The Journey

Reconsecration of Svayambhu Mahachaitya

  • 63
  • Nepal
  • 1565 (Newari Samvat calendar year 685)
  • Opaque watercolor on cotton cloth
  • H. 39 3/4 x W 33 1/2 in. (101 x 85.1 cm)
  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, The Robert A. and Ruth W. Fisher Fund, 2000.15
  • The Great Stupa of Svayambhu
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The Great Stupa (Mahachaitya) of Svayambhu, which sits on a prominent hill in the Kathmandu Valley, is the religious center for Newar Buddhists in Nepal. This sacred place (chaitya) is believed to be the physical manifestation of the primordial (Adi) Buddha and a microcosm of the axis of the universe, Mount Meru. This depiction of the Great Stupa commemorates the 1565 renovation and reconsecration of the chaitya, a major pilgrimage site. The maintenance of major pilgrimage sites in Nepal has been ongoing throughout the history of the Buddhist Newars in the valley.

PHOTO CREDIT: Katherine Wetzel © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

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