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

Khangpé KyéKhang pa’i skyed

Basic site data

  • Site name: Khangpé KyéKhang pa’i skyed
  • Site number: B-48
  • Site typology: I.2a?
  • Elevation: 4900 m
  • Administrative location (township): ChinglungPhying lung
  • Administrative location (county): PelgönDpal mgon
  • Survey expedition: HTAE
  • Survey date: November 7, 2003
  • Contemporary usage: None.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: A small manima ṇi wall.
  • Maps: UTRS IX, HAS D5
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Site Images

General site characteristics

Khangpé KyéKhang pa’i skyed rests on a shelf at the foot of a steep, rocky ridge that rises over the GobukMgo sbug basin and village. The site, which is elevated 100 m above the village of GobukMgo sbug, is in direct view of NamtsoGnam mtsho situated 10 km to the south. Small springs are found in the vicinity of this lone residential structure. The well-built granite edifice (4.8 m by 7.5 m) has been largely reduced to fragmentary footings. It appears to have been split between two elevations (there is a 30 cm vertical difference between them). There may have been only one room in each of the two tiers. No standing walls remain at Khangpé KyéKhang pa’i skyed. The rear wall was built 60 cm into the slope. To the southeast of the structure there are the remains of footings, suggesting that a walled courtyard once stood here. It appears to have been 7.5 m long and the width of the building itself. The courtyard was set about 70 cm below the lower tier of rooms. Foundation walls are of a random-rubble texture and contain large stones (30 cm to 1 m long). The ground plan of the edifice, its heavy wall traces and the presence of granite members up to 1.4 m in length on the site suggest that it was of all-stone construction. Next to the ruined edifice there is a manima ṇi wall with highly worn inscribed plaques that are likely to date to the time of the early Kagyüpabka’ brgyud pa masters. The impression received is that some of the archaic cultural ruin was dismantled to build this Buddhist monument, probably in order to pacify and requisition the site. An archaic cultural identity is best in keeping with the morphological and locational characteristics of Khangpé KyéKhang pa’i skyed.

Oral tradition

None appears to exist in nearby GobukMgo sbug village. If Khangpé KyéKhang pa’i skyed was indeed a Buddhist site, some recognition of its religious status is likely to have been preserved.


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.