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

Dralung DoringGra lung rdo ring

Basic site data

  • Site name: Dralung DoringGra lung rdo ring
  • English equivalent: Dra Valley Long-stone
  • Site number: C-39
  • Site typology: II.1a
  • Elevation: 4640 m
  • Administrative location (township): BargaBar ga
  • Administrative location (county): PurangSpu rang
  • Survey expedition: HTAE
  • Survey date: October 19, 2003
  • Contemporary usage: Light grazing.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: manima ṇi walls.
  • Maps: UTRS V, UTRS X, HAS C3
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Sites Images

General site characteristics

The single pillar of Dralung DoringGra lung rdo ring is located on the northern edge of the DelepSde lebs basin. The views to the north and west are constrained by ridges, while the views to the south and east are open. The famous holy mountain Gangkar TiséGangs dkar ti se is visible 40 km to the northeast. There is a small cliff immediately to the west of the pillar. The turf and gravel covered terrain is moderately sloping.

Oral tradition

Local sources report that Dralung DoringGra lung rdo ring is an ancient monument.

Site elements

The highly worn gray pillar has weathered to assume a brown color in places. The four uneven sides of Dralung DoringGra lung rdo ring are roughly oriented in the cardinal directions. It is 2.3 m high and has a basal girth of 1 m. It is now inclined in an uphill direction. The zone up to 4 m south of Dralung DoringGra lung rdo ring is strewn with stones, in contrast to the adjoining areas which are free of stones. Perhaps the pillar was once enclosed by walls but, if so, there are virtually no traces left. Near Dralung DoringGra lung rdo ring, a few stones are embedded in the ground, however, no order can be discerned in their placement. Another single, tall and slim pillar in the region was indeed erected inside an enclosure (see C-123).

In the vicinity of Dralung MöndurGra lung mon dur there is a small and a larger wall with old inscribed plaques. These two walls were restored after being used in the Chinese Cultural Revolution to form parts of the walls of corrals. On top of the cliff behind Dralung MöndurGra lung mon dur there is a ruined all-stone chötenmchod rten of significant age. It has a small bumpabum pa reminiscent of early examples of the monument (pre-13th century CE). Old plaques inscribed with the manima ṇi mantra are scattered on and around the chötenmchod rten. Perhaps these manima ṇi walls and the chötenmchod rten were originally erected to subdue what were construed as negative influences emanating from Dralung DoringGra lung rdo ring.

Affiliated sites

Gyamdrak PukGyam brag phug

A cave called Gyamdrak PukGyam brag phug (26 m deep) has a clockwise swastika, conjoined sun and moon (nyidanyi zla) and a Tibetan letter aa scrawled on the ceiling in red ochre (30° 56.4΄ N. lat. / 81° 00.2΄ / 4620 m). Although this cave may have constituted an important ancient shelter in the region, no structural vestiges of the archaic cultural horizon were discovered at Gyamdrak PukGyam brag phug.


Note Citation for Page

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

Bibliographic Citation

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