NAMGYAL LHAKHANG OF PUGMO
Coordinates of the site: 29°09´36.42“ northern latitude and 82°52´23.55“ eastern longitude, at an altitude of 3245 meters.
The village of Pugmo in Lower Dolpo is located beside the river Yulung Khola in a northwest side valley of the Phoksundo valley. It is a small settlement with about 20 residential houses. The temple is situated on the western side of the village, where the terrain behind the temple slopes steeply towards the river. Due to its exposed location and its red and white colour, it is the first building visible from a distance. Approaching from the south a doorway-chörten leads into the village and passing between the residential buildings further to the temple. A new prayer-wheel house is standing at some distance southeast of the temple. The temple lies on a slightly lower terraced area and is approximately north-south oriented. The external dimensions are 9.00 by 10.70 meters, the facade on the south side is 6.50 meters heigh. The entrance is located on the right side of the south facade, where some stone steps and a simple wooden door give access to a narrow vestibule. In the middle of the vestibules northern wall the main room can be entered through a door with a carved wooden frame. The interior is up to 7.90 metres wide and 7.26 metres deep with a room height of 2.84 metres. The room is lit by a window in the eastern wall and a square open lantern that connects the ground floor with the upper floor, where a large opening in the southern wall lightens the rooms. The ceiling above the ground floor is supported by four wooden pillars. In front of the northern wall a chörten and representations of five large sculptures, coloured in white, yellow, red and blue form the altar. In front of the western wall an over room-high blue sclpture reaches through a further opening in the ceiling up to the first floor. The plastered walls are covered with murals. Climbing up a ladder in the western corner of the vestibule one can reach the common rooms on the first floor. The area above the vestibule is lit by a wide window on the south side and an opening in the ceiling above that extends into the roof structure. Additional windows are located on the east and west sides of the first floor. The open lantern above the main room and the glazed lantern above the tall sculpture on the west side provide views into the ground floor and additional lighting to the temple interior below. The rear part of the first floor is separated by a partition wall made of wood planks and contains a library with wooden book shelves in front of the northern wall. The roofing of the temple consists of a flat pitched construction and is covered with wooden planks. The walls of the temple building, as well as the residential houses around, show a construction typical of this region, made of stone walls with wooden tie rods running horizontally, through which the façades are structured.
References Kind, Marietta. The Bon Landscape of Dolpo: Pilgrimages, Monasteries, Biographies and the Emergence of Bon. Berlin: Peter Lang 2012, pp. 281-365, 441. Snellgrove, David. Himalayan Pilgrimage. A study of Tibetan religion by a traveller through Western Nepal. Oxford 1961, p. 66-68.