Researches in Shang Shung

Researches in Shang Shung

In 1988 Prof. Namkhai Norbu, the founder of the Shang Shung Institute, organized an expedition to Mt. Kailash with some of his students . In that occasion he also visited the ancient cave-city near the modern village of Khyung Lung in Dzamda county. There he identified for the first time the cave-city with the last capital of Shang Shung, Khyung Lung Ngulkar (literally “Silver Castle in the Garuda Valley”).

The remains of the three-storey “Palace” of Khyung Lung, probably the King and his family’s residence, are still visible. Beneath the Castle there were other constructions of which we have lost traces on surface. More than 200 caves were probably the dwellings of the ministers and king’s dignitaries, later used by Buddhist practitioners for personal retreats and recently frequented by nomads as shelters. Some caves have external chapels, maybe belonging to the Buddhist period. Some stupas (XIII century A.D.) and the ruins of a Gompa witness that in the cave-city there was a lively Buddhist monk community until recent times (1959).

In 2005 and 2006 the well know Austrian Tibet explorer Bruno Baumann also went into that area and probably discovered the ancient kingdom of Shung Shung. He is an award-winning writer, photographer, and filmmaker, whose work has earned him international recognition as an authority on the land and culture of Tibet and Central Asia.Since 2005 to Shang Shung Institute Austria is intensively collaborating with Bruno Baumann. In summer 2005 Mr. Bauman could make an interview with Chögyal Namkhai Norbu about his researches and and explorations of the ancient kingdom of Shang Shung. In this interview Chögyal Namkhai Norbu said:

"I want to thank you very much for your interest and research and attempt to discover that. It is something that is very important for ancient Tibetan history."

In spring 2006 the latest film by Bruno Baumann about Shang Shung was broadcasted on the German television ZDF and in the same period also Mr. Baumann's book about Shang Shung "The silver palace of Garuda" was published.

Copyright © Shang Shung Institute 2011