The Greatest and Holiest of Tangla, From the «Shambalah» Series

Nicholas Roerich1929

International Centre of the Roerichs

International Centre of the Roerichs
Moscow, Russia

The painting was created by N. Roerich after the Central-Asian expedition (1924-1928). In the painting the artist depicted a landscape that he saw when the expedition approached Tibet in the autumn of 1927. In the foreground there is a stern highland plateau; a meandering river channel with icy horns; a cloudless, intense dark-blue sky. There, amidst this wide space, dazzling white snow-capped mountains raise their peaks above the almost lifeless plateau forming a crown. The light shadows on the slopes only emphasize the might and power of the Tangla massif. These grand mountains look like a focus of multidimensional space in which the physical, the subtle and the higher worlds intertwine. This is one of the most worshipped and sacred places for the peoples of Central Asia. Here the abode of 33 terrible and merciful gods and mountain spirits is located, as well as the border of the Secret country of Shambalah. While the expedition was crossing the Tangla pass, the accompanying Lamas dismounted to perform a ritual of worship with prayer. Nicholas Roerich captured this sacred mountain on canvas and cardboard many times. It was included in the composition of his famous painting “The Song of Shambalah” depicting a singer who is sitting of the slope in front of reddish peaks composing a song about Shambalah. In fact, the entire life and creative work of N. Roerich became a hymn to Shambalah, for which the holiest of Tangla is one of the symbols. This painting was granted to the Nicholas Roerich Museum in New-York by Mahatma M., the spiritual teacher of N. Roerich, and this fact is indicated in the Museum catalogue published in 1930.


  • Title: The Greatest and Holiest of Tangla, From the «Shambalah» Series
  • Date Created: 1929
  • Physical Dimensions: w1175 x h737 cm
  • Painter: N. Roerich
  • Original Artwork Title: Величайшая и святейшая Тангла
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: Museum by name of N.K.Roerich of the International Centre of the Roerichs

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