Tibetan and Himalayan Library - THL

THL Title Text
by John Vincent Bellezza
Edited by Geoffrey Barstow, Mickey Stockwell and Michael White
Tibetan & Himalayan Library
Published under the THL Digital Text License.

II.1. Stelae and accompanying structures: Funerary and non-funerary structures

Nyungkar DoringNyung dkar rdo ring

Basic site data

  • Site name: Nyungkar DoringNyung dkar rdo ring
  • English equivalent: Mustard Seed Long-stone
  • Site number: C-119
  • Site typology: II.1b
  • Elevation: 4590 m
  • Administrative location (township): ZhungméGzhung smad
  • Administrative location (county): ShentsaShan rtsa
  • Survey expedition: HTCE
  • Survey date: September 30, 2002
  • Contemporary usage: Light grazing.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None.
  • Maps: UTRS VIII, HAS D4
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Sites Images

General site characteristics

Nyungkar DoringNyung dkar rdo ring is located on the southern margin of the Zimpuk TsoGzims phug mtsho basin. NyungkarNyung dkar is the name of the small hill immediately north of the monument. The view to the west is the most open at the site, but the southern and eastern vistas are also encompassing. The well-drained terrain is broad, level, sandy, and with some grasses. A small stream flows very close to the south and west flanks of Nyungkar DoringNyung dkar rdo ring. The site consists of a small example of a single pillar erected inside a rectangular enclosure. It is very unusual to find this type of monument so close to running water.

Oral tradition

According to an elderly drokpa’brog pa who resides on the opposite side of the NyungkarNyung dkar hill, Nyungkar DoringNyung dkar rdo ring was erected in the distant past to mark the death of someone. Given the archaeological evidence associated with the walled pillar typology, this oral tradition appears to be historically accurate.

Site elements


The enclosure is aligned in the cardinal directions and measures 8.2 m (east-west) by 3.4 m (north-south). The entire enclosure is slightly elevated above the surrounding plain. Substantial parts of all four walls of the enclosure are intact. These walls (45 cm to 60 cm thick) are mostly composed of small pieces (around 10 cm long) of blue-gray limestone. These small stones were laid in multiple parallel courses in order to traverse the full width of the walls. There are also double-course wall sections (such as the east wall) made up of larger stones (up to 70 cm long).


The single irregularly shaped pillar is 70 cm in height and has a basal girth of 85 cm. The pillar is centered between the north and south walls, 80 cm from the inner edge of the west wall. The highly worn gray pillar has weathered to assume a reddish and blackish color.


Note Citation for Page

John Vincent Bellezza, (Charlottesville, VA: Tibetan & Himalayan Library, 2010), .

Bibliographic Citation

John Vincent Bellezza. . Charlottesville, VA: Tibetan & Himalayan Library, 2010.