Far from being a new age belief liked by jaded celebs, Buddhism is an ancient religion dating back more than 2000 years. Its followers have included artists of the more devout sort who, in their work, depicted the doctrines and life of their religious teacher.

And the V&A’s new, permanent Buddhist Sculpture Gallery showcases their work. From the 4m-high jewel-encrusted Mandalay shrine to the stone head of Buddha sculpture found in China, the curators have placed the objects carefully to give insight into the journey Buddhism has made.

The gallery has some fantastic sculptures, and its location in the museum, overlooking the John Madejski Garden, provides a peaceful place to reflect on the relevance of the religion today.


» V&A Museum, Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL South Kensington (020 7942 2000; vam.ac.uk). Free.