Nyarma monastery, (near) Leh, Jammu and Kashmir, IN

Raw data

“The monastery of Nyarma is situated in the Indus Valley South of Thiksey monastery [approx. Lat 34.056389 Long 77.666667 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thikse_Monastery]. It is considered to be the third major foundation of the “Great Translator” (Lotsawa) Rinchen-zangpo, who initiated its construction around the year 1000 AD. It was the centre of the Buddhist faith in this area of Upper-Ladakh (Margyul), which by that time was under the influence of the kings of Guge and Purang. These kings of western Tibet were the most important and effective patrons of the renewal of Buddhism in Tibet.
Today, the former splenderous monastery is in ruins. It consists of five temples and more than a dozen of stupas. It was once surrounded by an almost rectangular wall, which had turned the complex into a compound or sacred enclosure (choskor). Its current state of condition is probably due to the fact, that the roofs of the temples had been taken away about 150 years ago. […] During the last decades some building activity was carried out. Upon the walls of the Cella of the Main Temple a small nun temple (Jomo Lakhang) was errected.“ - http://www.tibetheritagefund.org/pages/research/conservation-forum/nyarma.php

The new Thiksey monastery, was located a few miles (kilometres) away from Stagmo, located on a sacred hill above a village of the same name. The monastery is believed to have been built on the site of an earlier Kadampa establishment, or as a 'daughter house' of the small chapel of Stagmo, about 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) to the north.[9][10] Rinchen Zangpo, the Translator, is also known to have built a temple named Lakhang Nyerma at Thiksey, dedicated to protector goddess Dorje Chenmo. Today all that can be seen are some ruins. […] 34.056389, 77.666667” - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thikse_Monastery

The Ruins of Nyarma - a poster by FWF - FSP - University of Vienna / University of Technology Graz / Holger Neuwirth

“Nyarma Gompa Ruins, Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, India […] There is a conflict about the credit imposed for establishing Alchi monastery (one of the most prominent and renowned monastery of Ladakh). Though the great 10th century Tibetan Buddhist scholar and translator Lotsava Rinchen Zangpo is thought to have founded Alchi gompa, historians disagree. As Zangpo died in 1155 while the temples were built sometimes around 1150 – 1225. Besides, an inscription in the dukhang (assembly hall) attributes that temple to Kal-dan Shes-rab, a rich and pious nobleman who studied at the Nyarma monastery. Chronicles mention that in the year 1011 Zangpo, then aged 55 years, visited Ladakh. In this particular moment in time, he is said to have laid the foundation stones for three monasteries, including the one of Nyarma.
[…] With little perseverance and effort we manage to stumble upon the ruins of Nyarma; it is difficult not to feel excited. The ruins stand at an isolated end of a village on the edge of a small greenish puddle which is surrounded by trees. […] According to the textual sources collected and translated by experts, the monastic compound of Nyarma suffered from some kind of natural disaster in the early decades of the 15th century and started to decay. ” - http://www.flickr.com/photos/candletree/5803576985/

“The monastic compound of Nyarma which is considered to be among the three major monastic foundations related to the activities of Rinchen Zangpo (958-1055) during the 2nd Diffusion of the Buddhist Faith in the Western Himalayas, is situated in the Indus Valley on a sea level of approximately 3350m.The architectural remains include four temples and several stupas within the former boundaries of an enclosing wall and quite a number of old stupas in the close neighbourhood as well as a small enclosure called “Ensa” on a rocky spur to the East of the compound. “ - http://stupa.arch-research.at/cms/index.php?id=80
Input by: tmciolek, Mar 17, 2013

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 17 Mar 2013

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200 m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Nyarma monastery, IN.

General location of the Nyarma monastery, IN.
Lat 34.03870 Long 77.68440
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2012.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Nyarma monastery

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • India:State of Jammu and Kashmir

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx. Lat 34.03870 Long 77.68440 - based on the visual identification of the Nyarma site in satellite imagery, maps.google.com - tmciolek, 17 Mar 2013.
  • Also note that, in addition, there are nearby ruins of two monastery-like structures situated at lat 34.04791 long 77.6728 and at lat 34.07429 Long 77.64128, respectively - tmciolek, 17 Mar 2013.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

  • [missing data]

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Vajrayana

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • MBM chrono-tag 0967-99p 1000-32p - tmciolek 17 Mar 2013
  • 0967-99p 1000-32p 1033-66c 1067-99p 1100-32c 1133-66c 1167-99c 1200=> dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

MBM chrono-tag 1200=> - tmciolek 17 Mar 2013

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • Archaeological, Architectural

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data]

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

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