Buddhist
Architecture
in the Western
Himalayas
General view of the upper part of the village of Mangyu . Auer 2004
South-eastern view of the upper part of the village. Neuwirth 2004
Southern view of the upper part of the village. Neuwirth 2004
South-eastern view of the temple complex. Neuwirth 2004
South-eastern view of the temple complex with the courtyard in front. Neuwirth 2004
Southern view of the temple complex. Neuwirth 2004
South-western view of the temple complex. Neuwirth 2004
South-eastern view of the temple complex. Neuwirth 2000
Eastern side of the courtyard in front of the temples. Wrumnig 2012
Entrance to the temples. Wrumnig 2012
Southern side of the courtyard in front of the temples. Wrumnig 2012
South-western view of the temple complex with the chörten in front. Auer 2004
Chörten on the western side of the temple complex. Auer 2004
Chörten on the northern side of the temple complex. Rössl 2005
Chörten on the northern side of the temple complex. Rössl 2005

The temple complex of Mangyu

Coordinates of the site: 34°13'57.64" northern latitude and 77° 2'57.58" eastern longitude, at an altitude of 3513 meters.

Mangyu is located about 50 kilometres (airline) west of Leh. The village is situated in a spectacular side valley of the Indus River valley. The upper part of the village consists of a number of houses situated above natural terraces with fields. This part of the village preserves the remains of a monastery attributable to the period from approximately the mid of the 12th century to the early 13th century.
The temple complex comprises two temples facing southeast, situated adjacent to each other and two chapels on both sides of the temples. In front of the complex lies an open courtyard. The temple on the right side is dedicated to Vairocana. The other one, with a painted Sakyamuni as its original main image, though today named after the sculpture of a much later eleven-headed Avalokitesvara, lies on the left side. These rather small assembly halls are flanked by two high chapels with large, iconographically and stylistically different images of Bodhisattva Maitreya. The chapel to the side of the Vairocana Temple is considerably smaller than the one on the other side.
At the south-western side of these structures lies a chörten of the Alchi type deriving from an earlier period. Further up on the slope of the hill and hidden behind some village houses on the northern side of the temple complex, another beautifully decorated chörten is situated. It is the only one in the group containing paintings and therefore called the Four-Image Chörten.

Cf. Luczanits, Christian. 2004. Buddhist Sculpture in Clay: Early Western Himalayan Art, late 10th to early 13th centuries. Chicago: Serindia Publications, pp. 155–174.

2D Plans

Site plan of the temple complex

Ground plan of the temples with the attached chapels

Longitudinal section of the temples and chapels

Cross section of the chapel next to the Vairovana temple

Cross section of the Vairovana temple

Cross section of the chapel next to the Sakyamuni temple

Cross section of the the Sakyamuni temple

South-eastern elevation

South-western elevation

North-western elevation

North-eastern elevation

Chörten at the south-western side of the complex

The Four-Image-Chörten on the northern side of the complex

3D Model

Spatial model of the temple complex

Spatial model of the temple complex

Spatial model seen from above

Spatial model of the temple complex

Spatial section of the two temples

Spatial section of the two chapels

Spatial section of the two temples

Spatial section of the chapel on the right side

Spatial section of the Vairocana temple

Spatial section of the Sakyamuni temple

Spatial section of the chapel on the left side

Spatial section of the south-western Chörten

Spatial section of the Four-Image Chörten

Interior decoration

Interior decoration of the Vairocana temple. Pöll 2004

Interior decoration of the Vairocana temple. Pöll 2004

Interior decoration of the Vairocana temple. Pöll 2004

Details of the wall paintings in the Vairocana temple. Pöll 2004

Details of the wall paintings in the Vairocana temple. Pöll 2004

Details of the wall paintings in the Vairocana temple. Pöll 2004

Interior decoration of the Sakyamuni temple. Pöll 2004

Interior decoration of the Sakyamuni temple. Pöll 2004

Details of the wall paintings in the Sakyamuni temple. Pöll 2004

Details of the wall paintings in the Sakyamuni temple. Pöll 2004

Details of the wall paintings in the Sakyamuni temple. Pöll 2004

The sculpture of the two-armed Maitreya in the left chapel. Pöll 2004

The sculpture of the two-armed Maitreya in the left chapel. Pöll 2004

Details of the wall paintings in the left chapel. Pöll 2004

Details of the wall paintings in the left chapel. Pöll 2004

Details of the wall paintings in the left chapel. Pöll 2004

The sculpture of the four-armed Maitreya in the right chapel. Pöll 2004

The sculpture of the four-armed Maitreya in the right chapel. Pöll 2004

Details of the wall paintings in the right chapel. Pöll 2004

Details of the wall paintings in the right chapel. Pöll 2004

Situation before the restoration

South-eastern side of the temple complex. Luczanits 1994

Roof construction of the temple complex before the restoration. Luczanits 1994

Roof construction of the temple complex before the restoration. Luczanits 1994


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