ABSTRACT

Principles of Spatial Organization in the Newly Emerging Pilgrimage at Phokar Dzong, Ladak.

Michael J. Khoo
University of Colorado



( ) The Tibetan Buddhist pilgrimmage to Phokar Dzong takes place on the feast day of Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava), the 10th day of the 5th Tibetan lunar month. The site at Phokar, accesible only through a narrow ravine or a steep mountain pass, is a large natural bowl containing a number of sacred sites such as caves, springs, trees, and distinctive rock formations. This pilgrimage, which has become popular within the last ten years, takes place over several days, and consists of a number of levels of spatial organization, all involving circumambulation, including: the trek to the site and back down the mountain; the walk around the site itself; circumambulations around various features; and sometimes inner circumambulations within these. Mathematical concepts of isomorphism and self-similarity will be used to demonstrate that these patterns are manifestations of cosmological principles at different spatial scales, which are used to generate meaning for the pilgrims.




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