Densatil Project
Densathil - gDan-sa-mthil - གདན་ས་མཐིལ - 丹萨替寺
Jean-Luc Estournel - Since 1993



In 1158, the monk Dorje Gyalpo (1100 – 1170) installed a hermitage at a place called Phagmodru near Nedongin central Tibet. he will therefore beknown by the generic name of Phagmo drupa.
In 1198, his disciples, incuding Jigten Sumgon (1143 – 1217) who founded the Drigung monastery start to erect around his thatched hut the Densatil monastery, epicenter of the Phagmogru branch of the Kagyupa school, and spiritual support of te rLangs family who founded the Phagmogrupa dynasty wich ruled Tibet in the 14th-15th centuries.

Completely destroyed in the 1960's, the monastery remaines famous for its stupas housing the relics of its successive abbots including eight imposing Tashigomangs (symbolising the first preaching of the Buddha) erected between 1267 and 1435, partially photographhed by P.F. Mele during the 1948 Tucci expedition inTibet.

These eight Tashigomangs follow, with some variations, the model visualized by Jigten Sumgon (1143 – 1217), for the realization of a Tashigomang in honor of his master Phagmo Drupa in his Drigung monastery circa 1200.

It is clear today that a number of Phamogrupa-type Tashigomangs were also made for some abbots of Drigung monastery during the same time sequence as in Densatil. Thus, it must now be considered that a number of objects hitherto attributed to the monastery of Densatil may also have come from Drigung or from another sanctuary in connection with the two preding ones.



Since 1993, we have been working on a kind of "catalogue raisonné", aiming ào reconstitute as much as possible the large Tashigomangs of the Densatil monastery or potentially from Drigung.

For this purpose we are seeking to find the greatest number of fragments today dispersed in public or private collections.

In order to gather the maximum of images, the help of averybody to point out objects to us or to send us photographs of them will be welcome.

Upon receipt of your pictures, we will, if you wish, send you a letter attesting to the inclusion in our "catalogue raisonné" being prepared, together with the informations we may have on your object, as the probable date of execution, or the monument from wich it is most probably coming from.

You can contact us via CONTACT DENSATIL
or by surface post at the following address :
Jean - Luc Estournel
91, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore
75008  Paris 
For more details on the historical and artistic importance of the monastery of Densatil, you can consult my article published on
Projet Densatil.  Textes et Images  (c) J.L.Estournel / Projet Densatil - 1993-2020