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.

General site characteristics

The freestanding ancient residential site of Tamchok Ngangpa DoRta mchog ngang pa do is situated atop a rock formation on the west side of the eponymous headland.249 These ruins constitute the most important ancient residential complex on the headland. They are found on one of two reddish pyramidal or conical limestone formations, which are likened to a horse’s ears. The headland of Tamchok Ngangpa DoRta mchog ngang pa do is located in the middle of the north shore of NamtsoGnam mtsho. Its central location and the manner in which the headland juts prominently into the lake invests the site with a powerful geomantic status. Such highly exposed lakeside settings were prized by ancient builders all across Upper Tibet. Tamchok Ngangpa DoRta mchog ngang pa do occupies a dramatic setting with NamtsoGnam mtsho surrounding it on three sides. The sacred mountain Nyenchen TanglhaGnyan chen thang lha stands on the opposite side of the lake. The freestanding residential complex is planted on the northwest horse’s ear (TachokRta chog), a mass of rock rising directly above the waters of NamtsoGnam mtsho to a height of about 50 m. This formation is offset from the backbone of the headland and receives good eastern and southern exposure. The northwest “horse’s ear” is separated from the southeast “horse’s ear” by a thin finger of NamtsoGnam mtsho. The steeply inclined (around 30º) summit of the northwest “horse’s ear” is covered in loose rocks and supports some scrub junipers (bamaba ma). Areas of the summit covered in juniper trees (trunks up to 25 cm in diameter) enjoy a more shaded and moister micro-environment. Underneath the trees is a layer of litter that strongly contrasts with the bare rock of adjoining areas. In addition to the summit site, there is a string of ancient cave shelters at Tamchok Ngangpa DoRta mchog ngang pa do.


[249] The initial survey of this site is recorded in Bellezza, Divine Dyads, 262-263.

Note Citation for Page

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

Bibliographic Citation

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