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Kagar Trangmar

The hamlet of Kagar seen from northwest. Androschin 2019
Western view of the ensemble. Androschin 2013
Appearance in the 1960s, seen from north. Jest 1975.

The Trangmar Gompa of Kagar

Coordinates: 29° 9’0.86” N, 83°10’16.83” E, elevation 4170 meters.

The Trangmar Gompa is located on the northern side of the settlement, next to a group of large chörten on its western side. The building is only partially preserved today, but its structure can still be approximately reconstructed based on available documentations. Until about 2005, the temple was preserved as a two-storey building. At that time the temple was obviously still in good structural condition. It consisted of an about 2-metre-deep vestibule with its entrance faces to the south, from which one entered an 8.40-metre-wide and 9.90-metre-deep assembly hall, which was supported by six pillars in two rows. Behind the northern wall of the assembly hall, there was a 1.90 metre deep enclosed, sacred chamber that extended across the width of the building and could apparently be entered from above through an opening in the ceiling. Both behind the bookshelf on the rear wall of the assembly hall and in the sacred chamber, wall paintings of high quality were preserved, that indicate a dating of the first half of the 15th century.
After 2005 the structure of the temple has been severely damaged. The poor state of the construction and the increasing decline led to irreparable damages in the interior of the temple. Only parts of the wooden structure inside the assembly hall were preserved. Unfortunately, the sacred chamber behind the rear wall of the assembly hall has almost completely disappeared.
In June 2023, the demolition of the remaining structures on the ground floor began, as a new temple was to be built on the same site. On the inner wall, behind the floor-to-ceiling shelf of the altar, the removal revealed a door in the middle of the wall, which was the entrance to the former chamber behind it. The wall painting and its setting prove that the door refers to the original room concept. The remains of the outer walls and the wall painting could be documented by photos and digital measurements.

References: Snellgrove, David. Four Lamas of Dolpo. Cambridge, Massachusetts 1967, p. 194. Jest, Corneille.Communautés de langue tibetaine du Népal. Paris 1975. Jest, Corneille. Settlements in Dolpo. In: Toffin, Gérard (Ed.), Man and his house in the Himalayas. Ecology of Nepal, Kathmandu 2016 (reprint of 1981), p. 193-207. Gansach, Ada. Social Constructions. A Comparative Study of Architectures in the High Himalaya of North West Nepal. PhD Thesis at The Architectural Association School of Architecture London, 1999. Heller, Amy. Hidden Treasures of the Himalayas. Tibetan manuscripts, paintings and sculptures of Dolpo. Chicago 2009, p. 201-212.

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