Fri 25 Oct 2019 – Sun 23 Feb 2020
The Life of the Buddha © British Library
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  • Tel: +44 (0)1937 546546
  • Email: boxoffice@bl.uk
  • Full Price: £12.60 Member: £12.60 Other concessions available

Discover the art, origins and its relevance today

Save 10% on your tickets when you book online

How did Buddhism grow from its beginnings in 6th-century BCE India to having over 500 million international followers today? How did the life of the Buddha unfold? What inspires Buddhist practice?

Encounter the outstanding beauty of Buddhist manuscripts and artworks in the largest exhibition of its kind ever held at the British Library. Explore rare treasures from the Library’s collection including colourful scrolls, artefacts decorated with great detail and lavishly illuminated books spanning 2,000 years and 20 countries.

Meet the women whose stories are told through Buddhist scripture. Admire artefacts made by hand in a setting inspired by a Buddhist temple. From sacred texts written on tree bark, palm leaves and gold plates to exquisite silk scrolls of major sutras, follow the life of the Buddha and his previous incarnations. Find out how Buddhism was pivotal in developing writing and printing techniques, transmitting ideas and stories across Asia. Lose yourself in a natural soundscape.

Contemporary art from Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan and ritual objects used in contemplative practice provide a window into everyday life in Buddhist communities in the 21st century. Understand current customs and beliefs, gain insight into meditation, and experience the feeling of stepping into a monastic library.

Mindfulness. Compassion. Tolerance. Many of us have heard of the principles of Buddhism. Discover their origins, see beautiful artworks, and understand what these concepts mean for Buddhists in the world today.

Further Information

If you have any questions about your visit, please contact Customer Services: Customer-Services@bl.uk or +44 (0)1937 546060.

If you’re a group of 10 people or more, get a 10% discount off ticket prices.

Full Price: £14.00
Senior 60+: £12.00
Student: £7.00
Registered Unemployed: £7.00
Disabled: £7.00
National Art Pass Senior: £6.00
18-25: £7.00
Child 11 and Under: £0.00
Child 12-17: £7.00
National Art Pass: £7.00

Find out more about the learning programme to accompany the exhibition, including primary school workshops, secondary school workshops, teacher events, family activities and adult courses.

Explore more Buddhism with our accompanying events programme

Part of Asian Art in London


Name: Buddhism
Where: PACCAR 1
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Opening times and visitor information
Price: Full Price: £12.60
Member: £12.60
Senior 60+: £10.80
Student: £6.30
Registered Unemployed: £6.30
Disabled: £6.30
National Art Pass Senior: £5.40
18-25: £6.30
Child 11 and Under : £0.00
Child 12-17: £6.30
National Art Pass: £6.30

A voluntary donation can be added over the regular ticket price. You will be helping the Library to conserve and share its collection. If you are a UK tax-payer and ‘Gift Aid’ your donation, the Library can reclaim the tax you have paid.

Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546
Book now