Lamayuru | Chörten

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One chörten (mchod-rten) from a group of these structures at the western end of Lamayuru village has also been the subject of an article presenting an unusual, rather Central-Tibetan painting style of the 13th century in Ladakh. As with the chörten of Alchi Shang-rong, the gateway is built on an east-west axis, the present entrance facing west (285°). The fragmentary paintings in the chörten may even be from the same school as those at Alchi and thus roughly contemporary with the latter. While for my article I only had black and white photographic documentation taken in 1994, these images are from 1998 and in colour.

  • On an unusual painting style in Ladakh. In: Deborah E. Klimburg-Salter & Eva Allinger (eds.) The Inner Asian International Style 12th-14th Centuries. Papers presented at a panel of the 7th seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Graz 1995, Vol. VII. Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien 1998: p. 151–69.



The group of chörten as seen from Lamayuru monastery.

Lamayuru CL94 26,09.jpg



In the foreground is the chörten (mchod-rten) presented here in detail. It is relatively large, with a red base and a gate.

Lamayuru CL94 26,04.jpg



Close-up of the Lamayuru chörten.

Lamayuru CL98 68,19.jpg


Stupa interior

The Lamayuru chörten contains a chamber measuring c. 2.15 x 2.15 metres. Previously it was a gateway chörten, but today the eastern end (here seen behind the children) is closed by a wall. The paintings on the walls are in bad condition and fragmentary, and only the north and south walls are largely preserved. On the east wall only a few traces of the paintings remain and the west wall is completely void of the original decoration.

Lamayuru CL98 57,01.jpg


Stupa south wall

The section for the central Jina occupies one third of the south wall’s total space. There are seven rows of four Buddhas to each side of the central panel, all Buddhas performing the earth-touching gesture (bhumisparshamudra).

Lamayuru CL98 57,23.jpg


Stupa south wall

The central panel on the south wall with Ratnasambhava.

Lamayuru CL98 57,25.jpg


Stupa south wall

A white Bodhisattva attending Ratnasambhava on the south wall.

Lamayuru CL98 57,26.jpg


Stupa south wall

Detail of the white Bodhisattva attending Ratnasambhava on the south wall.

Lamayuru CL98 57,31.jpg


Stupa south wall

The white Bodhisattva attending Ratnasambhava on the south wall holds a lotus (utpala) with a sword in his left hand.

Lamayuru CL98 57,33.jpg

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Contact: Christian.Luczanits@univie.ac.at | All rights reserved.

Page last updated: 09.04.2004