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

Tönkha LungkharMthon kha lung mkhar

Basic site data

  • Site name: Tönkha LungkharMthon kha lung mkhar
  • Site number: A-95
  • Site typology: I.1x
  • Elevation: 4400 m to 4420 m
  • Administrative location (township): RawangRa bang
  • Administrative location (county): RutokRu thog
  • Survey expedition: HTCE
  • Survey date: June 2, 2002
  • Contemporary usage: Light grazing.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: A small prayer flag mast on the summit of the north spur.
  • Maps: UTRS I, HAS A1
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Site Images

General site characteristics

The smaller residential center of Tönkha LungkharMthon kha lung mkhar is situated on two 20 m high rocky spurs, flanking the left or west side of the Tönkha LungMthon kha lung valley. The site has excellent views of the main RawangRa bang valley but is of fairly limited defensive value. All traces of superstructures have vanished from the site; only random-rubble wall-bases survive. These were built with variable-sized dark gray stones (20 cm to 80 cm in length) with dressed exterior planes. The remains are in line with function as a fortification. It can readily be imagined that fairly substantial buildings once stood at Tönkha LungkharMthon kha lung mkhar.

Oral tradition

Tönkha LungMthon kha lung is an ancient castle, according to local residents.

Site elements

South spur

The most extensive ruins of Tönkha LungkharMthon kha lung mkhar are found on the south spur and occupy an entire outcrop. They consist of revetments planted on three different levels, each spaced 2 m to 3 m vertically apart. This group of structures extends for 27 m along the axis of the formation, and is 2.5 m wide on its south or high end and 9 m wide along its middle and north sections.

North spur

Small remnants of revetments are found on the north or outer edge of the north spur. These attain a maximum height of 1 m. On a saddle on the south side of the formation there is a single wall segment, 5.8 m in length and up to 60 cm in height.


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.