Skip to Main Content

Achala, King of the Wrathful Ones (previously identified as Vighnantaka)

early 1200s
Overall: 100.6 x 74.3 cm (39 5/8 x 29 1/4 in.); Mounted: 111.1 x 83.8 x 7 cm (43 3/4 x 33 x 2 3/4 in.)
You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.
Location: not on view

Download, Print and Share


Close ties between the Buddhists of the Central Asian Tangut Xia kingdom and Tibetan monasteries resulted in works of devotional art, such as this tangka, featuring a remover of obstacles. The imagery has its roots in Nepal, where Vighnantaka was summoned by a powerful practitioner to defeat the Hindu god Ganesha, who was disturbing the proper performance of a tantric Buddhist ritual. For this reason, Ganesha and his father Shiva are being trampled under the feet of Vighnantaka. Vighnantaka is an emanation of the Buddha Akshobhya, who is blue in color and is invoked to aid in quelling anger. This Buddha appears in his crown and as the central figure among the group of five transcendent Buddhas, who are fundamental in tantric Buddhism, depicted above the main image. This rare Tangut tangka is one of few to survive from the period preceding the Mongol conquest of the region in 1227.
Achala, King of the Wrathful Ones (previously identified as Vighnantaka)

Achala, King of the Wrathful Ones (previously identified as Vighnantaka)

early 1200s

Mongolia, Tangut Xia, Khara Khoto (1032-1227), early 13th century

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.