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Medieval Earthern Walled City of Lo Manthang

Date of Submission: 30/01/2008
Criteria: (ii)(v)(vi)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Department of Archaeology
State, Province or Region:
Mustang District, Daula Giri Zone, West Nepal
Coordinates: N29 10 59 E83 57 21
Ref.: 5256

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Property names are listed in the language in which they have been submitted by the State Party


Lo Manthang the capital of the former Kingdom of Lo was constructed in the 15th Century on a plateau at 3800 meters above sea level. The settlement is located on the ancient trade route that runs along the Kali Gandaki River that cuts through the Himalayas. The settlement is surrounded by a 6-meter high earthen wall with square towers or dzong on the corners. Within the walls there exists a compact settlement of earthen structures. 

The main monuments found within the walls are the palace and monasteries of Jampa Lakhang and Thupchen Lakhang from the 15th Century and the monastery of Choede Lakhang from the 18th Century. There are several rows of chhortens and mane walls within the settlement and along the circumambulatory path directly outside the wall. 

The Lobas, inhabitants of Lo Manthang are closely related culturally and ethnically to the people of Western and Central Tibet. The culture is to a large degree defined by the Sakyapa traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and even today many of the ancient festival, rituals and ceremonies are being performed.

Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

Upper Mustang district where Lo Manthang is located is remote and was a restricted area to foreigners till 1992 and today only a restricted number of tourists are allowed to visit per year. The overall structure of the earthen walled settlement is intact. Over the past decade restoration work has been carried out on the monasteries of Jampa Lakhang and Thupchen Lakhang and part of the wall. Over the past two decades various development works and building construction has taken place outside the wall.

Comparison with other similar properties

There is no comparison to this unique settlement