Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Biru Skull Wall

The skull wall is near the Duoduoka Charnel Ground in the western part of Biru County, 300 kilometers southeast Naqu in Tibet Autonomous Region. The Duoduoka Charnel Ground occupies an area of about 4,000 square meters. Its Earthen walls stand on four sides and on the south and west walls, there are wooden shelves, each displaying  human skulls. There are two gates respectively on the west and south of the Duoduoka Charnel Ground's courtyard. The west gate is for living human beings, while the one on the south is where the bodies are carried in. The bungalow on the north is exclusively for the monks who carry out the religious celestial burial ceremonies. In the center of the Charnel ground lies a celestial burial pool of about 4 square meters. On the pool's north end stands a rectangular stone about 60 cm from the ground. The stone is used to hold the bodies in celestial burials. According to Duoduoka's celestial burial master, there were originally three monasteries where skulls were kept after celestial burials: the Duoduoka Monastery, the Ridazeng Monastery opposite the former and the Quedai Monastery nearby. Biru has gained its fame from containing all three monasteries. Unfortunately, most of the skulls have been damaged both by natural and man-made disasters.

Photo credit: Tamotsu Nakamura

Info from here

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