Tibetan Thangka paintings at a shop next to the Swa Chapu Ganesh Buddhist Stupa in the Chhetrapati area of Kathmandu, Nepal. These pieces show the mandala associated with the Kalachakra Initiation, which the Dalai Lama gives twice per year in locations all around the world. Artists train for years to produce the delicate Thangkas, which are often painted on cotton or silk. They usually depict the life of Buddha or are used document to document historically significant Buddhist events. The circular design of these paintings represents a three-dimensional temple or heavenly abode of a Buddhist deity, who sits in the center of the mandala.