Portal:Asia/Featured picture

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Featured pictures list

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/1

A pair of Chinese shoes from 1911 made for feet that have been bound in the Chinese foot binding custom.
Credit: User:Dschwen

Foot binding was the custom of binding the feet of young girls painfully tight to prevent further growth. The practice probably originated among court dancers in the early Song dynasty, but spread to upper class families and eventually became common among all classes. The tiny narrow feet were considered beautiful and to make a woman's movements more feminine and dainty.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/2

Guanyin with bare chest. Japan, 12th century
Credit: Unknown

Guanyin is the bodhisattva associated with compassion as venerated by East Asian Buddhists, usually as a female.Some Buddhists believe that when one of their adherents departs from this world, they are placed by Guanyin in the heart of a lotus then sent home to the western pure land of Sukhāvatī.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/3

Man playing a gamelan, a traditional Indonesian instrument
Credit: Fir0002

A gamelan is a kind of musical ensemble of Indonesian origin typically featuring metallophones, xylophones, drums, and gongs. The term can be used to refer either to the set of instruments or the players of those instruments. Traditionally, "gamelan" comes from the Javanese word "gamel", meaning hammer.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/4

Seaweed farming in Indonesia
Credit: Jean-Marie Hullot

A farmer harvests seaweed growing on a rope, on the small island of Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia. Wooden posts demarcate the bay into rectangular plots that are owned by different families. Seaweed farming is a fairly simple process: Attached plants are placed in the sea and allowed to grow naturally, with little human intervention.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/5

Maik' (apprentice geisha) and nape make-up
Credit: Daniel Bachler

A photo of two maiko (apprentice geisha), with the typical make-up clearly visible, leaving portions of the nape uncovered. This is done to accentuate what is a traditionally erotic area. The white face make-up is supposed to resemble a mask, and a line of bare skin around the hairline helps create that illusion. Established geisha generally wear full white face makeup characteristic of maiko only during special performances.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/6

Kayan girl, northern Thailand
Credit: Diliff

The Kayan or Padaung are a group of the Karen people found in Myanmar and Thailand. They are known for a particular body modification, which consists of coiling lengths of brass around the neck of the women. The coils are first applied when the girls are about five years old, and the coil is replaced with longer coils as the weight of the brass pushes down the collar bone and compresses the rib cage, resulting in the appearance of a very long neck. The practice has seen a surge in recent years because the custom draws tourists who buy their handicrafts.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/7

The temple is situated in Bangalore city, Bangalore District, Karnataka
Credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

The Dharmaraya Swamy Temple located in Bangalore is known for being the place where the Bangalore Karaga festival takes place. It is the only festival that is brought about in the temple

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/8

Mount Everest
Credit: Luca Galuzzi

The north face of Mount Everest, as seen from Tibet. Everest is the highest mountain on Earth, as measured by the height of its summit above sea level, which is 8,848 metres (29,029 ft). In 1865, Everest was given its official English name by the Royal Geographical Society upon recommendation of Andrew Waugh, the British Surveyor General of India at the time.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/9

The town of Ortahisar
Credit: Mila Zinkova

The town of Ortahisar in Cappadocia, a region in central Turkey famous for its fairy chimneys, rock formations that may reach 40 m (130 ft) in height. Over thousands of years, wind and rain have eroded layers of consolidated volcanic ash to form the area's landscape. Early occupants of the area dug tunnels into the exposed rock face to build residences, stores, and churches, now home to Byzantine artwork.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/10

Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
Credit: Royal family of Bhutan

Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck is the fifth and current Bhutan Dragon King and head of the Wangchuck dynasty. He became king on 14 December 2006, and was officially crowned on 6 November 2008. The young king began his unusual reign overseeing the democratization of Bhutan, stating that the responsibility for this generation of Bhutanese was to ensure the success of democracy.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/11

The Qianlong Emperor in Armor on Horseback, by Italian Jesuit Giuseppe Castiglione
Credit: Giuseppe Castiglione

The Qianlong Emperor was the sixth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing Dynasty, and the fourth Qing emperor to rule over China. The fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor, his reign officially began 11 October 1735, lasting for 60 years. Named Hongli, he chose the era name Qianlong, meaning "heavenly prosperity". Although his early years saw the continuation of an era of prosperity and great military success in China, his final years saw troubles at home and abroad converge on the Qing Empire. Qianlong abdicated the throne at the age of 85, to his son, the Jiaqing Emperor, fulfilling his promise not to reign longer than his grandfather, the Kangxi Emperor.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/12

Scene from the Ramayana
Credit: Sahibdin

A scene from the Ramayana, an ancient Sanskrit epic. Depicted here are several stages of the War of Lanka, with the monkey army of the protagonist Rama (top left, blue figure) fighting the demon army of the king of Lanka, Ravana, to save Rama's kidnapped wife Sita. The three-headed figure of the demon general Trisiras occurs in several places – most dramatically at the bottom left, where he is shown beheaded by Hanuman.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/13

Painting from the Ajanta Caves.
Credit: The Yorck Project

Sixth century mural from the wall of the Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra, India, painted during the Gupta Empire. These paintings, like many produced in this time period, freely depict nudity, romantic themes or sexual situations, reflecting the lack of taboos against sex in a society that also produced the Kama Sutra and the Tantric school of Indian philosophy.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/14

Chola dynasty statue depicting Shiva dancing as Nataraja
Credit: Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Nataraja is a depiction of the Hindu god Shiva as the cosmic dancer Koothan who performs his divine dance to destroy a weary universe and make preparations for god Brahma to start the process of creation.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/15

Ase o fuku onna
Credit: Utamaro

Utamaro's Ase o fuku onna ("Woman wiping sweat"), an example of bijinga (literally, "pictures of beautiful people"), a central theme of the ukiyo-e genre of Japanese art. Nearly all ukiyo-e artists produced bijinga, but a few, including Utamaro, Suzuki Harunobu, Toyohara Chikanobu, and Torii Kiyonaga, are widely regarded as the greatest innovators and masters of the form.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/16

A Toda hut
Credit: Pratheepps

The Toda people are a small pastoral tribe of less than 1,000 people who reside in the Nilgiri hills of Southern India. Shown here is a typical Toda hut, about 3 m (10 ft.) high, 5.5 m (18 ft.) long and 2.7 m (9 ft.) wide. They are built of bamboo fastened with rattan and thatched. The hut has only a tiny (about 0.9 x 0.9 m, 3 x 3 ft.) entrance at the front, which serves as protection from wild animals.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/17

Tibetan prayer flag
Credit: Moumine

A vertical Tibetan prayer flag in the Zanskar region of northern India. The vertical style, called darchor, is less common than the horizontal style, called lungta. Horizontal prayer flags are squares connected at the top edges with a long thread. The vertical prayer flags are usually single squares or groups of squares sewn on poles which are planted in the ground or on rooftops. Unique to Tibetan Buddhism, these flags are panels or rectangles of colourful cloth strung along mountain ridges and peaks in the Himalayas to bless the surrounding countryside.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/18

A gayaman-style kris, with a figure of Semar as the handle
Credit: Crisco 1492

The kris or keris is an asymmetrical dagger or sword nowadays most strongly associated with the culture of Indonesia, but also indigenous to Malaysia, Southern Thailand and Brunei. The kris is famous for its distinctive wavy blade (luk), but many have straight blades as well.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/19

A series of torii at Fushimi Inari shrine, Kyoto, Japan
Credit: Paul Vlaar

A series of torii, the defining feature of Fushimi Inari-taisha, a Shinto shrine dedicated to the spirit Inari in Kyoto, Japan. The thousands of vermilion torii gates are all donations from individuals, families or companies.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/20

Barrels of Japanese sake at Itsukushima Shrine in the Hiroshima prefecture.
Credit: Dan Smith

Sake, is a rice-based alcoholic beverage of Japanese origin. In Japan, the word simply means alcoholic beverage. As with other alcohol in Japan, sake is poured with the palm of the hand facing down and the back of the hand facing up, particularly when it is poured for another person. Pouring with the palm of the hand facing up is considered rude and is likely to elicit surprise and disapproval

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/21

Apa Tani tribal women
Credit: doniv

Apa Tani tribal women, with traditional tattoos and bamboo nose ornaments in Hija village, Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Originally, this practice started because the women wanted to look unattractive to males from other tribes.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/22

A Nishi tribal wearing a traditional headdress
Credit: Doniv79

The Nisi people principally inhabit the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.They inhabit the Papum Pare, East Kameng and Lower Subansiri, Kurung Kumey, parts of upper Subansiri districts of Arunachal Pradesh, as well as the Darrang District and North Lakhimpur district of Assam.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/23

Women during a public meeting in Gondi village, Umaria district, Madhya Pradesh, India
Credit: Yann

The Gondi people are people in central India, spread over the states of Madhya Pradesh, eastern Maharashtra (Vidarbha), Chhattisgarh, northern Andhra Pradesh, and Western Orissa. With over four million people, they are the largest tribe in Central India.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/24

A geisha at work in Gion
Credit: ToddLara

Geisha are traditional Japanese artist-entertainers. Geisha were very common in the 18th and 19th centuries, and are still in existence today, although their numbers are dwindling. Geisha take lessons in several arts forms for most of their lives, not for just entertaining customers but for a lifetime of learning.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/25

Nepalese Sadhu
Credit: PICQ

A sadhu in Kathmandu, Nepal, performing a blessing. Sadhus are Hindu ascetic practitioners of yoga (yogi) who have given up pursuit of the first three Hindu goals of life: kama (enjoyment), artha (practical objectives) and even dharma (duty). The sadhu is solely dedicated to achieving moksha (liberation) through meditation and contemplation of God.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/26

Sikh pilgrim at the Golden Temple
Credit: Paul Rudd

A Sikh pilgrim at the Harmandir Sahib, known informally as the "Golden Temple", located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. The temple is the best-known of the Sikh gurdwaras and was completed in 1604. In the early nineteenth century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh covered the upper floors of the gurdwara with gold, giving it its distinctive appearance.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/27

Nagoya Castle
Credit: Samuel Louie

The main donjon of Nagoya Castle, a Japanese castle found in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture. It was destroyed in World War II, but the donjon was reconstructed in 1959, and there are plans to also rebuild Honmaru Palace, which was also located within the castle walls.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/28

Credit: 663highland

A colorful dougong supporting a structure at Sagami Temple, Kasai, Hyōgo, Japan. Dougong is a structural element of interlocking wooden brackets, one of the most important elements in traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean architecture. The use of dougong first appeared in buildings of the late centuries BC and evolved into a structural network that joined pillars and columns to the frame of the roof. The pieces are fit together by joinery alone without glue or fasteners, due to the precision and quality of the carpentry.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/29

Mandarin Ducks
Credit: Hiroshige Utagawa

Mandarin Ducks by Japanese woodblock artist Hiroshige Utagawa, accompanied by a poem which reads:

Out in a morning wind,
Have seen a pair of mandarin ducks parting.
Even the best loving couple makes a quarrel.

Hiroshige was a member of the Utagawa school, which was founded by Utagawa Toyoharu, whose primary innovation was his adaptation of linear perspective to Japanese subject matter. His pupil, Toyokuni I, took over after Toyoharu's death and raised the group to become the most famous and powerful woodblock print school for the remainder of the 19th century, so much so that today more than half of all surviving ukiyo-e prints are from it. In addition to Hiroshige, Kunisada, Kuniyoshi and Yoshitoshi were Utagawa students.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/30

Bathhouse Women
Credit: Torii Kiyonaga

Onna yu ("Bathhouse Women"), a late-eighteenth century Japanese woodblock print in the ukiyo-e style, depicting women at a sentō, or Japanese public bath house. Commercial bath houses in Japan date to at least 1266 and became especially popular immediately after World War II, due to the devastation caused by the war.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/31

Credit: Shahee Ilyas

An aerial photo of Malé, the capital of the Republic of Maldives. Malé is located on Malé Island in the Kaafu Atoll, but administratively it is not considered part of Kaafu. The island is heavily urbanised, with the city, one of the most densely populated in the world, taking up essentially its entire landmass.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/32

A gama
Credit: Unknown

A c. 1890 Korean illustration of a litter (gama in Korean), a type of human-powered transport, for the transport of persons. Gamas were primarily used by royalty and government officials, or in traditional weddings. Because of the difficulties posed by the mountainous terrain of the Korean Peninsula and the lack of paved roads, gamas were preferred over wheeled vehicles.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/33

Credit: Diliff

Bangkok is the capital city of and largest urban area in Thailand.The city's many cultural landmarks and attractions in addition to its nightlife venues has made it synonymous with exoticism. Its rapid modernization, reflected in the cityscape and the urban society, has left untouched the historic Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Vimanmek Palace Complex, hundreds of Buddhist temples, and the city's illegal (but tolerated) red-light districts draw about 10 million international visitors each year, second only to London.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/34

Credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

An unpeeled and a peeled rambutan, the fruit of the rambutan tree. The plant is native to the Malay Archipelago and can be found through much of Southeast Asia, although its exact distribution remains unknown. The name is derived from the Malay word rambut, which literally means 'hairy'. The fruit flesh is translucent, whitish or very pale pink, with a sweet, mildly acidic flavour.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/35

Credit: Frank J. Gualtieri, Jr.

Yumedono, a building in the Hōryū-ji Buddhist temple complex in Ikaruga, Nara Prefecture, Japan. The hall, which was built in 739, acquired its common name in the Heian period, in keeping with a legend that says a Buddha arrived as Prince Shōtoku, who had originally commissioned the temple, and meditated in a hall that existed there.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/36

A man in Kabul selling the ingredients for goat Siri paya.
Credit: Paulrudd

A man in Kabul selling the ingredients for goat Siri paya a traditional breakfast dish of Pakistan Iran and Afghanistan. The main ingredients of the dish are the two ends of a cow, goat or lamb; Siri means the head of the animal and paya means the feet. It is considered a delicacy. Historically, when people used wood or coal as a cooking fuel, women would start this dish at night and slow cook it in the coals until the morning. This dish has a soup-like consistency and is usually eaten as a breakfast food in the winter months with naan.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/37

The Taj Mahal
Credit: Sandeep Dhirad

The Taj Mahal in Agra, India, was commissioned by the 17th century Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, as a mausoleum for his Persian wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Built over a period of 23 years, it is a masterpiece of Mughal architecture, featuring the finest materials from all over India and Asia. Its gleaming facade is clad in white marble from Rajasthan and inlaid with 28 types of precious and semi-precious stones. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site considered to be of "outstanding universal value".

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/38

An Adivasi woman.
Credit: PICQ

An Adivasi (indigenous) woman from the Kutia Khond tribal group in the Indian state of Orissa. Khonds were known for their human sacrifices, which were intended to further the fertilization of the earth.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/39

Guhyasamāja tantra
Credit: Unknown

A 17th century Central Tibetan thangka (painted or embroidered banner) of Guhyasamaja Akshobhyavajra, from the Guhyasamāja tantra, a tantra whose practice is important to many schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The Guhyasamaja ("Secret Assembly") tantra was developed at an early date in history to aid the Buddhist practitioner in understanding and practicing Tantric Buddhism to attain enlightenment. These are the basic texts of the Tantric—an esoteric and highly symbolic—form of Buddhism, which developed in India and became dominant in Tibet.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/40

Cry for noble Saichō
Credit: Emperor Saga

Cry for noble Saichō, a poem written by Emperor Saga of Japan in the 9th century, upon the death of the Buddhist monk Saichō—an early example of Japanese calligraphy. Although calligraphy as an art form had existed prior to that time, Japanese practitioners tended to imitate the styles developed by Chinese calligraphists. The influence of Chinese styles had weakened after the Heian period, with this text as one of the few surviving examples of the transformation to a native Japanese style.

Portal:Asia/Featured picture/41

Ruins of the Somapura Grand Monastery in Paharpur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Credit: Tourism Bangladesh

Somapura Mahavihara in Paharpur, Badalgachhi Upazila, Naogaon District, Bangladesh is among the best known Buddhist viharas in the Indian Subcontinent and is one of the most important archeological sites in Bangladesh. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.


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