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On a Sixteenth-Century Pictorial Pilgrim's Guide from Nepal

Author(s): Mary Shepherd Slusser

Source: Archives of Asian Art, Vol. 38 (1985), pp. 6-36
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press for the Asia Society
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On a Sixteenth-Century Pictorial

Pilgrim's Guide from Nepal

Mary Shepherd Slusser

Washington, D.C.

l\t tumbled-down Yampi-vih?ra in the Ne disheartening to see of religious

objects signifi
town of Patan,
the month of August 1967 cance removed from their rightful milieu, in this
marked the last annual display of a banner paint instance one can
scarcely lament. It is clear that in

ing that had been consecrated in the same vihara in another year orso this painting, like many an
another summer exactly 402 years before. Com other in the Kathmandu Valley, would have been
missioned in the time of certain nobles who then a total loss, both to the vihara and to the history of
ruled the city, the painting (pata, paubh?) com Nepal.
memorated a restoration of Svayambh? s tupa, Since the painting in the secular do
the premier Buddhist shrine in the Kathmandu main it has been published several times2 but has

Valley. As such, the restoration is the dominant not yet received the detailed attention itmerits as
motif, occupying most of the upper half of the the important document of Nepalese culture it
work (Figs. 1,2). But more than a record of this represents. It is to remedy the neglect that I ad
event, the inscribed and dated commission com dress this article.
amap of the Kathmandu Valley that locates
of towns and sacred sites. Linked by
pathways, towns and shrines are Svayambh?n?tha, "Lord Self-Existent," has
relatively correctly oriented with respect to Svay dominated the Kathmandu Valley landscape for a
ambhu, to each other, and to the river system that time. Crowning awooded hillock known as
courses among them. Many can be identified by Cowtail Hill (Sahye?gu, S?ngum) just west of
by symbols, or inscribed labels. Kathmandu is far more than
placement, by (Fig. 4), Svayambhu
Most exist today, still linked each to each by well an isolated stupa. Attracted to the stupa's sacred
traveled ways. aura, there have come to cluster around it through
The painting when last displayed in the vihara the ages temples and shrines, votive caityas and
was, like the monastery itself, in a deplorable state sculptures, heraldic pillars, vajras, m?ndalas,
3).1 Framed by crudely stitched, coarse prayer wheels and a vihara, some
(Fig. inscriptions,
white cotton, perhaps provided by the pair of Tibetan goripas, dharmas?l?s, secular habitations,

pious eighteenth-century donors shown in an ap and more (Figs. 5-7). In Nepal the Svayambhu
cartouche the painting was dirty, is a Buddhist
pliqu?d below, complex preserve without parallel in
and torn. Over time, when it served as cultural
crumpled, importance.
an icon, it had far as we now
liberally spattered with red As know, Svayambhu stupa was
and yellow colors flicked at it a foundation about A.D. 400.3 Without sec
during worship, royal
and everywhere the paint, chalky from damp, tioning the existing monument, whose core is al
was flaking away, taking with it precious most the king's donation, we know nei
inscrip certainly
tions. Worse, at some time when rolled for stor ther the size nor the appearance of this original

age a rodent had it, leaving a series of structure. What we do know is that through the
holes one side. it is always centuries the monument has been re
jagged along Though constantly
stored, enlarged, and modified in order to repair We do not know who paid for the restoration
decay or destruction, for doctrinal rea or who commissioned the painting commemo
sons, or?by increasing the monument's size and rating it. Since the name of Yampi-vihara figures
earn merit. so prominently in the both
splendor?to religious inscription, perhaps
We do not know when the first restoration or can be attributed to the samgha ofthat vihara, or
modification took place, but eloquent enough are to a donor or donors to it. It is
wealthy belonging
carved stone plaques attached to the drum, to have been the nobles named in the
barely unlikely
visible at the rear of tunnel-like Nara-, Purandara-, and Udhava
ground-level inscription,
niches occupied by bronze animals (Fig. 8). The simha, brothers who are known to have ruled
latter pertain to the gilt Tath?gatas, the Vaj rayana Patan at that time, since the says only
pentad, seated above in shrines engaged to the that the event took place during their reign.8 In
dome. Stylistically the plaques suggest that they any event, since the the
painting commemorating
adorned a modification. restoration was made in Patan, where it remained
seventh-century stupa
Then and at each successive modification for four centuries, it is clear that people from Pa
were the ignominy or tan were
spared impiety of entomb intimately associated with the restora
a tion. This
ment, nicety frequently enjoyed by other sculp fact is further supported by the empha
tures on sis on places within the Patan kingdom,
similarly enlarged stupas.4 depicted
Beginning with the late eleventh century there in the map below.
are many records respecting the repair and reno Records show that re
respecting Svayambhu
vation of Svayambhu,5 one of which is the Patan placement either of the central mast (yasti) or re
painting under discussion. According to the dedi pairs to the elaborate finial attached to it have

catory lines on the bottom, this took place inNe necessitated the most frequent intervention, ap
pal Samvat 685/A.D. 1565. The com parently at intervals of not fewer than
inscription roughly
prises two lines of Newari and iswritten in about fifty years.9 Thus it is not that
script surprising
Newari mixed with Sanskrit. It is badly defaced the Yampi-vihara pata commemorates a
repair of
and no longer can be fully What can this type, in this instance probably to the
deciphered. only
be read is: "Good fortune. Samvat 685, the tenth The yasti itself was
finial. not after
replaced long
day of ?[s?dha ?], Sunday. On this day the re in a lengthy restoration beginning about A.D.
consecration ceremony of sr? Syamgu [or] Sva 1594.10
was On this date at Yampi The is set
yambhu completed. stupa, the focal point of the painting,
vihara . . .which lies in the northeast corner of a background
against of glowing cinnabar red,
Manigla [Patan], in the reign of the three nobles the ground color of the entire upper section and a
sr? sr? Jayanarasimhadeva, sr? sr? Jayapurandara felicitous to the silver-gray
complement ground
simhadeva, and sr? sr? Jayaudhavasimhadeva, below Black and muted tones
(see Fig. 1). white,
may [something ?] be."6 of pink and beige, and a touch of blue-green es
The year of the restoration is certain enough,7 sentially complete the palette. Like the monument
as is the of the but which month itself
day month, is (see Figs. 5,6), the painted stupa is stark
uncertain. the letter T white and is crowned with a
Only survives, apparently gilt spire of thirteen
from ?s?dha, to June-July, or ?s or stages of perfection,
corresponding rings, the bh?mis, which
vina (September-October), the two months of rise above a square harmik?. The a pair
latter bears
the Nepali calendar beginning with that letter. of eyes, most likely an allusion to the guardian

Very likely itwas the former, at once believed to dwell within.11 The dome
overlapping Lokap?las
the Buddhist sacred month and ensuring is draped with a
comple lacy gilt valance, perhaps repre
tion of the work prior to the onset of the monsoon metal like the upper surround of the
senting gilt
rains and the intensive tasks accom actual harmika but more to the
agricultural likely reference
panying them. But in either case, the summer was swags of saffron stain with which stupas are hon
that of 685/1565. ored in contemporary Nepal (see Fig. 6). Three of


^VH^^;^V;vv^,:v "\v

i. and sacred sites of the Kathmandu on h. i .01 m. A.D.

Fig. Svayambhunatha Valley, opaque watercolors cotton, 1565.
Collection A. Peter Burleigh. All photographs are the author unless otherwise noted.

2. to i. Line i 2 Sobh? 3 Pulchok, 4 Patan,
Fig. Key Figure drawing by YeorgosLampathakis. Vidy?svan, Bhagavat?,
5 Southern Kathmandu, 6 Northern Kathmandu, 7 Tham-bahil, 8 Bodhn?tha, 9 Deopatan/Pasupatin?tha, 10 Pul- or

Padesa, 11 Thecho, 12 13 Harasiddhi, 14 Pharping 15 Thimi, 16 Lubhu, 17 Bhaktapur, 18 S?rya

Sanagaon/Thasi, (?),
19 "sri . . . bah?."
Vin?yaka (?),

are shown. One could be the damaged
one, the other its replacement. More likely, in the
traditional Indian and Nepali manner of painting,
it is synoptic view of the installation of the latter.
From each parasol dangles a banner
long (patuk?)
shown as an white streamer among
the beige-colored ropes.
Meanwhile the stupa is being circumambulated
in the prescribed clockwise direction by a band of
musicians playing cymbals, drums, and horns, an
allusion to the typical Newar the devo
tional music that accompanies all religious cere
monies (Fig. 2:d/e-4/5). are followed a
They by
few monks distinguished from the lay musicians

by close-cropped hair, halos, and red monastic

garb. Like all lay males in the painting, the musi

cians wear their hair in a bun high on the occiput
and are in a long white double-breasted
gown, long-sleeved, belted in red, and furnished
with a beige cummerbund that doubles as a shawl.

Females, none of whom are on the sacred hill and

a few of whom are below, are
only distinguished
principally by coiffure. For them the bun has
shifted to the nape. Their costume usually differs
little from that of the men, but a few are more

colorfully garbed in red blouse, red and white

skirt, and beige shawl (Figs. 2:e/f-2, g-8; 9). The
restoration is also assisted by monks who, seated
in groups of twos and threes, read from holy texts
or, vajraand ghant? in hand, perform the burnt
3. The same as last exhibited in Yampi-vihara, Patan.
Fig. painting offering oblation (homa) (Figs. 2:0-3; I0)- Other
monks wander around as or stand in
devout attitudes while laymen prostrate them
are also shown, selves or gaze at the work in progress.
the engaged chapels gilt and red, rapturously
each occupied a of one of the Vajra two of the seated
laymen are
by gilt image Unaccountably,
yana pentad or his consort. With utmost impu n?mbate like the monks (Fig. 2:c/d-3). Most likely
nity workers clamber over the sacred monument they represent the donors, who in other paintings
since it is imagined still devoid of its sacred es are near the stupa rather than
occasionally placed
sence (?tm?)?to be restored when the work is in the more customary place at the bottom (see
done, onthe day of reconsecration, that summer Fig. 25).12
of A.D. 1565. Using a system of these The stupa is viewed from
the east, the tradi
day pulleys,
men and others below are engaged in the final tional principal approach by means of a long, steep

stages of the repair,

hoisting into place a new gilt flight of stairs, summarily shown in the paint

parasol, crowning element of the complex finial. ing.13 An auspicious lotus m?ndala, in red and
The parasol is an emblem of royalty and in Bud white, is shown on the lowermost step, and cai
dhist iconography relates to the Buddha's posi tyas stand on other steps. A monk bearing a staff
tion as Cakravartin, the Universal Monarch. Two and begging bowl and four laymen ascend toward

Fig. 4. Map of theKathmandu Valley locating sites depicted in Figure i.Numbers in parentheses refer to the labels identified in
Figure 2. Line drawing by Yeorgos Lampathakis. i Pharping ??)/Pampodesa (14), 2 Thecho/Thecodesa (11), 3 Bungamati,
4 Chobar, 5 Kirtipur, 6 Svayambh?n?tha, 7 Vidy?svar?/ Vijy?svar?(i), 8 Sobh? BhagavatV Svak?gamthi (2), 9 Balaju,
10 11West 12 Pulchok/Pw/?za> 13 Yangal/Yamgaladesa i4Yambu/Yambudesa
Patan/M?nigala yamladesa (4), Stupa, (3), (5),
(6), 15 Tham-bahil/T/idmfoj/n/i (7), 16Harzsiddhi/Jantaladesa (13), 17 Sanagaon (Thasi)/T/id5?Wes?i (12), 18 Lubhu/
Rumbhudesa (16), 19 Thimi/Themidesa (15), 20 Deopatan (Pasupati)/Gc)/iWe5tf (9), 21 Guhyesvari, 22 Bodhn?tha/K/zast/danta
(8), 23 S?rya Vin?yaka, 24 Bhaktapur/K/zd/Weii* (17), 25 Sankhu, 26 Vajrayogin? (of Sankhu).

Fig. 5. Svayambhu stupa, Hariti temple, and adjacent Fig. 6. The finial of Svayambhu, composed of three princi
shrines and caityas, a Licchavi in the foreground. harmika, thirteen bhumis, and
caitya pal parts?eyes-emblazoned
encircled with honorary swags of saffron stain.

the stupa. The laymen, in the traditional load by two individuals who better to re
bearing method of Newar farmers, carry shoul gard it lean from pavilions at the top of the stair
der poles (nol) on which are
suspended baskets, way while two others look on from a vantage at
most likely imagined filled with offerings. Behind the foot. From farther afield come still more pro
them two more men bear a
large red vessel, ob cessionalists, and monks,wending toward
viously heavy with liquid since it is suspended the stairway from a long pathway on the
between them on a single pole (Figs. 2:d/f-4/5; From across the river arrives still another group,

11). They are a second group of and one a small

accompanied by laymen only riding pitifully
musicians, near a shrine at the riverside horse. A few other also seem to be on
grouped lay people
below (Fig. 2:f-4/5). Traditionally the atma of their way to the ceremonies.

any sacred object undergoing refurbishing is Among the numerous monks and laypersons,
stored in a vessel of water (p?rna kalasa); thus one individual
particularly commands attention.
there seems little doubt that the stairway scene Seen center left, he appears to be racing headlong

represents the triumphal return of the atma of up the Bagmati in the direction of the Svayambhu

Svayambhu for the reconsecration celebration from whence a monk an un

(pratisth?) bearing
mentioned in the dedicatory That the identified and a layman
inscription. gilt object expectantly
scene is indeed a ceremonial procession is further come to receive him (Figs. i;2:f/3; 12). Hair knot
7. Plan of Svayambhunatha Line A b Prata
Fig. stupa compound. drawing by Yeorgos Lampathakis. Svayambh?n?tha,
c d Kescandra-bah?l, e Unidentified shrine, FHariti 1 2 3 Agnipura,
papura, Anantapura, temple, Vasupura, V?yupura,
4 S?ntipura, 5 N?gapura.

ted in a yogic jata secured with a

gilt band from
which flying locks escape, the person is clothed in
a red garment and girdle. He wears a gilt
collar, gilt earrings, and carries a skull cup (ka
p?la) and thigh bone (?)wand, perhaps reference
to a death's head wand (khatv?nga). The large
disc earrings suggest that he is a K?nphatta, or
"slit-ear" yogi, so named for the sect's custom of
the ear
slitting pinna for the insertion of heavy
emblematic disc earrings. His prominence in the

painting suggests that in the sixteenth century at

least, a Kanphatta played

special role in this
Buddhist celebration, but further research will
have to illumine what that role may have been. on drum
8. Wheel and Deer stone relief of Svayambhu
The stupa is conceived atop Cowtail Hill, a lu obscured later bronze animal. Ca. 7th
stupa, partially by
minous red field circumscribed a trefoil century A.D.
by arch,
or nimbus, in effect a
prabh?mandala enclosing
the sacred monument. The nimbus is composed these rocky slopes, dotted with occasional caityas
of narrow beige, red, and white bands, the latter and images and frequented by dogs
jackals and
surrounded a pattern of a number of clamber, some
scalloped, by complex horses, laymen carry
and black to rocks. Up and down
gray symbolize ing shoulder poles.

Fig. 9. A lay couple, distinguished by coiffure and dress,
worship an image of Mahakala. Detail of Figure 1
(Fig. 2:07).

11. the sacred

Fig. Accompanied by musicians, below,
atma is returned to
Svayambhu in a vessel of water for
the ceremony of reconsecration. Detail of Figure i


many in the places they are

standing sculptures,
10. at the restoration ceremony, monks read
Fig. Assisting found today. In this sacred area of the painting the
from a leaf manuscript and perform the homa sacrifice.
structures are unidentifiable
Detail of Figure 1 (Fig. 2:0-3). largely stereotypes,
and few of them, or the images within and round
about, can be identified. Most of the latter depict
Attached to the nimbus, left and right, are two or seated Buddhas and bodhisattvas, of
sinuous bands of scale-like ornament, a second ten flanked or surrounded and atten
by acolytes
convention for
representing hilly terrain (Fig. dants (Figs. 2:a/b-5; 13). Some delineated in gilt
2:d-2, b/d-6). The right band is divided length paint may particularize bronzes and contrast with
wise a These bands to others that are flesh-colored and gowned in red
by prominent pathway.
with the nimbus serve to demarcate Sva monastic
gether garb.
yambh?-ksetra, literally the "field" over which The schema is by no means as
as it

Svayambhu radiates his blessings with greatest appears, however, for certain of the celebrated

intensity. tantric shrines known as "mansions" (pura) are

With blithe disregard for the laws of perspective depicted with remarkable fidelity, both in appear
or of gravity, the Patan ance in the place they actually occupy with
painter has surrounded and
the stupa with a multitude of shrines and free respect to the stupa. There are five of these man

sions at Svayambhunatha, much venerated even
now. Three bear the names of Vedic nature gods,
Vasupura, Vayupura, and Agnipura (earth, wind,
and fire), while two are associated with serpents,
N?gapura (or Vas?ga) and S?ntipura (see Fig. 7).
The Vedic names notwithstanding, the quintet is

intimately associated with Vajrayana Buddhism,

specifically the concept of the Vajrayana pentad,
and it is godlings who are worshiped there now.
In the painting Vasupura may be seen just
above the three seated monks at the left (south) of
the stupa (Figs. 2:b-3; 14). Although today the
shrine contains amotley assembly of late images,
in the painting it is symbolized by a dragon-like
creature. Very a serpent is meant, a fitting Fig. 12. A Kanphatta yogi speeds along the Bagmati
likely toward Svayambhu. Detail of Figure i (Fig. 2:f-3).
symbol of earth since serpents are the elect deni
zens of the underground realm, N?ga- or Pata

13. An of a surrounded
Fig. image Tathagata by acolytes,
typical of the generalized sculptures and skewed perspective
in the stupa Detail of Figure i
precincts. (Fig. 2:a/b-5).

is just above, or the painter's

Vayupura given
idea of perspective, behindVasupura and in rela
correct relation to it (Fig. 14). As it does
today, the painted shrine contains several natural

boulders, which inNepal symbolize many things.

Moving to the right side of the painting, north
west of Svayambhu stupa, we
find Agnipura (Fig.
2:a-5/6). as we com
Again quite properly placed
pare the plan (see Fig. 7), the shrine is represented

14. Vasupura and, above, two of the five by

beige-outlined square centered by a white
Fig. Vayupura,
tantric shrines depicted in Svayambhu-ksetra. Detail of emblem. The latter represents the curious white

(Fig. 2:b-3). plastered rock that is the object of worship in the

shrine to the right of THE TOWNS AND SACRED SITES
today.14 Below and slightly

Agnipura is Santipura, a mysterious cave shrine

defended locked doors, chosen
by fitting symbol Of equal interest with the Svayambhu restoration
by the painter (Fig. 2:b-6).15 that dominates the upper half of the painting is the
The last of the five mansions is Nagapura, a of the Kathmandu that the
map Valley occupies
a serpent, seen immedi lower half. Oriented to Svayambhu, the map's
beige rectangle enclosing
ately above the right-hand group of workmen vertical axis, top to bottom, iswest-east, the hori
engaged in hauling up the parasol (Fig. 2:0-5). zontal axis, left to right, south-north. Demarcat
exists as a hypaethral shrine on the
Nagapura ing the less sacred precincts of the Valley from the
north side of the stupa, a large pit faced with an
glowing field of Svayambhu by a contrasting pale
cient architectural remains.16 Significantly, it is gray the painter has imposed on it a very
to the engaged shrine of Amoghasiddhi, facsimile of the Valley's river
adjacent good system.
the north-facing Tathagata whose seat is a coiled the affluents he has disposed in their prop
snake. If a sculptured snake, rather than an imag er and sacred places linked
places towns, temples,
inary one, once occupied the floor of the shrine, it
interlocking network of pathways. The lat
is no
longer visible. ter are portrayed as pale
pink ribbons bordered in
A sixth shrine in the painting also bears men the rivers
black, by broad white bands superim
as well as the seemingly omission of
tion, pointed posed with paired thin black lines and outlined in
another. The former, illustrated at the end of a red.

short path branching off the Santipura approach, The the principal stream and an afflu
is represented by a divided into three ent of the Ganges, meanders across the painting
white fields and centered a gray circle from the lower to south
by (Fig. right (north) disappear
2:b-5). Its prominent inclusion
suggests that it ward in a curve at the left edge i, 2, 4).
(see Figs,
once had considerable and though it The its principal
significance, Vishnumati, tributary, joins it
exists today as a tank it is in a about halfway across the painting. Another of the
large ground-level
state of abandon. Newar elders associate it with affluents, the Manohara its
Bagmati's (or possibly
the Santipura mysteries. affluent, the branches toward the
The missing shrine is the of Hariri, a bottom to
temple right of the painting disappear among
large multistory temple at the western side of the the rocks that flank the inscription. A minor but
stupa, now one of the most prominent
on features
culturally important stream, the Bhacha Khusi, is
the platform and of profound cultural significance shown the Vishnumati in the
faithfully joining
(see Figs. 5, 7). The temple's relative position, middle right ground; it is balanced on the left by
again taking the Patan painter's notion of perspec another affluent, probably the Balkhu Khola. The
tive into account, is just where the large sculpture Nakhu Khola is represented by the half-circle
of Figure 13 is shown (Fig. 2:a/b-5). In earlier curve at the far left. I am not sure about the
research Iwas unable to secure a foundation date of the remaining affluent. It may be the Khodu
for the Hariri temple, and by its absence here one Khola or the Godavari. All the rivers are to be
may speculate that it did not exist in A.D. 1565, the toward the south, the left side
imagined flowing
thus providing a terminus a quo for the of the map.
temple. As for the towns and sacred sites, the painter
the little structure at the very top of the has taken pains to identify them by location,
Finally, sym
painting may well represent Kescandra-bah?l, the bol, or in several cases an inscribed label. Exclud
site of an old vihara west of the stupa (see Figs. and the immediate shrines already
ing Svayambhu
2:A-4/5; 7). But there is nothing beyond location mentioned, by one means or another about two
to substantiate this identification. dozen additional can be identified and cor
related with the contemporary topography. I
shall discuss the labeled sites first.

At least nineteen places bear identifying labels

(see Fig. 2) though given the condition of the

one or two labels may have disappeared.
Some have been painted out in white and rela
beled. As in the dedicatory inscription, Newari
and a mixture of Sanskrit and Newari is
employed. In four labels (Fig. 2:11-14) the suffix
desa is "desa," a variant
(country, city) spelled
unrelated to relabeling. One label is illegible and
two others can be only partially deciphered (Fig.
2:10, 18, 19). The remainder are and fif
teen of them can be identified with existing estab
lishments in the Kathmandu Valley (see Fig. 4).
This more than doubles the number of labeled
15. The enshrined yogini Vidyasvari. Detail of
sites previously identified.17 Fig.
Figure (Fig. 2:e-6).
1. Sri vijy?svarJ, as the label reads, poses no

(see Fig. 2).18 It is easily as identified

the name of a goddess whose shrine
lies in a vihara on the eastern slope of Svayambhu terrain to the border of the prabha
hill and the right bank of the Bhacha Khusi, ex mandala above. Stairs lead up to the shrine, which
as our cartographer painter has located
it (see is supported on a lotus and which contains a
actly gilt
1, 2, 4).19 Ne wars know her as Besah, and A vulture to the
Figs. image of Avalokitesvara. clings
she is also called Ak?sayogin? (SkyYogini). She is hillside.
considered to be one of a set of Four Yoginis, each or
4. Srlm?nigala yamladesa is the city of Patan,
concerned with a
quadrant of the Valley. Just as Lalitpur, which has borne many names in its long
we see this popular yogini in the vihara today, the
history?one of them M?nigala (and variants
painter has faithfully depicted her red in color and such as Manigla in the below). An
with characteristic upflung leg (Fig. 15). other is Yala, a name still used by Newars. Yamla
2. Sri svak?gamthi, our next labeled shrine, is is the painter's of the latter, and desa
that of Sobh? Bhagavat? (Durg?), whose shrine is the medieval for
(country) Nepali designation
lies on the opposite side of the Bhacha Khusi from
that of Vidyasvari, as it is faithfully located in the a red square bordered
The city is represented by
painting (see Figs. 1, 2, 4).20 One of four famous in beige and white outlined in black (see Figs. 1,2,
manifestations and a goddess of considerable im
4). The middle white band is patterned with thin

portance, Sobha Bhagavati is envisaged in the black lines reminiscent of the rocky prabhaman
form of Durga Mahis?suramardin?, the militant dala above. The border the city walls.
Durga, without the buffalo, the form inwhich the are
M?ndala fashion, they pierced by four gate
painter has symbolized her.21 In the painting she two structures or toranas
ways, temple-like
shares the double shrine with a yogini. viewed from the side and two perhaps seen from
3. Pulaco is Pulchok, a vihara-crowned hill im above. Through them pass paths in all directions,
west of Patan and separated from Sva one of which leads to Pulchok (see Fig. 2:3).24
and its affluent the The contains two nine
yambhu by both the Bagmati painted city temples,
Vishnumati.22 The painter has positioned it cor small shrines, a caitya, and five devout persons (a
to the rivers and to Patan, the sixth seems to have been eaten
the rat). None
rectly with respect by
square below 1, 2, 4). The hill is sym of the structures can be identified. The most logi
(see Figs.
bolized?as are others in the painting?by a com cal symbol of Patan, however, would be Rato
rocks or a deity of uncommon
plex configuration representing rocky (red) Macchendran?tha,

importance in that locale. The sketchy black lines

barely visible against the red of the celia of the

lower temple could be construed as the
little god (shown upper right, Fig. 26), and it is
most likely he whom the four persons adore.
The other large temple may well be Yampi
vihara, the painter's own. Here the pale gray-col
ored deity is quite clear, seated and multiarmed.
The principal hands are held before the breast in
what may be the teaching mudr?.
The number of small shrines depicted in Patan

may be meant only to show the devoutness of the

andto represent a random number
city purely
on the space. They may have a more
specific symbolism; that there are nine suggests
that they may pertain to the Nine Durgas (Nava
an assembly of Mother Goddesses of
great significance in the Kathmandu Valley. Pa
tan, nonetheless, is the traditional bulwark of an

assembly often, the Dasamah?vidy?.25 The de

16. A Natha seated on the cadaver of a jackal does
are of no in
ities within help since keeping with all penance outside the walls of southern Kathmandu
the smaller shrines in the painting they are repre (Yamgal). Detail of Figure i (Fig. 2:f/g-5).
sented by relatively formless squiggles and dabs.
5. Sri yamgaladesa is the southern half of Kath
mandu, once a city in its own right.26 It is situated which the Kanphatta also belong. One of the
as it should be, across
the Bagmati and Nathas is in fact seated at the upper side of the
north of Patan (Figs. Like
1, 2, 4,
16). the latter, square (see Fig. 16). Legs bound with a yogapatta,
the city is walled and except on the northern he is evidently seated on the cadaver of a jackal

(right) side is provided with gateways in and out whose head and tail are visible behind.28 The yogi
of which lead pathways. is apparently engaged in penance outside the city
Inside the square are shown one large and three walls at the cremation grounds toward the Vish
small structures and several The small numati. A second Natha, more
cursorily drawn,
shrines have no apparent and is seated on the bank of the Bagmati, not far from
no deities can be made out. The the city's eastern gate (see Figs. 2:g-s; i6).
specific large
structure is unmistakably Kasthamandap, two of The deity illustrated inside the dharmasala is
this building's four distinctive corner pavilions difficult to make out. But it can
singularly only be
faithfully shown and occupied by persons who Gorakhanatha, an of which has
image occupied
lean from them like the spectators at the head of the sattal since the fourteenth century.29 The
the Svayambhu stairs. Kasthamandap still exists painter, however,
may intend to symbolize the
in the southern half of Kathmandu, a dharmasala god by his paired feet, a conventional form in
known as the Wooden Pavilion which that deity ismore often worshiped.
from which the modern name of the city derives. 6. Sri yambudesa is the northern half of Kath
Built sometime before the end of the twelfth cen mandu, also once a separate
city.30 Again, the

tury A.D. it served first as a

royal council hall and town is seen as a red square surrounded by walls
market then as a hostel for Nathas.27 and pierced by gateways through which lead vari
or Gorakhan?tha, ous (see Fig. 2). On one of them issuing
Disciples of Goraksa- they are a pathways
Saiva (and Sakta) sect of wandering ascetics to from the western gateway is one of the groups

bound for the Svayambhu ceremonies (see Figs, ment called among other names, Gvala (see Figs,
i, 2:f-6, Inside the town is one multistory i, 2, 4) ,37 It is the locale of the premier Brahman
temple and several undifferentiated shrines in ical deity of the Kathmandu Valley, Siva Pasupati,
which are
equally undifferentiated deities repre who is worshiped in the form of a caturmukha
sented by dabs of gilt. As appropriate symbol for liriga, the icon the painter has selected to symbolize
Yambu, the painter has elected a famous manifes the town. The linga is enshrined in a multistory
tation of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara known temple around which cluster several lesser shrines,
as Seto (sveta,
white) Macchendranatha. His evocative of the site today. The town iswalled but
shrine is Jana-bahal, an vihara still ac lacks gateways though paths lead in various direc
tive in the northern part of the modern city. tions. One path goes to Tham-bahil, along which
instead of the stark white we would ex a confrontation with a seems to be
Oddly, monkey taking
pect for the deity, the painter has chosen gilt. lies in the same direction as
place. Deopatan
Colored white, Seto Macchendranatha stands at Bodhnatha but closer to Kathmandu, as the
the upper left of the painting illustrated in Figure painter has shown it. He has also situated the
26. He is paired with Rato Macchendranatha, on the right bank of the
temple properly Bagmati,
who stands on the opposite side.32 the sacred river that flows past Pasupati's shrine
7. Sri is Tham-bahil,
thambahili a common on its way to the Ganges.
name for Vikramas?la-vihara, an estab 10. The label may be construed as
existing srlpadesa
lishment that formerly lay north of the Kath case escapes identification
and in either
mandu city walls, just as the painter has located it (see Figs. 1, 2).38 Like Deopatan, the site iswalled

(see Figs. 1, 2, 4).33 In the principal ground floor but without gateways. Pathways connect it to
shrine he has placed a gilt image of Avalokitesvara Patan and to the next town to the right (north).
and by dabs of gilt suggested the presence of tan Within the square is a single temple in which is
trie images in the ?gama shrines above. He has enshrined a Since the painter lo
large Sivaliriga.
also disposed a number of lesser shrines around cated it immediately southeast of Patan and due
the monastery, in the same fashion we see it south of the next identifiable town, Thecho, we

today. should expect to be able to correlate itwith a local

History suggests that Tham-bahil was part of a site, which I am unable to do. Although unsup
medieval an entity separate from any of or
fiefdom, ported by location either reading of the label,
the parts of Kathmandu.34 If so one would expect one wonders if the shrine may be Kumbhesvara.
it to be walled around as are other towns. But A a walled
prestigious linga inside compound in

perhaps the gateway shown conspicuously mid Patan itself, Kumbhesvara is one of eight famous

way between Yambu and the vihara is significant Sivalingas that according to the
in this respect. r?na were created This might be
by Svayambhu.39
8. Sri kh?svacaita is the label provided for a reason for including it in this painting.
stupa that can be identified as Bodhn?tha or Baud 11. Sri thecodesa employs the alternate spelling
dha, an monument in the Kathmandu "desa," as do the sites numbered 12, 13, and 14. It
Valley (see Figs. 1, 2, 4).35 It is also known as to modern Thecho, a fair-sized
Kh?st?, Kh?s?, and Kh?sau, a name Newar that lies due south of Patan, exactly
apparently village
derived from the stupa's ascribed role as the reli as the painter
places it (see Figs. 1, 2, 4).40 The
quary of the K?syapa Buddha. It lies northeast of walled square is shared by a temple and a stupa,
Kathmandu, the general direction in which the neither of which can be identified. con
painter has attempted to place it, given the limita nect it to Patan and to Pul- or Padesa. What may
tions of the canvas. Almost certainly a Licchavi be the Khodu Khola is indicated nearby.
foundation, Bodhnatha, like Svayambhu, has 12. Srlthasivadesa is the Newar village of Sana
undergone many transformations.36 gaon, or Thasi as it is often still known to Newars
9. Srigolvadesa is Deopatan, an ancient settle 1, 2, 4).41 It lies southwest of Patan,
(see Figs.

much as it is located in the painting. A walled is meant, one would expect a Buddhist
square with a it to the of a Buddhist to symbolize it by
single pathway connecting painter painting
next village, Thasi contains only a stupa and a
Vajrayogini, one of the Four Yoginis, whose

single devotee. temple is nearby. If the deity is indeed Gorakha

13. Sri jantaladesa is Harasiddhi, a Newar vil natha, the choice is related to the three
lage that actually lies between, rather than beyond, Nathas so shown in the painting.
Thecho and Thasi (Sanagaon) as in the To my knowledge, among the several names
(see Figs, i, 2, 4).42 Known to Newars as that Pharping has borne, is not one.
Jala, Pampo
Harasiddhi village is the home of a fearful goddess Phampi and Phanapi are, however, and Pampo
from whom it takes its names. To the Newars may be the painter's version of them. Thus,
is Jantala-dev? or Bhav?n?-trisakti, and as
Harasiddhi though likely, the identification of Pampodesa
it is apparently these triple energies that the painter Pharping remains conjectural.
has attempted to represent within the square.43 15. [Sri] themidesa is the village of Thimi, a
are three now
There standing figures, quite de large Newar village that lies between Kathmandu
faced. Two of them, coiffed like lay women in the and Bhaktapur and that was a bone of con
turn slightly toward a central tention between these warring ministates (see
painting, figure
viewed frontally. The three occupy all of the Figs, i, 2, 4).45 In the painting it is represented by
walled enclosure. the customary symbolically walled square, here
The town has a gate toward which two without gates and enclosing a shrine. The
single single
men the neighboring
from one bear latter houses an impressive a
village head, ekamukh?liriga,
ing a vessel of water and a container of offerings one-faced Sivalinga. To which shrine the artist
for the goddess, the other following on horse refers is not clear, for there are no
back. Just above the enclosure the artist shows a renowned Siva shrines at Thimi today. There the
large temple, most likely that of Harasiddhi for goddess Balkuman (B?lakaumar?) reigns
which he could not find space inside the square. preme.

Though temples number in the thousands in the 16. Sri rumbhudesa is apparently Lubhu, another
Kathmandu Harasiddhi's is one of only of the several Newar that once were part
Valley, villages
two that have four roofs, a distinc of the Patan kingdom and that the Patan
tion nonetheless disregarded by the artist. Of has properly clustered south of
the Bagmati and
considerable interest is that even now older gen Manohara/Hanumante rivers (see Figs. 1, 2, 4).46
eration men, some of whom are priests of this Lubhu is symbolized by a deity that occupies the

wear their hair pulled in a bun exactly as entire square. Red in color, displaying eight arms,
laymen are coiffed in the painting. and in the dynamic archer's pose (praty?l?dha),
14. Srlpampodesa, the label is clear, is a we must suppose it to be Mah?laksm?, a cele
that identification.44 There is a good brated of Lubhu even now.
place escapes goddess
chance that itmight aNewar 17. Srlkhapodesa is the city of Bhaktapur, or as
represent Pharping,
in the direction of the others (see it is known to Newars, Khvapa (or similar vari
village general
that like were embraced in ant) (see Figs. 1, 2, 4).47 Bhaktapur is one of the
Fig. 2:11-16) Pharping
the Patan kingdom (see Figs. 1,2,4). three largest towns in the Valley and in the paint
the square are five shrines, none of which
Inside er's time was the capital of aministate that in size
house identifiable images. Below them are seated and importance far outshone Patan. However, the
two men engaged inworship. The object of wor painter shows itwithout gateways and far smaller
but it is somewhat than either sector
of Kathmandu, of his own
ship cannot be distinguished capi
similar to the symbol representing Gorakhanatha tal city Patan, or even of some of the little villages
in Kasthamandap above. If it is the same, then the of the Patan kingdom, Pampodesa for example.
men are worshiping the god's feet, Further, he has minimized its even
symbolic just importance
as we in fact find Gorakhanatha in his more it among the latter's posses
represented by squeezing
cave shrine at Pharping. But if Phar sions, Thecho, Thasi, Harasiddhi, Lubhu, and

as cartog
Pharping (?). In this instance the painter
rapher has turned politician.
The chosen symbol for Bhaktapur is Bhairava,
whose fearful fills the single temple in
face quite
the enclosure (Fig. 17). It is the famous Bhairava
one of the glories of
whose magnificent temple is
even now, and whose annual chariot
procession commands Valley-wide attendance.
18. The label below the shrine adjacent to

Bhaktapur is badly flaked and altogether illegible

1, 2).48 That it does not represent a town
but an isolated shrine is suggested by the absence
of walls. The fact that it is situated on a hill across
the river from (the wrong one if the
Bhaktapur town
Fig. 17. The face of Bhairava symbolizes the of
Manohara is meant) suggests that it represents 1
Bhaktapur. Detail of Figure (Fig. 2:h-6).
a famous Ganesa temple located
S?rya Vin?yaka,
in just this way (see Fig. 4:23). In the painting
there is a large image enshrined, but like the label,
this image is too damaged to identify. A second identifiable shrine by is circumscribed
19. The label of the shrine in the lower right the left leg of the prabhamandala and the adjoin
corner is almost obliterated but srl. . . bah? can be formation that demarcates
ing rocky Svayam
so clearly a vihara ismeant bhu-ksetra 1, 2:e-2). It consists of a
deciphered, (see Figs. (see Figs. large
1, 2).49 It is as an isolated shrine, a stupa situated on a hill. At the base, enclosed in a
a stupa. red square and flanked is a now
single temple enclosing by worshipers,
waterlogged but unmistakable animal. The latter
In addition to these labeled sites, several other can only be the famous Bhairava of the hilltop
sites can be identified on the village of Kirtipur, Bagh Bhairava, worshiped in
quite convincingly
basis of location or
symbol. One of them is the the form of a tiger. The stupa is thus the cele
town of Sankhu and its related shrine sa brated mound at the opposite end of the village
cred to Vajrayogini (see Figs. 1; 2:a/b-2; 4:25-26). (see Fig. 4:5).
as an enclosure a another hill is shown sur
The village is shown containing Just below Kirtipur
a shrine, now badly damaged
large temple, nine small shrines (like Patan's nine, mounted by (see
perhaps the Navadurga), a fountain, and a Figs. 1, 2:e/f-2). Inside the shrine is a standing gilt
woman. Paths lead in and out, and one of them image, too damaged to identify. Nonetheless,
climbs over a band of scale-like ornament to the given the hilltop site, its juxtaposition with Kirti

hilltop shrine. Inside the latter, red against a red pur, and its proximity to the Bagmati there can be

may be discerned the goddess Vajrayo little doubt that the site is Chobar and that the
gini, her leg upflung in the characteristic pose of image is that village's celebrated ?din?tha (see
this type of deity. Village and shrine are in this 4:4). The is one of the Four Brothers,
Fig. deity
instance situated with complete directional disre four famous manifestations of Avalokitesvara.50

gard since actually both lie a good distance east of A third shrine is far more problematical since

Svayambhu, quite the opposite direction from little of it survived the rodent's
depredations (see
their painted location in the upper left corner. But 1, 2:g-i/2). However, a large temple is de
we must suppose that the painter ran out lineated surrounded several smaller shrines
simply by
of space below or, more likely, wished to give this and a caitya. Among them, in keeping with sacred

very important Buddhist (and Hindu) site a places today,

a dog scurries. From the temple a
in the upper register embraced crosses the Nakhu Khola to enter Patan's
prominent place path
the aura of south gateway. the temple must be that
by Svayambhu. Logically,
Bhagavati, and pond no doubt represent

Balaju, the site of several sacred spring-fed pools

and a famous fountain with twenty-two makara

spouts (see Fig. 4:9). Around them has developed

a religious of in the
complex signal importance
Kathmandu Valley.
Last, a small shrine toward the bottom right
can very also be identified
likely by location (see
Figs. 1, 2:h-7/8). Enclosed in a small square is a

symbol composedof a triangle set among what

likely represents three lotus petals. In Nepal the

triangle is a mystic diagram that symbolizes

Mother Goddesses. Given the shrine's location

adjacent to Deopatan and to Pasupati illustrated

18. The sacred site of Balaju is symbolized a
Fig. by within is that the
fountain and a Detail of Figure i (see Fig. 2:9), there little doubt
pool. (Fig. 2:d/e-7/8).
meant is Guhyesvari, one of her many
names. In reality her shrine, a hypaethral pitha,
of Rato Macchendranatha, a deity of many names lies across the Bagmati from Pasupati, whose
and personalities who divides his time between sakti she is considered to be by some (see Fig.
the village of Bungamati and the town of Patan. 4:21). Buddhists name her Nairatma or identify
The former lies south of Patan across the Nakhu her as one of the Four Yoginis, at least two of
Khola (see Fig. 4:3), just where the painter places which, Vidyasvari and Vajrayogini of Sankhu,
this group. Because of this and since it is incon the painter has included. But at her shrine the
ceivable that the Patan painter would have omitted goddess is ardently worshiped by all in the same
a to the a or such as the
the shrine ofdeity of such importance physical form, yantra yoni-cakra
Valley in general and to Patan in particular, we are
painter depicts.51
our identification. are many
probably quite safe in There other temples, shrines, caityas,
Like Bungamati, there are other shrines in the stupas, and a few fountains (also sacred) scattered
that probably can be identified by virtue this well-filled canvas. may
painting throughout They
of location. One lies just above Patan and adjacent represent specific sites as distinct as the foregoing
to Pulchok (see Figs. 1, 2:0-2/3). It consists of a identifiable ones.
They may also simply be in
a A sense
hill surmounted by large shrine of Ganesa. cluded to satisfy the painter's of horror
leads to it from Patan's west more
path gateway. vacui or, likely, to vividly illustrate the reli

Though the Ganesa shrine would be an of the Kathmandu The same is

anomaly giosity Valley.
the mound beneath can scarcely be inter true of the free-standing of the Bud
today, sculptures
preted other than the West Stupa, one of four dhas, bodhisattvas, Ganesa and Mahakala, the
ancient mounds on Patan's favorites
periphery. painter's (see Figs. 1, 2:a/b-5, d/e-3, E-4,
Another shrine whose identity can be little D~5> G-7; 9)> none of which can be correlated defi

questioned lies in the center right of the painting nitely with existing ones.
(see Figs. 1, 2:d/e-j/S). It consists of two ele
ments: a on one side
rough rectangle interrupted
a a rock-rimmed circle sym STYLISTIC CONSIDERATIONS
by path, and, right,
bolically filled with water (Fig. 18). The latter is
a the former a fountain As is evident from the dedicatory and
obviously pond, supplied inscription
with two makara spouts. From one of them a the canvas itself, the primary purpose of the
woman fills a container. Given the location was to memorialize the
just Yampi-vihara painting
north of Svayambhu, Vidyasvari, and Sobha devotion bestowed on a certain
Svayambhu by

person or persons. The painter, it is equally evi
dent, has faithfully discharged this commission
and more. In size, color, and location Svayambhu
dominates the canvas. By gathering around it the
other religious establishments in reduced size and
on a field muted in color, he has proclaimed the

paramount position that Svayambhu holds among

them, at least in the Buddhist view. Even Pasu
the premier Brahmanical site, has not es
caped this classification. But while illustrating
these twin themes?the restoration and Svay
ambhu's place in the religious hierarchy?the
painter has sacrificed nothing to artistic consider
ations. Rather, he has woven a
striking composi
tion, coherent, wonderfully colored, and emi

nently satisfying esthetically. What ismore, with

amazing fidelity he has at the same time provided

a to the principal sacred
pictorial pilgrim's guide
of the Kathmandu Valley and supplied a
glimpse, however fleeting, of those who fre

quented them in A.D. 1565.

Architectural, figurative, and natural motifs are

lavishly employed throughout the canvas,

crowding it, like the Valley itself, with almost

overwhelming numbers of sacred places and a like

as we have seen, the Fig. 19. An unidentified Buddhist shrine surmounted with
population density. Though,
exuberant houses one in the main celia,
sacred places are for the most vegetation image
part easily identifi another in the agama above. Detail of Figure 1 (Fig. 2:c/d
able, out of geographic context the individual
shrines, and stupas are not. They are
stereotypes that for the most part only vaguely
imitate the particular buildings in question. Like the intensively farmed Valley itself, the

Kasthamandap with its distinctive pavilions is a painting has relatively few trees, flower-like styli
notable exception (see Fig. 16). Frontality is the zations dotted here and there and somewhat
mode except for a few shrines and gateway struc whimsically colored. Significantly, the majority
tures that are viewed even now its slopes com
from the side (see Fig. 2:a/b pertain to Cowtail Hill,
3/4, g/h-3, g/h-4). In keeping with Nepali sacred paratively well wooded. Perhaps the number in
architecture most of the temples are surmounted the painting also reflects the Buddhist legend that
with a finial sometimes not unlike that the Siddha N?g?rjuna, scattering
(gajura), gilt, proclaims
those on structures. A few terminate in his shorn locks over the hill, commanded "all
exuberant foliage (Fig. 19), perhaps simply
a kinds of trees to grow at the sublime stupa!"52
of caprice or a reference to the or horses, vultures, and crows
product possibly Dogs jackals,
that periodically sprouts from temple abound, and there is a or two (Figs. 2:e/f
vegetation monkey
roofs, bringing decay in its wake. But stereotypes 2, G-6/7; 18, 20). Dotting the paths and rocky

notwithstanding, the artist has made it a point slopes, the diverse fauna also comfortably fre

throughout to indicate the upswept roof corners quents the sacred places just as it does still in con

typical of Newar-stylc architecture (see Figs. 14, temporary Nepal. The ungainly little horses,
or no serve
15, 19). brown white and larger than dogs,

20. a horse, a or 21.
Fig. A layman, and dog jackal climb up Fig. The posture of these strolling laymen with exag
differently symbolized rocky slopes. Detail of Figure i (Fig. gerated outthrust hip is typical, as are their faces. Detail of
2:07/8). Figure (Fig. 2:e-j).

as riderless as transport. a or a woman at a

both landscape props and here couple t?te-?-t?te there
This is an intriguing matter since in the Kath fountain (see Figs. 2:e-2, d/e-j; i8). The majority
mandu now there is scarcely a horse and are who bear their shoulder
Valley laymen inseparable
any kind of animal is atypical.53 Tradi are a goodly number of monks
transport poles but there and

tionally the standard burden bearer is the human a few women. There are no children, and surpris
back. one would expect at the pratistha cere
But all the landscape
above is occupied by peo mony at Svayambhu?no vajr?c?ryas, the dis
intent on serving the crowned so evident in many
ple. Primarily gods, they tinctively priests
travel the crowded pathways between the towns other Buddhist paintings, early and late (see Fig.
and the sacred places within, clamber the rocky 26).
heights to an isolated shrine, or flow toward the As noted earlier, each type of person, monk or
For the delectation or female, is distinguished
Svayambhu celebration. of lay, male by dress and
Svayambhu they play diverse instruments and coiffure. Except the none wear orna
sing, but they take care not to neglect the lesser ments. Not all monks are nimbate, and at least
To them some bear while others two the donors, are (see Fig.
gods. offerings laymen, probably
sit or stand in devout attitudes around their cho 2:c/d-3). Linear and two-dimensional, as is the
sen shrines. A few pursue more mundane ends? entire canvas, the are without
figures depicted

22. The realistic and gestures of people like 23. As in the figure of this monk, the painted
Fig. posture Fig. ground
these three laymen help
to animate the canvas. Detail of often does not
to the outlines drawn over it.

Figure i (Fig. 2:06/7). Detail of Figure 1

(Fig. 2:e-2).

benefit of modeling. Posture is characterized by seated outside

the city walls (see Fig. 16). Uni
outthrust an stern and expressionless,
curiously hips that give the figures versally somewhat the

swaying motion (Fig. 21). They are faces of monks and laypeople alike are without
no means static stereotypes, however. Ani ethnic stamp. They are characterized
by recognizable
mated a variety of arm positions and gestures, a full forehead undemarcated from a
by by large nose,
individuals often appear to walk in one direction a full lower a prominent,
lip, and almost pointed,
but gaze in another. Others assume quite natural chin (see Figs. 9-12, 20-24). Usually the eye con
as a on the sists of a dotted or barred half moon
positions they confront monkey path vertically
way, sit or kneel before the shrines, climb the over a horizontal line that angles up sharply at the
difficult or carry out the parasol installa inner corner. A number of monks have bow
tion on the stupa (Figs. 9, 20, 22, 24). shaped eyes. Both monks and laypeople often ex
Full profile is the preferred way of depicting hibit a tika, a sacred symbol on the forehead (see
faces (Fig. 23) but a view is also 21, 23). The is a hairline arc, ears
three-quarter Figs. eyebrow
common. Then the further eye is visible and oc are
noticeably large, and creases in the neck are

casionally the end projects slightly (Fig. 21). common.

Frontality is reserved to the gods or to their spe The human figures, the flora and fauna, and the
cial servants, one of whom is the penitent Natha architectural motifs that compose the

Stylistically, the Patan painting proclaims its

relationship with other Nepali paintings of the

fifteenth and sixteenth centuries A.D. that, aban

doning the naturalistically modeled figures and

idealized faces of fourteenth-century paubhas and
still earlier manuscripts, also employ a linear
mode. In these later paintings the human figure,
form enclosed by lines, became a conventional

stereotype by an exaggerated
characterized sway
such as we
see in the Patan painting.
ing posture
Equally distinctive, the faces are
shown in "three-quarter profile and are distin

guished by long noses, prominently looped chins

and bow-shaped eyes with their ends projecting
Fig. 24. Lack of perspective suggests that the central person
slightly."55 There are no but simply
kneels on a box rather than beside a fountain. Detail of landscapes,
1 2:e-3).
as in the Patan work an array of ele
Figure (Fig. landscape
ments used
symbolically and ornamentally.
Nonetheless these later artists, the Patan painter
are introduced for their symbolic or or among them, still worked within the confines of
namental value, not to create a landscape. Neither inherited traditions that continued to exert an in
are they meant to imitate nature, but to concep fluence inmany that are beyond the scope of
tualize it. Even so, it must be admitted that the this article. However, an example is provided by
draftsmanship and technique of our painter do the city gateways viewed from the side in the Patan
leave something to be desired. A vulture cannot or not, these gateways
painting. Consciously ap
a crow, and,
be distinguished from scarcely, a dog pear to derive from models as remote as the twelfth
from a horse, the
latter uncommonly awkward century at least. On a cover of that
and improbably small (see Fig. 20). In general the date we see the chariot of the banished Vessantara
seems to have been laid on first, the outlines a city gate that could
paint exiting through easily be that
and details later sketched in black, designs that of one of the Valley towns depicted in the Yampi
often do not correspond to the painted vihara Or, unnoticed, the horse of a
ground paubha.56
beneath (see Fig. 23).54 Further, while rigidly ad fifteenth-century paubha could join those who

hering to geographical the painter is tread the painted or ascend

principles, Valley pathways
by laws of perspective or
quite undaunted gravity. rocky Cowtail Hill (see Fig. 20).57 And finally,
If it pleases him, notably at Svayambhu, shrines the musicians with their drums and horns of ear
stand on end or upside down and the gods within lier paintings, the well-known Vasudhara
and worshipers without must manage as best mandala of A.D. 1367, for example,58 would not
can (see Fig. 13). The viewer is left to determine be uncomfortable at the Svayambhu celebration.
that a prostrate devotee is not airborne (see Fig. Given the continuum of culture that so character
2:b-4), that the pulley mechanism is on the izes the Kathmandu it is probable that
ground (if indeed not on the stupa dome) (see Fig. they, like the musicians of the Patan painting, are

2:b/c-5) or, below, that a person kneels beside a not temple performers but simply Newar farmers
fountain, not on some curious box (see Fig. 24). in singing and playing devotional music
But these limitations?this naivete, if one will? (bhajana) for the of the gods, a genre of
are after all minor considerations when we reflect that is the sine non of every Newar
activity qua
on what else the painter has accomplished in con social or religious in the Kathmandu
ceptualizing and giving form to complex notions to this day.59
in an undeniably spectacular composition. But in the instance of the Patan it is
Fig. 25. Seventeenth-century copy of
a upper
fifteenth-century painting,
register restoration of Svayambhu,

lower, a Buddhist in a
couple engaged
rite of passage. water colors on
cotton, H. 1.52 m. A.D. 1664.
Collection of Mrs. Sumita Charat

Ram, New Delhi.

evident that the ideas he had inherited, though own in a very different fashion, an of
woven into a composition of consummate seen
skill, which may be in Figure 26.
had by now become repetitive formulae that had
seen their the painting comes at One question, to which now there is unlikely to
day. Stylistically
the end of a long tradition that in less than a cen be an answer, concerns the originality of this
tury would cede to new currents, from India and composition. InNepal paintings were often copied
that in painting would a total virtue or be
Tibet, bring about because of their inherent religious
break with the past. The Patan painter's great cause become faded or damaged it was a
grandsons might well worship the old-fashioned way to preserve the content if not the actual work.
as an icon, but they would paint their The latter might be retired or discarded alto

Pal has given a very convincing demon other. Thus it may show us
that the temple was
stration of this respecting a fragmentary pata in constructed in the century between
the Los Angeles collections and a later copy in the two paintings, dated respectively A.D. 1565
Benares.60 He has also briefly drawn attention to and 1664. If so, we need less likely lament the
the marked similarity between the upper register eighteenth-century destruction of the enshrined
of the Patan and that of another, now in later replaced, since by the sixteenth cen
painting image,
New Delhi(Fig. 25).61 The latter was painted in tury the art of stone carving had long in
Kathmandu in a.d. 1664, a century later than the decline and the Hariri image is therefore unlikely
Patan example; but as stated in the inscription it to have been counted among the masterworks of
was a copy of a
predecessor painted in A.D. 1433. earlier times.64
The lower registers of the two are altogether dif Architectural history is further served by the
ferent and need not concern us here. Kathmandu painting in the instance of the two tall
The upper register of the Kathmandu painting sikharas, Pratapapura and Anantapura, absent
is concerned with a restoration of Svayambhu, a from this painting but so conspicuous in all later

composition despite obvious differences in style paintings of the Svayambhu compound (Figs. 7,
and detail that ismarkedly like the Yampi-vihara 26).65 Apparently were not included because
Like it, the stupa is shown on a red did not exist in 1664. Thus the painting
painting. they
ground beneath a nimbus, here five-fold, which corroborates 1668 as the foundation date of the
also helps circumscribe the shrine-filled com two earlier dates have been
temples, though
pound.62 Around the stupa there is the same flurry proposed.66
of activity as workmen install a new parasol, Despite
a few modernizing touches, there is lit

using the samesystem of pulleys disposed in ex tle doubt that the seventeenth-century painter
the same places as in the Patan painting. In was intent on copy a faithful of the fif
actly making
both paintings two parasols are shown, in the teenth-century work his effort was to replace. As
same positions and from each of which a streamer Pal has written, because of religious demands,
in the same way. Beside the left streamer was not the object of copyists, but
depends originality
of the Kathmandu we even see in almost rather conformity with the existing work.67 Thus
exactly the same position the seemingly airborne one must conclude that at least by A.D. 1433 some
devotee mentioned in the Patan work painter had already established the compositional
(see Fig. 2:b/c-4). Not far from the prostrate de formula repeated in the two later paintings of
votee, a group performs the accompanying reli Kathmandu and Patan. One suspects that the

gious ceremonies, as in the Patan version, and like painting of 1433, or some version of it, was well

it, nearby is a pair of seated donors. known to the Patan painter, who in his own selec

Among the many companion shrines, the five tive way reproduced it in 1565 just as itwas copied
mansions may also be discerned in the Kath again in 1664. That the earlier model might have
mandu paubha. Essentially they are located
as in been well known should not surprise us when we
the Patan though Agnipura unaccount consider that many such paintings, including
has been moved to the opposite side, above those owned, were annually displayed
ably privately
in the viharas on the occasion of
Vasupura and Vayupura. Of special art-historical bahl-dyo
interest is the inclusion of the temple of Hariri, boyegu, "Looking-at-(or Displaying)-the Gods

conspicuously absent in the earlier work. Situated in-the-Viharas." It was(and theoretically still is)
next to the patterned end of the right banner, the incumbent on each vihara to display religious ob
a crowned a few days of the Buddhist
shrine contains image of Hariri, who jects for holy month,
holds in her arms the five emblematic children, and equally incumbent on Buddhists to
also crowned. Like certain other modernizations make the rounds to see and worship them.68 In

apparent in copied works,63 the inclusion of the deed, it was for this very celebration that the
Hariti may have been an Patan was last displayed. Thus the Patan
then-existing temple painting

26. A Kathmandu family
celebrate at
laksacaitya Svayambhu,
Seto and Rato (white and red)
Macchendranatha flanking the stupa.
water colors on cotton, h. 96
cm. A.D. 1808. Collection of Asian Art
Museum of San Francisco, The Avery
Brundage Collection. Photograph
courtesy of the Asian Art Museum of
San Francisco.

in his rounds of the Kathmandu viharas HISTORICAL AND GEOGRAPHICAL ASPECTS

may well have seen and committed to memory Since it seems that some painting,
the painting?most at the instance of the either the A.D. 1433 pata from Kathmandu or an
donors themselves?to be later recreated in his other, provided the model for the upper register
own in Yampi-vihara. This would be of the Patan painting, we must wonder what in
no great feat considering one. The idea of illustrating
his reconstruction of the spired the lower holy
entire of the Kathmandu in in their relative context is com
topography Valley places geographic
the same painting. A parallel is provided a rela mon inNepali painting. The customary vehicle is
tively recent event in Kathmandu in which a a
long narrow, horizontal cloth scroll that can be
or at
sculptor is known to have made repeated visits to rolled furled will, usually for display in the
one vihara to "memorize" the image later repro vihara Painted in one or
courtyards (Fig. 27).
duced for another.69 more bands, often captioned, and viewed from

Fig. 27. A scroll in Guita-bahil, Patan for the annual
painted displayed "Looking-at(or Displaying)-the-Gods-in-the-Viharas."

left to right, the scrolls are didactic and often nar For example, in the accompanying detail, Pasu
rative. In superimposed registers, murals and a pati and Guhyesvari, shown in the foreground
few paubhas employ the same format.70 Not un
encompassed by the sacred Sleshmantaka grove,
like the Yampi-vihara some scrolls illus are in their proper spatial rela
painting, accurately depicted
trate no apparent story but provide compendia of and each set on its proper bank of the
the sacred sites of the Kathmandu Valley, and Bagmati. The two are also located with
sometimes of the events
respecting them. A nine respect to the surrounding shrines; the Jalasayana
teenth-century scroll occasionally displayed in N?r?yana of Budhanilkantha, upper right, for ex
Kva-bahal (Hiranyavarna-mah?vih?ra), Patan is ample, is placed quite where it should be with
an All the
example (Fig. 28). principal sacred respect to them.
places and a number of towns are
graphically il Another example of such a compendium is
some further identified with written la a
lustrated, provided by the upper register of fragmentary
bels. occupy a of cloud-capped scroll in the Cleveland Museum of Art. Based on
They landscape
mountains, rolling hills, and meandering streams the Svayambhu-purana, it details a number of holy
enlivened with diverse flora, fauna, and people, places (t?rthas) situated the Bagmati and
the latter largely occupied with religious affairs. Vishnumati rivers. They are named and located in
Given the limitations of the long narrow format, an order among which a number can be correlated
the shrines are so well organized topographically with sites frequented today.71 Even in scrolls that
that, labeled or not, most can be easily identified. are essentially narrative, the places involved are

Fig. 28. Detail of a painted scroll displayed
at Kva-bahal, Patan, illustrating the religious geography of the Kathmandu Valley,
and companion shrine of Guhycsvari.
foreground Pasupatinatha

illustrated with topographical sensitivity. A scroll ably remained style did not, reflecting
in Guita-bahil Patan, whatever was in vogue in the copyist's time. This
displayed (Gustala-vihara),
that among other narrates the vihara's was certainly true in the case of the previously
a virtual mentioned Los Angeles a fifteenth-cen
history, provides plan of the quarter of painting,
the city in which it is located (Figs. 27, 29). Illus tury work faithfully copied in the nineteenth
trated on the right in the accompanying detail, the tury but in a radically different style. Thus though
vihara is properly related to the pair of earlier examples are all too rare or nonexistent,
stupas while round about, much as we see them there is little doubt that the late scrolls rest firmly
are the houses, dharmasalas, fountains, on antecedents, only not
in Nepal but in India,
wells, and the many caityas that characterize that where they date back at least to the time of Gau
Buddhist Even the city wall, now de tama Buddha himself.74
funct, is shown. The that provide
scrolls illustrated compendia
No known scroll the end of the six of the sacred places seem to be the pictorial equiv
teenth century,72 the majority belonging to the alents of "religious geographies," pilgrim's guides
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and painted or mah?tmyas that extol the salient aspects of the
in Rajput with Tibetan influences sacred places and that provide directions to them.75
style tempered
then in vogue in the Kathmandu But in One is the well-known an
Valley. Svayambhu-purana,
some instances, as at Itum-bahal, Kathmandu, we other is the Nep?la-mah?tmya, a guide that de
know that the currently scroll is a copy scribes the sacred geography of the Kathmandu
of an earlier one since it is still stored in the vi from the Brahmanical viewpoint.76 Ideally,
hara.73 Inasmuch as the scrolls were meant to be so recommends the latter, one's pilgrimage should

displayed in the open courtyards (and some prob begin and end with Pasupatinatha. In the Bud
ably outside Hindu temples) where they were dhist such a pilgrimage
view begins and ends with
to the elements, it is unlikely that they en Svayambhunatha. More than likely, therefore, al
to be copied again and the commemo
dured very long and had though Yampi-vihara painting
Though the compositional scheme prob rates a particular event in Svayambhu's history

it.78 Thus it may well be that in Nepal as well,

map making is a venerable

science culminating in
the pictorial pilgrim's guides such as the scrolls or
the Yampi-vihara painting. If so it is little wonder
that these guides are with such carto
graphic finesse.
The pictorial ordering of the religious geog
raphy of the Kathmandu Valley may well also
relate to the Nepali idea of physically ordering the
sacred places in space, a fundamental aspect of
local culture. The Valley is visualized in quadrants
over which reign in their respective quarters one
each of sets of four divinities, such as the Four

Ganesas, the Four

Yoginis, or the Four Nara
Fig. 29. Guita-bahil monastery, right, faithfully located
yanas. Arranged in accordance with religiously
among the features of the surrounding neighborhood.
Detail of Figure ordained directions, other sacred places comprise
sets of interlocking cosmic diagrams (m?ndalas),
which together make of the whole Kathmandu
and extols it above all other sacred
sites, like the a m?ndala to walk on.79
Valley complex
scrolls it too is fundamentally a The scrolls and vertical of Nepal are
pictorial pilgrim's paintings
But it is destined for Buddhists, for whom also a source its history,
of sources rare
guide. enough
Svayambhu is the lodestar. that one must often clutch at straws, however
What makes the Patan painting unique is the slender they may seem to be. In contrast to other

employ of a vertical format instead of the usual art media, notably bronzes and stone sculpture,
one. What we do not know iswhether
horizontal paintings provided relatively ample space for in
itwas the Patan painter's fecund imagination that scriptions that could be easily penned, not only by
selected it or whether, as for the upper register, the artist specialist but by any literate person.
there were existing models for inspiration. Per Thus on paintings tend to be far more
a chance discovery in some recondite corner common and more informative than the brief in
of a Valley monastery will someday provide the scriptions occasionally encountered on other art
answer. So far, however, the Patan painting media. As in the dated Patan even if the
stands alone. is not a
donation, the then ruler (or
painting royal
We know little about the apparent Nepali pen rulers) and his domain are mentioned,
chant for map making, but this activity may have often amplifying the known dates of a given reign
long history. ago Sylvain L?vi won
A century or
providing other useful historical indices.80 In
dered whether cartography might be indigenous turn, such names, when
regnal periodthe is
to the Himalayas.77 He mentions an known from other
sources, help to date
eighteenth correctly
century map of the Kingdom of Nepal that had the painting, particularly when damaged dates
been acquired by a European who assessed it as have led to misreadings. Pal provides several ex
"the best map of Indian [hindou] origin that Ihave amples of such rectifications.81
ever seen." L?vi felt that the idea had not been No less relevant than kings and their reigns is
transmitted missionaries or of the inscriptional matter. It may
recently by Catholic the balance
Muslims, and that if it had foreign antecedents at include the donor's?but rarely the painter's?
all, they were far more remote. In support of this name and titles (important clues to caste and
view he cites a map of K?mar?pa sent by that class), the names of the vihara, neighborhood, or

country as a
gift to China in A.D. 648. Kamarupa town where itwas painted, when itwas painted,
was a close neighbor of Nepal and no stranger to the reason for the commission, and more, items

of considerable importance
to the historian of art ing, ornaments, and dress of the period, the kinds
and culture. A good example of inscriptional con and appearance of ritual objects and tools, secular
tent, richer than the brief Yampi-vihara lines, is and religious occupations, and in the case of the
a on a painting al restoration and the Itum
provided by long inscription Svayambhu paintings
ready alluded to (see Fig. 26). It reads: bahal scroll,101 clues respecting architectural tech

niques. A close examination of no more than the

Honor to Dharmadh?tu V?gisvara,82 honor to Vajra
Laksacaitya painting (see Fig. 26), full as it is of
dh?tu caitya, honor to Laksacaitya.83 Today in the
in early nineteenth-century life, sacred and secular,
place of S?kyasimha Tathagata,84 the period known
as Bhadrakalpa, in the part of Bharata,85 during Kali will more than bear out the value of paintings in

yuga,86 in the island known as Jumbudv?pa,87 in V? the study of Nepalese culture.

sukiksetra,88 in the holy place known as Aryyavarta,89
inNep?la-mandala,90 on the western bank of the Bag
The Yampi-vihara painting, it should now be
mati, in the northwest corner of Sarhkhanadi,91 east of
clear, is not only a to look at, it is much
the Kesavati,92 in the place where there are many pleasure
on as more. It has proved instructive inmat
temples, the hill known Gopucha,93 in the pitha eminently
known as Upachanda, in the residence of Heruka, ters of art history, political history, geography,
. . ., near the and social and religious practices. In the history of
Virupaksa Svayambhu caitya, during
reign of Mah?r?jadhir?ja Girvan Yuddha Vikram art it reveals the of remote traditional
Shah, a generous Tuladhar94 who lives inNata-tol of new
is as ta
motifs in otherwise styles, as well as the ex
Kantipur,95 and who known Jes Dhanaonta, his
wife Laksm?dhar?, their son Mahanta, and other mem change long periods of time of compositional
bers of the family desired to perform some religious themes among Nepali painters in different locales.
work so they made ten million At the same time it establishes that such interde
clay caityas.96 After
finishing the rite, they commissioned this pata. In n.s. pendence did not vitiate the ability to create indi
929 K?rtika krsna pratipada this work was finished.97 vidual and refreshing works that are at times, as in
By its virtue may the donor receive the seven prosperi this painting,
ties such as friends, wealth, unique. Art history is also served in
and descendants. Good
the matter of the probable dating of the Hariti

temple, and political history by the apparent gate

Setting aside the prolix preamble, which labor way to Tham-bahil and the pictorial treatment of

iously pinpoints Svayambhu in time and space, it a traditional rival to the Patan king
is evident how informative the inscription is: dom. The presence of the Nathas and the absence
name of ruler, his domain and time; name of the of the expected raises questions that a
donors, their caste, and where they lived; what search in other sources may answer. and
rite they performed and when; the exact day of most the painting establishes the
notably, clearly
the year on which the painting was finished, and mastery of geographic concepts, a mat
much more that cannot be explored in the present ter all too long ignored.
context.99 The Patan painting that we have
If the inscriptions of paintings are important to in this article serves another purpose as
a no so
study of the Nepali past, less is the pictorial well. Itmakes abundantly clear that the paintings
content. A few paintings deal with his of the Kathmandu are more than religious
overtly Valley
torical the Sena raid on Nepal
events, in the Itum paintings?the Nepali view?or of es
bahal scroll, for example, or in a vertical thetic delectation?the
painting typical foreign view. Ne
the tul?d?na ceremony in which a Kathmandu both content and inscriptions, de
pali paintings,
king weighs his son against like measure
of gold serve to be examined and reexamined
and gems as
royal offering to the royal tutelary. 10? to better
comprehend the vast reaches of the Ne
In others like the Yampi-vihara the in to which such superb
painting, pali past they provide path
formation is more covert?the absence of the ways.
Hariri temple, for example. Such paintings also

provide important information respecting cloth

12. A. W. Macdonald and Anne Vergati Stahl, Newar Art (New
Notes Delhi: Vikas Publishing House, 1979), pl. I; see also an eighteenth

century paubha in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (ace. no.

13. A comparison with the existing stairway may be seen in
editor's note: Transliterations
from Sanskrit and other Indian lan Slusser, Nepal M?ndala, vol. 2, pis. 26, 27.

guages are given with complete diacritical markings at thefirst usage. 14. See ibid., pl. 439.
a simplified form is used. 15. On the mysteries of fabled Santipura see Mary Shepherd
i. Mary Shepherd Slusser, Nepal M?ndala, A Cultural History of Slusser, Serpents, Sages, and Sorcerers in Cleveland, Bulletin of the
the Kathmandu Valley. 2 vols. (Princeton: Princeton University Cleveland Museum of Art LXVI (2) (1979): 67-82.
Press, 1982), vol. 2, map 8 shows the location of Yampi-vihara. 16. Contrary to my assertion inNepal M?ndala, vol. 1, pp. 276 n.
There are in effect two viharas of the same name, adjoining estab 33, 300 that there were disconcertingly few remains of the Licchavi
at Svayambhunatha, field study in 1982 revealed
lishments that lie opposite the North Stupa in Patan, numbers 18 and period renewed
19 on the map. One of
them, number 19, is in ruins; the other, many more, including these and other architectural remains I had
by Sunyasrimisra," or in common parlance, overlooked.
"Yampi-vihara simply previously
I-bah?l, is the one inwhich the painting was displayed. When appro 17. Riccardi, Some PreliminaryRemarks, p. 338 identified the six

priate I will
use Nepal M?ndala as a source book throughout; the sites I have numbered 8,15, and 17. He also noted that in some
voluminous sources on which it is based may be consulted there. cases the labels appeared to have been rewritten, a fact corroborated
2. Theodore Riccardi, Some Preliminary Remarks on a Newari by the Japanese restorer, who pointed out that two different ink
were involved.
Painting of Svayambhunath, Journal of theAmerican Oriental Society compositions
93 (3) (!973): 335-34?> wno firstsaw itm the hands of a curio dealer 18. Riccardi, Some Preliminary Remarks, p. 338 reads "sr?
in 1968 (p. 337 n. 17); Pratapaditya Pal, Nepal: Where the Gods Are vikesvari."
19. For the location of Vidyasvari see also Slusser, Nepal M?ndala,
Young (New York: The Asia Society, 1975), pp. 69, 84; Pratapaditya
Pal, The Arts ofNepal, part 2, Painting (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1978), pp. vol. 2, map 4, no. 4.
81, 132, pi. 108; Slusser, Nepal M?ndala, vol. 2, pis. 86, 87, 495. 20. Ibid., no. 3. Riccardi, Some Preliminary Remarks, p. 338
3. Slusser, Nepal M?ndala, vol. 1, pp. 23, 275-276. reads "sri sukha gamthi."

4. Ibid., vol. 2, pi. 452.1 studied and photographed the plaques in 21. On the deity see Slusser, Nepal M?ndala, vol. 1, pp. 309-310.
March 1982, but to my knowledge, Ulrich Weisner inNepal, K?nig 22. The label is badly water damaged and very difficult to make
out. Riccardi, p. 338 considered it il
reich imHimalaya, Geschichte, Kunst und Kultur (Cologne: DuMont Some Preliminary Remarks,
Buchverlag, 1976), pl. 85, is the first scholar to have taken notice of legible. The old vihara of Pulchok has been torn down recently to
them. Three of the plaques depict the familiar Wheel and Deer mo make way for an elaborate replacement, in part a Buddhist hostel.
tif, the fourth, on the north side, is aN?gar?ja seated between pilas 23. Riccardi, Some Preliminary Remarks, p. 338 and n. 21 reads
ters. Because of the interfering bronzes the plaques are difficult to see "sri manigal yamla desa," commenting that the first name derives
and almost impossible to photograph. Much suggests that they were from M?nagrha, a Licchavi palace, though in fact the name is rooted
flanked plaques that may have encircled, or partially in an altogether different source. On this and other Patan names see
by companion
encircled, the drum. See for comparison Slusser, Nepal M?ndala, Slusser, Nepal M?ndala, vol. 1, pp. 97-98, 109-112.
vol. 2, pl. 224. 24. On Patan's walls and gateways see Slusser, M?ndala,
5. Slusser, Nepal M?ndala, vol. 1, pp. 298-300. vol. 1, pp. 99-100, vol. 2, map 8.
6. The original, as deciphered by Gautamvajra Vajracharya and 25. Ibid., vol. 1, pp. 322, 324, 345.
A. Peter Burleigh, reads as follows: 26. On the history of Kathmandu see ibid., pp. 87-95 and vol. 2,

[1] sreyostu|| samvat 685 ? . . . disi ?dityav?ra thva dina map 7. Riccardi, Some Preliminary Remarks, p. 338 reads "sri
. . . the name as part of Kathmandu.
kunhu sr?mat snsrisyamgu svayambhu pratisth? yamgal desa," and also identifies
. . . see Mary Slusser and Gautam
sampurna y anana thva dina kunhu sr?snjayanara 27. On Kasthamandap Shepherd
sim vajra Vajracharya, Two Medieval Nepalese Buildings: An Architec

[2] ?adeva sr?snjayapulandalasimriadeva [sr?]sr? jayau tural and Cultural Study, Artibus Asiae 36 (3) (1974): 180-212.
dhavasim?adeva th?kulasa prajy?yasa mani 28. Compare with the Natha and jackal in an earlier Nepali pau
. . . . . . bha (Slusser, Nepal M?ndala, vol. 2, pl. 592).
gla p?rvottara snyampivih?ra bhavantu||
7. Riccardi, Some Remarks, p. 338 suggests alterna 29. Slusser and Vajracharya, Two Medieval Nepalese Buildings,
tive readings, n.s. 715 or 725, dates corresponding to A.D. 1594 and fig-33
1604 (if converted, as does the author, by adding 879 years rather 30. Riccardi, Some Preliminary Remarks, p. 338 and n. 25 reads
than 880, the customary number when the month is in doubt). "sri yambu desa" and identifies Yambu with all of Kathmandu.
Intensive study leaves
no doubt that the numbers are 685, a date 31. For a detail see Slusser, Nepal M?ndala, vol. 2, pl. 87.

span of rule of one or more of the nobles 32. As discussed further along, this painting was consecrated in
corroborated by the known
mentioned in the inscription, viz., n.s. 680-717/A.D. 1560-1597 (see Kathmandu, which probably explains why the white manifestation
this article, note 80). It should be pointed out that Riccardi's reading is given the place of honor at the right of Svayambhu though in fact
was of the pata at the time he studied it, the red manifestation, more should logically
hampered by the condition infinitely important,
when some of the inscription was still pleated into the stitching of have been placed there.
the cloth border. 33. Riccardi, Some Preliminary Remarks, p. 338 reads "sri
8. InNepal M?ndala, vol. 1, p. 299, vol. 2, pl. 495, I erroneously thamba hity." For the location of Tham-bahil see Slusser, Nepal
considered it their commission. the political role of this M?ndala, vol. 2, map 7, no. 1.
vol. 1, p. 363 n. 50.
family in Patan affairs see ibid., vol. 1, pp. 62, 112, 124, 199. 34. Slusser, Nepal M?ndala,
9. Ibid., p. 299. 35. Riccardi, Some Preliminary Remarks, p. 338 and n. 24 reads
10. This is the usual date given but an unpublished "sri khasva caitya" and also identifies it as Bodhnatha.
diary (thy?sa
that the work was started in n.s. 711 36. On Bodhnatha see Slusser, Nepal M?ndala, vol. 1, pp. 167,
phu) in Kathmandu records
Caitra/A.D. 1591. 174-175, 277-278; vol. 2, map 3, no. 5, figs. 24, 25, pis. 215, 216.
11. Slusser, Nepal M?ndala, vol. 1, p. 153. 37. On these names see ibid., vol. 1, pp. 104-106. Riccardi, Some

Preliminary Remarks, p. 338 n. 23 reads "sri otva desa," or alterna ing a connecting hallway in the luxury-class Hotel Yak and Yeti in

tively, "ilvadesa." Kathmandu.

38. Riccardi, Some Preliminary Remarks, p. 338 reads "sri (pa) 74. Pal, Arts ofNepal, part 2, p. 96; Slusser, Nepal M?ndala, vol. 1,
desa." The remnant murals on the at
pp. 303-304. Bagh Bhairava temple
39. Rajendralala Mitra, The Sanskrit Buddhist Literature of Nepal Kirtipur, which, as in similar murals, are essentially a series of super

(reprint Calcutta: Sanskrit Pustak Bhandar, 1971), p. 249. scrolls made permanent as awall painting, are illuminating
40. Riccardi, Some Preliminary Remarks, p. 338 reads "sri in this respect. Stylistically can scarcely the mid-fif
they postdate
dhaba." teenth century and thus in effect affirm the existence of horizontal
41. Ibid, reads "sri thasi" but did notidentify itwith Sanagaon. scrolls at that time. we know that the Licchavis
Though practiced
Ibid, reads "srijambhala
42. desa." mural painting we know nothing of the format (Slusser, Nepal M?n
43. On the goddess Harasiddhi see Slusser, Nepal M?ndala, vol. 1, dala, vol. 1, p. 39).
p. 338-340,348. 75. As Wylie, A Tibetan Religious Geography ofNepal, p. xv dis
44. Riccardi, Some Preliminary Remarks, p. 338 reads "sriyampi tinguishes them from geographies in the sense of an and
desa." scientific study of topography, flora, and fauna.
45. Ibid, reads "sri thami" and identifies it as Themi or Thimi. 76. Slusser, Sages, Serpents, and Sorcerers in Cleveland, p. 72;
46. Ibid, was unable to make out more than"sri ? desa" of the Mitra, The Sanskrit Buddhist Literature pp. 245-255;
of Nepal,
damaged label in the wrinkled inwhich he studied it.
condition Muktinath Khanal, Nep?la-mah?tmya (Kathmandu: Nep?la R?jak?ya
47. Ibid, and n. 20 reads "sri khapa desa" and identifies it as Bhak Praj?apratisthana, v.s. 2028/a.d. 1971).
tapur. On the varied names of the latter, see Slusser, Nepal M?ndala, 77. Sylvain L?vi, Le N?pal, ?tude historique d'un royaume hindou (3
vol. 1, pp. 100-102. vols., Paris: Ernest Leroux, vol. 1, pp. 72-74.
48. Riccardi, Some Preliminary Remarks, p. 338 also reported it 78. Slusser, Nepal M?ndala, vol. 1, pp. 9, 10, 31, 32, 370, 373.
to be illegible. 79. Ibid., vol. i, pp. 256, 344-348; Neils Gutschow, Stadtraum
49. Ibid, reported it illegible. und Ritual der newarischen St?dte imK?thm?ndu-Tal; eine architekturan
50. Slusser, Nepal M?ndala, 1, p. 342 n. 169.
vol. thropologische Untersuchung (Stuttgart: Verlag W. Kohlhammer,
51. OnGuhyesvariseeibid., pp. 327-328. 1982).
52. Turrell Wylie, A Tibetan Religious Geography Serie 80. At the same time care has to be taken that the misreading of
Orientale Roma, 42 (Rome: Istituto per ilMedio ed Estremo Ori dates does not make for false history. An understandable difficulty
ente, 1970), p. 19. with the damaged date of the Patan painting led Riccardi, Some
53. In this context it is interesting that an early seventeenth-century
Preliminary Remarks, pp. 338, 340 to several wrong conclusions
kal?pustaka (picture album) illustrates what is essentially a veteri about the reign of the nobles mentioned there. While it is true that
narian's text on horses (Pal, Arts ofNepal, part 2, pp. 17-18, pl. 179). the inscriptions for these mahapatras are few, they are sufficient to
54. A technique atypical of what is to be expected of other paint show that one of the three brothers, Narasimha, was long dead by
ings of the period (ibid., p. 65). even the earliest date Riccardi proposes, n.s. 715; in 710 K?rtika his
55. Ibid., p. 99. brother Purandara had already consecrated a temple in his memory
56. Ibid., pp. 46-47, pl. 32. in the Patan main square. Udhava's first and last known inscriptions
57. Ibid., pl. 86. span the years n.s. 680-689/A.D. 1560-1569, so the fact that his
58. Ibid., pp. 66-67, pl. 72. name appears in the inscription adds nothing new to
history. When
59. Slusser, Nepal M?ndala, vol. 2, pl. 497. the date is read as A.D. 1594 or 1604 it is a distortion of it. Further, by
60. Pal, Arts ofNepal, part 2, pp. 22-23, pis. 7, 8. 725/1604 (or 1605 in customary reckoning since the month isAsadha
61. Ibid., p. 24, pl. 9; first published in Stella Kramrisch, Art or Asvina), Purandara, the last survivor, had already been deposed
Nepal (New York: The Asia Society, 1964), p. 151, pl. 97. for several years. His last inscription is dated 717 Jyestha, a month
62. I have not seen the painting and a description of its overall before the first one of his successor, the Malla king, in
coloration does not seem to have been published. Art of to A.D. 1597. In this instance the
Kramrisch, 718 Kartika. Both dates correspond
p. 151 mentions red as the ground color of the upper register. of the Patan inscription to political history are to
Nepal, only contributions
63. Pal, Arts ofNepal, part 2, pp. 23-24. add one more inscription to the corpus for Udhava and to provide
64. Slusser, Nepal M?ndala, vol. 1, pp. 328-329. additional affirmation that the brothers ruled Patan collegially from
65. For other examples see Pal, Arts of Nepal, part 2, pl. 121; time to time. Sources for these dates are Dhanavajra
Macdonald and Stahl, Newar Art, pl. I. Itih?sa-samsodhanako
(ed.), pram?na-prameya (Sources for Correct His
66. Foundation dates are variously given as n.s. 767/A.D. 1 (Patan: Jagadamb?
1647, tory), Part Prak?sana, v.s. 2019/A.D. 1962),
775/1655, and 788/1668, the latter derived from an in situ inscription main part, pp. 10-14; Shankarman Siddhinarasimha
at Anantapura: Heinrich Seemann, 202g Emil Mallabhand? P?tanak? s?sakahar?k? keh?
Nepal (Stuttgart: ag?dik? t?dpatra (Some
Bandeil, 1973), P- 88; Daniel Wright (ed.), History ofNepal (3rd ed., Palm Leaf Land Deeds of Patan's Rulers Previous to Siddhinarasim
reprint Calcutta: Ranjan Gupta, 1966), p. 149; D. R. Regmi, Medie ha Malla), P?rnima 12, 3:4 (v.s. 2023 M?gha/A.D. 1967), pp. 19-20;
val Nepal, 4 parts (Calcutta: Firma K. L. Mukhopadhyay, Dilli Raman Regmi, Medieval Nepal,
1965 part 2 (Calcutta: Firma K. L.
1966; Patna: the author, 1966, vol. 2, p. 101). Mukhopadhyay, 1966), p. 265; A. Peter Burleigh, A Plea for Tala
67. Pal, Arts ofNepal, part 2, pp. 22, 24. patras, The Rising Nepal (20March 1972): 5 and A Chronology of the
68. On bahi-dyo-boyegu see Slusser, vol. 1, pp. Later Kings of Patan, Kailash
Nepal M?ndala, 4 (1) (1976): 19; Slusser, Nepal M?n
303-304. dala, vol. 1, p. 199.
69. Ibid., p. 285. 81. Pal, Arts ofNepal, part 2, pp. 23 n. 4, 34-35.
70. Ibid., pp. 196-198, 206, 304 n. 179, vol. 2, pl. 200. 82. Epithet of Ma?jusri commonly misapplied to the goddess
71. Slusser, Sages, Serpents, and Sorcerers in Cleveland, pp. 72 of the stupa and whose
Usn?savijay?, presumed occupant iconog
75 raphy here also borrows from Manjusri.
72. Pal, Arts ofNepal, part 2, pp. 96-97, pl. 136. 83. 100,000 (laksa) caityas, symbolized in the center of the paint
73. There are reasons to believe that the Kva-bahal scroll is also a ing.
copy of an earlier version. It is interesting to note that someone has 84. Gautama Buddha.
recently copied it again, a faithfully rendered mural transfer occupy 85. India.

86. A mythical time, as is Bhadrakalpa above. clares otherwise, have supposed the painting itself to be a symbolic
87. In Buddhist lore, one of several mythical continents, in es way of donating the holy symbols. But when Nepali art is viewed
sence India. within the culture that produced it, we see that the donation was real
88. The realm of the serpent V?suki, i.e., the Kathmandu Valley. enough. The making of miniature clay caityas, each endowed with a
89. Aryan territory, i.e., northern India. grain of rice to symbolize its atma, is the work of women and
of Nepal, a term applied essentially to the Nepal, or children throughout the Buddhist
90. Country holy month. At its close the thou
Kathmandu, Valley and the adjoining territory. sands of caityas are taken in procession for disposal in the sacred
91. One of several names for the confluence of the Bagmati and rivers.
Vishnumati rivers. 97. The first day of the Newar lunar calendar year, about October
92. Another name of the Vishnumati, west of which lies Svayam 20, a.D. 1808.
bhu. 98. The translation was kindly prepared by Gautamvajra Vajra
93. CowtailHill. charya.
94. Newar family and subcaste name, merchants of the Ur?y/ 99. On the illuminating content of another inscription, see Pal,
Ud?s caste. Arts part 2, pp. 17-18.
95. A neighborhood of Kathmandu. 100. Ibid., pl. 220; Slusser, Nepal M?ndala, vol. 1, pp. 56-57, vol.
96. The standard number is 100,000. In discussing this genre of 2, pl. 66.
some scholars, ignoring the inscriptional content that de 101. Slusser, Nepal M?ndala, vol. 2, pl. 106.