Ancient statues and other relics found during repair of Takav Gate

During archaeological excavations to repair the Takav Gate, experts found statues of giants and angels on the drawbridge of Takav Gate, as well as other relics which were cleaned and preserved.

Archaeology Officer of the APSARA Authority, Kim Seng Pheakdey, said that during the 3 weeks of archaeology excavations to repair the Takav Gate, the team found 3 heads of giant statues and the upper half torso of three other statues. They also found the torsos of 4 Asura statues, heads of 3 statues of deities, of which 2 were complete and 1 only had the shoulders to the lips.

Pheakdey said that after the team found the sculptures, the team cooperated with the heritage police to register, document, and store the relics at a repair site.

The Takav gate is one of the five gates of Angkor Thom, located to the west of the Bayon Temple.

Three heads of Asura discovered at Takao Gate

The conservation team of the Department of Conservation of Monuments in the Angkor Park and Preventive Archaeology of the APSARA National Authority has discovered three heads of Asura, while conducting excavations to restore Takao Gate (West Gate).

The information was shared this afternoon by Kim Sothin, Deputy Director General of APSARA National Authority.

A statue of angel and many other pieces of artifacts have been found along with the Asura heads, he said, adding that the restoration of Takao Gate is funded by Seang Chan Heng, Director General of Heng Development Co., Ltd.

Takao is one of the five gates of Angkor Thom city. Located in the west of Bayon Temple, the gate was made of sandstone and laterite with three four-faced Brahma above. C. Nika – AKP

Buddha, Shiva, Lotus, Dragon: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection at Asia Society

Experience the dynamic culture of the Buddha, Shiva, Lotus, Dragon: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection at Asia Society at the Kimbell Art Museum June 27 through September 5.

This selection of masterpieces drawn from Asia Society’s permanent collection illuminates social and artistic histories from across Asia and underscores the visual arts’ capacity to encourage cross-cultural dialogue.

The exhibit will showcase an array of extraordinary sculptures, ceramics, metalwork and bronzes thoughtfully assembled by John D Rockefeller III and his wife, Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller, between the 1940s and 1970s.
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To purchase tickets, visit www.kimbellart.org/tickets.

The Buddha, Shiva, Lotus and Dragon is one of the most important collections of Asian art in America. The exhibit will present 67 masterpieces from the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection at Asia Society. This selection will reveal the great achievements in Asian art spanning more than two millennia: including Chinese vases, dynamic Indian Chola bronzes and exquisite Southeast Asian sculptures.

Participants can experience the showcase in-person or access the audio tour. The audio tour is only available through the Kimbell app. To purchase the access code to unlock the audio tour, click HERE or visit the ticketing desk in the Piano Pavilion.

Visitor Guidelines Covid-19 Protocol

As of June 1, the use of face masks is optional for fully vaccinated individuals. Social distancing is enforced. For additional guidelines, visit www.kimbellart.org/coronavirus.

Member Previews

Members are invited to view the exhibit before it opens to the public on Sunday, June 27. Complimentary access to the audio tour for the special exhibition is available during preview days. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own devices and earbuds. No reservations required.

Wednesday and Thursday, June 23 and 24 at 10 am–4 pm
Friday, June 25 at Noon – 7 p.m.
Saturday, June 26 at 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Members Only Early-Entry Hours

Members can visit the special exhibition early on selected days. Simply show your membership card when you reach the exhibition entrance. No reservations required.

Saturdays, July 3, 10, and 17 at 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Sundays, July 11 and 18 at 11 a.m. – Noon

NBC 5 is a media sponsor for the Kimbell Arts Museum showcase of the Buddha, Shiva, Lotus, Dragon: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection at Asia Society

Thai temple says construction of giant Buddha statue visible across Bangkok nearly complete

BANGKOK (Reuters) – A Thai temple building a 69-metre-tall (230 ft) Buddha statue that will be visible across Bangkok said construction was nearly complete but its opening may be pushed back to 2022 due to delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
a view of a city at night: Giant Buddha statue of Wat Paknam Phasi Charoen temple is pictured in Bangkok © Reuters/JORGE SILVA Giant Buddha statue of Wat Paknam Phasi Charoen temple is pictured in Bangkok

The Royal Wat Paknam Phasi Charoen temple on the outskirts of Bangkok dates back to 1610 and is located on a island created by canals flowing from the Chao Phraya river.

Work on the statue, which is as tall as a 20-storey building, started in 2017 and should be completed this year, but due to the coronavirus pandemic the official opening may be pushed back to 2022, said temple spokesman Pisan Sangkapinij.
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The Phra Buddha Dhammakāya Thepmongkhon statue, made of copper and painted gold, sits in a seated lotus posture.

Parts were produced in China before being shipped to Thailand to be assembled.

It should be visible from all parts of the raised train line that spans the capital Bangkok, said Pisan.

Using $16 million worth of donations, the temple decided to build the statue to honour Buddhism and also as a tribute to former abbot Luang Pu Sodh Candasaro who helped develop the temple as a renowned centre for meditation, he said.

The statue has drawn double the number of visitors to the temple than usual, he said, and the temple was expecting more once Thailand’s borders, closed due to the pandemic, are reopened to tourists.

The tallest Buddha statue in Thailand is the Phra Buddha Maha Nawamin statue in Ang Thong province that is 92 metres high.

India’s Largest Reclining Buddha Statue to be Installed in Bodh Gaya

Ven. Ariyapala Bhikkhu visits the construction site of the reclining Buddha statue at the Nainan Bandhab Samiti ground in Baranagar’s Ghoshpara, Kolkata. From facebook.com

India’s largest reclining Buddha statue, some 30 meters in length, is to be installed on the premises of the Buddha International Welfare Mission (BIWM) temple in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, within the next few months. The statue was originally intended to be installed on Buddha Purnima, which this year fell on 26 May, according to BIWM founder Venerable Ariyapala Bhikkhu, but the unveiling ceremony was postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The renowned sculptor Mintu Pal from Kolkata and his team of 22 artisans were commissioned to create the statue at the Nainan Bandhab Samiti ground in Baranaga’s Ghoshpara on the outskirts of Kolkata. The statue, which was fabricated entirely from fiberglass infused with a golden pigmemt, was made in several parts. Each section of the statue is now at BIMW, where it will finally be assembled. A concrete foundation and an iron-and-steel-based structure have been created at the venue where the statue will be permanently installed.


The head of the reclining Buddha statue. From facebook.comThe head of the reclining Buddha statue. From facebook.com

“It gives me pleasure to see Mintu Pal’s work,” Ven. Ariyapala told Buddhistdoor Global. “We have a 45-foot [14-meter] Buddha statue in Rajchandrapur on the outskirts of Kolkata, where our BIMW has another branch. I believe the reclining Buddha statue will impress everyone.”

According to media reports, Pal began creating the statue in March 2019, but work was suspended due to the COVID-19 lockdown. The artists resumed their work in November last year.

Ven. Ariyapala explained that just before attaining Mahaparinirvana in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, the Buddha recited his last words while lying on a throne. As a result, Buddhists place high importance on statues of the reclining Buddha.

Ven. Ariyapala also noted that there is a 24-meter staue of a standing Buddha in Saranath, Uttar Pradesh, and a 24-meter Buddha statue in Bodh Gaya seated in a meditation posture.

“Our reclining Buddha statue is also 80-foot [24 meters],” Aryapal said, adding that the statue could have been made bigger, but as the Buddha lived 80 years so the length of the statue was decided in accordance. However, with the addition of an altar, the entire length of the scuplture comes to 100 feet [30 meters]. This will be the largest reclining statue in the country, he added.

The sculptor Pal is happy to be a part of history, observing that Buddhist monks, pilgrims, and tourists from all over the world visit Bodh Gaya: “It is good to think that everyone will see this golden statue. This fiberglass statue will probably remain for thousands of years even after we leave this Earth.”

The figure of the reclining Buddha was first depicted in Gandharan art between 50 BCE and 75 CE, peaking during the Kushan period between the first and fifth centuries CE. Reclining Buddha statues show the Buddha lying on his right side, with his head resting on a cushion or his right elbow. The imagery expresses the message that all living beings have the potential to become awakened and to be released from the cycle of death and rebirth.

“The reclining Buddha comes from this very well-recorded final moment of the Buddha’s life, which is why it could be recreated visually with such distinct details in statues and paintings,” said Dr. Vruttant Manwatkar, assistant professor at Mumbai’s KC College. “This also signifies the Buddha’s last deeksha—even while on his deathbed, he took a follower into the fold.” (The Indian Express)

What Are The Best Materials To Buy Buddha Statues?

Table of Contents

Characteristics of Buddha Statue
Which Buddha Statue To Choose?
Which Material To Choose?

A buddha statue symbolizes happiness, good health, and peace. The symbolic value of a buddha statue is what attracts everyone. You can place it in your house, your office, or in your garden. Having a Buddha statue in your surroundings is not just about having a sculpture but filling it with positive energy.

Buddha sculptures at https://www.lotussculpture.com/buddha-statues.html have a unique quality as skilled artisans handcraft them. A meticulous guideline dictates the proportions and other details of the Buddha while making these sculptures.
Characteristics of Buddha Statue

Each of the sculptures of Budhha depicts a particular incident and phase of his life. For example, Thai buddha statues include an usnisa (protuberance on the head) and elongated ears to depict him leaving the princely life when the material world weighed him down.

Hand gestures or mudras also play a significant role in the representation of Buddha. Every gesture and symbol depicted in the buddha statue has a meaning. Some of the common symbols in buddha sculpture are:

Lotus: The flower symbolizes good and pure things.
Conch Shell: It’s an emblem of authority and power.
Wheel: It indicates the Eightfold path shown by the Buddha. It also signifies the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.
Parasol: The parasol or umbrella is also a symbol of royalty and casts a shadow of protection.
The Endless Knot: It depicts the interaction of opposite forces.
Golden Fish: It signifies the two sacred Indian rivers: Ganga and Yamuna.
Victory banner: It is an emblem of Buddha’s enlightenment.

Which Buddha Statue To Choose?

There are 8 forms of Buddha and many symbolic poses for Buddha. Some of the most common are:

Meditating Buddha: In this pose, Buddha sits in the Lotus position. His face is up, eyes closed, and both hands rest in his lap.
Protecting Buddha: The sculpture shows Buddha with a raised hand. However, he might be in a sitting or standing position.
Happy Buddha: This is a happy, smiling buddha in a sitting posture. He has a rounded belly and bald head.
Reclining Buddha: It represents the Buddha lying on his right side, waiting to enter the Nirvana stage (death).

Other Buddha forms include the earth-touching Buddha, walking Buddha, medicine buddha, and the teaching buddha.
Which Material To Choose?

The earliest Buddha statues in India were made of perishable materials such as brick, clay, wood, or bamboo. But as Buddhism spread throughout Asia, more durable materials like stone and marbles were used. Slowly, other metals like copper and brass were also included to make the sculptures long-lasting. Some of the best materials to choose from in buddha statues are mentioned below.

Wood: Wood has a natural feel and looks perfect whether you place your Buddha indoor or outdoor. To keep your sculpture in good condition, you need to brush off the dust once in a while.
Marble: A beautifully carved buddha makes an ideal art piece in your home or office. It’s effortless to maintain, and you need to wipe the dirt and dust from it to keep it clean.
Brass: It is a zinc and copper alloy with a muted yellow color. The dull yellow color gives it an aged look. It has a great visual appeal.
Bronze: It is tin and copper alloy and used to make buddha sculptures for a long time. As it is a hard metal, it stays intact for a longer time. It is usually more expensive than brass, but a bronze sculpture is perfect if you love antique pieces. With little dusting, they can last years.

Buddha sculptures are available in various materials such as wood, marble, brass, bronze, and wood. You can choose the Buddha sculpture in your favorite pose and material.

Haikou Museum puts on display two Buddha heads acquired at an auction in France

HAIKOU, May 27. /TASS/. Two heads of Buddha were unveiled this week at the Museum of Culture and Art in Ronghuihe Complex Bonded Zone in Hainan’s Haikou, reported the Hainan Daily.

According to the newspaper, in January 2021, the relics were purchased at an auction in France, and on Monday this week they were delivered to Haikou.

One of them – the bronze head of Buddha – belongs to the Tang dynasty (618-907). The second, the gilded head of Buddha made of bronze, belongs to the Song dynasty (960-1279).

According to Hainan Daily, in order to organize the unhindered import of relics to Haikou, a special mechanism was set up by the local customs authorities in conjunction with Ronghuihe Complex Bonded Zone.

As the newspaper writes citing representatives of Hainan Angfei trading company, which was engaged in the delivery of relics to Hainan, in the future the company intends to further promote “the return of artifacts to their homeland.”

Miniature sculpture of Saranath Buddha unearthed

Udupi/UNI: A miniature sculpture of Lord Buddha was discovered at Alembi in 76 Badagabettu village, a local suburb, near here.

The sculpture was found in the debris excavated from a well near an abandoned temple. Prof T Murugeshi, Associate Professor in the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, MSRS College, Shirva, said the sculpture’s height is 9 cm and its width is about 2 cm. It was made out of soft sandstone and looks like a replica of Saranath Buddha, he added.

“It is the first-of-its-kind miniature sculpture found in Karnataka as well as in Udupi. It was carved beautifully and he is seated on a lotus pedestal in Dharma Chakra Pravartana Mudre delivering his first sermon at a deer park. Below the seat, six disciples are seated on either side of the Dharma Chakra. Buddha is seen in clothes and he is wearing earrings. A small Ushnisha is shown on the top of the head. In the back of his head, a beautifully carved round lobe is also seen. On the top corners, two Yakshas and on either side of his backload, two-winged horses are also carved,” he explained.

Prof Murugeshi said the sculpture is in Gupta style. “In the same vicinity, a Brahmi inscription, dating back to the 4th to 5th century, was also discovered in the past. Traditionally, ancient Tulunadu was said to be ruled by the Kadambas of Banavasi. Guptas and Kadambas of Banavasi had matrimonial relations. Therefore, the discovery of Lord Buddha’s image is not unusual. But, the discovery has opened a new chapter in the history of the Udupi district and in the study of Buddhism in South India. Ganesh Raj Saralebettu, Shreyas, Nagaraj, Gowtham, Kavya, Bhavya, Harshitha, and Ganesh played a very important role in this discovery,” he added.

2565th Buddha Jayanti being observed across country

Celebrations this year have seen limited numbers of people in view of the pandemic.

The 2565th birth anniversary of Gautam Buddha is being observed across the country on Wednesday.
The celebrations this year have seen limited numbers of monks, followers and others in view of the prohibitory orders enforced to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
People in Kathmandu sprinkled colours on Boudha Stupa as they marked Buddha Jayanti.
Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Budhha, also marked the day with solemn celebrations. There was limited in-person attendance at Mayadevi Temple premises following health protocols amid the Covid-19 surge.
Here are some photos by Post’s Sanjog Manandhar in Kathmandu and Manoj Paudel in Lumbini.

People sprinkle color on Boudha Stupa on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti in the capital on Wednesday. May 26, 2021. PHOTO/SANJOG MANANDHAR
A carry garland of marigold to decorate the Boudha Stupa on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti in the capital on Wednesday. May 26, 2021. PHOTO/SANJOG MANANDHAR
A devotee offers her prayer at Boudha Stupa on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti in the capital on Wednesday. May 26, 2021. PHOTO/SANJOG MANANDHAR

Explained: The Reclining Buddha and his various other depictions in art

Here’s why India’s largest statue of the Reclining Buddha, built over three months by a team of 22 artisans in Kolkata, is a fascinating piece of art.

Buddha Jayanti, Buddha Purnima, or Vesak — India’s largest statue of the Reclining Buddha was to have been installed at the Buddha International Welfare Mission temple in Bodh Gaya.

The ceremony has been put off due to Covid-19 restrictions, but the giant 100-foot fibreglass statue, built over three months by a team of 22 artisans in Kolkata, remains a fascinating work of art, as much for its size as for the way The Buddha has been depicted.

The Reclining Buddha

A reclining Buddha statue or image represents The Buddha during his last illness, about to enter Parinirvana, the stage of great salvation after death that can only be attained by enlightened souls. The Buddha’s death came when he was 80 years old, in a state of meditation, in Kushinagar in eastern Uttar Pradesh, close to the state’s border with Bihar.

Dr Vruttant Manwatkar, assistant professor at Mumbai’s K C College, said, “The Reclining Buddha comes from this very well-recorded final moment of the Buddha’s life, which is why it could be recreated visually with such distinct details in statues and paintings.

“This also signifies the Buddha’s last deeksha — even while on his deathbed, he took a follower into the fold,” he said.

Buddhist scholar Prof Ravindra Panth, former vice-chancellor of the Nava Nalanda Mahavihara deemed university in Nalanda, Bihar, said, “Mahaparinirvana of the Buddha is supposed to be a very important event that happened in Kushinagar; it is not simply a demise, it is the great demise, after which there is no rebirth for him. So, it is his final going away.”

Iconographic representation

Statues and images of the Reclining Buddha show him lying on his right side, his head resting on a cushion or on his right elbow. It is a popular iconographic depiction in Buddhism, and is meant to show that all beings have the potential to be awakened and be released from the cycle of death and rebirth.

The Reclining Buddha was first depicted in Gandhara art, which began in the period between 50 BC and 75 AD, and peaked during the Kushana period from the first to the fifth centuries AD, Dr Manwatkar said.

Prof Panth said that since the Buddha was against idol worship, in the centuries immediately following his parinirvana (483 BC), his representation was through symbols. As the devotional aspect subsequently entered Buddhist practice, however, iconographic representations of The Buddha began.

Reclining Buddha outside India

Dr Manwatkar said that in Sri Lanka and India, the Buddha is mostly shown in sitting postures, while the reclining postures are more prevalent in Thailand and other parts of South East Asia.

The largest Reclining Buddha in the world is the 600-foot Winsein Tawya Buddha built in 1992 in Mawlamyine, Myanmar.

The largest Reclining Buddha in the world, Winsein Tawya Buddha in Mawlamyine, Myanmar. (Wikimedia Commons)

In the late 15th century, a 70-metre statue of the Reclining Buddha was built at the Hindu temple site of Baphuon in Cambodia’s Angkor.

The Bhamala Buddha Parinirvana in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which dates back to the 2nd century AD, is considered the oldest statue of its kind in the world.

There are several statues of the Reclining Buddha in China, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Reclining Buddha in India

Cave No. 26 of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ajanta contains a 24-foot-long and nine-foot-tall sculpture of the Reclining Buddha, believed to have been carved in the 5th century AD.

Nashik-based restorer and research photographer Prasad Pawar, who has been working for more than two decades to restore the fading artwork of Ajanta digitally, said of the sculpture: “It shows the Buddha reclining on his right side, and behind him are two sala trees. At the base of the sculpture are his begging bowl, a water pitcher and walking stick. While his disciples are shown sitting in mourning, celestial beings are shown on top, rejoicing in anticipation of the Buddha’s arrival in heaven.”

Kushinagar, where the Buddha actually attained parinirvana, has a 6-metre-long red sandstone monolith statue of the Reclining Buddha inside the Parinirvana Stupa.

Other depictions of the Buddha

Elsewhere in India, Prof Panth said, there are a lot of Buddhas in sitting postures, mostly pertaining to his Enlightenment rather than to his demise.

At the Mahabodhi temple, the Buddha is sitting in the bhoomi-sparsha mudra, where his hand is pointing towards the ground. It symbolises earth as being witness to his enlightenment.

At Sarnath, where the Buddha gave his first sermon, the stone statue has a hand gesture called the dharma-chakra mudra, which signifies preaching. This is also the most popular depiction in India, along with the Bodhi tree depiction.

Experts say the Buddha is depicted in over a hundred poses around the world. While the Sitting Buddha — most common depiction — is believed to be teaching or meditating, the Standing Buddha signifies rising to teach after reaching nirvana.

The Walking Buddha is either beginning his journey toward enlightenment or returning after giving a sermon. This is the least common of the Buddha postures, and is seen mostly in Thailand.

Prof Panth said the Buddha statues found in South East Asia are an amalgamation of all his various postures and life events, including mahaparinirvana, but not limited to it.