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6 The Dating of the Sumtsek Temple at Alchi

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Chapter Summary

In 1980, the author published most of the mural inscriptions in the Dukhang and Sumtsek temples at Alchi. He concluded that the oldest temple on the site was founded in the early to mid-11th century. He further proposed, mainly on grounds of the palaeography, style and authorship of its inscriptions, that the three-storey Sumtsek temple alongside the Dukhang was founded in the last third of the 11th century. Further important inscriptions from the top storey of the Sumtsek were published by Roger Goepper with Jaroslav Poncar. The Sumtsek's founder Tshul khrims 'od is mentioned, alongside paintings of a lineage of Kagyupa lamas, the founder of the Drigungpa order. This led Goepper to propose that the Sumtsek's founder "must have been active around the end of the twelfth to the beginning of the thirteenth century"; thus over a hundred years later than his dating.

Keywords: Alchi; Dukhang; Jaroslav Poncar; Roger Goepper; Sumtsek temples



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