Buddhist
Architecture
in the Western
Himalayas
Northern view. Auer 2004
Northern view. Auer 2004
North-eastern view. Neuwirth 2001
Southern view. Neuwirth 2003
Northern view. Neuwirth 2003
South-western view. Wrumnig 2012
Southern view with the entrance to the temple. Wrumnig 2012
Detail of the murals. Heinrich Pöll 2008
Detail of the murals. Heinrich Pöll 2008
Detail of the murals. Heinrich Pöll 2008
Detail of the murals. Heinrich Pöll 2008

The Guru Lhakhang of Phyang

Coordinates of the site: 34°11'35.08" northern latitude and 77°30'28.77" eastern longitude, at an altitude of 3692 meters.

The village of Phyang is located about 9 kilometres (airline) northwest of Leh. Phyang is a small village within fertile fields in the midst of a barren mountainous landscape. Founded in the early 16th century, the entire settlement is dominated by the monastic site topping the neighbouring buildings.
The temple called Guru Lhakhang is located on a steep precipice at the end of the valley, 1.8 kilometres northeast of the village. It was erected as a part of the old settlement and the castle Mrijang and is still surrounded by ruins and remains of the walls of the ancient buildings. At the foot of the mountain several chörten, which are all situated along the path, emphasise the great sacral significance of the site. From the field of chörten in the east of the ascending precipice, a narrow footpath crosses the mountain and leads straight to the edifice. Approaching the edifice from east, the footpath continues to the southern side of the temple, which is facing the rock.
The temple consists of a small, nearly square room with the entrance on the southern side. Inside the edifice is 5.20 wide and 5.40 metres long, with a height of 3.10 metres. The ceiling with its small lantern is supported by two central pillars. The walls are decorated with extraordinary and well-preserved mural paintings which account for the Guru Lhakhang’s great significance in terms of art history.

2D plans

Site plan, floor plan and ceiling plan

Longitudinal section and cross section

Elevations

Photomontages

The wall paintings on the southern wall

The wall paintings on the western wall

The wall paintings on the northern wall

The wall paintings on the eastern wall

3D model

Spatial model

Spatial model

Spatial model

Western elevation

Northern elevation

Eastern elevation

Southern elevation


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