Piyang monastery, (near) Donggar, Xizang, CN

Raw data

"Donggar is a small village with a dozen households in Zhada County [in the Ngari Prefecture, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zanda_County - tmc]. At the foot of a mountain and standing by a river, it is about 40 km northwest of the ruins of the Guge Kingdom. The archaeologists unearthed two grottos, one on the cliff adjacent to the Donggar Village and one in the neighboring Piyang Village. They are the largest Buddhist caves so far discovered in Tibet."

The village of Dindun and the nearby sites of Dungkar/Piyang are situated roughly in the vicinity of ruins of the ancient town of Kyunglung, West of Mt. Kailash & Lake Manasarovar - Aldenderfer (map of the region, 2005b:10)

"At Piyang there are "over 1,100 caves of varying shapes and sizes […] some are clearly habitation sites, while others are probably meditation caves, and still others have ritual architecture within them." - Aldenderfer (2005b:10)

"The Donggar Piyang Grottoes, spread along a 30-kilometer narrow clay cliff to the northeast [error, it should read northwest - tmciolek, 9 Aug 2010] of the Zhada county seat, are actually located in two villages. The Donggar and Piyang villages are both under the jurisdiction of Donggar Township. The two villages are two kilometers apart."

Kyunglung, China Page
World:China:Xizang Zizhiqu
Lat 31.0333 Long 80.5833

[The Donggar village in question is not to be confused with Donggar, Lat 29.3333 Long 88.8167
or with Donggar, Lat 31.0667 Long 90.8333
http://www.fallingrain.com/world/CH/14/Donggar.html ]

Input by: tmciolek, Aug 7, 2010

Tsada County is full of grotto relics in different shapes, which Tongga Piyang Grottoes is the most well known in Tibet Region. Tongga Piyang Grottoes relics is situated approximately 62 kilometers north away from Toling Town. It is the largest Buddhism grotto relic which have been found in Tibet Region. Therefore it is called "the second larger Dunhuang of China".
[…] there are full of over 1000 caverns on the mountain covering an area of 12000 square meters.
The large grottoes are actually situated in Tongga Village and Piyang Village. Because it is not far from each other with those two villages, so the grottoes are named Tongga Piyang Grottoes. There are full of approximately 1000 rock caves in Tongga Piyang Grottoes including the cavern of paying respect to Buddha, meditation cavern, monk's dormitory, store carven, and kitchen carven in different shapes. The mural paintings drew the pictures of Buddha, Bodhisattva, Buddhist monk, and stories of Buddhism, etc.
Approximately 40 kilometers north away from Tsada County, there is grottoes attraction called Tongga Piyang Grottoes. According to the record and research, it is one of the top 8 monasteries which constructed during Guge Kingdom. During the AD 10th century, it was the political, economical and cultural center.
[…] Piyang Grottoes Ruins
There are 4 regions have been organized in Piyang Grottoes, including 872 caverns. In general, Piyang Grottoes could be divided into front part and back part. The front part is ? region which stretches from the north to the south including 433 caverns. ? region and ? region have been included in back part, which the caverns in ? region stretch from the north to the south and then change into east-west. The shape of it looks like "U". There are 145 caverns. There are 247 caverns in ? region. Besides, ? region at the top of Piyang Grottoes ruins includes 37 caverns.” - http://www.tibettour.com/tibet-attraction/tongga-piyang-grottoes.html

Input by: tmciolek, 29 Jan 2013

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 29 Jan 2013

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 20 km from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Piyang monastery, CN.

General location of the Piyang monastery, CN.
Lat 31.629 Long 79.3600
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2010.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • China:Xizang Zizhiqu

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 31.629 Long 79.3600 - est. coordinates for a point 2 km NW of the estimated location of Donggar village Lat 31.6125 Long 79.3700, - tmciolek, 9 Aug 2010.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

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

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

  • [missing data]

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Mahayana?
  • Vajrayana?

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • MBM chrono-tag: 0900-32p 0933-66p 0967-99p - tmciolek 29 Jan 2013
  • 0900-32p 0933-66p 0967-99p dated-e

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

  • [missing data]

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • archaeological

16. Additional notes

  • Over 1,100 caves of varying shapes and sizes (habitation sites, meditation caves, ritual sites)." - Aldenderfer (2005b:10)

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

  • [missing data]

end of page

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License