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

DoringRdo ring

Basic site data

  • Site name: DoringRdo ring North
  • English equivalent: Long-stones North
  • Site number: C-128
  • Site typology: II.1b, II.2x
  • Elevation: 4750 m
  • Administrative location (township): MentangMen thang
  • Administrative location (county): PelgönDpal mgon
  • Survey expedition: HTWE
  • Survey date: May 19, 2004
  • Contemporary usage: Light grazing.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: None.
  • Maps: UTRS IX
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Sites Images

General site characteristics

DoringRdo ring North is located near the mouth of the DoringRdo ring valley. It is situated on the left side of the valley on quite level sandy and gravelly bottomland. The site is not far from the ridge that encloses the west side of the valley. From it there are sweeping views to the east and quite open views to the north and south as well. DoringRdo ring North is found on the eastern edge of the walled pillars (II.1b) typology. This site, with its neighbor DoringRdo ring (South) (C-162), form the eastern border of the core region of Upper Tibet, as delineated by the distribution of its two sui generis pillar monuments. Like 40 percent of other sites of this typology, there is a visible outlying funerary enclosure at DoringRdo ring (North).

Oral tradition

According to local drokpa’brog pa, DoringRdo ring (North) was constructed by the ancient MönMon.

Site elements


The square enclosure (17 m by 17.5 m) is aligned in the cardinal directions. This structure slightly declines in an easterly direction. Although much of the enclosure is intact, integral double-course wall segments are in evidence along just a few sections of the perimeter. Most of these wall segments are made up of one vertical course of stones laid flat on the ground. There are also wall segments composed of several vertical courses of flat stones, as well as those of upright stones embedded in the ground that protrude a maximum of 20 cm above ground level. In other words, all three types of stonework (flat stones of one vertical course, flat stones of multiple vertical courses and stones laid edgewise), which regularly occur in enclosures of this typology, are represented at DoringRdo ring (North). The enclosure is constructed of gray and beige metamorphic rocks of variable length.

In the middle section of the west wall (17 m long) there are slabs that run perpendicular (east-west) to the wall course to create a barred pattern. This type of wall has not been encountered in any other enclosure of the II.2b typology. The coherent double-course segments of the north wall (16 m long) are 90 cm thick. On the east end of the north wall there are two or three vertical courses of double-course stones laid flat, with a height of around 25 cm. The east wall (17.5 m long, 75 cm thick) has segments consisting of three or four vertical courses of flat stones with a maximum height of 40 cm. There are also double-course upright stones in the east wall. One of the erect slabs of the east wall projects 30 cm above ground level. There are also longer stones, set perpendicular to the east wall course, which demarcate one or possibly two openings. If indeed, there were two portals or punctuations in the east wall, these were not symmetrically arrayed. The south wall is 17.5 m in length. Inside the enclosure there are three or four parallel lines of upright slabs. These meandering slab courses generally run east-west and extend for 2 m. The network of slab walls lies 5 m from the north wall and 9 m from the south wall of the enclosure. The slabs are between 15 cm and 45 cm in length, and project a maximum of 10 cm above the ground surface. Two more lines of the same type of upright slabs are situated inside the enclosure, 2 m farther west. A similar use of slab walls to mark the interior of an enclosure is found at Doring ChakraRdo ring lcags ra (C-74).


There is a single north-south line of 12 pillars, 13 m in length, which is situated near the inner edge of the west wall. Eight of these pillars are made of a grayish or beige metamorphic rock, and three are of a light-colored igneous rock (Long-stones DR8, DR9 and DR11). Some orange climax lichen grows on the pillars, especially on their north side. From south to north, the dimensions and characteristics of these pillars are as follows:

  1. Long-stone DR1: four-sided, heavily inclined (60 cm [height] by 80 cm [basal girth]).
  2. Long-stone DR2: tabular (60 cm by 1 m).
  3. Long-stone DR3: irregularly shaped (55 cm by 1 m).
  4. Long-stone DR4: irregularly shaped (45 cm by 80 cm).
  5. Long-stone DR5: irregularly shaped, broken (20 cm by 60 cm).
  6. Long-stone DR6: tabular, broken (30 cm by 90 cm). An upper section of this pillar (30 cm long) lies beside the in situ portion.
  7. Long-stone DR7: tabular, broken (25 cm by 80 cm).
  8. Long-stone DR8: irregularly shaped (70 cm by 70 cm). There is a significant gap between DR7 and DR8 in which there is a tiny in situ pillar. This broken specimen is made of a dark gray rock.
  9. Long-stone DR9: irregularly shaped (1.3 m by 1.1 m).
  10. Long-stone DR10: tabular (1.6 m by 1.4 m).
  11. Long-stone DR11: (60 cm by 90 cm).
Outlying funerary structure

There is a square funerary enclosure (2.5 m by 2.5 m) situated 25 m east of the walled pillars. It is found on broad and level sandy ground. This structure is made of the same kind of metamorphic rock used to fence the pillars. The funerary enclosure is in quite poor condition. It appears to have been aligned in the cardinal directions and to have had double-course perimeter walls. These walls are composed of upright slabs (10 cm to 50 cm long), which project 5 cm to 20 cm above the ground surface. Although stones are scattered around the enclosure, it does not appear to have any interior structural elements.


Note Citation for Page

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

Bibliographic Citation

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