Shangshong monastery, (near) Deqingxiang, Xizang, CN

Raw data

"The Shangpa Kagyü (shangs pa bka' brgyud) sect was founded by Khyungpo Neljor (khyung po rnal 'byor) in the second half of the eleventh century at Zhangzhong (zhang zhong, also spelled zhong zhong or zhang zhang) in the valley of Shang (shangs). While later classified together with traditions descending from Marpa, Milarepa and Gampopa known as the Dakpo Kagyü, in fact there is no direct connection apart from the nomenclature of "Kagyü" and the connection to Naropa and his consort or sister, Niguma."ü%20(shangs%20pa%20bka'%20brgyud).html

"Khyungpo Nyenjo founded Zhangzhong monastery in Shang, the mother monastery of the Shangpa Kagyü subsect, and brought back from his time in India and at Nalanda the teachings that would come to be associated with the Shangpa Kagyü."

"The Shangpa Kagyu Lineage originates in the 11th century, with the great Tibetan scholar and spiritual master Khyungpo Naljor. Although he had studied the Bon, Maha-Ati and Mahamudra traditions in Tibet, he was still not satisfied with his understanding at the age of 57; he journeyed to Nepal and India seeking more teaching. His search for spiritual teachings culminated in his meeting with female mystic Niguma who had seen Buddha Vajradhara herself. From Niguma he received many teachings, in particular, the special tradition of Mahamudra and the 7 teachings of Niguma. […] Upon his return to Tibet, he established a Monastery at Shang-Shung in central Tibet, which became his main seat and he became known as the Lama of Shang."

"After Khyungpo Naljor [(990-1139) - -tmc] returned to Tibet, he met the venerable Atisha, who transmitted the teaching of Guhyasamaja to Khyungpo Naljor. […]
Khyungpo Naljor and his many disciples went to the Xiang area in Namu county of Tibet and built the Xiangxiong Temple. Xiangxiong Temple is magnificently architectured with a capacious sutra room, and is a very good place for spiritual cultivation. However, there were many difficulties when it was first built. The local people had no faith [… but after a while they] worked together and built Xiangxiong Temple in three years. The temple is spacious and can hold thirty thousand people. Guru also built three hundred retreat rooms nearby to provide convenience for people who would do retreat and concentrate on meditation." -

Input by: tmciolek, Aug 11, 2012

“The Shangpa Kagyu, one of the two original forms of the Kagyu tradition, was founded by the great adept, Khyungpo Nyaljor (978-1079). Dissatisfied with his training in Bön and Dzogchen practices, Khyungpo Nyaljor left for Nepal where he met Acharya Sumati. From him he received training as a translator and travelled on to India. After having received teachings from one hundred and fifty scholar-adepts he is said to have mastered the entire exoteric and esoteric doctrine as well as meditation on it. His principal teachers include Sukhasiddha, Rahulagupta and Niguma, the consort of Naropa. Besides receiving practical guidance from masters in human form, he also received transmissions from the Dakinis (celestial beings). After returning to Tibet, he received the vows of a monk from the Kadampa master Langri Thangpa.
In accordance with the prophecies of the Dakinis, he established the Shang-Shong monastery at Yeru Shang, in central Tibet. As a result the tradition he founded came to be known as the Shangpa Kagyu. Later, he is said to have established further branch monasteries also. In early times, there were more than a hundred monasteries belonging to this tradition in Tibet. Amongst his followers, Mehu Tonpa, Mogchogpa and Shang Gomcho Sengey are some of the most famous. Amongst the later lineage, it was Tsurton Wangi Dorje, from whom Buton Rinchen Drup obtained the lineage of the Guhyasamaja tantra which was subsequently passed down to Tsongkhapa.” -

“Founding Location: Shang Shang Dorje Den Monastery (shangs shangs rdo rje ldan), Shang Valley, Tsang, Tibet, China.” -
Tradition Shangpa Kagyu. Founded by Kedrub Kyungpo Naljor (1050-1127 ?) Founding Date:
11th Century […] Shangshong Dorjedan in Shang” -

“[There is] a town called Tsawa Li in the Yeru Shang district of the state of Tsang, north of Lhasa in Tibet. “ -

“He [Khungpo the Yogin] established the Shang-shung monastery at Yeru Shang, in Shang valley in central Tibet, which was his principle [sic] monastery. As the result thc [sic] tradition he founded came to be known as the Shangpa Kagyud. Later he is said to have built more than a hundred monastries [sic], belonging to this tradition in Tibet and he taught for thirty years to eighty thousand disciples.” -

Input by: tmciolek, Mar 17, 2013

‘Ba’-rb-ba - This school takes its name from the epithet of its founding patriarch, ‘Ba’-ra-ba rGyal-mtsham dPal-bzang (1310-1391) […] born in the Shangs district and his school is therefore also called the Shangs ‘Ba’ra. This has sometimes led to its confusion with the quite independent school descending from Khyyung-po rNdal-’ byor known as the Shangs-pa bKa’-brgyud-pa […]. rGyal-mtshan dPal-bzang founded the monastery of Don-grub-sdings at 'Ba'-ra- brag [Possibly at lat 29.57870 long 89.01050 ] at his home in the Shangs valley north-east of gZhis-ka-rtse [Shigatse], and most of his activities were concentrated in Tibet proper. He did, however, make at least two journeys to Bhutan.” Baruach (2000:256)

“Bara Drakkar - World > Asia > Greater Himalayas & Tibetan Plateau > China > Tibet Autonomous Region > Zhikatsé > Namling > Bara Drakkar; Feature Type Monastery ;Subjects & Characteristics Event > Founding (1350) Religious Sect > Kagyü (1350 - )

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 20 Mar 2013

Conjectural placement of the Shangshong monastery NE of Deqingxiang 

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 Shangshong monastery, CN.

General location of the Shangshong monastery, CN.
Lat 30.01951 Long 90.75868
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2012.

Google Map link:,%20CN)&ll=30.01951,90.75868&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

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 30.01951 Long 90.75868 - based on visual identification of possible monastic ruins W of Gondu village in maps/satellite imagery,, tmciolek, 17 Mar 2013. Naturally, it is only a mere conjecture that these ruins correspond to those of the Shang-shung monastery.
  • Note that the above coordinates are predicated on the assumption that the Shangshong monastery is located in (a) the Yeru Shang district of the state of Tsang, north of Lhasa in Tibet. It is a broad valley, a home to the village of Shangagang. The other two Shangs, which might warrant a consideration are: (b) the Shangs Valley situated NE of Shigatse and SW of Namling, i.e. in the broad, agricultural valley with villages called Zhongkang, Zhongshacun, Zhangmu, Zhongsha, Chongsha, Qiangguo and Chang Mupucun; (c) the Shang Valley situated in SW Tibet, an area surrounding the town of Zanda/Zhanda or Toling [approx lat 31.4837 long 79.7991].

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

  • [missing data]

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Vajrayana

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

11. Date-early

  • MBM chrono-tag 1100-32c - tmciolek 17 Mar 2013
  • 1100-32c 1133-66p 1167-99p dated-e

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

  • [missing data]

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • [missing data]

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)….

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

  • [missing data]

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