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Kagar Zur

The Zur Gompa seen from west, where the settlement of Kagar is located. Auer 2023.
The Zur Gompa seen from south-east. Auer 2023
The Zur Gompa was built on the grade of a rocky crag above Kagar. Auer 2023

Zur Gompa

Coordinates: 29° 9’7.43” N, 83°10’19.39” E, elevation 4220 meters.

Seventy metres above the southern end of the settlement, overlooking the village and the valleys, a small gompa is situated, the so called Zur (Hill) gompa. From the settlement of Kagar a footpath leads along the grade of the ridge, accompanied by groups of chörten, which ends on a small plateau in front of the entrance. The family of Lama Dargye, whose home is in Tokyu, is responsible for the temple. Behind the temple is a rock formation with several small caves crowned with flags.
According the topography the temple is north-south oriented, with the entrace on its southern side. The structure consists of a small assembly room (5.30 x 5.90 metres) and an adjoining sanctuary (5.30 x 3.00 metres). The room height up to the fragmentarily preserved ceiling beams is between 2.00 and 2.20 meters. The outer walls are made of stone masonry and are up to 4.20 meters high on the north side – where the masonry meets natural rock – including the rooftop structure above the altar area. On the other facades the masonry ends at around 2.90 to 3.00 meters. A strong deformation of the rising masonry can be seen on the eastern facade, where the wall reaches down almost two meters below the floor of the assembly room to level the terrain. A bricked-up entrance opening to the assembly room is visible on the west façade.
At the entrance of the temple, to the left of the door rises an elongated stone, a so called rdo-rin, a protective charm against thieves. About five years ago the roof collapsed, since then the building is exposed to the weather without protection (information from the responsible Lama Dargye, July 2023). In order to preserve this striking building, which lies like a protection over the village, we managed to organize the funds for the restoration together with the responsible Lama in autumn 2023.

References: Snellgrove, David: Four Lamas of Dolpo. Cambridge, Massachusetts 1967: 194. Jest, Corneille: Communautés de langue tibetaine du Népal. Paris 1975: 296.

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