Thangka is Tibetan Buddhist scroll painting on cotton or silk with mineral and organic pigments derived from coral, agate, sapphire, pearl, gold, and others that help preserve the colors for centuries.
The paintings date back to the 7th century and typically depict Buddhist deities. A thangka can be seen in every monastery and family shrine in Tibet.
In 2006, China listed the thangka as a national cultural heritage. UNESCO inscribed thangka as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009.
If you ever have a chance to visit Tibet, the Shoton Festival, commonly known as the Yogurt Festival – which usually falls in the middle of August – would be an ideal time to appreciate the art, when an unveiling ceremony for a gigantic thangka (about 40 by 40 meters) is held annually at the Drepung Monastery as part of the grand celebration.