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Dressed up like a deity. When you add decorating features on a Buddha image, this is what it turns out to be. Headdress, princely jewellery, cloths, etc plus deco of the surrounding. This is an 800 years old bronze Buddha image at the golden temple in Patan. It is quite common in Nepal to dress up their deities in temples and shrines. So much so sometime it is difficult to tell whether an image is a Syakamuni Buddha or other deities such as Tara. If you ask anyone, they will say it is Buddha, but the Nepalese and tibetian accord many of their saints with the name Buddha, can be very confusing. In Burma too.

This one also located at Swayambhunath temple, seem quite old but there is no indication of it. The monk robe’s drapery over hanging his left shoulder look like pleat that may have branched off into Burma’s Mandalay style. The Burmese may have used this and somehow developed further to look like feminine dress with more pleats. There are a few such found in the Nepalese museum with similar pleat on the shoulder and leg. It has also has a unique feature of mouth not bigger than the width of his nose. Quite few Nepalese style also spotted with small mouth no bigger than the width of the nose. Could be from the same school of thought.

The nepalese like to decorate with elaborate reliefs behind the Buddha image. You can find many such similar decoration in shrines and temples for all other deities as well. It also does show their infamous craftsmanship. This is a small 12th century bronze piece at Patan museum, Nepal.

This is a new piece and made with the awkward right hand, probably copied from early pieces. It also spotted with necklace, a jewellery Buddha wore when he was a prince. Swayambhunath temple. Kathmandu, Nepal.

This small 12th Century bronze piece is made with a curved earring on. Robe has pattern along the edge and folds are made pleated. Very nepalese style. Patan museum, Nepal.

I saw this piece at the National Museum in Kathmandu and noticed the third eye is not the usual circle, but look like an inverted heart-shape. I thought it was some unusual mistake, however upon careful observation, there are quite a few images of the same period are made that way. A local Nepalese style. 17th Century. Kathmandu National Museum.

This unusual awkward right hand pose, look like a simple craftman’s mistake in trying to make the hand too closed to the body. If it were crafted a distance away from the body it will look more normal. Right at this position it looks twisted. Somehow this pose is being copied in some new one too. 17th Century, Kathmandu National Museum.

This century old Buddha is roughly crafted and painted in red monk robe, golden skin and blue hair. I decided to ask the local here who owned a souvenir store next to it, “why his hair is blue?”. He give a logical and reasonable answer, “Buddha is bigger than human, how big, his head touching the blue sky, that’s why his hair is represented in blue, a reflection of heaven.” So the blue colour is symbolically depicting the largeness of Buddha. Sky from all religious points of view also represents heaven. The blue hair is quite common in China Buddha image. Perhaps it was spread all the way there from here. Swayambhunath temple, Kathmandu, Nepal.

This standing image of about 4 meters high black stone sculpture is from the 7th century. Sculpted out from one single piece of stone. It depicts Buddha in enlightenment and called the Buddha of Light (Dipanker) with an aura design behind his head. Hidden in one corner of Swayambhunath temple. Kathmandu, Nepal

What a beautiful album of the Buddha! Thank you for sharing these excellent photos with us! I practice Tibetan Buddhism and I have not seen more extensive and lovelier collections than this! I marked you as one of my favourites. Greetings and Namaste to you, Irene from Canada


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