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.2. Superficial structures: Primarily funerary superstructure

DringakGrib ’gag

Basic site data

  • Site name: DringakGrib ’gag
  • English equivalent: Contamination Stoppage
  • Site number: D-89
  • Site typology: II.2b
  • Elevation: 4770 m
  • Administrative location (township): A ZurA zur
  • Administrative location (county): NyimaNyi ma
  • Survey expedition: HTCE
  • Survey date: October 7, 2002
  • Contemporary usage: Heavy pastoral use.
  • Identifiable Buddhist constructions: manima ṇi walls and tsa tsa khangtshwa tshwa khang.
  • Maps: UTRS III
  • View Place Dictionary Entry
  • View Sites Images

General site characteristics

DringakGrib ’gag is located in the mouth of a valley that overlooks the BebuktsoBes sbug mtsho basin, which is to the south. The site is also in the shadow of a red mountain called Marpo DamchokDmar po dam phyog. This locale is part of a region traditionally known as Dangchung TömaDang chung stod ma. The six funerary structures of DringakGrib ’gag are situated on both benches that flank a stream. The obdurate terrain is level, sandy and gravelly. The presence of a house on each side of the stream, as well as manima ṇi walls and tsa tsa khangtshwa tshwa khang indicate that the site has been heavily disturbed. The fragmentary structures mostly consist of double-course enclosures with walls that are flush with the surface or which slightly project above it. Due to their disintegration, the precise shape of the enclosures is no longer clear. Several types of uncut, variable-length blocky rocks and a few slabs (20 cm to 50 cm long) went into the construction of the enclosures.

Oral tradition

According to local drokpa’brog pa, DringakGrib ’gag has ancient MönMon associations.

Site elements

West bench
  1. Funerary structure FS1 (5 m by 5.4 m) has been reduced to remnants of double-course walls that are around 70 cm thick. Stones project a maximum of 30 cm above the ground surface.
  2. Funerary structure FS2 (7 m across) has had most stones extracted from the superstructure. Only small coherent wall fragments have survived.
  3. Funerary structure FS3 (4.3 m by 3.9 m) has both blocks and slabs in its highly fragmentary walls.
  4. Funerary structure FS4 has been reduced to small bits of what appear to be single-course walls.

Both funerary structures FS2 and FS4 were built in close proximity to a now ruined shrine, a modern shrine and a tsa tsa khangtshwa tshwa khang. These Buddhist features owe their existence to the extraction of stones from the funerary enclosures. There are small traces of other funerary structures in the vicinity, but their extent and configuration could not be determined.

East bench

The east bench is slightly lower in elevation than the west bench.

  1. Funerary structure FS5 (2.5 m by 2.2 m) is completely sheathed in embedded stones and appears to represent an alternative type of funerary structure (17.102΄ / 33.454΄).
  2. Funerary structure FS6 (5.8 m across) has the remains of double-course perimeter walls around 75 cm thick (17.097΄ / 33.462΄).

Affiliated sites

ChakdeuLcags rde’u

On the opposite or northeast side of the Marpo DamchokDmar po dam phyog mountain, there are reported to be the vestiges of other funerary superstructures. This site is called ChakdeuLcags rde’u (Iron Hill). It is said that in 2001, a youth discovered human skeletal remains washed out of a gully at ChakdeuLcags rde’u.


Note Citation for Page

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

Bibliographic Citation

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