From Nako one follows the Spiti river upstream, passing by Tabo and the impressive village of Dankhar (Brang-mkhar), the former capital and seat of the Spiti ruler (Nono), to approach the picturesque village of Lalung (> Lalung gallery). Situated on a northern tributary of the Spiti river, Lalung is reached either after an hour’s walk from Dankhar, or via a link road branching off the Spiti main road shortly after Dankhar opposite the Pin valley. Lying at an altitude of 3680 metres, Lalung today has 313 inhabitants and is the only major village in the Lingti valley.
Both the ancient and modern temples are located on the hill to the right of the village. Lalung, too, must once have been a major Buddhist centre. There was once a large monastery on the flat hill-top above the village that probably occupied the whole of this site.
Today only two older temples remain on the hill. One is a tiny provisional chapel on the side of a house at the edge of the flat hill-top. I call this building the Vairocana Chapel, after the images it houses. The second site is the exceptional Golden Temple or Serkhang (gSer-khang) located on the crown of the hill.
- Shuttleworth, H. Lee. Lha-Lung Temple, Spyi-Ti, Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of India, No. 39. Calcutta, 1929.
- Tucci, Giuseppe. The Temples of Western Tibet and Their Artistic Symbolism. Indo-Tibetica III.1: The Monasteries of Spiti and Kunavar. Edited by Lokesh Chandra. Vol. 350, Shata-Pitaka Series. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan, 1988.
Page last updated: 13.04.2006