The 500-year old Buddhist text Pragyanparamita, illuminated with gold and silver writing, is a marvellous sight even today as the passage of time has not affected either the paper or the text.
The process of preparing these gold and silver inks is a closely guarded secret that is handed down from father to son; in fact the technique of preparing the gold powder tablet (cholun) - one of the critical ingredients - is also a closely guarded secret. It is said that the original formula was brought to Nepal in secret from Tibet. This gold powder tablet is more expensive than its equivalent weight in gold. Both gold and silver powder are used to write on black (or dark) neel patra paper.
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