Tibetan and Himalayan Library - THL

THL Title Text
Antiquities of Zhang Zhung
by John Vincent Bellezza
Edited by Geoffrey Barstow, Mickey Stockwell and Michael White
Tibetan & Himalayan Library
Published under the THL Digital Text License.

I.1. Residential Structures Occupying Summits: Fortresses, breastworks, religious buildings, palaces, and related edifices

Kaling KharKa gling mkhar

Basic site data

  • Site name: Kaling KharKa gling mkhar
  • Site number: A-61
  • Site typology: I.1b
  • Elevation: Approximately 4040 m
  • Administrative location (township): DawaMda' ba
  • Administrative location (county): TsamdaRtsa mda'
  • Survey expedition: UTAE
  • Survey date: May 6, 2001
  • Contemporary usage: None.
  • Identifiable Buddhist emblems and constructions: Unknown.47
  • Maps: UTRS V, UTRS X, HAS C2
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Site Images

General site characteristics

The highly deteriorated primarily mud-block structures of KalingKa gling are situated on an inaccessible ridge-top, outside the agricultural village of KalingKa gling. There are also a few stone foundations at the site. KalingKa gling kharmkhar overlooks the west side of the DawaMda' ba valley, and is situated several kilometers down the valley from the township headquarters. The compact group of ruins is approximately 30 m in length, and walls up to 2 m in height have endured. The period in which this stronghold was established is not at all clear. Local residents believe that the site has a Buddhist identity. At this juncture in the inquiry, antecedent settlement at KalingKa gling is a matter of speculation. The important agrarian DawaMda' ba valley must have supported archaic cultural installations but their location remains to be determined.

Oral tradition

According to local residents, KalingKa gling was a castle.

Affiliated sites

Dawa KhartséMda' ba mkhar rtse

The Buddhist era fortress of Dawa KhartséMda' ba mkhar rtse is located near the township headquarters, and was destroyed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. One of its most notable features is a 20 m long tunnel that burrows through the formation. There is also a deep subterranean well at the site. No archaic architectural traces were detected at this location.

MilaMi la

At the confluence of the Dawa ChuMda’ ba chu and Sutlej River (Langchen Tsangpoglang chen gtsang po) there is the defunct settlement of MilaMi la. This locale was once brought under cultivation. Bounding one side of the alluvial plain is an earthen escarpment with about two dozen erstwhile residential caves. On the opposite side of the Sutlej are the traces of a pre-modern gold mine, stretching over a distance of more than 2 km (31° 18.2΄ N. lat. / 80° 00.5΄ E. long. / 3880 m). This location is called GyungkyangRgyungs rkyang, and consists of many small piles of cobbles and depressions pock marking a shelf, where shallow pit mining once took place.


[47] I was unable to access the site due to the collapse of the upper reaches of the earthen formation upon which it sits.

Note Citation for Page

John Vincent Bellezza, Antiquities of Zhang Zhung: A Comprehensive Inventory of Pre-Buddhist Archaeological Monuments on the Tibetan Upland (Charlottesville, VA: Tibetan & Himalayan Library, 2010), .

Bibliographic Citation

John Vincent Bellezza. Antiquities of Zhang Zhung: A Comprehensive Inventory of Pre-Buddhist Archaeological Monuments on the Tibetan Upland. Charlottesville, VA: Tibetan & Himalayan Library, 2010.