Join 3,442 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Buddha Paintings Found in Nepal
May 13, 2007 10:06 AM   Subscribe

Paintings of Buddha dating back at least to the 12th century have been discovered in a cave in Nepal. Tipped by a local shepherd, a team of international researchers climbed to some old caves where they found a mural with 55 panels depicting the life of Buddha, reminiscent of the artwork of the Ajanta Caves in India (possibly NSFW). There are probably many other forgotten caves in the Mustang area (previously discussed here,) but they may be threatened by a planned trans-Himalayan highway.
posted by homunculus (22 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
I couldn't find anything about the "trans himalayan highway" other then links to the story and this , which I'm not sure is talking about the same thing. I'm guessing they want to build a highway along this ancient mount pass, which is also called the "trans-himalayan highway"?
posted by delmoi at 10:23 AM on May 13, 2007


Delmoi, this site looks promising if you can find a way to search it.
Excellent post.
posted by acro at 10:44 AM on May 13, 2007


"The kingdom is on the brink of change..." (previously discussed here) WMV
posted by acro at 10:57 AM on May 13, 2007


As usual, wonderful post homunculus.

Discovering long lost art treasure in a cave is exciting. What a cool find. Glad the internet is passing around the information about the caves and the art found there. Perhaps it may better protect the culture of the area of Mustang when the highway is built. I truly hope so.

Ever since the advent of the whole Buddha Boy excitement in Nepal, there's been greater tourist interest in Nepal. It's a hard time now in Nepal with the huge political upheaval and recent civil war. Maybe the tourist interest may help to bring some beneficial focus on the country.

Other ancient Buddhist art treasures in faraway places that date back to the 7th, 8th, 9th 10th centuries can be found in the beautiful mountainous regions of India, in Himachal Pradesh, Lahaul and Spiti.
posted by nickyskye at 11:07 AM on May 13, 2007


A perfect illustration of how unpredictable life can be - a shepherd in Nepal has a life we'd probably imagine as being uneventful and somewhat hollow (outside of herding ones' sheep of course). And then it starts raining and, simply seeking to stay dry, this guy finds something more impressive than climbing the summit of the world's highest mountain.

Thanks homunculus, this is really fascinating.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:59 AM on May 13, 2007


I couldn't find anything about the "trans himalayan highway"

I saw a news story about it awhile back, I think on CCTV, but I couldn't find anything else. As I recall, the highway was definitely going to Kathmandu, but whether it would actually connect to India was still up in the air.

I also I couldn't find more images of the mural. Hopefully there will be more online soon.
posted by homunculus at 1:18 PM on May 13, 2007


In other Himalayan news: China orders resettlement of thousands of Tibetans
posted by homunculus at 1:20 PM on May 13, 2007


The simultaneous discovery of ancient Tibetan manuscripts in nearby caves...

Oooh! Could this be the work of Padma-Sambhava?
posted by taosbat at 1:30 PM on May 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


And then it starts raining and, simply seeking to stay dry, this guy finds something more impressive than climbing the summit of the world's highest mountain.

I suspect fewer people will ever see this than have seen (and will see) the top of Everest. Anyone with enough money can get to the top of Everst - climbing up the Chinese attitude about Nepal is much, much harder.
posted by three blind mice at 1:31 PM on May 13, 2007


Other ancient Buddhist art treasures in faraway places that date back at least to the 4th century can be found around the Taklamakan desert in Xinjiang Province of China, on the Silk Road.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:37 PM on May 13, 2007


This was an interesting post. Thanks.
posted by serazin at 8:09 PM on May 13, 2007


Awesome, so beautifully preserved. Thanks, homunculus, and thanks to everyone else for the great in-thread links.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:20 PM on May 13, 2007


homunculus/delmoi, Nepal is embarking on an ambitious internationally-funded transportation project to make the whole country more accessible by freight-grade road, and several roads will link Nepal to Tibet, by which Nepal will serve as a road link between China and India.

Map of routes being scouted. Construction announcements. None of them is formally named the "Trans-Himalayan". A lot of it depends on Nepal's economy, and vice versa.
posted by dhartung at 12:00 AM on May 14, 2007


I suspect fewer people will ever see this than have seen (and will see) the top of Everest. Anyone with enough money can get to the top of Everst - climbing up the Chinese attitude about Nepal is much, much harder.

Forgive me; I'm a bit low on sleep at the moment, but what do you mean by this? I've hiked the Mustang-Helambu region. It's not as accessible as some others, but hardly off-limits. If you mean this cave display in particular well then perhaps, if only because it won't be chopped out to be put in some museum and I can't really see cave tours working out in that area. What else are you getting at?
posted by dreamsign at 12:21 AM on May 14, 2007


Thanks, dhartung.
posted by homunculus at 10:19 AM on May 14, 2007


Lifeline or truck stop: road divides Buddhist kingdom
posted by homunculus at 9:45 AM on May 15, 2007


I read your Lifeline or truck stop link, homunculus, and began searching about the effects of climate change in the region. That's an economic issue I think folks need to research: a place like Mustang could be a new Aspen -- or Taos (...highest-class truck stop? Hash that one out, comrades.). I was distracted when I accidentally found this reference to Newari artists (you linked one here).
posted by taosbat at 5:27 PM on May 15, 2007


Here's a recent article which mentions that the people at higher elevations in the Himalayas are benefiting from climate change: Warming triggers 'alarming' retreat of Himalayan glaciers.
posted by homunculus at 6:10 PM on May 15, 2007


Here at the foot of the towering Nojin Gangsang mountain, an ice-covered 23,700-foot peak, herders notice the retreat of the glaciers but say they feel grateful for the milder winters and increasing vegetation on mountain slopes in summers.

But for people living in the watershed of the Himalayas and other nearby mountain ranges along the Tibetan Plateau, glacial melt could have catastrophic consequences...

posted by taosbat at 6:16 PM on May 15, 2007


Yeah, downstream, not so much.
posted by homunculus at 10:34 PM on May 21, 2007


Buddhism 2
posted by homunculus at 10:35 PM on May 21, 2007


Exiled Tibetans fight to save ancient Buddhist art
posted by homunculus at 10:36 PM on June 3, 2007


« Older Stacey Peralta's directing and editing chops date ...  |  An interesting collection of c... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments