Sacred landscape of the Himalaya
Les Gompa mystérieuses du Mustang

> fermer la fenêtre

Les autres pages de ce dossier...

Retour à la page d'accueil

Dernière modification le 11 février 2010
Une page documentée grâce aux recherches d'Etienne Principaud.
Et un documentaire particulièrement intéressant...

Tout a commencer avec une carte, en cherchant un passage pour rejoindre Lo Manthang depuis les lacs du Damodar.
La préparation d'un voyage au Mustang "Sur les traces du sacré" pour le printemps 2010 nous a entraîné vers de surprenantes découvertes...
il y eu Gompa Kang, mais aussi Chhuchhu Gompa et Sao Gompa.

Pour conclure sur CHHUJUNG GOMPA !

Gompa Kang
En dehors de la description assez détaillée de Snellgrove on ne trouve sur Internet que très peu de références à cette gompa et aucune photo.
Charles Ramble dans son livre “Navel of the demoness” décrit les différents hameaux de Tshug et les clans qui les habitent. Il fait référence à ce monastère à la page 182 :
«  The nuns of the Shöyul were traditionally attached to a now-abandoned temple situated above the west bank of the kali Gandaki, opposite Tshug. The proper name of this temple is Kunzang Chöling (Tib. Kun bzang chos gling) but it is popularly refered to as simply Gompa Gang, the « temple ridge » …...
Il décrit ensuite l'abandon du monastère suite à la noyade d'une nonne et leur établissement à Tshug.

Après recherche sur Google map, la seule construction importante sur l’autre rive de la Kali Gandaki à proximité de Tchuk est située sur un promontoire un peu avant d’arriver sur l”espèce de presqu’île en face des falaises colorées.

Au retour de Dolpo Mustang
Mission accompli... enfin pas tout à fait !
Voici le compte rendu de la dernière partie du voyage : Au Mustang, la descente de la Kali Gandaki, de Lo à Jomosom.

Et voici la seule photo de Gompa Kang, "la Gompa de la montagne".
Le gardien des clefs est absent, il nous faudra donc revenir une prochaine fois.

Depuis l'autre rive.
Une vue sur Chhusang... qui mérite aussi un détour, car le village ne se limite pas aux quelques maisons en bord de chemin.

Denis en traversant la rivière. "Bof, ça le fait bien !"

Himalayan pilgrimage

By now it was past noon and a great gale was blowing up the valley, carrying clouds of dust along. This is a daily occurence, making afternoon travel often very unpleasant indeed. From a corner of the track perched high above the gorge we could see Gomba K'ang on its barren doping promontory on the far bank. Ahead of us lay the village of Tshuk (SI: Chhukgâon) with its green fields terraced down towards the river.
TSHUK consists of three compact groups of houses: Tr'a-kar 'White-Rock', clearly the dominating one for it possesses the ruins of a fort, Tse-kye, 'Point-Growth', nearer the river, and Kyang-ma, 'Solitary', on the far side of a tributary stream to the north. Our porter led us into the middle of Tr'a-kar, knocked at the door of a house and shouted. He then avent inside and presumably having explained who we were, returned in a few minutes to ask us to follow. We ascended the usual knotched trunk, under which a barking dog was chained just out of reach of our legs, and passed from a small landing into the living room. The householder made us welcome and his wife put hassocks in position and asked us to be seated. While she mixed some chang for us, we did our best to explain who we were. The younger son, a lad of twenty-two, then appeared, and was promptly despatched to find us eggs; rice, tsamba and potatoes were all readily available in the house. These people were friends of our merry porter and it was agreed that we should all stay for the night. It may be more peaceful to use one's own tent, but one misses much if one does not accept such friendly hospitality. As in Dolpo our `porters' were just villagers who could be persuaded to assist us; they come rather as guides and companions than as servants. Here our relationship was even more friendly and they would eat with us as a matter of course.
Pasang was now scheming ahead. From Tukchâ he would have to go on to Pokhara and so, would need a companion. When the son returned with the eggs, he asked him if he had ever been to Pokhara. The lad had been many times. Would he join our party? Yes, but for how much? His food and seventy rupees a month. He gladly agreed and said he would start by taking us across the river on tomorrow to see Gomba K'ang. His name was Karchung, we learned, and he and his whole family were the best of people. His young sister and the wife of his eider brother came to see us and thereafter various friends and neighbours. We slept on our camp beds on the open roof, round the edges of which stacks of wood were neatly arranged for the winter. The morning sun shone on the towering red cliffs beyond the river and behind us rose the gaunt ruins of the old fort. Pasang brought tea and we planned the day with Karchung's assistance.

We first visited the two temples at Tshoknam, a small settlement of a few houses less than a mile up the valley due east from Tshuk (SI: Narsing Kholâ). Both temples were in a lamentable condition. The upper one was being used as a store-room; fine frescoes, already defaced, were buried behind stacks of straw. On the way back Karchung led us into a little cave-temple, which proved to be one of the most impressive ~ places in the whole region. It is named the `Temple of Medicinal Juice' (sman-rtsi lha-kbang) and the central image is known as Ch'amba (Maitreya) by the villagers (pl. XXXIXa). He is accompanied by the chief buddhas: against the right wall are images of 'Boundless Light', `Imperturbable' and 'Infallible Success' and against the left wall 'Jewel-Born', 'Great Brilliance' and again 'Infallible Success'. These images are well conceived and quite undamaged, although they must be many generations old. Our other chief joy that morning came from the little apricots which were hanging ripe in Tshoknam and of which we are our fill, for we had not tasted fresh fruit since the beginning of our travels.

Still assisted by Karchung we next forded the swift current of the Kâli Gandaki in order to reach GOMBA K'ANG. Karchung strode boldly through the surging torrent, always sure of his footing, although the water came above his waist. He then held one end of our nylon rope while some village-boys held the other. Pasang went first and was swept off his feet in mid-stream, receiving a thorough ducking, although fortunately keeping hold of the rope. Noting his mistakes, I followed with better success. There is a way round by a bridge further upstream, but then one would have to make a circuit of the great red cliffs opposite and it would be a full day's journey one way. As it was, we scrambled up the bank just below the cliffs and walked across onto the promontory. The monastery is ringed behind with another cliff-wall, eroded fantastically like giant organ-pipes. We passed through a courtyard into a large porch, painted with the Wheel of Existence and the four kings who guard the directions. Karchung, followed by Pasang, wvent to the upper storey in search of the solitary monk who was living there, but I was too impatient to wait and pushed back the doors of the main temple. It proved to be one of the largest Tibetan temples I have seen, being approximately sixty feet square. The central image is an enormous Maitreya, whose head and shoulders reach up into the storey above, where they have a separate chapel of their own. There is a circumambulatory passage around this image, which adds further to the size of the temple. The walls are covered with fine old frescoes representing the same divinities as we had seen in the old Sa-kya-pa monasteries of Dolpo, viz. the Five Buddhas, 'Great Brilliance' S`âkyamuni, Buddha Master of Medicine, 'Holder of the Vajra', 'Lotus Born', 'Glancing Eye', Maitreya, Hevajra and 'Supreme Bliss'. Most of the paintings on the right wall are already rendered unidentifiable by damp and dirt. A small expanse of wall screening the main entrance on the inside is decorated with the goddesses of the offerings and is a delightful piece of miniature painting. The grandeur of this temple, still impressive in spite of ils present dilapidated condition, ils remoteness, to which the swift-flowing river adds yet another barrier, reminded me of that still more ancient monastery of Tabo in Spiti. They are both places which haunt the imagination and to which one feels an urge to return. It is known locally just as Gomba K'ang, 'Promontory Monastery', but its proper narre is Kun-bzang chos gling, 'All-Good Island of the Doctrine'. Once the centre of a large community, it is now watched over by a solitary monk, a Tibetan from Drepung, who finds it a congenial place for his meditation. We found him in a room on the upper storey, occupied in sewing cloth uppers to his boots. Having invited us to share his buttered tea, he willingly showed us round the rest of the monastery. We saw the upper temple which is built around the head and shoulders of the great Maitreya and visited another room filled with a dusty collection of small images and ritual vessels. He walked with us round the main temple, but showed little knowledge of iconography. He was a kindly man, however, and the only one who still look any interest in this great work of the past.
We bade him farewell and recrossed the river, in which quite unaccountably Pasang received a second ducking, and then returned to Karchung's house, where we prepared a meal and our departure.

Une petite touche linguistico-culturelle
Cinq villages de la région : Tangbe, Tetang, Chuksang, Chele et Gyakar (les cinq villages) forment une entité particulière car ils parlent un langage tout à fait à part : le Seke.
Ce langage fait partie du groupe des langues tamangs qui incluent aussi le tamang, le gurung, le thakali, les dialectes de la vallée de Manang et de Naar Phu et le chantyal. Cette langue est tout à fait différente du tibétain classique. Ces villages forment ainsi une enclave au milieu de populations  (Lo au nord et Baragaon au sud et à l'est) parlant le tibétain.

Sao Gompa ou Chhuchhu ?
La recherche Chhuchhu sur Google ne ramène qu'une seule référence, celle des japonais qui ont exploré la région : Research Trek To Upper Mustang 2001 Autumn; journée du 20 nov.
Après traduction automatique on constate qu'ils parlent de la " Chhuchhu Gompa (Sale) Khola la ".
Chhuchhu et Sale Khola seraient donc synonymes. Or sur la carte, la Sale Khola qui devient la Sao Chu passe bien tout près du site marqué Chudzong.
Par ailleurs la Chhuchhu Gompa (Sale) Khola forme la bordure N de la chaîne de montagnes Rijopuwa danda.
Je serais étonné qu'il y aît une autre gompa abandonnée importante sur la chaîne de montagnes car les gompas souvent associées aux villages avaient forcément besoin d'eau.

Bilan de la recherche sur le terrain... cette Gompa s'appelle en définitive CHHUJUNG GOMPA. Elle se situe en rive droite de la rivière nommée Chhuchhu Gompa Khola, juste en aval de la confluence entre la Chhusung Khola et la Salde Khola.
Rendez-vous au retour du voyage vers Bhrikuti, mi juin 2010...

The Lopa have myths that explain the sudden drying of the land.
One example is the following, called the Sao Gompa valley legend. A lama and his assistant were performing a fertility renewal ceremony for the Sao Gompa valley. The ceremony involved boiling rice in a pot. The lama put the rice in the boiling water. He told his assistant not to remove the lid until the rice was overflowing the pot, then the lama went off over the river. Vultures gathered around him, and the lama started to teach them. Seeing the vultures, the assistant assumed the lama was dead. He took the cover off of the pot. Because of the failed ceremony, the valley immediately dried up.

En étudiant le nom des rivières
La Parung khola faisant sur la carte japonaise suite à la Sale Khola puis la Sao Chu, chhuchhu gomba khola et sao Chu pourraient être synonymes renforçant l'idée que les monastères chhuchhu gomba, chudzong gomba et sao gomba sont le seul et même édifice.


A lire...

Edité pat Niels Gutschow, Axel Michaels, Charles Ramble et Ernst Steinkellner

Verlag der österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften


> fermer la fenêtre