Incredibly, the folks who create Thangkas -- generally Buddhist monks who live with their heads in the clouds at the top of the world -- don't consider them works of art. Rather, each intricately complex banner, colorfully depicting mandalas, Buddhas or bodhisattvas, is intended as a kind of spiritual lesson, prayer or charm for their Himalayan constituents. But damn if they aren't beautiful to look at, too. Melissa and Dinesh Shakya, the young owners of Nepali Bazaar, hand-pick theirs from the streets of Kathmandu, and their taste and care are evident in the selections they offer. And did we mention the reasonable prices? That excellent selling point spreads to the rest of the not-to-miss exotic merchandise, which includes brass Buddhas, bright ceremonial masks, gorgeous pressed-wool handbags, raw-silk wrap skirts with an elegant drape, fringed hand-knit cardigans and an unexpected trove of things for children, such as carved-wood rocking horses, tiny embroidered overalls, ethnic dolls and shiny brocade jackets. Enough to make you say Namaste!
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