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Yangzi Phozhang Ruins: An Ancient Palace-Temple Complex in Tibet

Location and Altitude

The Yangzi Phozhang ruins, also known as “Jiaba Chiben Phozhang,” are situated in Liemai Township, Longzi County, at an altitude of 3850 meters. This site is a significant historical landmark, revealing the intertwining of religious and military architecture in Tibet.

Historical Background

Construction and Origin:

  • Founder: The ruins were initially constructed by the minor king of Jiaba Chiben.
  • Initial Purpose: The complex was designed as a palace that doubled as a temple, reflecting a unique “city and temple combination” style that also served military defense purposes.
  • Chronology: The Phozhang architectural complex was first built in the 13th century and has a rich history spanning over 700 years.

Architectural Features

Structure and Remnants:

  • Wall System: The walls, made of stone blocks, have a residual height ranging from 3 to 5 meters.
  • Hall Size: Within the ruins are halls covering areas between 60 to 80 square meters, indicating the grandeur of the original structure.
  • Complex Components: The original complex included Jia La Phozhang, Nai Dan Phozhang (Luohan Hall), Shenmen Phozhang, Hengjikang, Sangyongkang, and others, along with watchtowers on all four sides.
  • Military Features: The tall and robust design of the complex demonstrates its dual purpose as both a spiritual center and a military stronghold.

Later Historical Developments

Occupation and Government Use:

  • 15th Century: During this time, the complex was occupied by Duolin Pandit of Yalong.
  • 12th Dalai Lama Era: The Kashag government established its governance here, transforming the complex into a manor.

Conclusion

The Yangzi Phozhang ruins stand as a captivating symbol of Tibetan history, blending religious significance with strategic military architecture. Its long-standing presence, originating from the 13th century, provides valuable insights into the region’s historical and cultural evolution, particularly in the realms of architectural design and governmental use. The ruins not only reflect the architectural ingenuity of the time but also the complex socio-political landscape of Tibet’s past.

About the author

The Tibetan Travel website's creator, hailing from Lhasa, is a cultural enthusiast. They promote responsible tourism, connecting the world to Tibet's beauty and heritage. Awards recognize their contribution.

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