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.2. Residential Structures in Other Locations: Religious and Elite Residences

KyarangKya rang

Basic site data

  • Site name: KyarangKya rang (sp.?)
  • Site number: B-28
  • Site typology: I.2a
  • Elevation: 5180 m
  • Administrative location (township): DrowaGro ba
  • Administrative location (county): NyimaNyi ma
  • Survey expedition: UTAE
  • Survey date: June 26, 2001
  • Contemporary usage: None.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None
  • Maps: UTRS VIII
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Site Images

General site characteristics

The all-stone edifice of KyarangKya rang is named after the valley system in which it was built. This edifice reposes on a piece of level ground, on an otherwise steep and rocky ridge between two stream courses. Its walls are not as finely built as PukchenPhug chen (B-27), but they have nonetheless proven durable. Several decades ago the KyarangKya rang edifice served as a corral. There appear to have only been two rooms in KyarangKya rang, thus this was a minor facility in which only an individual or a small number of people could have lived. The walls surrounding the residential quarters may possibly be a later historic addition to the site. The remote, high-elevation KyarangKya rang appears to have been built primarily for religious purposes.

Oral tradition

According to local drokpa’brog pa, KyarangKya rang is an ancient religious center.

Site elements

The single structure measures 9.4 m (north-south) by 9 m (east-west) and is dominated by an open courtyard. The local drokpa’brog pa built a small extension onto the edifice verified by local reports and its crude construction. In order to build this extension stones were removed from KyarangKya rang, inflicting significant damage upon it. The 50 cm- to 70 cm-thick walls of the original structure are composed of random-rubble that was either of the dry-stone variety or lightly mud mortared. Dark-colored slabs up to 1 m in length and between 5 cm and 15 cm thickness were employed in construction. In the north wall there is a slab 1.5 m in length, but it is unclear if this is an original building material

The entrance to the KyarangKya rang edifice is in the south and from it one enters a walled compound. There are no buildings on the east half of this walled up area and no signs that there ever was. The forward third of the west side of the compound is also open. In the central west portion of the facility there is a residential structure. Its forward portion measures 3 m (north-south) by 4 m (east-west). The foundation of the highly dissolute forward portion of the edifice is elevated 50 cm above the forward or south slope. Its west/rear wall is up to 2 m in height and two corbels resting upon it extend 40 cm and 50 cm over the floor space. These corbels are set 40 cm to 50 cm below the rim of the wall – bridging stones and sheathing slabs must have rested upon them to meet the top of the walls. The rear room (3.1 m by 3.2 m) of the edifice has fairly regular walls. The rear wall of this room is built into the upper slope to a depth of 1.1 m. One corbel on the forward wall of the rear room is in place. The stone roof must have been very adeptly constructed in order to span this relatively large room. The 60 cm wide entrance to the rear room is in its east wall. The maximum height of the interior walls of the rear room is 1.7 m.


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.