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The Dalai Lama's Secret Temple

Tantric Wall Paintings from Tibet

Ian A. Baker, Thomas Laird

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The hypnotically beautiful Lukhang Temple murals, superbly reproduced in this landmark volume


On an island behind Tibet’s Potala Palace is a small pagoda roofed Khang, or temple, a place reserved exclusively for the Dalai Lamas as a place of meditation and spiritual retreat.

During the brief reign of the Sixth Dalai Lama, who built the Lukhang Temple in the 18th century, unknown artists created a series of mysterious paintings on its chapel walls; comparable in quality and ambition to the Sistine Chapel in Rome. These masterpieces of Tibetan art are superbly reproduced here in this extraordinary publication.

This treasure of Tibetan Buddhist spirituality is presented in a magnificent and sumptuous large format edition. The vivid detail, rich colour and awe-inspiring impact of this path to spiritual liberation can be experienced outside the Lukhang Chapel.

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'Ian Baker lucidly evokes the depth and subtlety of Tibetan Art, healing and spirituality … his writing transforms the ancient wisdom of the East into prose that's both inspiring and poetic'
Deepak Chopra

'Magnificent … a truly remarkable book. It is very big and the sumptuous photographs tell mystical and magical stories … full of lovely old murals and drawings, beauty, humour and wisdom'
Outlook [The Swedenborg Movement]

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 32.0 x 24.0 cm

Extent: 216 pp

Illustrations: 188

Publication date: 19 September 2011

ISBN: 9780500289617

About the Author

Ian A. Baker is a cultural historian and the author of seven books on Tibetan Buddhism and Himalayan art and culture, including The Dalai Lama’s Secret Temple and The Tibetan Art of Healing. He was joint curator of the 2016 exhibition ‘Tibet’s Secret Temple: Body, Mind and Meditation in Tantric Buddhism’ at the Wellcome Collection, London. He leads travel seminars in Tibet and Bhutan and was named by the National Geographic Society as one of the seven ‘Explorers for the Millennium’ for his groundbreaking field research in Tibet’s Tsangpo Gorges.

Thomas Laird’s photographs have appeared in leading travel publications.

List of Contributors

Ian A. Baker, Thomas Laird, Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet