October 26, 2007

The top floor of the Pemayangtse Gompa in Sikkim contains a huge, enormously complex wooden sculpture depicting heavenly paradise. It reportedly took one monk five years to complete, and resembles something akin to a three-dimensional psychaedelic explosion — although to one more familiar with Buddhist iconography its inner logic is undoubtedly clearer.

Photographs are forbidden in Buddhist temples, but the monks didn't seem to mind me sitting down on the floor with my sketchbook to capture some details.

By the way, if anybody reading this can identify any of these guys, please enlighten me via a comment.