Buddhist
Architecture
in the Western
Himalayas
Eastern view of the monastic compound. Luczanits 2000
Gerneral view of the monastic compound, seen from the northern hillside. Neuwirth 2000
North-western view. Neuwirth 2000
North-eastern view. Luczanits 2000
South-eastern view of the Dukhang. Neuwirth 2000
Roof of the Dukhang. Neuwirth 2000
Courtyard of the Dukhang. Neuwirth 2000
Southern view of the Sumtseg. Auer 2004
Roof construction of the Sumtseg. Neuwirth 2000
Wood carved porch on the Sumtseg's south-eastern fascade. Neuwirth 2000
South-eastern view of the Manjusri temple and the Translator's temple. Neuwirth 2000
Eastern view of the Translator's temple. Neuwirth 2000
The Kakani Chörten and the Small Chörten. Auer 2003
The Great Chörten. Auer 2004

The monastic compound of Alchi

Coordinates of the site: 34°13'25.56" northern latitude and 77°10'31.02" eastern longitude, at an altitude of 3100 meters.

The village of Alchi is located about 38 kilometres (airline) west of Leh, on the southern bank of the Indus River. Alchi accommodates some of the most remarkable Buddhist monuments in the Himalayas. It comprises five temples as well as three painted gateway chörten (Kakani Chörten) of a type unique to the so-called Alchi group of monuments.
The Dukhang or Assembly hall with a courtyard arranged in front of it lies in the centre of the complex. The Sumtseg or Three-storeyed Temple is situated on the western side of the Dukhang. The former free standing Manjusri Temple at the eastern side of the Dukhang now forms a common structure with the Lotsaba Lhakhang, the Translator`s Temple. All the temples face southeast. The Small Chörten lies directly opposite the Sumtseg while the Great Chörten stands slightly apart from the other buildings.
The oldest temples are the Dukhang, the Sumtseg and the Manjusri Temple. These buildings are attributable to the period dating from approximately the middle of the 12th century to the early 13th century. In addition, the monastic complex of Alchi preserves further early chörten and temples built during the 13th and 14th century. The two earliest chörten, the Great Chörten and the Small Chörten were built immediately after the Sumtseg and corroborate an early 13th-century date for the Alchi Sumsteg. Among the other temples, the Translator`s Temple and the Lhakhang Soma or New Temple are noteworthy. In addition, there are at least three other chörten in Alchi which contain early paintings.

2D Plans

Site plan of the monastic complex

Section of the monastic complex

Floor plans of the Sumtseg

Longitudinal section of the Sumtseg

Cross section of the Sumtseg

South-eastern elevation of the Sumtseg

South-western elevation of the Sumtseg

North-western elevation of the Sumtseg

North-eastern elevation of the Sumtseg

Geometric analysis of the Sumtseg

Floor plan of the Dukhang

Longitudinal section of the Dukhang

Cross section of the Dukhang

Cross section of the Dukhang

Floor plan of the Translator's temple and the Manjusri temple

Longitudinal section of the Translator's temple and the Manjusri temple

Cross section of the Manjusri temple

South-eastern elevation of the Dukhang, the Translator's temple and the Manjusri temple

South-western elevation of the Dukhang, the Translator's temple and the Manjusri temple

North-western elevation of the Dukhang, the Translator's temple and the Manjusri temple

North-eastern elevation of the Dukhang, the Translator's temple and the Manjusri temple

3D Models

Spatial model of the monastic compound

Spatial model of the monastic compound

Spatial model of the monastic compound

Spatial model of the monastic compound

Spatial model of the monastic compound

Spatial model of the monastic compound

Spatial model of the Sumtseg

Spatial section of the Sumtseg

Spatial section of the Sumtseg

Spatial section of the Sumtseg

Spatial model of the Dukhang, the Translator's temple and the Manjusri temple

Spatial section of the Dukhang, the Translator's temple and the Manjusri temple

Spatial section of the Dukhang, the Translator's temple and the Manjusri temple

Spatial section of the Dukhang

Spatial section of the Dukhang

Spatial section of the Dukhang

Spatial section of the Dukhang

Spatial section of the Translator's temple

Spatial section of the Manjusri temple

Spatial model of the Great Chörten

Spatial section of the Great Chörten

Spatial section of the the Kakani Chörten with the Small Chörten next to it

Spatial model of the Kakani Chörten

Spatial section of the Kakani Chörten

Reconstruction

Longitudinal section of the former lantern in the Manjusri

Cross section of the former lantern in the Manjusri

Photomontage of the Manjusri's painted ceiling


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