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New South Asian Galleries

Now Open

In a complete transformation of our renowned South Asian galleries, one of the world’s most significant collections of art from the vast area stretching from Tibet and Nepal through India and even to Iran, Thailand, and Cambodia has come to life in new and exciting ways.

Immerse yourself in diverse cultures of the past and present through vivid storytelling, powerful images, and digital interactives. Highlights include a stone temple hall from southern India, courtly Indian miniature paintings, ornate Buddhist works from Tibet and Nepal, colorful textiles, and lively temple sculpture.

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Contemporary Artist Shahzia Sikander: Disruption as Rapture

Shahzia Sikander creates a colorful video installation inspired by a beautiful manuscript in our South Asian art collection.
Watch Video >>


Pillared Temple Hall, c. 1550
Pillared Temple Hall (detail), c. 1550
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A Place of Celebration: Indian Temple Hall
With its granite figure pillars, lion capitals, and carvings of Hindu tales, this gallery is the only place outside India where you can stand within a pre-modern Indian temple hall.

Gulshan-i 'Ishq (Rose Garden of Love)
Rose Garden of Love (detail), 1743
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Rose Garden of Love
This beautiful 18th-century manuscript tells a classic love story set in a world of lush gardens and magical beings. It is arguably the finest complete version of the manuscript to survive.

Indra, King of the Godsâ Heaven
Indra, King of the Gods’ Heaven (detail), c. 16th century
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Indra, King of the Gods’ Heaven
Popular in Nepal, Indra reigns over the heaven of the gods in Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain mythology. Here he wears a crown studded with semi-precious stones, rich jewelry, and an intricately woven lower garment.

Kantha (Embroidered Quilt), Late 19th century
Kantha (Embroidered Quilt) (detail), Late 19th century
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Embroidered Textiles of Bengal
For centuries, women in what is today Bangladesh and eastern India made embroidered textiles, or kanthas, for rituals and celebrations. The Museum’s holdings are the largest and finest group of historical kanthas outside the Indian subcontinent.

Nandi, the Sacred Bull of Shiva, c. 1200â1250
Nandi, the Sacred Bull of Shiva, c. 1200–1250
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Nandi, the Sacred Bull of Shiva
This happy bull was made as part of a Shiva temple commissioned under the Hoyshala rulers of south-central India. It is among the best examples of Hoyshala sculpture outside India.


The reinstallation of the Museum’s galleries of South Asian Art was made possible by the Estate of Phyllis T. Ballinger, The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Institute of Museum and Library Services, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, William Penn Foundation, Gupta Family Foundation Ujala, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, and The McLean Contributionship. Generous donors to this initiative include Steve and Gretchen Burke, Sailesh and Manidipa Chowdhury, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Kimelman, Mr. and Mrs. Shantanu RoyChowdhury, Pamela and Ajay Raju, the Jones Wajahat Family, Paritosh M. and Srimati Chakrabarti, Drs. Julia A. and Eugene P. Ericksen, Ira Brind and Stacey Spector, Lyn M. Ross, Dennis Alter, Andrea Baldeck M.D., Tushar and Amrita Desai, Shanta Ghosh, David Haas, Dr. Krishna Lahiri, David and Jean Yost, and other generous donors.

Additional support for the Museum’s building project is provided by Hersha, Shanta Ghosh, and Osagie and Losenge Imasogie.



Galleries 222–225 and 227–232, second floor

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