DIRECTORATE OF HANDICRAFTS AND HANDLOOM, GOVT. OF SIKKIM
THANKA PAINTING

Thankas are religious scrolls found hanging in monasteries and in Sikkimese homes. They normally depict life sketches of gods and goddesses in different forms. They may depict life sketches of gods and goddesses in different forms. They may depict the life of Lord Buddha, goddess Drolma (Tara), a wheel of life or any other deity. The central figure in a thanka is always a Buddha or any other deity or bodhisattva of Mahayana Buddhism. Other figures depicted around the main deity have their mystical significance. Thankas in Sikkim have a religious and spiritual significance and is regarded as a sacred object. They occupy a predominant place in monasteries and home The materials used are stone colors and vegetable dyes together with gold dust and gold thread used for the tapestry. The paintings are bordered with rich silk and brocade with heavily engraved silver knobs at either ends at the lower half of the thanka.