TRANQUILIZING TIBET – PART II
Not just doors, They are stories. Yes, the Tibetan doors are no less than an astounding piece of art. Brass ornamentation, exquisite colors, holy symbols and decorative paintings are Tibetan traits of door decorations.
The patterns on doors often have symbolic meaning which may be religious or secular. They convey Buddhist ideas of spiritualism by using visual language of motifs and paintings. Sometimes they narrates the myths and beliefs of Tibetans through paintings of mythological characters like dragons on the entrance door.
Be it a regular house door or the monastery door, each has its own unique appeal on the observer.
In previous post we got a visual tour of beautiful TRAPEZOIDAL WINDOWS – FROM TIBET. This time let’s continue to explore admirable TIBETAN DOORS from Monasteries, Temples, Houses and more….
TIBETAN MONASTERY DOORS
As Monasteries mark the source of Religion and Power, the doors here are often seen painted in Red as base color signifying power. Borders are beautifully painted with floral patterns and holy symbols. Door knobs or handles carry colorful tassels as the status symbol that differentiated people in the military or religious fields. The long tassels on the side are a sign of power and only the top 4 levels of lamas can enter.
Have a look at these amazing Tibetan Monastery doors-
Eastern Tibet – Litang Monastery
Shigatse Monastery, Tibet
Palkhor Monastery, Gyangtse County
Tashi lhunpo Monastery, Xigaze
Tashi lhunpo Monastery, Xigaze
DRepung Monastery. Lhasa, Tibet
TIBETAN TEMPLE DOORS
These doors are intricately painted with heavy borders and mostly ornamented by the Tibetan Lion sculptures on the top serving as guardians.
Door inside Jokhang Temple, Lhasa, Tibet
Tibetan Monastery DOORS in India
Namdroling Temple, Karnataka
Mundgod town, Karnataka
A town called as mini Tibet in Karnataka is famous for the Doeguling Tibetan Settlement. Here is the beautiful heavily ornate door with tassels symbolizing power –
DOORS FROM TIBETAN STREETS
Though the things are modernized but still some places keep alive the folk heritage shaping perfect pieces of art. These eye-catching house doors are one such artforms-
Door with typical trapezoidal black border
Colorful door from Drepung
DOOR WITH TIBETAN TOTEM (OX-HORN)
Door with auspicious Tibetan symbol for sun, moon and universe and the ox-horn which is actually evolved from ancient totem (Yaks) of the Tibetans. The black border resemble the shape of ox-horn and is a symbol of good luck.
Vibrantly colorful Tibetan door
Tassels on the door knob
ornate door on one of the buildings, Gyantse
DOORS NARRATING MYTHOLOGY
This is the most fascinated element of Tibetan doors. The doors are colorfully painted with religious symbols and mythological creatures like Tibetan dragons or DRUK, Tibetan tigers, Snow Lions, the Garuda, Lamas etc.
THE Dragon door
Tibetan myths and legend consider the Dragons to have the power of perfect communication and enlightenment. Tibetan dragons are also used to decorate temple gates and roofs, sometimes holding a mani jewel, which is believed to embody the Buddha’s teachings.
From Labrang Monastery
Face representations like these depicts five negative human feelings, which the gods turn into positive ones. Rage, ignorance, jealousy, attachment and pride thus grow into their opposites.
In order to strike terror into evil spirits and to chase them off, some doors are painted with such horrifying faces, but they don’t symbolize demons. They belong to deities and, the more terrifying, the better they will keep wicked spirits at bay and let the monk focus on meditating.
They are bewitching.
How beautiful it is to communicate Tibetan life and culture through architectural elements like doors and windows. This art has developed over a long span of time where every colour, every pattern, every small detail holds some meaning. Each door has its own tale, the only thing that’s required is the eye of beholder …..
What do you think about these unique doors? Share your thoughts below. keep reading…