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Tintin in Tibet: Hergé’s source for the big temple?

#1 · Posted: 9 Jun 2005 17:59
Does anyone know something about the so-called 'big temple' seen in Tibet (p.12) ?
Does it really look the way Herge drew it?
Does it have a local name, is it dedicated to a special god / goddess?

Thanks for your answers.
#2 · Posted: 9 Jun 2005 23:33
About a year before I got "Tintin in Tibet" (1993), I got an atlas with a picture of a Buddhist temple with prayer flags and painted flags. I didn't think much of it then, but when I got the book, I saw a very accurate rendition of something that was very similar to, if not outright a potrayal of, that photo. I don't know the local name of it, but since it is a Buddhist temple, it will most likely have at least a statue of Buddha, but as Buddhism does not worship gods (they worship principles), the temple is not dedicated to a special deity (I'm somewhat influenced by Buddhism, so I sort of know this stuff).

Hope this helps.
#3 · Posted: 11 Jun 2005 09:54
Thanks for your answer, snafu.

I think the temple seen on page 10 (1st frame) is Buddhist, but doesn't the 'big temple' (p.12) look rather Hindu than Buddhist?
#4 · Posted: 12 Jun 2005 21:38
Although Nepal is predominantly Hindu, there is still a strong Buddhist influence (Siddhartha Gautama "Buddha" was supposedly born there). At the same time, however, this form of Buddhism is different from the Hiniyana sect of Thailand and the more Mahayana-type sects in the Chinese world. In Nepal and in Tibet (and in Buddhist parts of neighboring India), the form of Buddhism is far more mystical than at least the Mahayana and similar types of the faith (many Chinese used to not look entirely positively at Tibetan Buddhism because mysticism was not as well accepted in China as it was in other places like India. At the same time, however, the Nationalist Government, now in Taiwan, had good relationships with the Dalai Lama, something that the Communists undid with their 1950 invasion. I'm Chinese, so I'd know). Hope you find this informative...
#5 · Posted: 14 Jun 2005 12:29 · Edited by: Moderator
I'd be happy too to know more about the Big Temple!

But, Snafu, Nationalist China has never condemned the invasion of Tibet until now.
I remember seeing in 1977 maps of China in official buildings in Taipei: they included Tibet.

Moderator note: as far as I know, the Republic of China (ROC) has not officially renounced sovereignty over Mainland China--including Tibet, outer Mongolia, and Tuva. Despite recent moves made by the ROC government (the Nationalists are now in the Opposition) to remove outer Mongolia from the official maps, Tibet is still, along with 30 plus provinces, shown on the official ROC maps. Now, let's get back on topic, please! - marsbar
#6 · Posted: 15 Jun 2005 21:55 · Edited by: yamilah
Thanks for your answers.

For those who don't have the book to hand, the temple shown in Tibet page 12 is here:

After googling quite a lot, I think this Herge drawn Kathmandu temple is Hindu, as it looks similar to many others and is no Buddhist stupa like the one shown in Tibet page 10 (frame 1)...

They also say Nepal is over 80% Hindu, not to say Indian...

Thus, after the New-Delhi 'spatiotemporal fault' (see thread), there should logically be another such 'fault' in Kathmandu...

Can anyone find it?
#7 · Posted: 22 Nov 2005 18:46
I'm a Buddhist, and the 2 people on the right of p.12, are clearly Buddhist monks,f although to me I think that the temple is Hindu as it has no stupa (tower)and it just doesn't fit typical Himalayan Buddhist style.
The temple on p.10 is actually Nepal's most famous Buddhist temple, and has a stupa tip, as well as the Buddha's wise eyes symbol.The chorten on page 20/21 is definately Buddhist as is the monastery.
The dieties on p.47 are bodhissattvas - symbolic embodiments of a principle and not real life beings. I believe that they are vajrapani and vajrayogini. The monks come from the Gelugpas order of monks as they have yellow hats.
#8 · Posted: 5 Jan 2006 20:05 · Edited by: yamilah
Thanks midnightblueowl for confirming that Tibet's "big temple" (p.12) is Hindu, hence belongs to a major Indian* religion used to deal with scores of deities and their hundreds of avatars* -a Sanskrit* hence Indian* word that appears in the very beginning of the corpus, in the original Soviets (1st frame, 8th line), as shown on


To check what those gods' funny mutant anatomies* look like, please browse through:

These gods' funny anatomies match with Tintin's so-called 'unique world'* made of mutant* or invisible entities, among which a spacious "temple"** can certainly also be seen as an 'anatomical avatar' and thus be spatio-"temporal"**...

Such a childish* pun matches with the many ST faults* found in the corpus, namely impossible speeds* (mutant vehicles) & duplications* (mutant creatures) which in their turn match with Prof. Paul Cantonneau*'s strange asunder interests, that reveal the invisible framework of the Tintinverse:

1 Indians*, whose mysterious language is potentially liable to translate syllables i.e. TEXT into phonetic avatars (i.e. via a 'substitution' system that operates on each syllabic SPACE)...

2 mysterious stars*, whose unseen 'cipher' & number (e.g. zodiac*) potentially allow a physical translation of IMAGES, via shifts or slips (i.e. thanks to a 'transposition' system that modifies the syllabic chronology by operating on TIME)...

* please search for related topics.
** this third French-British language barrier* ( http://www.tintinologist.org/forums/index.php?action=vthread&forum=8&topic=909 ) is once again crossed by Tintin himself when he says to Haddock: 'Voila le "big temple" qu'on nous a indiqué' (original Tibet, p12, B1)...

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