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

Zicha MönkhangZi cha mon khang

Basic site data

  • Site name: Zicha MönkhangZi cha mon khang (sp.?)
  • Site number: B-49
  • Site typology: I.2a
  • Elevation: 4980 m
  • Administrative location (township): ZhungpaGzhung pa
  • Administrative location (county): GegyéDge rgyas
  • Survey expedition: HTWE
  • Survey date: June 26, 2004
  • Contemporary usage: None.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: A Tsatsatshwa tshwa receptacle.
  • Maps: UTRS VI, HAS A2
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Site Images

General site characteristics

The single all-stone edifice of Zicha MönkhangZi cha mon khang is found on a rocky shelf between light-colored and dark-colored outcrops, just below the summit of Zicha NupmaZi cha nub ma. The poorly preserved structure was built in a sheltered location and has an eastern aspect. The widest view from the site is to the north. It is one of the only archaic residential sites discovered in ZhungpaGzhung pa, a region plentiful in ceremonial pillar sites. Variable-sized stones (up to 60 cm) went into the construction of the random-rubble walls of Zicha MönkhangZi cha mon khang. The remains of a cubic shrine (1.2 m by 1.2 m) aligned in the cardinal directions is located 11.5 m north of the dokhangrdo khang. It appears to be an integral part of the residential site.

Oral tradition

According to local sources, Zicha MönkhangZi cha mon khang was a residence of the ancient MönMon. A Tsatsatshwa tshwa receptacle in close proximity to the dokhangRdo khang was built by Karma KüngaKarma kun dga’ (born circa 1972), the head of nearby Kyao LukhangSkya’o klu khang monastery, circa 1988. He established it to pacify potentially harmful (ka nyenpobka’ gnyan po) influences emanating from the site.

Site elements

Zicha MönkhangZi cha mon khang is generally aligned in the cardinal directions and measures 6.4 m (west wall), 5.6 m (south wall), 7 m (east wall), and 5.2 m (north wall). The longer east wall is caused by a small extension in this direction. The east-west dimension of Zicha MönkhangZi cha mon khang is as much as 8.5 m if the most outlying footings are taken into account. These forward footings, however, are so fragmentary that their identity is ambiguous (they could have variously supported a forward tier of rooms, a courtyard wall or a landing). The highest elevation wall (1.6 m) is along the middle of the west/upper side of the edifice. On the interior side of this wall segment there are two niches with their lintels intact (60 cm by 50 cm by 40 cm, 30 cm by 30 cm by 50 cm). Other walls of the dokhangrdo khang are only 50 cm to 1 m in height. There were four west or rear rooms; small remnants of their partition walls are in situ. The layout of what was either the middle or forward tier of rooms in no longer discernable. In the center part of this tier there is an entranceway (70 cm by 50 cm). Although the heavy 1 m long lintel is in place, much deformation of the opening has occurred.


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.