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

Nyenta DoringGnyan rta rdo ring

Basic site data

  • Site name: Nyenta DoringGnyan rta rdo ring
  • English equivalent: Horse of the Nyen Long-stones
  • Site number: C-120
  • Site typology: II.1b
  • Elevation: 5080 m
  • Administrative location (township): DrakpoBrag po
  • Administrative location (county): GertséSger rtse
  • Survey expedition: HTCE
  • Survey date: October 11, 2002
  • Contemporary usage: Light grazing.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None.
  • Maps: UTRS III
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Sites Images

General site characteristics

Nyenta DoringGnyan rta rdo ring is situated in a narrow valley with a perennial watercourse running through it. This stream debouches into the east side of Drakpo TsoBrag po mtsho. The valley is ruled by a red escarpment, the territorial deity (yüllhayul lha), NyentaGnyan rta. Nyenta DoringGnyan rta rdo ring is situated near the right edge of the valley. As the NyentaGnyan rta valley is narrow, there are only wide open views west towards the Drakpo TsoBrag po mtsho basin, an unusual orientation. The lake from the site, however, is just out of view. The terrain is gently sloping, sandy and spotted with turf. The site consists of an enclosure with four in situ pillars. The existence of Nyenta DoringGnyan rta rdo ring demonstrates that this region was settled long before the current drokpa’brog pa tribes began to arrive in the 17th century CE.182

Oral tradition

Nyenta DoringGnyan rta rdo ring is said to be under the protection of the local territorial deity NyentaGnyan rta.

Site elements


The not well aligned enclosure measures 5.3 m (north-south) by 6.1 m (east-west). Parts of all four double-course walls have survived. The enclosure walls are around 60 cm in thickness, and are composed of variable length (20 cm to 60 cm long) blocks and slabs laid flush with the ground surface or which project above it a maximum of 20 cm. A blue-gray metamorphic rock was used to build the enclosure. In the east/downhill wall there is a slab that runs perpendicular to the wall course. This slab may be the remains of a ritual portal.


The four well-worn pillars were erected near the inner edge of the west wall of the enclosure. As is customary, the two broad sides of the tabular specimens are parallel to the north and south walls of the enclosure. From north to south, the pillars have the following dimensions and characteristics:

Long-stone DR1: tabular, blue-gray (55 cm [height] by 90 cm [basal girth]).

Long-stone DR2: tabular, grayish (60 cm by 65 cm).

Long-stone DR3: tabular, blue-gray (70 cm by 1 m).

Long-stone DR4: a smaller, four-sided reddish sandstone pillar with a broken top (35 cm by 50 cm).


[182] Northern GertséSger rtse is populated by members of the Ngoro KorchéRngo ro skor mched tribe of KhampaKhams pa origins. There is also a small admixture of HorpaHor pa blood in the local population, as well as that from the adjoining regions of NaktsangNag tshang and possibly SenkhorBse ’khor. As the present-day population migrated to the northern JangtangByang thang only over the last three hundred years, oral traditions concerning archaic archaeological sites in the region tend to be weak.

Note Citation for Page

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

Bibliographic Citation

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