Eastern Block, First Floor

Far Eastern Statuary

This gallery presents an interesting mix of cultures and arts of countries like Nepal, Tibet and Burma. The gallery has works in three mediums: Bronze, metal and wood. Mainly comprising of a Buddhist collection, it has few other articles too.

The art of Nepal is distinguished by superb copper and bronze sculpture workmanship. The Nepalese collection in the Salar Jung museum mainly consists of bronze temple lamps, khukris; Nepalese daggers, and a couple of Buddhist deities.

We have two temple lamps inscribed with a picture of Lord Ganesha, the peculiar thing about this is that these images representing Ganesha is that, in one lamp we see a Buddhist deity towering over a kneeling figurine of Ganesha, in the other lamp, it is shown the opposite way. Since the Buddhists are known for worshipping “Vighnantaka” (He is the god who removes obstacles similar to the role of Lord Ganesha ), one can say that the lamps were built for Buddhist temples only.

Of the objects decorated with semi-precious stones, we have a miniature home shrine housing ‘Tara’, the Buddhist deity made of crystal wearing a mala of turquoise and agate stones, dating back to the 19th century. There are also splendid examples of Nepalese ‘khukris’ with sheaths and hilts decorated with semi-precious stones.

Tibet forms a naturally corollary to Nepal in terms of religion, culture, and art. The collection found in the museum represents Tibet’s vibrant skills and traditions in the form of ‘Thangkas’ (scroll paintings) and copper tea pots. ‘Thangkas’ are in fact one of the two main art forms where Nepal and Tibet excel. Among the small collection of Thangkas in the Museum, one Thangka has been made based on the theme of the ancient teacher “Padmasambhava”, the founder of Lamaism, a branch of Buddhism, in detail, datable to the 18th or 19th century.

Burma being adjacent to India in the east, much of Burmese art has been influenced by Buddhism as well as Hinduism. In wood carving perhaps, no other country could match the excellence and endurance of the Burmese.

The collection in the museum comprises of a fine number of wooden sculptures in high relief, in round as well as those carved in multilane. We have fascinating lacquer work in gold, red and black produced on bamboo and other soft woods.

A bas-relief carving depicting “The Birth of Buddha” in teakwood of rectangular shape is meant for hanging on the wall; carved borders with filigree, having zodiac symbols of the 19th century. Two finger bowls decorated in gold and black background and the others with geometric shapes are also exquisite.