Ancient stupa unearthed, restored in Murgi village of Nubra Valley

HCHF expert Dr Sonam Wangchuk and Murgi villagers posing for photograph in front of ancient stupa. -Excelsior/Morup Stanzin
HCHF expert Dr Sonam Wangchuk and Murgi villagers posing for photograph in front of ancient stupa. -Excelsior/Morup Stanzin

Excelsior Correspondent
LADAKH, Nov 3: The Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation (HCHF) in collaboration with Murgi villagers unearthed and restored an ancient stupa in Nubra valley.
A stupa located on the right side of the vehicular road that leads to the Charasa village in the historical Murgi village was partially buried in the surrounding mud as this area was flooded some generations ago. More than half of the stupa was sunk under the ground.
With request from the villagers of Murgi, the stupa experts from HCHF has initiated the restoration in the beginning of the summer season of 2019 but due to flood in some parts of the village the project got delayed. Yet, HCHF made sure to complete the restoration before the end of the season.
The restoration was completed and consecration ceremony by monks from Yarma Gonbo took place on 2nd November. According to stupa expert of HCHF Tsewang Phunstog, “The stupa was built in stone and mud brick masonry and has roof at three stages which were not opened and the restoration was done exactly how it was from outside, following every single details by using the same materials, proportions and measurements”.
While interacting with the villagers, Dr Sonam Wangchuk said, “Murgi village in Nubra valley is full of heritage sites, including one of the largest petroglyph sites in Ladakh, Entsa Gonpa, the footprint of Dachompa Nyima Gungpa and old stupas (Chorten) are characteristic to the region”..
While appreciating the initiative, HCHF has extended support to villagers in terms of expertise, guidance and preparation of necessary research and report about the conservation works. Lobzang Stanzin from Diskit Gonpa highlighted the importance of preserving and restoring the old monuments in the village.
The stupa is a Lhabab Chorten which symbolizes the Buddha’s descent from Tushita heaven after preaching the path to enlightenment to his mother. It was built in the past for the well being of all sentient beings. Stupas in Ladakh are religious structures venerated by Buddhists, and many of them are said to have housed corporal remains of high Lamas or mark an important place associated with the religion.