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Photographer's Note

In 1655, Ladakhi King Deldan Namgyal in memory of his father, built the two-storey gompa or monastery adjacent to the Shey palace. There, he installed this two-storey high image of the seated Buddha. After entering the central courtyard located on the second storey of the gompa, the 12-meter high image of the Buddha is in the room to one's right. The Buddha is worked of copper sheets gilded with gold. This is the biggest metal statue in the region and was the largest Buddha statue of any type in Ladakh until Thiksey installed a 15-meter tall Buddha made of clay in 1970.

Shey's Buddha statue was made in 1655 by a Nepalese sculptor who was assisted by three Ladakhi craftsmen. The castings of the statue were made in Leh while the statue's copper was collected in Zanskar and hammered into plates on big rocks. More than five kilos of gold were then used to plate the copper. The statue was built in parts in the Zanstil Palace ("Zans" means copper and "til" means to hammer) in Leh and then transported to Shey where it was assembled and installed. Sacrificial offerings such as grain or jewels, holy signs and mantras are contained inside the figure.

The walls of the shrine are adorned with murals of Buddha with different hand gestures - preaching, teaching, blessing and "earth witness". The walls on both sides depict the 16 Arhats (Worthy Ones who have achieved Nirvana), 8 on each side; two famous disciples of Buddha and Tsong-kha-pa, founder of the Yellow Hat sect of Buddhism. You can see some of those magnificent murals to the right of my picture’s frame.

It was pretty dark inside the shrine. Picture taken handheld with 1600 ISO

Afterthought : Interesting that 4 out of my last 5 TE posts features a statue of Buddha - two from Ladakh, India and two from Chiang Mai, Thailand

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7750 W: 324 N: 15594] (54999)
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