIAN SOKOL, PANOS

Picture of Nepalese security forces excavating ancient carvings and artifacts in Nepal
Nepalese troops look for bodies at Patan Durbar Square. Looting at damaged and destroyed shrines and temples has been minimal, according to UNESCO officials. Bulldozers used to clear debris are a bigger threat.
PHOTOGRAPH BY BRIAN SOKOL, PANOS

Manhart and Nepali colleagues estimate that it will take at least $160 million to repair and restore 1,000 damaged and destroyed monasteries, temples, historic houses, and shrines across the country. For this deeply religious nation, the reconstruction is a high priority, particularly in a time of despair and mourning. Continue reading

In Nepal, Efforts Underway To Salvage Ancient Sites Damaged By Quake

A Buddhist monk picks through a damaged monastery near the Swayambhunath stupa. Niranjan Shrestha/AP

A Buddhist monk picks through a damaged monastery near the Swayambhunath stupa. Niranjan Shrestha/AP

NPR
MAY 03, 2015 5:41 PM ET
KIRK SIEGLER

Swayambhunath — also known as the Monkey Temple, for its holy, furry dwellers that swing from the rosewood trees — is one of the oldest and most sacred Buddhist sites in Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley, an important pilgrimage destination for Hindus as well as Buddhists. It was also one of the worst damaged by last month’s earthquake.

At the site, Nepali police soldiers shovel broken bricks and sand into garbage baskets. They’re much more cautious cleaning up here than at many other devastated places: There’s a chance they could still find precious, centuries-old statues and other artifacts in the rubble.

Master carvers like Ratna Muni Brahmacharya are in a position to play a key role in restoring Nepal’s many damaged temples and monuments.

Volunteers stand precariously atop a two-story-high pile of crumbled bricks, scouring it for relics. A temple nearby, part of the site’s hilltop complex, has big cracks and looks like it could topple and crush them at any minute.

This is dangerous, important work, says Nepal’s undersecretary of the Department of Archaeology, Suresh Shrestha, who’s peeled off his dust mask and is taking a break in the shade.

“There are so many artifacts because in Hinduism and Buddhism, there are lots and lots of gods and goddesses,” he says.

Buddhist monks recover a statue of a Buddhist deity from a monastery at Swayambhunath. Niranjan Shrestha/AP

Buddhist monks recover a statue of a Buddhist deity from a monastery at Swayambhunath.
Niranjan Shrestha/AP

Nepal’s government says at least 70 ancient, sacred sites in the Kathmandu Valley were severely damaged or destroyed by the earthquake. The area is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites; Swayambhunath is one of them.

With help from the United Nations, every ancient object that’s found intact at the site from now on will be inventoried and stored in a secure place to protect from looters. Archaeologists fear that in the chaos following the quake, some artifacts were lost or stolen.

Continue reading

Nepal earthquake reduces World Heritage sites to rubble

So many tragic images of death and destruction from Nepal. Our hearts go out to the victims and families of victims and to all of the people of Nepal. The Washington Post article here has compiled a number of images on this link. – Buddhist art news

Volunteers work to remove debris at the historic Dharahara Tower in Kathmandu, Nepal. (Niranjan Shrestha/AP)

Volunteers work to remove debris at the historic Dharahara Tower in Kathmandu, Nepal. (Niranjan Shrestha/AP)

Washington Post
By Peter Holley April 25 at 1:39 PM

The devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that violently shook Nepal on Saturday left more than human casualties in its wake.

The country also saw a number of its iconic UNESCO World Heritage sites and most popular tourist attractions — some dating more than 1,700 years — reduced to piles of rubble.

Among the well-known Kathmandu landmarks destroyed by the quake was the 100-foot Dharahara Tower, which was cut down to a 30-foot pile of jagged brick, according to Reuters.

Originally built for the queen of Nepal in 1832, the lighthouse lookalike was rebuilt following a powerful 1934 earthquake that claimed more than 16,000 lives, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Open to visitors for the past decade, as many as 200 people were inside the nine-story tower when it toppled, a police officer told Reuters.

The Kathmandu Valley includes seven groups of monuments that showcase a range of religious and artistic traditions that have made the area world famous, according UNESCO. Among the most well-known are tiered temples made of fired brick and timber.

“The roofs are covered with small overlapping terracotta tiles, with gilded brass ornamentation,” according to a UNESCO description. “The windows, doorways and roof struts have rich decorative carvings. The stupas have simple but powerful forms with massive, whitewashed hemispheres supporting gilded cubes with the all-seeing eternal Buddha eyes.” Continue reading

7 held with ancient Buddha statue

 The statute is believed to be around 300 years old The statute is believed to be around 300 years old Photo by : Post Photo

The statute is believed to be around 300 years old The statute is believed to be around 300 years old Photo by : Post Photo

Kathmandu Post
– RAJENDRA NATH

NEPALGUNJ, FEB 05 – Police arrested seven people, including two women, in possession of ancient statue of Lord Buddha believed to be around 300 years old, from Banke on Thursday.

The arrestees are Chhetra Bahadur BC, 36, of Salyan; Shiva Singh, 22, of Jajarkot; Nabaraj Yogi, 24, and Padma Chaudhary, 29, of Banke; Jit Prasad Chaurel, 28, and Laxmi, 24, of Okhaldhunga and Bikash Shahi, 26, of Humla. They had been staying at a Agaiya Bazaar-based hotel in Kachanapur-1 since January 27.

As per the statement of the arrestees, a police team from Area Police Office in Kohalpur recovered the idol from an animal shed belonging to Gurulal Chaudhary at Baijapur-2 in the district. The statue is 10 inches tall, 8 inches wide and weighs 11.89 kilograms.

Police suspect that the smugglers hid the idol in the shed in order to smuggle it to India through Nepalgunj border point. Police claimed the arrestees are members of an organised group of smugglers. “Preliminary probe shows that the arrestees are involved in idol smuggling. Further investigation is under way,” said a police officer involved in the investigation.

“We kept them under surveillance as they, hailing from various districts, were found living in the cottage for days in suspicious circumstances. During interrogation, it was revealed that they were involved in stealing and smuggling ancient statues,” Deputy Superintendent of Police Janak Shahi said, adding that they told police that they purchased the statue from Dolpa-based businessman Badal Thapa for

Rs 800,000.

[link]

Kakre Bihar to be renovated at Rs 110 million

http://www.ekantipur.com
MOTILAL POUDEL

JAN 27 – Kakre Bihar, a ruin of an ancient Hindu-Buddhist temple on top of a small hillock in Surkhet Valley, is slated for renovation. The government has started preparations to renovate the ‘Shikhar Saili’ temple of Kakre Bihar, believed to be built in the 12th century, under a multi-year project.

Considered to be only second to Lumbini in terms of archaeological and historical significance, the temple built of solid stone with bronze statues of Lord Buddha as well as numerous Hindu deities stands as a symbol of religious harmony among the people of the region.

Bhesh Narayan Dahal, director general of the Department of Archaeology (DoA), said his department will soon be inviting tender bids for the renovation of the ancient temple. Stating that they plan to complete renovation work within three years, Dahal said that initial budget estimates for carrying out renovation work hovers in the range of Rs 90-110 million, adding that they will also be reconstructing important artefacts if they are found to be lost.

The DoA stated that the renovation works will be conducted preserving the unique architectural style of the temple, and that structures destroyed or irreparable will be reconstructed by architects. As per the DoA, the site will be renovated retaining its original form without any changes. Continue reading

Durham University professor’s breakthrough find is hailed internationally

Photo by Ira Block/National GeographicArchaeologist Robin Coningham works in the trench in the remains of an ancient monastery, with the Maya Devi Temple in the background

Photo by Ira Block/National GeographicArchaeologist Robin Coningham works in the trench in the remains of an ancient monastery, with the Maya Devi Temple in the background

The Journal (UK)
Jan 07, 2015 13:32 By Tony Henderson

Nepal excavation hailed among the Top 10 by the Archaelogical Institute of America’s Archaeology Magazine

A project in which a team led by a North East archaeologists played a key role in a breakthrough discovery into the origins of the Buddhist religion has been hailed as being of world significance.

The excavations in Nepal were guided by Professor Robin Coningham from Durham University and Kosh Prasad Acharya of the Pashupati Area Development Trust, and revealed a previously unknown Sixth Century BC timber structure under a series of brick temples.

Now the uncovering of what is the first archaeological material linking the life of the Buddha to a specific century has been featured amongst the top 10 world discoveries of 2014 by the Archaeological Institute of America’s Archaeology Magazine.

The find was made within the sacred Maya Devi Temple at Lumbini, Nepal, a UNESCO World Heritage site long identified as the birthplace of the Buddha.

Prof Coningham, who is currently carrying out fieldwork in Nepal, said: “I’m delighted that the project has been featured as one of Archaeology Magazine’s top 10 world discoveries. This recognition, alongside other archaeological breakthroughs in 2014, is a testament to the global significance of the historical Buddha and his teachings.

“The discovery confirms the value of the science-based methodological approach to the archaeology of early Buddhism by the international team of researchers.” Continue reading

Devoted to painting

Lok Chitrakar

Lok Chitrakar

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

Nepali Times
Stéphane Huët

Nepal’s paubha master takes Kathmandu’s traditional art to Japan

Lok Chitrakar, 54, is Nepal’s most famous painter of paubha, the devotional art form that went from Nepal to Tibet to become the thangka. Now, he is taking 32 of his paintings even further to Japan where it will be part of a larger collection on permanent display at a museum.

As an autodidact, Chitrakar came from a family of artists and started using brushes at 12. Today, his work is renowned worldwide with some of his paintings featuring in permanent exhibitions from Pakistan to Finland.

Chitrakar has been working with the Kanzouin Museum in Tokyo for the past 12 years which already has 30 of his paintings, and soon will be adding 32 more to complete a series that will ultimately have 108 paintings from Kathmandu.

Lok Chitrakar was working on a mandala for a Japanese client in 2000, and had to learn Japanese techniques to complete it. For this he got in touch with a Japanese friend who showed his work to people in the art scene there. There was no looking back, the Japanese were hooked. Continue reading

Heritage Watch: Efforts lack to secure historical site

ekantipur.com
Posted on: 2014-10-06 09:00

KATHMANDU, OCT 06 – In July last year, archaeologists carried out an excavation at Baluwa area in Gokarna, next to where Lichhavi King Amshu Verma’s sixth century inscription was found in the late seventies. But just over a year later, a three-storey house stands tall on the very spot where the discovery was made.

By the time the Department of Archaeology learnt about the building, the construction was already halfway through. According to Ram Bahadur Kunwar, coordinator of the excavation, the departement’s directive to the Village Development Committee to impose restriction on construction of any structure in the area was not followed.

The house owner, Yangde Sherpa, oblivious to the archaeological value of the land, says she was tricked into buying the property at a higher price by an agent two years ago.

“The Village Development Committee had given me the approval to build my house on the land. I didn’t know what to make of it when I was later told that the land was archaeologically important,” she says. Continue reading