Monash University
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Kathmandu: Buddhist and Hindu religious images

posted on 2016-09-20, 06:34 authored by David Templeman
Taken during May 1969 - April 1970, these images show scenes to be seen in the streets of Kathmandu either daily or in a few cases, on special occasions. For example the huge mask of Sweta Bhairava is displayed for the eight days of the Hindu Indra Jatra festval only. The beautiful image of the Buddhist goddess Tara in front of the Macchendranath temple is now encased in an unsightly iron cage to protect it from theft and Is almost invisible as a result. Similarly the spectacular stone image of Vishnu reclining on the cosmic oceans is also now no longer able to be seen by non-Hindus. The deities Shiva and his consort Parvati may be seen looking from a window and form part of Kathmandu's street art as much as the young girls seen decorating Buddhist stupa shrines. The massive gilded copper image of the Buddha as a Prince at Svayambhunath temple and that of Padmasambhava next to him are highlights of that temple. Left casually outside the main police station was the large, possibly 16-17th cent. image of the multi-armed Heruka, and it remained there for the year I spent in Nepal, absolutely untouched. The sleek, black stone image of the standing Buddha (2-3rd cent C.E.) was on my street corner of Naghal Tole and was constantly scraped by trucks and cycle rickshaws. It took until the 2000's for it to be removed to the National Museum for its own safety.

Original format: col.; 5 x 5 cm