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Rutog Cave Murals

Like the well-known Rock Paintings in Rutog County, Ngari , the Rutog Cave Murals have opened another brilliant page into this Tibetan art form. These murals are the epitome of early Tibetan painting and are not copies of other more common works found in the temples. It is no exaggeration to say that even the unparalleled murals stored in the Ruins of Guge Kingdom and Tholing Monastery of the same region cannot tarnish its image at all.
The Rutog Cave Murals are located in a cave northeast of the beautiful Lake Palgon, which incorporates the highest bird island in the world. The cave is named Dingchun Lakang, the former word is the place name and the latter means Shrine or Immortals' Cave. It is about 4 m. (13 ft.) in size. Its top and surrounding stone walls inside are all washed and painted with all kinds of religious murals. Most are various shaped Mandalas either belonging to Bon or Buddhism. They are decorated with the figures of distinctively dressed men and women who are dancing. Beside them many small circular Buddha pictures can also be easily found on the walls. Large pictures of Bodhisattvas guard both sides of the entrance gate. To the left of the entrance are also some transformative nude images of the devils in hell. These images are quite different from the typical images of animal adornments and hell tribulation pictures depicted in the temples. The roof of the cave is painted with a lotus petal surrounded by many small Buddhas.
Near the cave many vivid rock paintings representative of early Tibet are also distributed. Due to their uniqueness among Tibetan paintings, the Rutog Cave Murals and the nearby rock paintings all have a high aesthetic and research value in Tibet.
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