Kalāpustaka (MS Add.864)

Around the end of the 16th or beginning of the 17th century.

Cambridge University Library

Cambridge University Library
Cambridge, United Kingdom

This beautifully crafted 17th-century Nepalese accordion book consists completely of polychrome illustrations. The paintings represent stories of both sacred and secular nature, often narrated along multiple pages, sometimes divided in two or three frames. The stories are mostly taken from Brahmanical sources (the Bhāgavatapurāṇa, the Mahābhārata, the Rāmāyaṇa and the Vetālapañcaviṃśati) with the exception of the Buddhist Kinnarī Jātaka. The pictures often have captions in Sanskrit, sometimes mixed with Newari words, in Nepālākṣarā script. The manuscript was made around the year 1600 and the quality of its painting has led to scholars to suggest it may have been a royal commission, probably of king Jayajitāmitramalla.


  • Title: Kalāpustaka (MS Add.864)
  • Date Created: Around the end of the 16th or beginning of the 17th century.
  • Location Created: Nepal
  • Rights: Cambridge University Library
  • View the fully digitised item in Cambridge Digital Library using this link: https://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/MS-ADD-00864/1

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