Saturday, 17 August 2013

Discovering ruins of ancient Gurge Kingdom

Source: CNTV.CN

Driving south from Sengye Tsangpo Township, capital city of Ngari Prefecture, Tibet, to Sutlej River valley, more than 200 kilometers away, we(reporters from Xinhuanet) enter the Zhada County after climbing two over 5000-meter high mountain passes, the ancient Gurge Kingdom ruins bump into your eyes through the desolate soil forest, where the dilapidated walls overlapping together after years of soil erosion by rain or wind can still tell its glorious history.
The ruins of ancient Gurge Kingdom.[Photo/Files]
Historical records say that the Tubo Dynasty collapsed because of a royal family unrest triggered by Darma, who wanted to eradicate the Buddhism in the middle of the ninth century. Some royal descendents against Darma had fled to the Ngari Prefecture, where their offspring built three little kingdoms respectively, among which was the once mighty Gurge Kingdom built by the Dezu Dagon around the tenth century.
However, the one-time flourishing Gurge Kingdom collapsed suddenly over three hundred years ago.
The ruins of ancient Gurge Kingdom.[Photo/Files]
History experts say that even war and pestilence could not bring complete disaster to the ten thousand Gurge people. But, no one could explain why the more than 700-year old arcane empire disappeared suddenly.
Looking into distance, one can see the huge castle ruins consisted of palaces, temples, watchtowers, pagodas and caverns in the ruins of the Gurge Kingdom, occupying a commanding height and presenting a splendid sight, which has lost its pomp before.
The ruins of ancient Gurge Kingdom.[Photo/Files]
Walking along the narrow stone steps inlaid on the cliff, and then enters into a dark and cramped cave, downward of which becomes spacious and open unexpectedly. Here stand dozens of no more than two- meter -high caves with domed roofs and different sizes, ventilated and exposed to sunshine, where the Gurge King escaped severe cold.
Walking out of the caves and move to the top of the mountain, not before long, we arrive at the Tan Cheng temple, where our eyes are attracted by the standing red temples and white temples as well as two halls on the hillside terraces.
With the guidance of a Tibetan boy, we walked into the famous red temple and white temple in different directions, both of which are single layer flat Tibetan-style halls. In the temples, there are only several damaged Buddha statues and faded lotus thrones, most exquisite frescos of which are well preserved, and some of them are even in bright colors.
The roof of the Gurge Kingdom ruins once leaked because of thousands years of washing by rains and storms, resulting in the erosion of pars of exquisite frescos and collapse of some caves.
“The Gurge Kingdom ruins are one of the first batch national key cultural relics protection units. Over the past year, the cultural heritage sector has tried every means to prolong its life,” said Li Xingguo, cultural relics bureau chief of Ngari Prefecture.
According to Li, the restoration work of the frescos in the Gurge Kingdom ruins has been launched in last May. At present, the repair area has reached to 843 square meters, including the frescos in the Tara hall, Tan Cheng temple and red temple.
Besides, the local cultural relics sectors also strengthened the side slopes of the caves and started the mountain drainage management project in April this year.
The Gurge Kingdom ruins is a turning point marking the prosperity and development of Buddhism after the collapse of the Gurge Kingdom. Its every detail carries the history of Ngari Prefecture that cannot be neglected.
After the completion of the renovated and protection work, people may have the opportunity to see the genuine presence of the disappeared mysterious dynasty closely.

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