A year-old rail line (The World's Highest Railway Beijing to Lhasa ), capital of the remote Himalayan region of Tibet, with the rest of China has brought a deluge of Chinese tourists. Once quiet, holy sites are now filled with sightseers, many of them trailing behind guides loudly explaining their cultural significance.

"In the past, this was a very comfortable place to come for Buddhists. You could see a lot of lamas and Tibetans in this place and it made you feel like this was a place for your faith," monk Renzin Gyaltso said as he strolled down a stone path at the Potala Palace.

Tibet's Buddhist culture, often besieged in the past half-century of Chinese rule by religious restrictions and communist political movements, is facing a new threat: mass tourism.
Pilgrimages to sacred sites are an integral part of Tibetan Buddhism.

Renzin Gyaltso, 29, has visited the sprawling Potala Palace 14 times since joining a monastery as a small boy. "Now I feel sad when I come here because I cannot see any good people, I can't see any people wearing lama robes. You can't see anything special, they all look the same," he said of the tourists, dressed in fleece jackets and sneakers.

The Dalai Lama has warned that Tibet's religion and culture are imperiled as he travels the world meeting heads of state and drawing harsh rebukes from China.
"Every year, the Chinese population inside Tibet is increasing at an alarming rate. And if we are to judge by the example of the population of Lhasa, there is a real danger that the Tibetans will be reduced to an insignificant minority in their own homeland," he said when accepting the U.S. Congress' highest civilian honor in October.

Beijing wanted to build a railway to Tibet for decades but was put off by engineering challenges. The project launched in earnest in 2001 and the train began running in July 2006, on a specially designed track to protect the delicate permafrost that lies under much of the last third of the rail line.
"According to government statistics, 3.2 million tourists visited Tibet in the first nine month of this year, an increase of 67 percent over the same period in 2006. The figure—2.9 million Chinese tourists and 326,000 from overseas—is 710,000 more than the total number of visitors for all of 2006.
There's been a dramatic increase in tourism generally since the opening of the railway," said Kate Saunders of the Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet. "It's been particularly acute at the major sacred sites ... the sites that are most important to Tibetan heritage." Tibet Train has become a popular alternative to expensive flights or long, bone-crunching bus rides.
In addition to the 7th century Potala Palace, tourists in Lhasa pack the Jokhang Temple Monastery, the most sacred of Tibet's temples, and Norbulingka, the Dalai Lama's former summer palace.

Colorfully dressed pilgrims prostrate themselves over and over in the square outside the Jokhang Temple, which is crowded with a gumbo of Tibetan herders, Buddhist monks and wide-eyed tourists. Vendors at cluttered stalls hawk handmade jewelry, prayer flags and Buddha statues carved out of orange-tinged yak bone.
Inside the temple, mostly Chinese tourists crowd a large hall filled with rare religious statues, including a life-sized representation of Buddha Sakyamuni as a 12-year-old. At least three different tour guides are shepherding their groups through the room, lit by bare bulbs, as temple workers keep watch.

"As a Tibetan monk I feel especially happy to see that so many people are so interested in Tibetan culture, the splendid culture," said Ngawang Choedra, director of the temple's management committee.
But "it is a contradiction," he said, "on one hand to protect the cultural relics and on the other hand to let (tourists) visit Jokhang Temple in an orderly fashion."
The number of visitors has tripled in the year since the railway opened, he said. The temple now gets about 2,500 visitors per day, in addition to the five or six thousand pilgrims who come to pray.
To handle the crush, the temple administration has drafted a plan to cap the number of tourists per day. The admission fee, which used to be a few cents), has climbed to more than $9.
At the Potala Palace, the number of visitors per day is limited to 2,300, said the director of the management committee, Champa Kesang.

"The limitation is to better protect the structure, the architecture of the Potala Palace. The palace was built on the Red Mountain ... of wood and earth," he said.
Most of the tickets—1,600—are allocated to tour groups. Others who want to see the palace must arrive early to get one of the remaining 700, and the line begins to form more than nine hours before the ticket office opens. The rush of tourists, most of them Chinese, is a sensitive issue.

Since communist troops took over Tibet in 1951, ordinary Tibetans have often felt under attack. To exert control, Beijing destroyed monasteries and at one point banned religion.
In recent years, Beijing has focused on spurring economic development to tie Tibet more closely to China. That effort has drawn criticism from some Tibetans and their supporters abroad, who claim that Tibet's rich spiritual culture is being diluted.

Many visitors are awed(admired) by Tibetan culture, saying it's "more holy" than the rest of China. "When you go to the Potala Palace and the Jokhang Temple, there are a lot more pilgrims praying and that type of thing, whereas when to went to the temples in China, it was a lot more obvious it was just a tourist attraction," said Carmen Elmasry, of Toronto.

TRAIN TO TIBET: The Beijing-Lhasa trip takes about 48 hours. One-way tickets range from about $50 for a seat to $170 for a bunk in a four-bed cabin. Tickets can be harder to obtain heading into Lhasa than leaving Lhasa, especially in peak summer season; as a result, some travelers fly to Lhasa and take the train back.

-Lhasa is located at about 12,000 feet, or more than two miles, above sea level. Altitude sickness is common among visitors. Some hotels sell oxygen and have doctors on call. Tourists are advised to bring extra water and high energy snacks, along with basic medications for headache, diarrhea and minor ailments.
-The disk drives of some laptop computers and other portable electronic devices may crash at high altitudes and data could be lost.
Story By ANITA CHANG Associated Press Writer Read full Story At Railway brings tourist hordes to Tibet
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Carlton Rochell Asian Art brings you the Exhibition MASTERPIECES OF HIMALAYAN ARTS since September 11 to 25, 2009. This exhibition is held in the Fuller Building, a New York City. So i just got Online catalogue for this exhibition, which i would like to share with you.

About Carlton Rochell Asian Art
Carlton Rochell Asian Art opened in October 2002 in the Fuller Building, a New York City landmark home to many prominent art dealers.

The gallery specializes in sculpture, paintings and decorative arts from India, Tibet, Nepal, Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia prior to 1850. Holland Cotter of the New York Times in his review of the inaugural exhibition wrote “The arrival of a new, open-to-the public gallery devoted to Indian and Southeast Asian art is an event for the city; such showcases are few and far between…although Himalayan and Cambodian bronzes are among the most exquisite items, the gallery is dominated by several large-scale sculptures of a kind we rarely see outside museums.”

Carlton Rochell spent the first eighteen years of his career at Sotheby's, where he founded the Indian and Southeast Asian Art Department in 1988. He handled important works of art from such well-known collections as Mrs. Nelson Rockefeller, Carter Burden, Alice Heerameck, William S. Paley, Mrs. James Alsdorf, Mr. and Mrs. Klaus Perls, and Earl Morse. Later, he became the Managing Director of China and Southeast Asia and Head of the Asian Departments worldwide, as well as a highly regarded auctioneer.

Both the highest-grossing auction of Indian and Southeast Asian art ever held and the highest price ever achieved at auction for an individual work were supervised by Mr. Rochell. Souren Melekian wrote “At Sotheby’s, Carlton Rochell in New York raised his auctions of Indian art, now held during Asia week, to world eminence in the last two or three years.”(International Herald Tribune, July 26, 1997)
Finally, the first-ever auction of Contemporary Indian Paintings worldwide was overseen by Mr. Rochell in 1995, the celebrated sale of paintings from the collection of Chester and Davida Herwitz.
Source: http://carltonrochell.com/ourgallery.html
Left two pictures are preview of Online Catalogue contents Page 1 and Page 2.

Visit Online Catalogue Masterpieces of Himalayan Art

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The swastika, swastika is Sanskrit word and it's means, all is well. Swastika is a cross with four arms of equal length, with the ends of each arm bent at a right angle. Sometimes dots are added between each arm.
Swastika is an ancient symbol, and found worldwide. It is a sacred and prehistoric symbol that predates all formal religions known to humankind. In Nepal, India, and Tibet many Hindu and Buddhist gods and goddess holding Swastika. Also it can be seen in the art of the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Celts, Native Americans, and Persians as well Hindus, Jains and Buddhists.
The swastika's Nepalese name comes from the Sanskrit word svasti, meaning good fortune, luck and well being.

The various ways in which the Swastika is depicted, is also revered by Hindu , Buddhist and ranks second only to OM is the Swastika. Today, It remains widely used in Dharmic religion such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Though once commonly used all over the world without stigma, because of Hitler's use of the Swastika on the flag of National-socialist Germany, the symbol has become stigmatized in the Western world, the Swastika is known to the world over not as a religious symbol but as the Nazi emblem, notably even outlawed in Germany.
But the Swastika continues to hold a religious significance for the Hindus,Buddhist, Jain and Others. Like OM, the origins of Swastika are lost in the misty realms of the past and they can only be guessed by piecing together of the surviving clues.

Swastika can be seen in the art of the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Celts, Native Americans, and Persians as well Hindus, Jains and Buddhists.

GANESHA In Hinduism, the right-hand swastika (clockwise) is a symbol of Ganesha( See right picture, click to inlarge) and Vishnu (Creator), while the left-hand (counterclockwise) swastika represents Kali and magic(disaster). The Buddhist swastika is almost always clockwise.
In Buddhism, the swastika signifies auspiciousness and good fortune as well as the Buddha's footprints and the Buddha's heart. The swastika is said to contain the whole mind of the Buddha and can often be found imprinted on the chest, feet or palms of Buddha images. It is also one of the 65 auspicious symbols on the footprint of the Buddha.

The swastika has also often been used to mark the beginning of Buddhist texts. In China and Japan, the Buddhist swastika was seen as a symbol of plurality, eternity, abundance, prosperity and long life.
The swastika is used as an auspicious mark on Buddhist temples and is especially common in Korea. It can often be seen on the decorative borders around paintings, altar cloths and banners. In Tibetan Buddhism, it is also used as a clothing decoration.
You may like to read about what is the Ganesha body Symbolise....
Ganesha Symbol
Also Visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika and Ganesha Symbol

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The Dalai Lamas are the spiritual and political leaders of the Tibetan nation since the time of the Great Fifth Dalai Lama, Lobsang Gyatso. In fact, the title ‘Dalai Lama’ was conferred upon Sonam Gyatso –who happened to be the third in the line of incarnations of Avalokiteshvara, or Chenrezig in Tibetan, the Buddha of Compassion in the persons of the Dalai Lamas– by the Mongolian Emperor Altan Khan in the sixteenth century C.E.Present Dalai Lama is 14th In roll. The Dalai Lamas are believed to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and patron saint of Tibet. Bodhisattvas are enlightened beings who have postponed their own nirvana and chosen to take rebirth in order to serve humanity.

"Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive,
I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my
energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others to achieve
enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly aboutothers. I am going to benefit others as much as I can."

- His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama

Who is The Fourteenth Dalai Lama TENZIN GYALTSO ?

His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, was born on July 6, 1935 at Tak-Tse of Doemey Province in Tibet. He is the spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetan people. Unlike leaders of the other countries, he does not achieve his position by succession, election, appointment, or force. Considered to be the fourteenth successive manifestation of the bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokitescvara, he was chosen according to a series of signs, divinations, and tests that unquestionably verified him to be the reincarnation of his predecessor.
Hope you like to View Some pictures of H.H. Dalai Lama (Click Image To Inlarge).

If you like to know Brif stotry VISIT H.H. Dalai Lama or http://www.dalailama.com/
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Saraswati is the goddess of learning . All those who worship her is believed to confer wisdom and learning .As goddess of music and poetry she is revered alike by Hindus and Buddhist .she is generally represented seated,with Four or two arms.
She holding and playing Bina with her two hands and in her other two arms she holds a copy of the vedas as well as prayer malas . she is of white colour and represents purity .Her mount is a peacock.Musical instruments are also regarded as symbols of Saraswati.
Saraswati is said to be the bestower of knowledge that dispels ignorance and unhappiness.Saraswati is also referred to as Sharada the fountainhead of knowledge who leeds seekers from darkness to light and from ignorance to spiritual upliftment.

Above Statues is just Arrived From Nepal. copper 8"inches tall, lost Wax process. Body is gold plated while face is painted by gold powder. If you are curious how to make statue Read this.. (Lost wax Statues making Process in nepal ) .

Some Other lost wax Statues Click pictures to see detail of the statues

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