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

Dosham Möngyi KharMdo gsham mon gyi mkhar

Basic site data

  • Site name: Dosham Möngyi KharMdo gsham mon gyi mkhar
  • English Equivalent: Below the Valley Confluence Castle of the MönMon
  • Alternative site name: Dosham Möngyi KharRdo gsham mon gyi mkhar
  • English equivalent: Below the Rocks Castle of the MönMon
  • Site number: A-110
  • Site typology: I.1b
  • Elevation: 3960 m
  • Administrative location (township): TsarangRtsa rang
  • Administrative location (county): TsamdaRtsa mda’
  • Survey expedition: HTAE
  • Survey date: October 9, 2003
  • Contemporary usage: None.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None.
  • Maps: UTRS V, HAS C2
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Site Images

General site characteristics

The brownish gray adobe-block structure known as Dosham Möngyi KharMdo gsham mon gyi mkhar is found suspended approximately 70 m above the east side of the DoshamMdo gsham valley. It consists of two highly eroded exterior walls of a building, which run the breadth of a narrow shelf. Undoubtedly, much of this structure has long since disappeared down the steep slopes of the mountainside. The site is interconnected to an esplanade called BukSbug, which is elevated above a long stretch of the DoshamMdo gsham valley. Dosham Möngyi KharMdo gsham mon gyi mkhar has a fairly good defensive position overlooking agricultural lands on the opposite side of the valley. The so-called kharmkhar is also located on the opposite side of the valley from a ruined Buddhist monastery known locally as Jampa Teluk’Byams pa lte lugs (said to be named for a large Jampa’Byams pa statue with a prominent navel that was once enshrined here).

Oral tradition

Dosham Möngyi KharMdo gsham mon gyi mkhar is thought to be a castle of the ancient MönMon. Local residents who claim that mysterious shrieks are sometimes heard here, consider the site inauspicious.

Site elements

Castle

The south wall of Dosham Möngyi KharMdo gsham mon gyi mkhar is 12.5 m in length and its east wall is 14.5 m in length. On the north end of the east wall there is an additional 1.8 m long wall segment that runs perpendicular to it. The highest exterior point of the walls is 2.5 m and the highest interior face rises 1.5 m. The walls have been reduced to 20 cm or less in thickness near the top and 40 cm or less at the base. The adobe contains a high proportion of gravel and small cobbles. The joints of the adobe blocks are still visible in a few places. These small building blocks are just 20 cm long and 10 cm high.

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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.