Explore Nachi Mandala

The Nachi Pilgrimage Mandala shows a panoramic view of one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Japan. Buddhists believe that this is the Pure Land paradise of Kannon, the Japanese manifestation of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.

This interactive map allows you to explore the sacred complex. You may click on the details to look closer, learn more about each site and its religious practices, and see what it looks like today.

Following a pilgrim couple dressed in white, enter the realm from bottom right, where devotees depart in boats for Kannon's paradise. The journey continues to Nachi Shrine, to the great waterfall, and ends at top left with Mount Myoho. In addition to Buddhist sites, you will find various Shinto shrines, manifestations of local rituals, and vignettes from classic literature. MD

Explore Avalokiteshvara

Belonging to a set of paintings depicting the Eight Great Bodhsattvas, this work is rendered in a Chinese-inspired style called Gyalug in Tibetan. It illustrates the cross-cultural transmission of artistic styles and pictorial motifs in Buddhist art. This unconventional painting emphasizes the close spiritual and emotional bond between Buddha Amitabha and Avalokiteshvara. LL.

Explore Avalokiteshvara Mandala

A mandala operates as a map on multiple levels. It emulates the floor plan of a deity’s palace (in this example, the palace of Avalokiteshvara.) It is simultaneously a schematic diagram of the cosmos. Furthermore, a mandala is a map that guides inner reflection. By navigating through the structure, the mind reaches a centered, balanced state of great stability and peace. BO, LL.