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SUMDA CHUN MONASTERY

Documentation, conservation, and presentation of Sumda Chun monastery and site

SUMDA CHUN MONASTERY
Leh, India
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BACKGROUND

Located at 12,700 feet above sea level in a remote part of the Himalayas, the village of Sumda Chun is accessible only by a 3- to 4-hour hike up a steep and winding river valley trail. The monastery (gonpa) there is one of the most important surviving early Tibetan Buddhist temples of the Ladakh region of northern India. Its remoteness has both helped and hindered its preservation.

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HOW WE HELPED

The 2006 Watch listing highlighted the primary threats to Sumda Chun that are typical of most early period temples in Ladakh: increased rainfall in the region has caused failures to the historic roofing systems originally built for an arid climate and thereby damaged the interior decorative features they shelter.

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WHY IT MATTERS

The Sumda Chun Monastery (gonpa) represents the cultural influences of Tibetan Buddhism in the Himalayan area and is of immense regional and international significance. Sumda Chun was a part of the long and strenuous pilgrimage route that linked with the two other temples of this period, Alchi and Mangyu. (...)

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Sumda Chun Monastery
Wallpaper: Sumda Chun Monastery
Sumda Chun Monastery
Wallpaper: Sumda Chun Monastery
Sumda Chun Monastery
Wallpaper: Sumda Chun Monastery
Sumda Chun Monastery
Wallpaper: Sumda Chun Monastery
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IN THE MEDIA
Glimpses of the Lost World of Alchi
Smithsonian Magazine, Thursday, April 1, 2010
VIDEOS
Conservation at Sumda Chun, IndiaConservation at Sumda Chun, India
November, 2008

WMF Technical Director Mark Weber traveled to Sumda Chun in summer 2008 to observe the conservation work, and sent back this video report.