Lions of Asia

Lions are meant to be the symbol of royal power, and can be found all over South East Asia as palace or temple guardians – even though there aren’t many lions around here. They are said to be Persian influence, transmitted from culture to culture. And it is interesting to see how they change as you go further and further away from the deserts and savannas where lions originally roam.

Angkor (Cambodia) has very graceful and distinctive lions, but somehow I didn’t take many pictures.

2007_03310226

2007_03310335

They are well known for their spectacular bottoms, and there are lots of people around trying to strike the pose for photos.

2007_03310105

2007_03310254

Kathmandu’s (Nepal) palace guards are colourful and playful. In Hinduism, lions are the carrier of the fearsome goddess Durga, and also an avatar of the god Vishnu.

IMG_8544

IMG_8484

IMG_8609

IMG_8812

IMG_8625

 

IMG_8839

IMG_8937

Penang and Melaka in Malaysia have a strong Chinese presence; in Chinese culture, lions protect people from evil spirits. They often have a ball rolling in their mouths.

2011 oct holiday 740

2011 oct holiday 662

2011 oct holiday 459

2011 oct holiday 710

2011 oct holiday 1152

2011 oct holiday 1201

Luang Prabang’s (Laos) temples are mostly flanked by nagas (dragons), being on the bank of the mighty Mekhong; but some creatures that may or may not be lions make a special appearance. Note the lipstick and nail polish 🙂  The Lord Buddha is sometimes atop a lion to depict royal lineage. He also referred to his teachings as the “lion’s roar”.

DSCF0595

DSCF0587

DSCF0780

DSCF0839

DSCF0557

DSCF0247

DSCF0651

DSCF0489

DSCF0664

…to be continued…

(All the listed places are World Heritage areas.)

(The image in the header is from Singapore – Lion City.)

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Lions of Asia”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s