Buddhist
Architecture
in the Western
Himalayas
The village of Sumda Chen, seen from the western side. Neuwirth 2009.
The temple ruin on the southern side of the village. Neuwirth 2009.
The temple ruin on the southern side of the village. Neuwirth 2009.
Detail of the wooden sculpture of Maitreya inside the temple ruin. Neuwirth 2009.
The smaller temple ruin outside the village. Ley 2009.
Western view of the smaller temple ruin. Neuwirth 2009.
North-western view of the smaller temple ruin. Neuwirth 2009.
Eastern view of the smaller temple ruin. Neuwirth 2009.
Northern view of the smaller temple ruin. Luczanits 2009.
The northern interior wall with fragments of the wall painting. Ley 2009
Details of the former ceiling with the lion console. Ley 2009
Remains of the painted lantern ceiling at the corner of the northern wall. Ley 2009

The smaller temple ruin of Sumda Chen

Coordinates of the site: 34° 6'44.59" northern latitude and 77° 5'43.51" eastern longitude, at an altitude of 3884 meters.

The village of Sumda Chen is located about 45 kilometres (airline) west of Leh. The village can be reached following the road along the lower Zanskar River, six kilometres south-west of Sumda Chung. Near the village of Sumda Chung two ruins of early temples can be found. One temple ruin is situated on the southern side of the village and is more widely known because of its wooden sculptures including an image of Maitreya.
The ruins of the second, smaller temple are located about half a kilometre east outside the village, on a small rock formation on the northern hill slope. It consists of a square room with fragments of a lantern ceiling and a few preserved mural fragments. The former interior space was 4.23 metres long and 4.05 metres wide, with a height of about 3.1 metres. The entrance once faced southeast. On the northern wall a lion console that supported the painted lantern ceiling is still preserved, although not in a good condition. The walls on the northern side of the temple ruin were added later, probably to stabilize the structure.

Cf. Luczanits, Christian. 2004. Buddhist Sculpture in Clay: Early Western Himalayan Art, late 10th to early 13th centuries. Chicago: Serindia Publications, p. 175.

2D Plans

Floor plan and cross section

South and east elevation

North and west elevation


More fromLadakh

Wanla

Wanla

Leh

Leh

Kanji

Kanji

Lamayuru

Lamayuru

Saspotse

Saspotse

Phyang

Phyang