Tibetan exiles preserving, promoting 'thangka' art

by Sunandita Dasgupta, PTI, Sept 21, 2009

Mcleodganj, HP (India) --  Bright hues, unique colour schemes and minute detailing make the Tibetan 'thangkas' or religious scroll-paintings a visual treat -- and the exile community here are going all out to preserve the art form.

A thangka -- coming from Tibetan word 'thang' (flat) is a painted or embroidered scroll hung in Buddhist monasteries or households and carried by monks in ceremonial processions.

Being a key part of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, thangkas can be seen everywhere in this Himachal Pradesh hill station which hosts Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and is also the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

To ensure that the art form flourishes, the Norbulingka Institute nearby Dharamshala was providing special training to Tibetan exiles on thangka painting and embroidery.