Monday, December 18, 2006

Protected Sites;Capital of Guge Kingdom

The ruins of the Guge Kingdom are located on the small hill of Zhabyran on the bank of the Xiangquan River in Zhada County of Ngari area in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

The Guge Kingdom, known as a mysterious kingdom in heaven, was set up by Dezogun, Gyide Nyimagun's third son, in first half of the 10th century and conquered by Ladake people in the mid 17th century, lasting 27 generations for 700 years. Lacking detailed historical record, the old abandoned city was forgotten and slept for over 300 years in the wild. After the founding of new China, the National Cultural Bureau sent several research groups to Tibet and unveiled the mysterious Guge Kingdom in 1985.

Covering an area of 200,000 square meters, the site is located on a hill about 300 meters high. Divided into 11 layers, the Guge Kingdom site is home to palaces, temples, houses, caves, and defense works, including 823 caves and 388 houses. With blockhouses built in each corner, this huge construction group is connected by underground tunnels and surrounded by stone walls.

Delicate frescos and colorful paintings on the walls and ceilings in the five well-preserved temples were engraved into 500 patterns, mainly geometry and animal figures. The frescos focused on Buddhist themes together with portrays of kings and princes of Tubo. These vivid figure paintings combined traditional painting of the Han nationality with Indian and Nepalese styles as well as cultural features of the western Asia.

Excavated in the site were also 2 caves with frescos, 3 barns, one cliff tomb, one burial ground and one weapon warehouse. A number of relics scattered around the site, including iron armor, armor on horse, shield and arrowhead. The ruins of the Guge Kingdom provide valuable materials for the research into the history of Tibet and its ancient architecture.

No comments: