The Dalai Lama's Secret Temple

Ian A. Baker, His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Thomas Laird


On a willow-covered island in a sacred pond behind Tibet’s Potala Palace is a pagoda-roofed temple that was built in the eighteenth century. Unknown artists created a series of mysterious paintings on the walls of the temple’s private chapel, and these masterpieces of Tibetan art are reproduced in this extraordinary publication.

The chapel was reserved exclusively for the Dalai Lamas as a place of meditation and spiritual retreat, and for centuries the murals guided them in mystical contemplation.

At the heart of the book are 150 color photographs of the murals and their temple by Thomas Laird. Ian Baker’s text places these remarkable works within their historical and cultural perspective and is augmented by accounts from other Tibetan sources. A special feature of the book is an introduction and quotations by Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama.


Immensely impressive in scope and style …a timeless work, one for readers to dip into again and again over the years.

— New Age Retailer

An unforgettable art book from Thames & Hudson.

— Publishers Weekly

This is a magnificent book, which should be seen and read by all those interested in Tibet, Buddhism, spirituality, art, and culture.

— The Explorers Journal

Fascinating …Laird’s awesome photographs capture the high quality of these Tibetan masterpieces.

— Library Journal


Ian A. Baker


Ian Baker’s many writings include The Tibetan Art of Healing.

His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Introduction By

Thomas Laird

Preface By

Thomas Laird’s work has appeared in National Geographic, Newsweek, and elsewhere.