Paubha or Thanka painting – traditional art in Nepal

Thanka or Paubha (newari) is one of the traditional arts wich are still practiced by the Newar comunity of Katmandu Valley. The name “Paubha” comes from the sanskrit word Patrabhattarak, wich means depiction of god and goddesses on a flat form.

This sacred art form is a visual interpretation of hindu and buddhist pantheon passed by a master to disciple since 7th century.

Paubha is always painted for a spiritual reason and the painting process embraces painters spiritual contemplation and guidance. All the colour for paintings is prepared from minerals and plats materials; painters also apply gold and silver to the painting as an act of contemplation to the deity.

wall painting on the renovation of the Golden Temple in Patan - Lalitpur

the eyes of the deity are the last to be done - bringing it to life

While in Katmandu, we were luck to spend some time with the Paubha artist Amogha Bir Bajracharya and his beautiful family, who introduced us to Paubha painting. A Paubha artist must have solid knowledge and Mr. Amogha is a good example, he has BA in Humanities, post graduate diploma in Buddhist studies and Masters in Sociology, starting his Paubha painting career in 1998.

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