Himalayan Art Resources

Region: Nepal, Mustang (Puntsog Ling Cave)

Puntsog Ling Cave | Mustang Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Puntsog Ling Cave Description (below)
- Iconographic Program
- Masterworks
- Confusions
- Others...

The Punstog Ling Cave complex in Upper Mustang, Nepal, is one of four special Buddhist monastic/retreat complexes located in the region. The four sites starting in the West and moving East are: [1] Ganden Ling, [2] Puntsog Ling, [3] Ritseling and [4] Konchogling. Of the four, Puntsog Ling is the most damaged externally by the environment and internally by human action. The complex is a great study in the erosion of such caves in Mustang. The most stunning image is the first encountered at the site and shows a figure recessed only inches from the outer walls - hillside - of the cave but in fact what is being seen is a mural originally located at the back wall of a cave that existed hundreds of years ago. Erosion has removed the entrance and side walls of the hillside so much that the image is almost completely exposed and at the mercy of constant weathering. (Photos provided by (c) Nelli Rieuf).

Jeff Watt 6-2011